10 Tips to Prepare E-Retailers for the 2011 Holiday Season
David Sasson, CEO of OverstockArt.com
With more consumers than ever planning to visit e-commerce sites in search of holiday gifts, now is the time for e-retailers to gear up in preparation for the year's most lucrative shopping season. Those retailers unprepared for a busy holiday season could lose out on sales, leading to the demise of their company. Clearly it's worth spending time planning for the season.
overstockArt.com understands the value of a well-executed holiday sales plan. Thanks to holiday sales preparedness last year, the retailer enjoyed a 24.25 percent increase in holiday sales compared to the previous year.
Here are 10 tips overstockArt.com recommends to help your company optimize its holiday sales this year:
1. Start the preparation with a brainstorming session. This session should focus on what worked and what didn't work in the past to help you determine areas of strength as well as those that need improvement this holiday season. Include employees from all parts of the company and challenge them to provide a creative idea that could be implemented during the holiday season. This is a great way to get the entire company on the same page this holiday season.
2. Make needed website improvements to accommodate holiday traffic. Optimize your site for speed and functionality. Once all improvements are planned, make sure you have a hard date for a code freeze. It's not recommended to do any improvements during the holiday season as mistakes can be very costly.
3. Make sure your shelves are stocked and you have the inventory available to attain your sales goals. Inventory is a delicate balance involving cash, sales, space and projection of which items will sell. It's not an exact science, but an accurate forecast could mean the difference between success or failure.
4. Have the right, well-trained employees in place. There are many areas in your organization that will be impacted during the holiday rush, but the main ones are shipping and customer service. These areas must be covered the right way. Make sure you're staffed properly, especially on extreme selling days such as Cyber Monday.