The holiday season is quickly arriving, but is your online store ready for holiday shoppers? While you may be handling current orders seamlessly, the holiday season can bring more shoppers than ever to your retail site, and you need to be prepared for a massive increase in website traffic and orders. You must make sure your store is ready for new customers, as you want to give holiday shoppers a great experience that will keep them coming back every year. Follow these four tips to make this holiday season as productive and profitable as possible.
1. Beef Up Your Servers
Your website needs to be prepared to handle more visitors than usual during the holiday season. If you are not prepared, then when a bunch of shoppers try to log into your site at one time, your site may slow to a crawl, or even worse, crash completely. Many may not bother coming back to your site to try shopping again, especially if this is their first experience with the site.
You have a couple of options to handle this influx of shoppers. You can add another server to your infrastructure, or you can enlist in the help of a cloud server. A technology expert warns that most small businesses spend less money long-term when purchasing new servers instead of going with cloud-based ones. However, if you don't have an IT expert you can call to fix server issues if you encounter them, then a cloud-based server may be a better option for you at this time.
2. Outsource Your Phone Calls to a Call Center
If your current staff fields the phone calls your business receives, then they may be so busy processing and packaging orders to answer the phones when the holiday shoppers begin making those inevitable phone calls. Even e-commerce sites need to have reliable phone contacts at all times, as shoppers often have questions that they want to ask about products and orders.
Many shoppers also feel better placing orders over the phone instead of inputting their credit card information online. This is especially true of older shoppers. You can outsource your calls to a call center just for the holiday season. You can then allow your current staff to concentrate on packing orders correctly and keeping your inventory precisely managed.
3. Consider Hiring Seasonal Employees
Even when you outsource calls, you may still need more staff on site to pack orders, maintain good email customer service, control inventory, and keep track of accounting. If you worry that your current staff won't be able to handle the extra orders and extra work, then adding a couple of seasonal employees can never hurt.
A good time to schedule these employees to begin is a couple of weeks before Black Friday and your big day, Cyber Monday. Don't wait until the last minute, as they employees will need to be trained before they are expected to help your current staff manage the big holiday orders.
Check out websites like http://roicallcentersolutions.com to get started.
4. Streamline Your Shipping
Fast shipping is expected during the holiday season, as no customer wants to wait longer than they have to for their gifts to arrive. If you currently make a trip to the post office a couple of times each week to ship out orders, then that needs to change.
Create an account with a shipping service you trust, and make sure it is a service that picks up your packages daily and allows you to print off shipping labels as you need them. You can then make sure that every customer receives their order as soon as possible, and you can skip those trips to the post office.
The holiday season is a time when millions of people shop for gifts, so make sure your e-commerce store is ready for the incoming traffic and orders. Follow these tips to create a great customer experience for each and every shopper that will help keep them coming back year after year.