Lona Rudd
October 12, 2015 | Email Marketing , Fulfillment/Shipping, Site Design and Management | Lona Rudd

Is your website ready for the holiday season?

Holiday shopping and preparations started early this year, and wineries can begin to prepare for the rush. In fact, RetailingToday shared findings from a survey of 1,000 respondents by G/O Digital, which showed 47 percent of holiday shoppers will begin thinking about gift ideas before November.

Whether customers purchase wine for holiday parties or as gifts, wineries can start planning in order to increase sales this season. The following five steps will help your winery prepare:

1. Analyze last year's data
The first step wineries can take to increase online sales is analyzing conversion data from last year's holiday season. Wineries should look at the effectiveness of social media and email marketing campaigns, paid search and other channels to determine where to invest the most time and effort. Additionally, analyzing shopping habits from last year can help wineries decide what products to feature in their holiday promotional content, as well as what to expect in terms of volume.

2. Start creating landing pages
Wineries can begin creating and testing holiday-specific landing pages now, so the highest performing experience will be ready to go just in time for holiday shopping. Holiday landing pages should feature special promotions, gift packages, gift ideas and seasonal products. Additionally, landing pages should utilize responsive design and be mobile friendly. Marketing Land cited data from Target that revealed 60 percent of the company's holiday traffic came from mobile devices. Wineries can tap into this trend by optimizing their sites accordingly.

3. Prepare email marketing campaigns
Wineries can prepare for holiday shopping by optimizing their email marketing campaigns. According to Marketing Land, email marketing was the third-largest channel to drive holiday sales in the 2014 season. Leveraging data from last year as well as shopper habits and preferences, wineries can create segmented lists and customized content in order to generate the highest possible conversion rate.  In addition to conducting research and A/B testing and segmenting email lists, wineries can prepare by pre-writing their automatic response and drip emails.

4. Plan out content marketing and social media posts
It is also valuable to get a head start on content strategy. Wineries should start creating social media and blog content and developing their social media strategies. Using last year's social media data and blog traffic, content can be optimized to lead to an increase in conversion. Beyond written content, wineries should spend time focusing on holiday-specific images, hashtags, paid ads and other promotions.

5. Anticipate increased shipping volume
Increased sales during holiday season will likely result in an increase in shipping volume. Wineries can prepare for this by coordinating with their direct-to-consumer fulfillment partners by sharing volume estimates based on last year's data as well as projections for this year. Holiday shoppers want to receive their wine on time, and wineries can maintain loyal customers by ensuring the ecommerce experience runs as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.


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