6 ways to prepare for the 2021 holiday shopping season | Sponsored Content

This article was contributed and sponsored by Amazon Pay.

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This holiday season is shaping up to be a busy one, with longer shopping lists, more discerning customers, and more competition to stand out. Get ahead of the pack with these six essential tips to build awareness and drive sales for you ecommerce business:

1. Increase your digital presence

According to a 2020 Statista survey of more than 1,000 shoppers, 49% of shoppers were more interested in online shopping than they were in 2019, and that percentage will likely increase this year. As an ecommerce retailer, it’s important to make sure that your website is easy to find across search engines, easy to navigate, and has all the payment options your customers are already using.

2. Get ahead with social media posts

As shoppers scroll through their timeline looking for ideas, there may be no quicker introduction to your product than a well-placed photo. Using Instagram Shop, you can even create a catalog that features a mix of photos and videos to bring your products to life. Each month, 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts to learn more about a product.

3. Join a holiday gift guide

Being part of a gift guide is a great way to leverage the presence and networks of companies who are offering them. Gift guides have become a favorite way for shoppers to browse and discover gifts for multiple people on their list, all in one convenient place. According to Publitas, emails that contained gift guides had a 48% higher transaction rate than other promotional emails. Last year, the Amazon Pay Holiday Gift Guide included more than 160 unique products and gift ideas from Amazon Pay merchants.

4. Make sure you offer a gift card

According to rise.ai, which manages electronic gift card and loyalty programs, online retailers sold twice as many gift cards in 2020 than 2019 and increased their income from gift cards by 181%. While many shoppers are sure to find the perfect product for their loved ones, gift cards give you the opportunity to capture dollars that may otherwise be spent elsewhere.

5. Be ready for more capacity

Whether your business is all online or also has a physical presence, merchants should start preparing now for an increase in your customer base. This could mean everything from ensuring you have enough inventory to make it through the season to confirming with your web host that your website is prepared to handle an increase in customers.

6. Keep your and your customers’ info safe

Since 2019, there has been a 158% increase in cyber attacks in North America, and the many high profile attacks that have already occurred this year show no signs of slowing down. Further, the holiday shopping season has notoriously been a popular time to launch malware attacks, with many targeting customer payment information. Between now and the start of the holiday shopping season, you should prioritize running a thorough security test of your website.

For more strategies to make the most of the upcoming holiday season, check out our 2021 Holiday Toolkit for Businesses.