Ecommerce holiday salesBrands are expecting higher holiday sales in 2017, with most the sales coming from eCommerce, according to BigCommerce. So, they are preparing earlier this year to meet the demand.

As for online retailers, it’s not too late to prepare for the holiday season, at least in regard to their website and online ad campaigns. But, online retailers that aren’t prepared yet should start immediately.

Brands Are Preparing Early

BigCommerce polled over 1,000 of their clients, which were mostly B2C (business to consumer) companies with annual revenue between $50,000 and $1,000,000.

Based on BigCommerce’s findings, around 37.5% of companies polled said they are starting preparations between one to four months earlier than last year, and around 54% of the companies said they were planning to start the same time as last year.

Furthermore, a vast majority of those polled feel confident about the sales they’re going to make this holiday season. In fact, nearly 88% of those polled said they expect to increase their holiday revenue over last year. And most importantly, 40% believe they’re going to increase their sales by as much as 25%.

Where do these brands expect to make their sales this holiday season, according to BigCommerce?

  • Branded website: 64.66%
  • Owned retail store: 24.7%
  • Amazon: 24.5%
  • Facebook: 17.47%
  • Wholesale + Distributors: 17.07%
  • Other: 10.84%
  • Etsy: 7.23%
  • Instagram: 6.22%
  • Pinterest: 2.21%
  • Walmart.com: 1.61%

How Will Brands Promote Their Products?

Based on the data BigCommerce collected, it appears that promoting products on multiple channels is most effective. In fact, they found that companies selling on two or more channels earn almost double the revenue of those who only sell on one channel.

However, there isn’t a clear winner as to which platform people think will be most successful for promoting their products. Facebook is the most popular, with 51.6% of respondents anticipating their Facebook marketing campaigns to be the most successful. Email marketing came in a close second at 51.4%. After those two platforms, businesses said they would use Google Shopping, SEO campaigns, and Instagram.

To boost their holiday sales even more, 78.6% of the companies polled plan to run holiday promotions. The most popular option for businesses running a holiday special is a price discount, while the second most popular option is free shipping on orders.

Worries and Concerns

Many of the companies polled have worries and concerns heading into the holiday season. Of those concerns, the top three are:

  • Inventory.
  • Delivery times.
  • Advertising budget.

Around half of the respondents said they were concerned about their inventory, followed by 45% about delivery times, and 36% about advertising costs.

Preparing for the Holiday Season

Whether it’s your first holiday season as an online retailer, or you are a seasoned pro, the goal is to generate profits.

The key to success is preparation. Though it may be too late to place orders for inventory, it’s not too late to:

  • Optimize your online store, including setting up holiday-themed cart abandonment email campaigns.
  • Setup multiple sales channels.
  • Setup holiday promotions.
  • Setup online ad campaigns.
  • Run holiday social media campaigns.
  • Optimize your website for speed.
  • Beef up web hosting resources to handle traffic spikes.

If you would like help preparing for the 2017 holiday sales season, our expert marketing team is ready to help. Please contact us immediately to get started.

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Allan McNabb, COO, Internet marketing by Image Building Media

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