This is a guest blog post provided by Vajro.

Are you kinda figuring out what to do or how to go about things this holiday season?

As boutique store owners, you understand the importance of gearing up for the retail extravaganza that is this entire holiday season. That’s why we’ve curated a set of exclusive tips, tailor-made for boutique stores like yours. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or diving into this season for the first time, our expert advice is here to empower you!

Here are 5 tips that will have your store holiday-ready in no time:

1) Self-evaluation

a) Inventory management

Your holiday season success mainly hinges on mastering the inventory chessboard. Here’s a quick checklist of inventory management items for you to go through as you prepare:

b) Mobile app features

Did you know that during BFCM this year, over 73% of sales was made on mobile devices?  If you don’t have a mobile app yet, Vajro can help! If you already have one, you’ll want to ensure that its fundamental features are in tip-top shape to handle the holiday madness. Pay special attention to critical buttons, such as “Add to Cart” and “Proceed to Checkout” buttons, and ensure they’re functioning seamlessly. Ensure that your guest checkout and social login features are working properly so your customers can breeze through the process and checkout faster.

c) Integrations and add-ons

You might wanna ensure that your third-party integrations and add-ons, such as search and filter, product recommendations, local delivery etc. are not just up to date, but optimized for peak performance. These tools can be the secret sauce that keep your app running smoothly during the holiday rush!

2) Elevate your customers’ shopping experience

Want to stand out during the highly competitive sale season? Well, giving your customers an exceptional shopping experience is the way to do it. Here are some easy-peasy tips to make that happen:

a) Visual aesthetics

When folks land on your website, the look and feel are the first things they notice. So, make it look cool and organized—it’s like your store’s fashion statement! A visually appealing, well-organized, and festive design not only instantly captures their attention, but also shows you mean business and can be trusted.

b) Navigation

Well-structured and user-friendly navigation menus, categories, and filters help customers quickly locate their interested products and also explore other products. When your website is easy to get around, folks don’t get lost and abandon carts because they can’t find what they want or know how to check out.

c) Personalization

Use what you know about your customers, like their purchase history and data, to jazz up your marketing messages—think snazzy push notifications. Deliver personalized product recommendations such as frequently bought together, similar products, etc. so your customers can find cool things they’ll actually dig.

3) Mobile app marketing

Fueling your mobile app with marketing prowess is pretty much the beating heart of your BFCM sales strategy.

a) Build anticipation

Plan your marketing initiatives in advance to build excitement and anticipation among your target audience and encourage them to plan their purchases in advance. Share diverse content in various engaging formats consistently to cement your brand in the forefront of your audience’s memory.

b) Leverage push notifications

Did you know that during last year’s holiday season, brands sent 141.5% more automated push messages with a 28% conversion rate? Send sales reminders, retarget abandoned carts, and put the limelight on certain products by harnessing the dynamic force of push notifications.

c) Drive traffic

Spread your marketing mojo across different channels, like email marketing, social media, and PPC advertising, to rev up your traffic, rock the visibility charts, and ensure that you’re on the radar of potential customers.

d) Sync your marketing efforts

Harmonize your marketing efforts by ensuring that they are in sync with each other. This means that your marketing message should be consistent across all channels that you use. Doing so not only strengthens your brand’s essence but also weaves a seamless tapestry of delight for your audience, regardless of where they engage with your marketing efforts.

4) Customer retention strategies

Retaining existing customers and enticing them to make repeat purchases can boost their lifetime value, resulting in increased revenue over time.

a) Social proofs and reviews

Social proofs and reviews, like user-generated content (UGC) and customer testimonials, are powerful assets that can help build trust and influence purchase decisions. Encourage and incentivize your customers to drop product feedback. Make sure to showcase and engage with positive reviews while swiftly addressing any negative feedback.

b) Effective customer support

Great customer support is essential for resolving issues promptly and ensuring smooth transactions during the high-stakes holiday sales period. Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself:

  1. Is your customer support team prepared in terms of bandwidth and knowledge for a surge in the number of queries and requests?
  2. Have you defined and established clear communication channels for customer support during BFCM?
  3. Do you have a workflow for addressing potential complaints or issues?

c) Post-purchase engagement

Continue engaging with your customers post the holiday purchase by staying in touch through personalized thank you emails, follow-up surveys, or even exclusive deals for select customers. Invite your customers to join your loyalty program and offer them exclusive benefits and rewards.

5) Fraud protection

As a merchant, you know that dealing with fraudulent orders has always been a part of the gig. However, things tend to get worse during this time of the year due to the high volume of online transactions which makes this sale period a lucrative target to fraudsters. As a store owner, it is important to put an order or hold or just decline it if it raises any red flags to avoid those pesky chargebacks. And hey, if you keep fulfilling high-risk orders, you might even find yourself locked out of payment processing and booted off Shopify Payments.

Shopify provides a few fraud protection tools that will help prevent fraudulent orders. If you’re thinking about going with something other than Shopify’s chargeback protection, here’s the scoop: Vajro’s got your back, and the sweetest thing is, it won’t cost you a dime! That’s right, you can avail this feature for free, regardless of whether you’re a Vajro customer or your Shopify plan! Using this feature, you can capture low-risk orders and cancel high-risk orders automatically. You can also block specific countries and IP addresses if you like. There’s also an option to implement access restrictions using which you can block users using VPN or proxy servers to place their orders.

Are you looking for more tips? Well, we’ve got the inside scoop from several experts, and it won’t cost you a dime. Just sign up here, and we’ll spill the beans! 😉🎉

Make the most wonderful time of the year truly wonderful!

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