This year in particular, many consumers are opting for e-commerce solutions as COVID-19 restrictions continue to cause uncertainty in our everyday lives. Online shopping is anticipated to increase by 35% this holiday season. In fact, Forbes found that online sales this quarter may surpass $182 billion — and may total upwards of nearly $200 billion over the holidays.

As we enter what might be the biggest digital holiday season yet, your brand needs to prepare in advance to capitalize on what might become the future of retail shopping during the country’s first stay-at-home holidays.

Here are ways you can fortify your e-commerce strategy to increase sales and decrease headaches during the upcoming season.

1. Optimize digital campaigns

It’s easy to gain new customers with quick discounts or coupons, but to foster a growing profit margin, you need to establish an ongoing relationship with your customers. Take the initiative to expand your customer relationships through email campaigns, social media ads, and Google ads to increase conversion rates and retention rates for your website. Try adding in personalized engagement, another key component of a successful digital marketing strategy. Targeted and personalized ads gain your customers’ trust and foster retention in the process.


2. Leverage shipping options

All three major shipping companies — USPS, FedEx and UPS — have implemented surcharges for the holiday season for the first time this year, so many companies are looking for ways to absorb this heightened overhead cost. You can stand apart from the competition by offering free shipping rather than passing this charge on to the customer. Remember to explore broader options for parcel shipping; for example, consolidation services offer a happy medium between speed and cost. Then, market free shipping to your customers as a part of your shopping experience.

3. Rethink customer service

Customer service is often overlooked by brands with a predominantly digital consumer channel. However, strong customer service can prove beneficial as an opportunity to interact with customers. Positive customer experiences can yield direct upsell opportunities that increase revenue for your brand. Make sure that all digital channels, including phone, email, and social media, are included in your brand’s customer service experience to help cultivate a positive brand image within your target demographic.

At the Maryland Women’s Business Center, we want to help you grow and sustain your local business. We support and encourage e-commerce efforts to #ShopLocal for #SmallBusinessSaturday for holiday shopping! Customers, save the date for Saturday, November 28th to support your local businesses – and local businesses, prepare your e-commerce strategy for an influx of success!

If you would like to learn more about how we can help your business grow, contact us today.