Halloween is over, which means it’s time to prepare for Christmas! According to the NRF, holiday sales in November and December will climb between 8.5 % and 10.5 % over 2020, to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion. It’s no wonder that retailers are doing everything they can to make the end of the year memorable.

The festive season starts… Right now?

No one can prepare for the holiday rush in a single day, as the classic 12 Days of Christmas carol indicates. But what good are golden rings and turtledoves to your ecommerce site?

Source: Salesforce

Here’s a quick 12 step quide to ensure your ecommerce site is ready for the holiday rush. Some of these approaches can even be turned into Q1 sales opportunities to counterbalance the customary new year downturn. Continue reading because you might be surprised. (Please feel free to sing along!)

I’m not sure if Mariah Carey will approve of her traditional Christmas song being changed to Einstein, but I am sure she gets where we come from. If you need to write the Next Christmas Hit, using Einstein SFCC AI to spice up your holiday retail sales is the way to go!

Einstein SFCC AI (OOB integration) – Inspire and convert more customers with highly personalized, AI-powered experiences – no data scientist required. Retailers can:

  • Recommend the best products at every touchpoint
  • Generate 1:1 predictions for every single shopper in real-time
  • Get smart and boost conversions with data-driven commerce insights
  • Save time and effort with automated merchandising tasks

Source: Salesforce

Will potential customers reach your brand’s website when they search for a product you sell? Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo rely on search engine optimization (SEO), which is a fancy phrase for providing the material that says, ‘hey, we have the product you’re looking for, so click on our website link.’ Improve page rank, build traffic, and grow faster with SEO optimization — from product pages and categories to metadata and images.

Almost no consumers go past the second page of search engines, so your best hope is to develop a winning SEO strategy that works to position you on the first page while gradually ramping up efforts to reach the top, you must ensure that your sites rank higher than your rivals! Make SEO URLs easier to understand. Bless the hearts of the developers who created URLs that lead to your products. For a cleaner finish and greater readability, try adding your keywords to your URLs.

Christmas is a season for inspiration, so help your customers out by exhibiting what other customers have watched or purchased over the holiday season. This raises FOMO while also creating a sense of social validation! Skinny Dip, Cox & Cox has devised a unique strategy to reduce the likelihood of customers jumping to another website.

There are several ways to use Product Recommendations in your Salesforce Commerce Cloud ecommerce site layout, such as employing filters based on categories, product tagging, pricing, or any other unique filter that makes sense for your business. Show as many of these suggestions as feasible. For example, if the customer is seeking a present for mom or dad, it seems reasonable to avoid items and gift ideas aimed towards children. Salesforce Commerce Cloud has an Optional products feature and can be enhanced to fit this business need.

With salesforce commerce cloud you can build and launch innovative campaigns, promotions (at different levels – Product, Shipping, Order), and A/B testing based on consumer behaviour, channel, and location — all without technical support.

Salesforce OOB – Design, schedule, and publish pages with page designer. Drag-and-drop interfaces and powerful reusable components make it easy to build pages with clicks – not code

Display these messages on many pages of your website so that they are visible to the customer – especially the front page, PDPs, and the checkout page. To build on the shipping information tactic, another option to keep your consumers informed is to use an overlay pop-up to explain any current shipment dates or delays.

Whether the customer barely missed the window to get the item before Christmas or shipping delays are longer than usual, presenting this information in overlay-pop up guarantees that your shoppers see this information and the expectation is established the moment they approach your website. Here’s an example of how Skinny Dip sets the tone for their consumers from the moment they arrive:

Source: Skinnydip

With cloud-based multisite management and localization, going live with new brands or geographic sites has never been faster. With the multisite architecture, retailers can host multi-site and multi-currency environments with the same product line, by leveraging common code, processes, imagery, and a master catalog.

SFCC application environment is designed to facilitate 3rd party integration(s). You can easily import data from other systems into the SFCC environment and vice versa. Comes with OOB integration with Salesforce Order Management (SFOM) which can hold Enterprise Inventory, Distributed Order Management, Store Fulfillment, Customer Service Offerings, and Order Data Tracking. All this information can be shared with SFCC.

Now is the best time to lay down, recheck, and improvise fraud management rules. Bigger buying also attracts individuals and malware that are up to no good, so minimize fraudulent transactions and protect your customer so they actually proceed to the checkout. Providing the added layer of security with https ensures customer and merchant data and connections stay safe. Don’t be skimping by skipping!

A ‘quick handoff’ doesn’t just refer to selling and handing over products to the customers quickly. It also includes all the different ways that you can offer your customers their products.

  • Curbside delivery

Exceed shopper expectations with unlimited purchase possibilities and unify the customer experience across the digital and physical store. Connect with B2C customers across every touchpoint, backed by a single, 360-degree view of all activity, orders, inventory, and more. Empower store associates with easy-to-use and customizable mobile-apps.

Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA), a new line of implementation from SFCC, includes Mobile-First Architecture. Built-in features and components give a plethora of possibilities for tailoring the site to your specific requirements.

Any storefront sorting options you create a display at the top of search results in the Sort By dropdown list. All storefront sorting options are available across the site. Retailers must create storefront sorting criteria that include things that haven’t been selling or moving as quickly to stimulate sales during the peak shopping season.

What’s Next? Get a head start on your Q1 setup

Q1 is one of the most difficult periods in ecommerce, with higher-than-usual return rates, overstock on specific goods, high abandoned cart rates, overlooked sectors of customers, and hefty discounts that reduce margins. Not to throw a damper on the holiday season, but the last few weeks of the year are essential for ensuring you’re ready to start the new year.

In a year where every transaction is more important than ever, make sure you’re ready for what’s ahead in the new year by Downloading our Holiday Guide “make the most of the Holiday Season with SFCC”.