Holiday On-Line Shopping Best Practices


We know the Holidays are just around the corner when Direct Marketing magazines start their year end tradition of telling the retailers how to improve their sites for the up-coming on-line shopping season. (Forget the fact that Christmas displays are going up, retailers need the magazines to tell them) I recently read a great article by Ken Burke in Target Marketing. He provides a great example (knowing or unknowingly I don’t know) of how the Direct Marketing crowds look at web sites versus how Internet Marketing Specialists look at web sites.

All kidding aside for the moment, this is a critical question or concern for many starting out in the ecommerce realm. It seems that every year we are asked by smaller companies venturing into on-line shopping what do do to capitalize on the opportunity. In the past we wrote about this in Favorable News in On-Line Spending and Be Proactive – React Now!

Five Best Practices for the Holidays

All of Mr Burke’s recommendations are dead on. I think he writes a compelling reason for each and provides language that matches his audience. Below are the five key points of his article. You can read the entire article at TargetMarketingMag.com

  1. Improve Internal Site Search Performances
  2. Improve Product Page Conversion
  3. Reduce “One-and-Outs”
  4. For the Holidays, Give Shipping and Delivery Center Stage
  5. Promote Worry-Free Shopping

As I stated above, Mr Burke has sound advice. I like the Target Marketing magazine. It’s one of the few magazines I refuse to let me wife throw away before I get a chance to read it. (The USPS has a special truck just for magazine deliveries to my home office …. just kidding)

Think TAX Day (US April 15)

Now let’s assume I’m your tax accountant. Every small business in the US files quarterly, and the really lucky ones get to file monthly! (Sarcasm intended) Two months before our nation’s citizens begin to spend billions of dollars on tax services for that fateful day, I send you an email stating it’s time to start thinking about your taxes. I layout a well thought out plan of attack on what you need to do in the next two months to capitalize on the tax credits and new filling regulations for the April 15th deadline. So how long would I be your tax accountant?

Enhanced Advice

OK, let’s say we were to follow Mr. Burke’s advice ALL YEAR LONG! (Which is what I’m recommending you do!) Your organization could focus it attention on the true benefit of all your hard work ….. increase reach. With the knowledge you have a very well designed web site and a web site with great conversion potential, this is the time of year you should be kicking up the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. You would be finding email newsletters and purchasing ad space. Increase your spending in tower and banner ads. These items would increase the holiday profits for more.

Oh, and for those of you who find yourself in November and are beginning to ask these questions, do the best you can for this holiday season but really start thinking about 2009.

Good Hunting!

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