Jan
04
2018

Holiday Shopping 2018: Prepare Your eCommerce Site Now

Posted 19 days ago ago by Jared


Ho, ho, ho – Merry Chris…wait, what? I’m late? Incorrect.
 
As a matter of fact, you may not be late yet but you could be – quickly. 

You have exactly 326 days until Cyber Monday 2018 and if you want to be generating more revenue on Monday, November 26 – you need to get moving! 

I get it, we just finished the holiday season. But, in reality, this process is not one you want to squeeze into a tight window. Instead of waiting until the last minute, like me and my Christmas shopping, start preparing today. 

Whether you have an existing eCommerce solution or you are considering implementing one for the first time, the process is the same, and it takes time. Let’s take it one step at a time – step one, the list. 

The List

 
Just like the man in the red suit, having a list is the logical first step to accomplish anything. The creation of your list first depends on whether eCommerce is an existing part of your business or not. 

Existing eCommerce users: 

Start with the low-hanging fruit and review your current data:
  • How did your site convert this holiday season? 
  • Were your customers able to locate and make purchases with minimal clicks? 
  • Do you have the appropriate metrics to track your data and guide improvements? 

After reviewing the obvious metrics, take a minute to step back and review the process as a whole:

  • Did data flow smoothly between systems and departments?  If not, is there a process that could be automated to make your business more efficient? 
  • What are you doing with the data you obtain from your customers? Are there re-marketing opportunities you could be capitalizing on? 
  • Did your existing system limit you from accomplishing your goals? 

New eCommerce users: 

Starting this process can be daunting but if Mr. C can deliver gifts to all the children of the world in a single night, you can certainly deliver a functional eCommerce solution to your business. Creating your list will, first and foremost, help determine if eCommerce makes sense for you:

  • What are your competitors doing? 
  • What differentiates you from your competitors? Is it your quality? Customer service and satisfaction? A unique story? 
  • Why are you looking to eCommerce? More specifically, what pushed you to this point? 
In reality, there are many things to consider when approaching eCommerce for the first time. While our library of blog articles can provide you a great starting point, scheduling a time to review your business will certainly be the most valuable route. 

Other items to consider for your list include budget, revenue goals, and staffing. Determining realistic revenue goals is a necessary conversation to have in order to create an accurate ROI case and determine a reasonable budget. What are you currently doing in revenue as an organization and what do you think is possible with a new eCommerce solution/process implemented?

Finally, do you have the right people in place to manage it effectively? If not, hiring or finding the right staff will become very important before launch. Your list is beginning to take shape!

The Workshop


The list has been checked once and now, the extraordinary staff in the North Pole begin manufacturing in order to deliver by the big day. If they know what the drop-dead date is, then they know what they need to do to hit it. What makes the most sense for your business? 

If your business has seasonality and you would like to capitalize on the 2018 holiday season, (at the latest) you should be live in September. This logic can be applied to a new eCommerce build or any new features. The bottom line is, you don’t want to be making changes or identifying bugs into Q4. By the time Halloween hits, you want your site functioning smoothly. That way, you can invest all of your effort into the marketing needed for the holiday rush. 

Your list is going to determine the time needed to build and implement your eCommerce solution. As a rule of thumb, we use 6 to 9 months as an estimated timeframe when building a new eCommerce solution. Complex integrations tend to take closer to 9 months. So that means… time is ticking!

Timeframes for specific features or single integrations are hard to estimate without more information. If you have something you are interested in building, we are happy to review it. 

The Joy


There might be no better feeling than seeing the success of something you helped build. Between the time and effort that goes into creating and vetting your list, to identifying and executing on a timeframe. Watching your effort turn into a revenue generator is a wonderful thing. 

With that in mind, I’ll end with a quick story about an existing client. They are a manufacturer of unique tools with a focus primarily on B2B. One glorious Saturday evening, their COO was getting ready to settle down for the evening. He grabbed a glass of wine, turned on the game when the magical ping from his email notification rang. To his surprise, they had just sold a $4,000 unit through their eCommerce site! On a Saturday night. With a glass of wine in his hand. It was like Christmas morning. 

Let’s create your own ideal holiday scenario and schedule a time now to review your needs in further detail. Only 326 days until Cyber Monday 2018 – who wants to be prepared?