Retail store owners across Canada are unsure about how to prepare for the holiday shopping season for the first time in their careers. They have no idea of how their holiday sales are going to be. With the pandemic forcing people to change their regular shopping habits, retailers are on the edge. Over 65% of Canadian residents stated that they would be shopping for their holiday gifts online.

How to prepare yourself as a retail store owner then? Here are a few useful tips that will come in handy:

Set up and Prep Your Website

People won’t be rushing in droves to shop at your store. Instead, they’re more likely to be shopping on your website this year. Despite stores remaining open, over 33% of Canadians stated that they would not be doing any in-person shopping. However, they are open to the idea of ordering online from their local retailers.

It’s important to provide a seamless shopping experience if you want to retain and build a base of loyal customers. Ensure that your website has an easy-to-navigate interface. Keep your listings updated on a real-time basis and add features that make it easier to shop. Remember that every bit of optimization can help you boost your online sales.

Don’t Put Things Off Anymore

With people having a lot more free time on their hands, the chances of them doing any last-minute shopping are quite low. Additionally, many of them are also shopping smarter in order to extract more value for their quarters. Over 25% of Canadians reported back in September that they had already started their holiday shopping. Every second counts now. Get your website and sales features active as soon as possible and get the word out to your customers. You’re losing out on sales every second you procrastinate. Provide alternatives to in-person shopping to your customers and you’ll win over a loyal customer base that will stay with you till the pandemic is over.

Optimize Your Website

Pay attention to trending search terms. Certain search terms and criteria are increasing in prominence as the holidays draw near. You can use Google Analytics to plan your online marketing and website optimization strategy. This tool can provide you with valuable information that can help you attract buyers into purchasing more items from your online store.

While you may have traditionally had specific days with an extraordinary surge in sales, recent studies show that this phenomenon is more likely to be a curve when selling online. Customers are browsing and purchasing from shopping websites throughout the month. Therefore, it pays off to bring out your A-game for the whole season. This strategy can help you immensely in the long run as well.

Everything has Changed

You’ll have to handle both online and offline customers this year. However, a significant majority of the people walking in through your doors are likely to already have their minds made. They might first check your website to see your offerings and to decide whether it’s worth entering your store. Some customers may place their orders online but come into the store to pick their orders up in person. You might also benefit from offering click-and-collect and curbside pickup services.

If you want to attract more customers, you’ll have to increase your visibility, period. Your website has to be quick and responsive when people use it. Your website needs to come up in their search results when they search online for products. Your Internet game will decide your sales numbers this year, no doubt about it.