Preparing for the holiday blitz

By | Small Business

It’s just one week to Black Friday, and the official start to the holiday shopping rush. But there’s still time to improve your ecommerce site and operation to take maximize the expected rush of online shoppers.

Here are some quick tips provided by veteran members of the Aabaco Small Business Developer Network for prepping your online store:

Mobile money-making machine

Mobile users accounted for 45% of all online retail traffic last season, up 25.5% over 2013. By providing simple navigation through your mobile site, you’ll capture more search engine traffic across all iOS and Android mobile platforms.


Serve up rich, holiday-themed pages

Do your homework and review your analytics and sales history from last year’s holiday season to determine which products and product categories are popular at this time of the year. Combine that legacy knowledge with your latest “ear to the ground” information and instincts about this year’s trends, and collect those products into holiday-themed pages on your site. Be creative - these can take the form of a “Holiday Gift Guide”, “Holiday Ideas for Her”, “December Deals”, etc. Creating such targeted, seasonally appropriate landing pages are a great user experience (you are doing your existing customers a favor by collecting together holiday offers and fresh product ideas for them) and they provide great holiday SEO (this is an effective way to capture holiday-themed search traffic.)


Staff up

Let’s talk about proper staffing. How many employees you will need to handle the influx? If you don’t have a clue, it’s time to revisit your stats and records from last year. Know what your needs are now so that you can prepare in advance. You may need to temporarily re-task employees from non-essential areas to help with the load or you may need additional part-timers, temps, mandatory overtime, of on-call staff. Your game plan should be finalized and ready to execute at least a week before Black Friday. Don’t forget to be prepared for call offs! Black Friday occurs right before flu season begins to peak – not to mention the possibility of holiday hangovers, travel nightmares, or zombie outbreaks. Bonus Tip: Treat your employees well and making sure they know they are appreciated. Happy employees make productive employees. Free coffee and doughnuts anyone?  

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Implement a real-time cart abandonment solution

For every 100 shoppers the average store wins 2 sales and loses 6 due to cart abandonment. Shoppers who abandon their cart rarely return, resulting in a big drain on sales. Forrester Research studied the reasons why shoppers abandon carts, and cost-related concerns were the most common. You can win many of these cart abandoners back by targeting offers at the precise moment shoppers decide to leave. 

Conversions On Demand

Know what you have

Add real time inventory API to your product page to enable you to eliminate the product options that are out of stock, or/and will allow your customers to choose “back order” and to place the order when back in stock. You can always call to try and offer a replacement for the back ordered item, for the Holiday.

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Eye spy

Compare your prices with your competition online. If you are not the cheapest, make sure your site clearly shows the consumer why paying more with you is worth the extra cash (i.e. free shipping, 24/7 support, free returns, etc.)



Use one shipping calculator

If you have more than one store, add one shipping calculator that will serve all stores, and will be presented on each store to serve your customers.

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