After many years of working for (and with) ecommerce clients, I’ve gotten used to the fact that holiday ecommerce plans are sometimes pulled together at the last minute.

The shelves are stocked and the media has been bought, but the final plan of attack in the online realm often happens a little later than you might expect. If you’re one of those procrastinators, here are some thoughts to shape your plans.

Cyber Monday Week Month


Over the past decade, the week following Thanksgiving has gone from Cyber Monday, to Cyber Week, and maybe even Cyber Month. As much as Black Friday and Cyber Monday set the tone for the overall prospects of the holiday shopping season, those days are becoming less and less critical to the digital marketer.

The most critical part of your planning process is understanding that parts of your plan will under-deliver and when they do, you have to have a good backup plan.

Agility is your friend


It’s a simple truth about plans: sometimes they just don’t work out the way we expected them to. A lot of your great holiday wins can happen during the thick of the season.

When something isn’t performing, you need an easy way to change it. If a competitor sells out of a hot gift and you still have it in stock, you need to be able to let people know.

The holiday season is a great time for the marketing optimization wizard inside you, because with increased traffic and a heightened sense of urgency, you can learn what’s working and what isn’t—fast.

Mobile ecommerce ain’t a hobbyhorse anymore


Seriously. Mobile can’t be “just a hobby” anymore. For many of you, mobile is the fastest growing segment of your traffic, and is overtaking both desktop and tablet traffic. The mobile experience will be a critical part of this holiday shopping season.

Even if you have hard data that shows your customers only browse on mobile and buy on other types of devices, you can’t ignore that traffic. Strive to make a good impression and provide a good experience or they may not on a tablet or desktop to finalize a purchase.

Put your customers first


Think like your customer. It’s a good practice at any time, but it’s especially critical during the holiday shopping season. What are your customer’s expectations? How can you exceed those expectations?

This is the time to take a hard look in the mirror and make some changes. Think about the customers that are only on your site once a year to buy a gift. If they come back a whole year later and still have the same sub-par experience, do you think they’ll likely come back next year?