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E-Commerce Tips to Get Ready for the Holidays

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Tune in for three quick e-commerce tips for holiday season promotions to get the momentum!

Transcript

Jesse: All right, Rich, are you ready for the holidays?

Richard: This time of the year I always, like, both ready and scared. I just know the stuff that’s on its way.

Jesse: Yeah!

Richard: But I’m excited when it comes to this show. And what we’re trying to help people with.

Jesse: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, when the holidays come, you’re always annoyed at the first store that puts out their displays and then at the same time you’re, like: “Oh, that was a great idea,” because you have to be ready for the holidays, especially in e-commerce.

Richard: They’re getting the jumpstart, right.

Jesse: Yeah, so this is all about helping you get the jumpstart on the holidays. If you bet an e-commerce for, well, obviously, you know, the holidays are big, but Rich, how big is it?

Richard: You know, I was looking up the stats before we started the show and, basically, across the board, 26.6% of retail sales online happen during the holiday season, and jewelry actually goes up as much as 30 percent, sometimes a little above 30 percent.

Jesse: Wow. Yeah. Yeah, it’s crazy. If you’re in e-commerce you always wish, like: “Man, if it could just be December every single month. I got this made.”You know the other months are also there. So, they’re tough, but, you know, the holidays are where it’s at. So we want to give you, you know, some friendly advice, a little kick in the butt here to get a couple of things ready for the holidays.

Richard: Yeah, basically just get momentum, right, because it’s kind of like, you know, during the summer you can get a jumpstart if you work in August, right. Because Europe kind of shuts down in August and you can kind of get a good jumpstart there, well it’s October now.

Jesse: Yeah.

Richard: And that’s not really a jumpstart, but luckily since Ecwid is pretty easy to work with and it’s user-friendly, we just wanted to come up with a few tips, specifically I think we have three tips here, that are going to help you just make sure you can actually make sales and increase your sales. We don’t have time to teach SEO now, there’s no chance of doing anything from an SEO perspective that’s going to affect you in the next two months.

Jesse: For sure, this is not about reinventing your whole business here and creating new product. We want to give you the ‘what’s my quick tip’, ‘I forgot about the holidays, what should I do right now, give it to me.’ So, you know, here it is, the three tips to get ready for holiday sales.

So, the first one is, this is pretty basic, all right. So, everybody can do this, even if you’ve been doing your business for several years. It’s always a good idea to take a look at your website. Go to the front of the website, don’t look at the backend and try to put on your beginner sunglasses, right. Like, look at the site as if you’ve never seen it before, dive into some pages, like, the ‘About Us’ page and read it and say, you know: ‘Would I buy from this person? Does the page say ‘Lorem Ipsum’ and fill out this page when you have time, like, you know, did you forget that back, you know, back a year ago when you started this?’.

Richard: Address’s 555555.

Yeah, absolutely. Everybody has these, you know, they just were overlooked when you built the site, I mean, I get it, you’re on a rush to try to sell as fast as possible. So, we want to encourage everybody to go through all the different pages on your site. Look at it and say ‘What would I change right now?’

Richard: Yeah. We would encourage you doing that both on mobile and the desktop.

Jesse: For sure.

Richard: As we know, you know, there’s a lot of discovery on mobile, but most purchases are still happening on desktop. There’s exceptions to the rule, we won’t really going to get into all that right now, but.

Jesse: Yeah, I might want to argue with you on that, but I do agree that I sit at a computer all day, so, I think my website looks like what it looks like on my screen, but that’s not what it looks like to everybody out there, so.

Richard: Yeah. Well, and one of the tips is going to take advantage of how a lot of it’s moving towards mobile, right.

Jesse: For sure.

Richard: So, really, the first tip what Jesse is referring to there is, we want to make sure first it looks trustworthy and two, that you can actually make a sale. So what we’re recommending is you actually go through and buy something or have a friend buy something, you know, you can cancel the order, you don’t have to get charged, but just make sure the sale can actually take place. You might think you set it up correctly, but until you go through and test that a sale can actually take place both on a desktop and mobile and the experience was good.

Jesse: Yeah.

Richard: You don’t know for sure that a sale can take place.

Jesse: For sure, for sure. There’s a lot of things that are still easy to fix. Maybe, you realized: ‘Oh, man, this image I have up on the front banners is really old an ancient.’ There’s still time to change that out. And then, back to Rich’s point on the mobile, I test a lot of sites and I always test on desktop, and I know that’s a mistake, so, take a look at your site on mobile and try to purchase. And, you know, like, maybe, it’s been a couple of years since you set up payments and the process there requires, you know, your thumbs are tired by the time you’ve completed a purchase. Okay, well, there’s probably a different option there, like maybe, there’s probably a PayPal option that you should enable, that would allow you to your customers to log in with their PayPal account and buy without having to type in all their address and stuff. So, just please encourage you to buy from your own site on mobile, on desktop and write down what’s wrong. I guarantee you’re going to find several things, like; ‘Oh, man, I didn’t realize it was that way and, maybe, that’s where my customers were mad.’ There’s just always something on everyone’s site that needs to be fixed. So, please look and let’s fix it.

Richard: Sounds good.

Jesse: Yeah.

Richard: So that was tip one. When it’s going to be tip two?

Jesse: Say, still on tip 1, because when you find something that’s wrong, ask support. So, this is an awkward podcast so most people are going to go to the live chat on the Ecwid control panel. And, by the way, support is awesome. They were 24 hours a day, five days a week, so, just explain to them your problem. You know: ‘Hey, I went through my site and I saw this weird thing, what’s wrong?’ And usually the answer is very simple. It’s always a very simple answer, like: ‘Oh, you should enable this in your settings.’ Anyway, there’s a million different things that can go wrong on websites, but the answer is, the fix is usually very simple.

Richard: Yeah, sounds good. That’s a good one.

Jesse: All right. So tip two. This one is, if you listen to other podcasts, you’ve probably heard us talk around this subject. So, this is more of a reminder, but with today’s mobile phones, social media is where it’s at. We’ve talked, so we’re going to talk specifically about Facebook and Instagram.

So, if you’ve been with Ecwid for a while, you probably already have a Facebook store. That’s been around for a while that technology’s been there, but now social media is, like, it’s on steroids, like, the past couple of months have seen crazy developments in how e-commerce interacts with social media, particularly on Instagram. So, I want to really encourage everybody. You have to sync your product feed up with Facebook and Instagram. It’s super easy. There’s a bunch of tutorials on the website. We’re going to talk about, there is other podcasts we’re going to talk more in-depth on this, I think we even have something in the works to talk more about it, but get through those little steps, it’s not going to take very long. And what we’re talking about here, when you sync your product feed with both Facebook and Instagram, you can now tag your products in your feed. So, what does that mean? You have a product, you take a picture of you do and, you know, you use it, it’s a lifestyle shots what it’s called, you’re using the product and then instead of tagging people you’re now tagging the product. So, that’s the key is that your feed is now able to, it’s like, it works with Instagram, so you can quickly put a box around that product, tag it, and know people can buy directly from your Instagram feed. It’s like, this is kind of one of the coolest things I’ve seen in e-commerce in the past few years.

Richard: Oh yeah, it’s amazing. And, you can also, if it lends itself to your product and/or service, then, say, you were doing a video, you could do a video as well. Now, not sure why they changed it from tagging to stickers, but it’s just considered a sticker instead of a tag in the video, but you can do the same thing. So, say, you do something with animals and you want to just show the puppy running around, and it’s a cool little collar or whatever that you sell then.

Jesse: Plus puppies, everybody like them.

Richard: Yeah, of course. Or, they actually more cats.

Jesse: Cats, OK. You have a cat product, this is key.

Richard: No haters against puppies or cats, we love animals. No animals are harmed in the recording of this podcast (laughing.) But, yeah, so, definitely take advantage, because again we only have a couple of months till holiday season. We just heard the stats on how much sales happen during the holiday season and we’re basically tip 1 was just that you can sell, that can actually make a sale and it all work, and then tip 2 is basically taking advantage of social and the kind of virality of social, and why not while potentially your picture is getting more exposure, give them the ability to click on your picture or your video and actually take them to the product page.

Jesse: Yeah, I mean, this is so simple. Everybody, I’m sure everybody has a phone and on the bottom of your phone is usually a button, that you push to take a picture or you push it and you take a video. So this is what we’re talking about. You just have to pick up your phone and take a picture of your products, take a video and then when you loaded into Instagram or Facebook, by the way, this also works on Facebook, you can now hover over those products, tag the products, it’s available for sale and then the Stories, which is kind of Stories are blowing up as well, you know, I’m a little bit older, so I’m not a Instagram guy necessarily, I’m trying…

Richard: Well we’re going to be going into detail on this a lot more, but again, we’re just trying to make this be a quick episode for you to get the momentum going. We’re going to be doing something very shortly, but, you know, it’s not going to be next episode, but it’s going to be… It actually might, it depends, but we just wanted to get this out to make sure you could get the process started, because there’s always something more you can do on your business, we all know that as business people.

Jesse: Yes. Quick and dirty on social: Pick up your phone, start taking pictures, start taking the videos and then tag and use the stickers in Instagram and Facebook. I’ve been in e-commerce for a long time, and every couple of years there’s this new development, and I think this year, this product tagging is the big hot thing in e-commerce. And right now, if you’re with Ecwid you have access to this. You just need to do a couple of steps and connect the dots here, and you’ll be way ahead of your competitors in a couple of years. This is going to be commonplace, everyone’s going to have it, but right now this is hot, so please just jump on this.

Richard: Yeah, sounds good. What do, we got for tip 3.

Jesse: All right. So tip 3, again, in the spirit of the, you know: ‘Hey, I forgot about the holidays, what do I do now?’ All right, let’s get your products up on the top of Google. So, we’re talking specifically about Google Shopping.

If you want a really in-depth, look at this you can go to Episode 5 or we do a deep dive on this, but very specifically, inside of Ecwid, we have the ability for you to do automated Google Shopping ads. So, that means, when people google your, you know, ‘shiny cat collar’ in Google, there’s the pictures that show up on the top. And it’s got the pictures of all the products, that match with the prices, where people can immediately click ‘Go to your site’ and buy.

Richard: Yeah. And to your point there Jesse, I mean, if you read between the lines there, like, we said earlier in this podcast, you don’t have a lot of time to create new content, new blog posts, new, I mean, you can, if you do have the time, bless you. You should do that. We’re not anti SEO by any means, we’re all for it.

It’s just, in this limited time, there’s probably been a lot of people that have already written those posts, and shot those videos, and done that, and their rankings are kind of high. This is a way, when someone goes in to do that search, because they’re going to be searching, whether it’s on social or whether it’s on Google, they’re going to be in their searching for it. And this is a way for you to jump above all those people that have done all that hard work and actually be able to have your product featured in front of all those people that have done the hard work already.

Jesse: Yeah, absolutely. This is the growth hack. Like, you know, don’t give me the hard work answer, give me the easy answer to this, This is the easy button, right. And it’s not free, right, like, Google is a very big company and they get paid. So, you do have to pay for ads, but right now we do have some promos coming going on where, you know, if you pay the first $150, we give you an extra free $150 from Google, and I think there’s even other promos if you spend a little bit more, there are some other free money from Google, so, they’re behind this, we’re behind this. This is an awesome way that, if you have never done any advertising before and you don’t really know how to do it, this is the easy button and now is the time to do it. So, you know, if you, please do it. This is the way to go.

Richard: Yeah, I love it. Is there anything that you could think of, as we look back and you know, we’ve been in e-commerce for a while.

Jesse: Yeah.

Richard: 10 years, and, you know, it’s literally, like, if you’re doing silly growth hack trying to do your numbers like, don’t do this with your accounting, but, if you’re kind of trying to think about what sales are going to look like in December, you know, a lot of us basically say: ‘Take your best month and double it.’.

Jesse: Yeah, at least.

Richard: You know, at least, right, and so, what this is about is really just trying to take advantage, with the little minute time we have left, to take advantage of that holiday season. And there’s all kinds of more things you can do in the future SEO, you know, I mean, literally, you listen to the podcast, so you know there’s literally endless things you can do to improve your business, but we really just wanted to put together a short little episode to remind you — some people have already got on this jumpstart, and so, don’t wait any longer. Take actions now, and we wanted to make them be very simple, very easy and have a chance at actually really being able to move your business forward.

Jesse: Yeah, please, just do one of these things, I would, I really encourage you to do all three, but if you’re busy, you’re driving right now and you’re thinking: ‘Yeah, this is great, I’m going to do this, but,’ please, just encourage you, just do one of these if not all three. And this is definitely going to take your business forward. All right guys, I really appreciate your time, really appreciate you, Richard.

Richard: Take your energy, your effort, and move it forward.

Jesse: Rate, review. Make it happen. Thanks.

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Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

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