Prepare for the Holiday Rush with ShipStation’s SMB Holiday Guide

August 23, 2021

Ecommerce has changed a lot over the past year and a half. There was a massive increase in business owners and customers alike moving over to ecommerce. People are shopping and selling online at rates no one had anticipated for at least a few more years. With this competitive market, it can be even more difficult to establish yourself as a leader in your niche. ShipStation has spent the last ten years helping ecommerce businesses run more smoothly. To further help ecommerce businesses succeed, we have put together a guide for small-to-medium-sized businesses. We worked with some of our platform partners to give better insight into what you need to know for shipping success as we move into the holiday shipping rush and beyond. 

Below are excerpts from the guide. To get all the information, download the full SMB Checklist guide. 

Optimise Checkout

As ShipperHQ puts it, “shipping is shopping.” Here are their top tips for turning shipping challenges into conversion-driving solutions at checkout.

Delivery date and time. ShipperHQ’s 2020 consumer study shows 82% of customers prefer shopping with brands that display actual delivery dates, with 45% willing to pay more for this information. 

Custom shipping promos. The best way to offer free shipping without ruining margins is through a threshold, such as free shipping for orders over $75. In fact, 91% of shoppers will spend more to reach free-shipping thresholds, so this promo also drives sales.

Convenient pickup options. Forty-five percent of consumers would rather pick up online orders than wait for shipping. Offering free in-store or curbside pickup to local shoppers reduces shipping costs and delivery times while prioritizing convenience.

Prepare for the Holidays 

Black Friday kicks off the 2021 cyber season with ecommerce sales expected to rise 11.3% to $206.88 billion and should account for 18.9% of total holiday retail sales, Logicbroker notes, citing eMarketer research. Basically: Your online traffic will increase. Make sure you’re ready for it. 

To get your digital presence in tip-top shape,  BigCommerce recommends testing your infrastructure to ensure you can handle a surge. Next, determine holiday promotions in advance and feature them prominently on your site. And don’t forget to highlight the people behind your business. Humans respond to other humans—it’s one reason consumers prefer shopping with you as opposed to anonymous big-box retailers, so play to this advantage.

Ecwid’s tips: 

To get ready for Small Business Saturday, Ecwid provides these four tips.

  • Start now. Think through and schedule when you’ll send emails, announce new prices for hot-ticket items on social media, and add banners to your website to draw attention. Create a calendar to keep organized and on schedule through the hectic holiday season.  
  • Plan your promotional strategy for each of the big shopping days.  Email marketing ramps up around mid-November when consumers use your promotional emails to create their own Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping lists. “Warm up” your clients by announcing upcoming discounts or special offers.
  • Choose the right marketing channels. The days of one-size-fits-all marketing messages are long gone. Take advantage of segmentation to reach different types of buyers. Create several campaigns and design templates for each sales channel—that means a different plan for Instagram, Etsy, Pinterest, etc. Announce sales and special offers on your non-sales social media accounts as well. The more a person interacts with your brand, the more likely they are to purchase.
  • Prep your website. Before the season kicks into high gear, ensure your payment and shipping options work the way you want. Your products should display correctly on your site with detailed descriptions accompanied by high-quality images.

Get the SMB Checklist Ebook

To learn more tricks of the trade for ecommerce success, download the SMB Checklist Ebook. We have insight from a lot of great partners including:















Is your small business holiday-ready? Click to download The Ultimate SMB Holiday Prep Guide