No matter the industry, today’s most successful businesses rely on data to make each of their merchandising and marketing decisions. This holiday season, don’t wait until the year’s end to evaluate the success of your selling strategy. By tracking analytics throughout the planning and execution process, you will be able to make tweaks to your selling strategy and be confident that each are rooted in real-time results.

To help you see growth that lasts beyond this holiday selling season and into the next year, we’ve gathered a few practical steps to make intelligent decisions about your business without paying extensive prices to do so.

Set up Conversion Goals

Before the holiday shopping season reaches its peak, take the time to set conversion goals for your main landing pages and content. This way, you’ll be able to monitor the visibility of your promotions and how consumers are engaging with them.

Within Google Analytics, use destination goals to track when website users complete an action, such as signing up for an email newsletter or making a purchase. Use duration goals to monitor when a user’s visit exceeds or falls below your set threshold.

Track Your Campaigns and Content

Although it is important to link to your promotions on as many strategic locations as possible, this can make evaluating the various entry-points of your funnel challenging. With custom campaign tracking, however, you can evaluate the success of your promotions on a page by page basis.

Use Google’s URL Builder to create UTM tags for the links you will use in each of your email and advertising campaigns. This way, once you are in Google Analytics, you can distinguish clicks from your follow-up email versus your final reminder email, or your banner ad on one page versus your banner ad on another.

Allow Data to Drive Your Decisions

Productivity is key for any business looking to scale quickly and prove sustainable for the long-term. The more centralized your business operations are, the easier this challenge becomes. With Bigcommerce’s enterprise-grade analytics reports, online sellers of any size can review all of their metrics in one place for no extra cost, taking the mystery out of data-driven decisions.

Even if you find yourself late in the game of holiday preparations, setting up conversion goals and monitoring your purchase funnel will save time and energy for next year’s top selling season. Be sure to keep a tab on your analytics for the rest of the year and increase merchandising for those products selling well, decreasing inventory for those that going cold.

Then, continuously update your online merchandising based on these wins and losses.

In all, holiday selling success stories are not made in a few weeks — they are the results of months of planning and bring growth and customer loyalty that lasts long after the year ends.

Photo: Flickr, Didriks