Internet retailers need to be ready for Christmas

Today marks a special date in the calendar – it is the first significant spending day for Christmas. Most people get paid at the end of each month, so the last Saturday of every month is when most retailers can expect their highest footfall – numbers of people entering their shops.

However, since this is now the end of September there are now only two remaining “bumper” Saturdays before Christmas – 27th October and 1st December. Online retailers show a similar pattern in sales. You can expect your highest online sales in an e-commerce shop to be towards the end of each month, shortly after people have been paid.

If you want to cash in on the Christmas spending rush you need to ensure that your site is ready for action for the end of October panic. If your site isn’t geared up for Christmas, or you haven’t even thought of what you might do – you have some time. But remember you will do best if you time your promotions so they reach people at the end of October and November – that’s when people will have most money in their bank account having just been paid.

And just because you are an online retailer doesn’t mean you can’t have special Christmas presents and promotions. If you sell information products or a membership site, why not package things up and offer them as “gift certificates”. Every year people buy hot air balloon rides as a Christmas present; all the recipient gets is a voucher for spending with a hot air balloon company. If you have a membership site, package up an annual membership as a voucher people can wrap up, or if you sell ebooks create a collection of them as a gift package. People are often looking for something unusual at Christmas, so if you are creative you will do well – but remember you only have a few weeks “window” in which to get this all done. Your deadline is the third week of October to be sure of hitting the first wave of Christmas spending.

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