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The holiday season can be a boon for retailers, especially those willing to do some preparation. Try these tips to help increase traffic—and increase your store’s holiday sales.

  • Holiday-Themed Content– Build a list of seasonal or holiday-themed keywords that fit your niche and develop new content that features those keywords. Add the content to your website at least 2-3 weeks in advance so that search engines have crawled, indexed and ranked everything before the holiday shopping season begins.
  • Customer Reviews – Encourage your customers to add fresh reviews to your major business listings such as Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, Citysearch, Yellow Pages and others. It’s best if the reviews correspond with the products and/or services that you’ll be promoting during the holidays. Online reviews not only help your potential clients develop trust and make buying decisions, they are also helpful in improving search rankings.
  • Hours of Operation – This is one that many retailers often miss. If your products are available at a brick and mortar location, make sure your major business listings and social media profiles include any early openings or late closings during the holiday season. An accurate listing of hours can make the difference between someone visiting your business or visiting your competition. Searchers now have the option to filter results by hours of operation, so if your listed business hours aren’t accurate, your business won’t even display to a large audience of potential clients.
  • Run a Contest – Start taking entries 3-4 weeks in advance, but wait to declare the winner(s) until the holidays start. This will help drive participants to your website at least once to see if they won. Just imagine, if 100 people enter your contest, you’ll have 80-100 bonus visits to your site—with each visit being an opportunity for a sale.
  • Shipping & Delivery Options – Two of the biggest challenges holiday buyers face are shipping delays and the unavailability of their desired payment method. You can increase your holiday sales by more than 40% by implementing solutions to these problems in advance. Make sure product availability information is accurate in your online store. Consider including phrases like ‘Guaranteed Shipping,’ ‘Free Shipping,’ ‘Same Day Delivery,’ etc. Click-and-collect or in-store pickup options can be very helpful for time-challenged holiday shoppers as well. If your online store is limited to only one payment option, such as PayPal, consider adding other types to make it convenient for shoppers who prefer other ways to pay.
  • Live Chat – Over the past few years, live chat has become the preferred customer support channel. Many customers admit that they feel more confident about making a purchase after a live chat session. Live chat is also very helpful in preventing last-minute cart abandonment. There are many chat software tools that offer free trials, so you don’t even need to buy the software. Consider booking a free trial to help you make extra sales during the holiday season.
  • Server Uptime and Uninterrupted Service – If you’re expecting more than a few thousand visitors to your site, make sure you are technically ready to meet these needs. Your website needs to stay up and open reasonably fast under heavier than usual traffic. This is a very important aspect and if you’re not successful here, all your other efforts will be wasted.