eCommerce Cultivated | Episode 016

Preparing Your Online Store For the 2020 Holiday Season

Learn what to prepare for this year for the 2020 holiday season as most shoppers will be shopping online. Instead of braving in-store shopping. You don’t want to miss the potential to really capture your part of sales. Tune in for more!

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Show Transcript

Yes, we are discussing the holiday season because as retailers you know that it’s important to plan. 

To not only plan but to plan ahead!

Just some stats for you because I love data (source):

  • 66% of shoppers anticipate they will increase their holiday shopping this season.
  • 60% plan to shop less instore due to safety precautions.
  • 39% of shoppers plan to shop for the holidays in October.

So pull out your calendars whether you’re a paper person or a digital planner and let’s go over prepping for the holiday season. 

This holiday season is going to look different and so this is why I want you to plan. If done right you’ll be finishing this year strong AF. 

The revenue potential that is out there is insane and I want you in on this. 

Let’s dive into the tips! You may need notes!

#1 plan and set your goals

Goals are very important as they will act as a guideline for the results you want to strive for. 

Think about your numbers how much in sales revenue that you want to achieve?

How many deals will you be running? For example, promotions, add-ons, etc.

What is going to be the vital sales days for your online store? Maybe it’s the weekend or mid-week… look at your analytics!

Will you need to hire extra support to handle customer service, orders, etc?

Are just some of the things you need to be forecasting.

#2 secure your inventory

You may have already started working with your vendors on securing inventory. 

Due to the extended timelines of vendors, you’ll need to place orders early. 

Be sure to stock up on your key sellers and then grab some hot items that your customers may want. 

Also, it is important to have a backup plan in place. Just in case your preferred vendor is not able to supply your inventory needs. 

There is a high chance of this occurring due to a lot of businesses now operating online. 

You may even find yourself competing with stores that can support higher inventory levels. Resulting in them scoring a good chunk of the available inventory. 

Have back up vendors so you can serve your customers. 

Now, when it comes to this year’s inventory you’ll need to figure out what you need to load up on versus keep light. 

Remember you don’t want to have a bunch of inventory that you didn’t sell leftover. 

You’ll end up doing heavy markdowns and eat at your profits. 

Plan accordingly. 

#3 plan your marketing calendar

Your marketing calendar will help stay you on track. I suggest using a digital planner. Because it can remind you of what is coming up. Through notifications and reminders.

Plus it’s easier to share with your team if needed. 

My recommended favorites are Asana or ClickUp. 

Asana tends to be much more simple to understand and the free plan tends to be fine for most business owners. 

ClickUp is a bit more robust but gives you extra features that you may need. 

Of course, if you have tools that you already love outside of those two. Keep using them :).  

Now that you have some tools in your arsenal. 

Map out what you’ll be promoting each month.

Such as new releases, markdowns sales, promotional emails, social posts, etc. 

Also, note when you’re supposed to receive shipments. This is so you can be aware of any potential delays and can substitute in any backups. 

#4 Staff training 

If you’re going to be adding additional hands of support. Plan out time to train your staff on product information, customer service expectations, order processing etc. 

All the vital areas of your business that keep customers coming back. 

Your customer experience is a top priority and you’ll want to ensure everyone is on the same page. 

#5 Figure out your delivery options

Knowing the plans of your delivery company will be important so that your customers know when they can expect orders. 

Note your delivery companies cutoff dates for holiday orders and adjust where needed. 

Make sure you have a response method in place for impatient customers. 

I suggest writing a template that can be tweaked for quicker response times.

#6 Make sure your website is up to par

If you have any bottlenecks or friction in your website experience. This is the time to work out the kinks. 

What you don’t want to have happen is you get caught up in a busy season. 

Discover you have massive issues that are causing you to lose sales. 

Then find yourself rushing around looking for a web designer/developer at the last minute. 

Most likely it will be harder for you to find someone that understands eCommerce. 

As they will be busy. 

So I suggest getting in contact now to discuss your website needs. 

Especially if your a larger store because there are many touchpoints and checkpoints that need to be verified. 

I know this will happen to someone out there listening so make sure you hear me LOL. 

You can always reach out to me here at The May Creative to discuss the signature experience that I offer for online store owners who want to uncover the hidden revenue in their brand message and website experience. So that you can make more sales. The remaining spots for the year are really limited so reach out. For further details.

#7 Have a post-holiday plan

Now that you have some sort of preparation plan for reference. 

Don’t forget your post-holiday plans as many customers will love to use those amazing gift cards. 

I told you about in Episode 4.

They’ll be looking for specials and coming across your business for the first time. 

Again plan out what inventory you’ll be promoting and at what price. 

That way you can nail your amazing holiday season and end the year like the boss you are! 

Woo! Can you believe it’s almost holiday what a year. Let me know your thoughts and if any questions come up for you. 

Also, don’t forget to leave a review and subscribe so you can stay in the loop. Otherwise, have a fabulous day! 


Hi, I'm Karen, the founder + strategist/Shopify expert behind The May Creative. I help modern luxury & lifestyle product-based business owners craft an elevated Shopify website experience. So they can scale their business & reach their next level of success. Connect to learn more about working together. Or check out the episodes below or dive into some insightful eCommerce articles.


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