Ramp up your holiday eCommerce strategy with tips from Clover merchants

Editorial Team

4 min read
Woman shopping online for holiday gifts

The holiday season is kicking off already–like it or not. Most small business owners know this time of year can be both the busiest and most profitable. As shopping and festivities begin, it’s also a good time to inspect your business operations and resolve any issues that could slow you down–especially with your online store.

According to recent polling, nearly all shoppers—about 93%, that is—plan to buy at least some gifts online this year, underscoring the need for a small business eCommerce presence.

Here are three tips from Clover merchants on ways to ramp up your holiday eCommerce strategy and maximize revenue during this busy period.

1. Make sure your inventory management is seamless across all channels–brick-and-mortar and online 

Increased sales around the holidays means more inventory to track, organize, and move. For busy store owners, managing orders manually can be a time suck. Clover’s inventory management platform can help automate the process—complete with auto fulfillment, delivery tracking, and low-stock alerts.

Balancing sales across a storefront and eCommerce site? Real-Time Inventory Sync by SKU IQ works with leading eCommerce providers, like WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Wix, to sync inventory across physical and digital marketplaces.

Phil and Whitney Mayhew, co-owners of Broken Spoke Boutique, can attest to the power of streamlined inventory management.

“Our old POS system would not connect to our website,” Phil recalls. “We had to manually take everything off that sold in-store and online, and it was a pain.”

Accessible directly on any Clover device, SKU IQ ensures the Mayhews that all their sales channels are synced in real time.

“We just go into the SKU IQ app on Clover to add new inventory, adjust totals, set prices, everything,” Whitney explains. “Once we save, it automatically updates our website and the inventory totals in Clover. It makes everything so much simpler.”

2. Maximize your loyalty program–or launch one

When it comes to offering seasonal deals online, massive marketing spend often gives advantage to big box stores over small businesses. With a loyalty program, you can help ensure that you stand out in the crowded online marketplace and motivate customers to shop with you.

Clover Customer Engagement can help you send promotions via text, app, or email to drive initial sales and turn those customers into repeat buyers.

When Ben Gloria, owner of Your Toy Link, first launched his business, he struggled to generate buzz through print advertising campaigns. He then turned to Clover Rewards, which immediately incentivized customer loyalty with a points system. 

“Right away, we had shoppers saying, ‘I already saw it at Target, but I’m going to wait to order it from you, so I can get my points,’” Gloria remembers.

Building a base of return customers allowed Gloria to highlight other reasons to purchase collectibles through Your Toy Link. 

“I always tell people that we’re a local business, and we have different contracts with lenders. Target and Walmart will be faster, but I can generally get more than they do and in better condition, which collectors love to hear,” he explains.

3. Keep gift cards front and center–even in your digital spaces

What’s a better, safer gift for that picky or hard-to-please loved one than a gift card? In fact, research shows that two out of three consumers plan on buying a gift card this holiday season.

Brandt and Jennifer DeLorenzo, co-owners of the Curious Plantaholic, understand the value of gift cards in the niche, but ever-popular houseplant market.

“We heavily market our gift cards, which are huge for the holidays,” says Brandt. “We have a lot of spouses who come in and say, ‘Hey, my wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/husband loves plants. I know they have all these, but I don’t know which one they want to get next. So, I’d rather give them a gift card.’” 

Lisa Paugh, owner of Walrus Ice Cream, also recognizes the benefit of marketing gift cards not only to her local audience, but also to their loved ones from out of the area.

“With the Clover gift cards, I’ve noticed that it’s really handy when a family member from a different state wants to buy a birthday present or Christmas present for their kid or grandkid, they can order that gift card online and it’ll go straight to whoever they’re buying it for,” Paugh explains. “It’s extremely convenient.”

While Walrus Ice Cream sells physical gift cards at the counter, the ability to sell them online has been a major boon for their business. 

“Adding digital gift cards to our website was the best decision,” stresses Paugh. “I’ll come in and have sales without having done anything! It’s sales that we don’t even have to worry about because it’s in a totally different place.”

As the holidays close in, consider these holiday eCommerce tips to help you anticipate potential opportunities for you and your customers. After all, happy shopping can make happier holidays!

Want to know more about how Clover can help you boost business during the holidays and beyond? To learn more about Clover’s eCommerce solutions, talk to a Clover Business Consultant today.


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