7 Big Challenges Ecommerce Retailers Face During The Holiday Season

As the summer season ends and holiday season speedily approaches, B2C marketers’ start strategizing the holiday marketing plans. As eCommerce businesses desperately try to get ready for the forthcoming peak season, they face numerous major challenges. Gaining an outlook on the holiday eCommerce challenges will help your online business, face it, by contriving a full-proof strategy that also cuts the negative impact of holiday shopping. Therefore, it is rightly said that running a successful eCommerce business is very lucrative, yet challenging at the same time.

7 Major threats B2C Online Businesses Must Be Prepared For

Key Challenges that eCommerce retailers face during Holiday Season

  • Raise in Website Traffic

Your website may be totally fortified to handle the volume of traffic you receive on a day-to-day basis, but the holiday season is noted to bring down systems because of the momentous increase in traffic and transactions. With competition in elevation, it’s imperative to reduce customer frustrations and offer the best shopping experience, irrespective of the amount of traffic you come across. Taking into account previous years traffic trends in the holidays can aid you to prepare your website to handle the increase in traffic without damaging your level of customer service.

  • Responsive Website

As we all are already aware of that buyers are to a greater extent surfing and shopping on their mobile devices. The ‘Brick and Mortar’ shops have become like showrooms in many scenarios, where customers do window shopping in-store and then go online to find out the best deal. It is vital for eCommerce websites to be responsive through a range of devices, with a specific focus on mobile. Online retailers should make sure their website is flawless, easy to navigate and generally designed to be ‘mobile friendly.’ The facility to merchandise seamlessly on all devices will lead to an upsurge in sales and revenue during this peak retail period.

  • Handling Product Return

It’s the unavoidable – people will certainly return items around the holiday season for various reasons. It depends totally on you how you manage those returns which will either win or lose business. You would want to provide the returns facility to your customers, such as providing fast refunds or executing a no questions asked policy. Of course, what you offer depends significantly on the nature of your products and customer base. But do it appropriately and you might very likely make a customer for the rest of the year.

  • Challenges in Managing Inventory

The holiday season contributes approximately 20% of the yearly sales for a lot of businesses and this number is estimated to escalate more. The increased sales, while desired, can be an inventory management disaster. Meeting with the demand has never been more essential. Not having sufficient products in stock to fulfill demand is one of the reckless ways to lose customers during the holidays. Furthermore, make sure you have an abundant supply in stock, it’s also indispensable to efficiently manage to ship your orders to evade keeping customers waiting.

  • Staff Management

One main challenge that a lot of businesses encounter is that they fail to recognize until it’s too late the decrease in staff during the holiday season. While most employees take leave during the summer for vacations, a few save time for use during the holidays. It’s a fantastic idea to hire seasonal staff not only to get support in sufficing customer demands but also to replace the absent employees.

  • Keeping Up Customer Service Levels

To keep your customers delighted is always a top priority, it becomes even more crucial during the holiday season. The majority of the consumers search for the best deals and are less on the cards to show loyalty. The holidays bring terrible pressure on a company, which can cause severe failures in the quality customer service if you aren’t completely equipped. By maintaining short response time and providing prompt assistance to your customers, you can cement great, long-term customer relations.

  • Promotions during Holiday

It is normal practice for eCommerce businesses to roll out Christmas promotions and that too early. The motive is to generate interest surrounding the holiday season, stimulate customers to shop more and result in an increased sales. It is necessary that retailers test their online promotions to ensure they work as projected. Shoppers do not appreciate coupon codes that doesn’t work at checkout or an advertised discount that actually doesn’t convert. Online retailers must monitor their promotions after launch to ensure that they are running efficiently and not experiencing any technical hitches.

In Conclusion

The eCommerce holiday shopping season is both awesome and overawe for online merchants. The best way retailers can fix for this chaotic time is by being aware of the challenges that are before them and implementing suitable measures to cope up with the hectic shopping period of the year.


How To Make A Million Bucks In eCommerce Holiday Season 2015?

We are near to the biggest shopping season of the year, and as a retailer, you wish to enter Q4 as equipped as possible. Hardly there would be any merchant who might not be knowing that this is the right opportunity to make money fall like an avalanche. This last quarter of the year is about the most lucrative time of the year for online businesses. If you are ready to spin your eCommerce store wheels, you would find a drastic increase in the number of orders and the average order sizes also tend to be much bigger. In fact, a few merchants make up to 40% of their annual profits in the final quarter alone.

To put it plain, in this fast life, it is never too early to begin thinking about the forthcoming holiday season. Although, those who procrastinate their forecasting and groundwork run the risk of missing out on sales and profits. In the swiftly changing world of eCommerce, each approaching year brings radical changes to technology and buyer behavior. These variations affect what you must do to be ready to meet the challenges of eCommerce holiday success. The eCommerce business is seizing almost all the gains in retail sales at present. It’s projected that this holiday season sales will hit $877.46 billion, with a substantial percentage of that being spent online and on mobile devices.

Must-Know eCommerce Holiday Season Trends 2015 for Business Retailers


Mobile Shopping Anytime, Anywhere:

banner2Mobile devices are going to be the point of contact for buyers this season, creating a new retail vista. According to the recent research, approximately 50% of traffic to eCommerce stores comes from mobile users. Moreover, consumers are making use of their smartphones to research and surf. Do you know it is expected that US retail mCommerce sales are to rise by 32.2% in the full year 2015? This is why the smart retailers harness the advantage of dynamic mobile features such as Analytics, Geo-location and Site search to improve the in-store experience of consumers. It’s purposefully vital for retailers to invest into digital technologies and competencies such as website design, functionality, content, user interfaces, data collection, and advanced customer communications to extract maximum benefit of the holiday shopping season.

Is your mCommerce strategy ready to help close the gaps, particularly if you are an Omni-channel retailer?

Creeping merchants will lose a lot of businesses – Be an Early Bird!

banner3Seeing you prepare for the eCommerce holiday season might make a lot think that you are stepping on the gas. However, crawling retailers must know that shoppers are shopping early and buying more. Even though, be alert that the holiday shopping season is not anymore for weeks but for months and the behavior of the customer changes anytime rapidly over this span of time. The ideal approach to leverage holiday creep is to notice your existing data predict what times during the season would be most optimum to execute on campaigns and stimulate buyers at the right moment. Merchants who appear in front of shoppers early on in the season have revealed to not only impact purchasing decisions but also gain a higher ROI. Also, according to data gathered by Google 48% of shoppers who were surveyed did their shopping on or before the Cyber Monday, with a one-fourth of shoppers finishing some of their holiday shopping prior to Halloween.

Email Marketing:

banner5Do not think that technology is emotionless and disconnected and this is proved via the personalization which is taking a huge leap ahead. There is more stress given to understanding the situation in which the receiver is interacting with the email since so many emails are being accessed on mobile devices. You can build emails with components that change in real-time per available data, such as shopper information, recipient’s time, device, location, climate, and social context. Moreover, the skill to cater influential content in the same email fosters in boosting the relevance, which will generate a high number of click-through. Remember that during the business of the holiday season retailers should present at the perfect time targeting the perfect market, with the perfect message to connect with prospective customers. Furthermore, personalized experiences versus a one-size-fits-all strategy will support you retain and obtain new customers during the holiday craziness.


banner4The holiday season begins earlier each year that is why while planning, you must choose October 1st as the opening date for the shopping season. To stay all set in time, you should initiate planning what keywords you would want to optimize for around May or June. Because it will take almost two months to create and test pages; and around another three months for Google (and other search engines) to index your website.

One more key area to take note of is that it will provide extra payoffs with mobile is local search. Almost a year old, Google’s local search includes standard search and map results, giving preference to neighboring stores. You will have to create individual pages for every store with significant information about store working hours, directions, contact number, location, and other important information.

Social Media:

banner6The big news flash is that social media has a protocol of pay to get in the game. Beginning this past January, Facebook started promoting paid social media marketing. Other social platforms such as Pinterest and Twitter are speedily climbing on the bandwagon in the search for new revenue channels. The trend will always endure so to let your brand outshine, you must consider becoming an early adopter. The video will be the leading content format for social because they are being highly shared. Tutorials and other edifying videos are more appropriate to your customers than a reused commercial. Social networks will provide added exposure to videos uploaded to their platform because they hold the users on the sites for a longer time.


Fix in mind that our advice aren’t meant only for the coming holiday season – nifty companies should be implementing these marketing plans continuously. That way you can endlessly build on the drive you create as well as have a consistent source of feedback and analytics that will help you in fine-tuning your efforts and earnings.