5 Tips to Prep Your Online Store for the Holidays

We know, we know—you’re probably like, “It’s barely even fall yet, and we’re talking about the holidays?”


And we’re (usually) right there with you. When pumpkins start making an appearance after the 4th of July, it’s a little bit of an eye-roller. Still, there’s a reason behind the madness that’s worth consideration, and it’s this: over the last five years, holiday sales have averaged about 19% of retail sales. For some, the number is even higher. 


Whether you’re in the retail realm or not, you’re probably here because you own some type of business, and the holidays are an undeniably important time of the year to do business. That’s why—despite the fact that it may feel early—we’re about to share five of our top tips to help you prep for the holiday season!


1.  Make a List (& Check it Twice)


...No, we’re not referring to the naughty and nice list! Instead, take some time to get organized by making a list of your holiday goals, to-dos, inventory, promotions, etc. It can be a master list, or several individual lists—whatever will help you stay on track and eliminate any future frazzle! 


Depending on whether your list is electronic or paper (there’s no right or wrong here), you might also consider adding a separate column with deadlines for each task. Doing so will add an extra layer of accountability, so that you can ensure you’re on track as the holidays approach!


2.  Start Planning Your Promotions


Marketing and advertising can take a while to plan out, so don’t overestimate the time you have between now and the holidays to make it all happen! Consider how many social media promotions you might run—as well as what they’ll target—and hire that graphic designer or freelancer for successful marketing materials. It will be harder, and less effective, to brainstorm and throw last-minute ads together just before the holiday rush!


3.  Get Your Website In Order


Few things will sell your products or services the way your website will, so it’s essential that it is well-maintained for the holiday season! Perform any necessary upgrades, make tweaks to existing content that reflect the current state of your business, and include any new promotions, blog posts, or testimonials that will give you that extra boost.


4.  Hire Those Extra Elves


Santa would be lost without his helpers, and your business is no exception! Whether it’s extra help for your bricks-and-mortar, or the expertise of a professional artist, photographer, or writer for your online business, you don’t want to be in a position where you find yourself short-staffed, or simply not equipped to get everything done that you need to before the holidays. Now’s the time to start interviewing for extra help, if you feel you might need it!


For marketing, programming, or creative help, websites like Fiverr or Upwork are great for finding temporary freelancers, many of whom are offering years of experience for affordable rates. 


5.  Consider Short-Term Financing


If you find yourself in a position where you could use some extra capital to support more inventory orders, consider an online solution like OnDeck, which offers short-term financing options with three to six-month terms—perfect for ensuring you have just enough cash on hand to keep operations running smoothly! 


When it comes to the most wonderful time of the year, it never hurts to do some advanced legwork. In fact, it might just make all the difference to your business and, by extension, to your bottom line.


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