Source: Google Retail Trends

With 4 months to go before Christmas, almost half of online shoppers have already started shopping.

According to Google Retail Trends, at this time last year, 44% had already started their holiday shopping, 36% had already made holiday purchases online.

How are your holiday sales this month?

Whether you personally agree with “early Christmas syndrome” or not , if you sell something online you have to accept the fact that people are shopping earlier and earlier each year.

Part of this is out of necessity. With less credit to cover holiday purchases, consumers are forced to shop earlier and spread out their expenditures.

It also makes sense from a time and stress management standpoint. Who wants to be under massive pressure in the 6 weeks leading up to Christmas, hard pressed to find that perfect gift that’s out of stock, pay extra for expedited shipping or end up paying more for a gift they really didn’t want?

Probably not even the 14% of holiday shoppers who wait until December 20th to start their holiday shopping! 🙂

The bottom line? If you want to be in the game this holiday season, you need to start now to prepare your store for holiday sales.

5 Ways to Prepare Now and Increase Your Holiday Sales

Showcase new merchandise. What’s new and exciting in your inventory? Put it front and center! If you wait until November, you’re losing two months of income opportunity.

Make holiday gift recommendations. Every website should have a “Top List” of recommended gifts. “Top 10 Gifts for Dad”, “50 Gifts Under $50” Pull this right from your inventory!

Holiday content. Write articles and create videos that are holiday themed and watch visitors to your store or website increase like crazy!

Offer pre-holiday promotions. Not only will your customers be excited about getting a good deal, they’ll feel smart and savvy for shopping early. That good feeling with be associated with your store.

Step up your marketing. You can have the best inventory in the world, but you won’t make many sales if no one knows your online store exists? How are you marketing? What is your plan? How will you get in front of your target customers this holiday season?  If the answer to that is “I don’t know.” grab a your laptop and head to the beach to put that holiday marketing plan in place now!

Profits come to business owners who are prepared. You still have time to make a big difference in the amount of money you make this holiday season!

-Lisa Suttora