As part of our international e-commerce campaign to help businesses get ready for the Christmas shopping season, successful online entrepreneur Sarah Hurley has shared her five top tips to help you get your online store ready for Christmas
Despite the fact that it’s on the same day every year and we have lots of notice, Christmas seems to sneak up on us every time! Although I do find myself becoming more organised with each passing year (this will be my fourth Christmas in business) we still learn something new every year!
Around July – August we start to prepare listings for each of our upcoming Christmas products, we list them across all of our sales channels and on Pressloft to ensure maximum coverage (the earlier you can get your product in front of the press, the more likely it will be picked up for a feature – magazines work way in advance!) We take clear photos of each product, some staged in a festive way and some not, each showing the product as a whole or special details then as we start to release them we will share them across all of our social media channels.
In September, we’ll spend as much time as possible preparing stock – it can be difficult with things like personalised products or bulky items but wherever possible we will make up products or parts of products so we have a good amount of stock ready for when it starts to get busy, often we’ll use family and friends to help, if someone pops in for a cup of tea, get them to bag up some bits for you while the kettle boils!
Organisation really is key so we will also stock up on all of the essentials, envelopes, boxes, order forms, tape, tags and anything else that you may need – there is nothing more stressful that running out of something during the Christmas rush – especially if it’s then out of stock or you’re on a tight deadline, as I found out 2 years ago when I spent 3 hours sourcing the right size boxes instead of packing orders, never again! We squeeze these bits into every available spare space – on top of cupboards, behind things, wherever it fits and it’s out of the way, these things never go to waste and it’s better to be over prepared than under prepared! Clearly label all of the boxes as they come in so you can find everything easily.
We also spend time rechecking our listings for broken links, little errors (double check things like measurements and packaging to be sure everything is right, you want to be dealing with sales not returns!) and adding in Christmas keywords where possible (not so many it’s spammy or the description doesn’t make sense) We check all our categories are clear and prepare collections.
Then it’s really a matter of waiting for the rush to kick in and making sure there is a good supply of tea for those late nights of order packing!