16 Tips for Ecommerce Holiday Season Success

Ecommerce and online marketing experts share their tips and strategies on how you can prepare your online business for the holiday rush and get holiday shoppers to buy from you.

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15. Incentivize customers to order early. "Consider offering an incentive for early orders," says Jennifer Martin, principal consultant, Zest Business Consulting. "For example 'Buy your holiday gift purchase by November 30th and receive free shipping" or 'Purchase a $50.00 gift card for just $45.00 if you buy before December 15th.'"

16. Offer free or discounted shipping -- and provide shipment tracking. "A 2012 comScore study commissioned by UPS showed that 73 percent of shoppers expect free or discounted shipping, and 70 percent were willing to add more products to the cart to reach the free shipping minimum," says Zeena Bushnaq, managing director, Wazala, a hosted ecommerce solution. "So clearly stating your shipping costs and offering free shipping at an order minimum [or in general] will help you sell more."

And provide tracking.

"Being able to tell customers when and where their package will arrive is another incentive for them to do business with you," says Amine Khechfe, general manager and cofounder, Endicia, a provider of shipping solutions and postage.

"So explore shipping technologies that automatically generate an email with tracking details as soon as a package is sent," Khechfe says. "Providing notification of shipment and a link to the current delivery status results in fewer phone calls from customers wondering about the status of their shipment, allowing you to spend more of your time fulfilling orders."

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff is a contributor to CIO.com and runs a marketing communications firm focused on helping organizations better interact with their customers, employees, and partners.

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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