Expert Author Irina KashinaIt is well-known that Black Friday is a special day for ecommerce. It opens the season of sales - a period of great opportunities. It is known in advance, but as our experience shows, many merchants get taken by surprise and for some reason they are not ready to sell more. In 2016, Black Friday will be on 25th of November. As usual, most major retailers and online stores will open extremely early, often at midnight or even earlier. Now, there is still enough time to prepare. Further we will consider some suggestions how to prepare your store for the season of great sales.

Plan promotion for each holiday

There are many holidays in the period of late November and December and you should identify which of them your online store will participate in. You can choose all of them, but it is not so easy to manage all the campaigns and activities. Maybe it makes sense to only pay attention to the most popular holidays such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas.

Scheduling your activities

Planning of marketing steps and activities will help a lot over the stressed and overloaded holiday season. A promotional plan and a calendar with all activities and reminders allow you not to forget to do everything in time. For example, you can add the following items:

  • Dates when you need to upload or update the images and banners on your online store.
  • Dates of email campaigns when you need to send emails to certain audiences of customers.
  • Dates when you need to start and stop AdWords campaigns for each promotion, and so on.

Clarify the return policy and payment options

Many online stores offer more flexible return and exchange policy during the sales season. You have to decide if this service is possible for your store by thoroughly considering how it will affect your business and established processes.

Moreover, it is possible to consider additional payment options. Some of them are easy to implement and they may increase conversions and revenue from customers who prefer these methods of payment.

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Expert Author Mary Antonette Pua

In two months the world will be celebrating Christmas, but September had actually marked the start of the busiest sales period of the year.

Many online sellers have started preparing their inventory last month to ensure they don't run out of stock when shoppers start stopping by their stores in the run-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

If you didn't know yet, this year's Black Friday is expected to be a week-long profit-generating event.

As early as November 21, shoppers are going to be busy on the Net, looking not only for quality products but those that give value for their money.

You sure want to be around when that happens, promoting your best offers, lest another seller benefits from a potential sale.

With that said, here are five steps to preparing your eCommerce business for the most profitable season of the year.

Step 1. Bring in your Key Products

Stock up on your key products, or your best sellers, which you are confident will sell before, during and after the Christmas season.

Aside from having those in your inventory, research on potential gifts that people are looking up.

Google Trends comes in handy as it displays the search volume of keywords.

It makes identifying in-demand products much easier.

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