Top 10 Tips to Boost Holiday Online Sales

The holidays are fast approaching, and experts across the board agree that online sales will be crucial to retailer performance. To help online merchants optimize the expected uptick in holiday traffic, e-commerce provider Volusion has released  its “101 Tips to Boost Holiday Sales.” The tips range from logistical improvements in shipping to innovative marketing tactics.

Here are Volusion’s Top 10 suggestions:

1. Ensure the mobile-optimized version of your online store has its logo and the categories are arranged properly.

2. Share holiday discounts and highlight featured products daily via social media -- this creates a sense of urgency and helps extend your online reach.

3. Enable social sharing features such as Add This and the Facebook “Like” button on your product pages. This allows your site visitors to plant the idea for the perfect gift directly on various social media pages.

4. Update your homepage graphic or slideshow to be completely holiday focused, pointing customers to holiday-related categories or your top-selling products. (Volusion has released free holiday graphics [onlinebusiness.volusion.com/articles/free-holiday-graphics-for-your-online-store] to help get customers in the mood for shopping.)

5. Never, ever let holiday shoppers be surprised by shipping charges once they reach the checkout page. Explicitly state the shipping cost before they push the final “Checkout” button. Surprise shipping charges are the No. 1 reason for abandoned shopping carts.

6. Don’t skimp on the time spent analyzing orders for fraud. With an influx of orders, it becomes easy to quickly process them without looking for the tell-tale signs of fraudulent activity.

7. Create bundles or gift baskets of your products and create a specific category for them. You can also place these bundles in other categories you already have.

8. Offer exclusive discounts for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

9. Resubmit your site map sooner than later with your new holiday products and categories so search engines can index and rank them before the selling season takes off.

10. Submit your products to Comparison Shopping Engines. If you’re new to the game, get started by listing products on free search engines such as Google Product Search, Bing Shopping and TheFind. Once you do some testing to see which perform the best, consider moving to paid CSEs or hiring a CSE management service. While not as many use CSEs as typical search engines, those who do use this type of product search are more likely to buy.

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