Your online store has its doors open at any time and at any time of the year. The Internet knows neither schedules nor holidays. This allows you to reach your customers and make sales at any time, but, on the other hand, it can be problematic when you need a vacation and disconnect from your business to resume it later with more force. Jose Duarte, an entrepreneur and eCommerce expert from Costa Rica, discusses how to manage a business during the holidays or whenever you need some time off.

Do not completely close your online store. If you set the status of your store as “closed,” it will not be visible and this will affect the SEO positioning you have so far. Therefore, remember that you should never close your store, even temporarily.

Reward those customers who have waited. Says Duarte, “An idea that will surely please your customers and can attract new ones, is to associate with your holiday ad a promotion for those orders placed in your absence, such as free shipping or a special discount.”

Leave your store in someone else’s hands. If someone can replace you during your vacation, or at least partially, you can considerably reduce delays in shipping products. This will work perfectly if you have an employee or someone you trust who knows the process of your online store well and can take care of it.

Actively inform your customers of your absence. To properly inform your customers and avoid problems or misunderstandings, it is best to show the holiday period ad on each page of your store. In this way, you will avoid disappointments and claims. A banner with a good design is always the best option, as it visually helps to receive the message.

Be totally transparent about delivery times. Instead of preventing orders from being placed in your store, the best option is to report longer delivery times. In this way, those customers who still want to place an order, will be able to do so and you will avoid losing potential customers. Clearly inform that shipping times will be longer.

Inform well in advance. In order to satisfy your regular customers, inform them that the delivery of their orders could suffer alterations in the deadlines normally applied. Let them know at least 14 days before and communicate it through the pages of your store, order confirmations, newsletter and any other communication.

“It doesn’t matter if you decide to allow customers to shop during your vacation or not, as long as you report your absence transparently and warn that deliveries will be delayed. At this point, you can leave and disconnect without worrying about anything and resume it some time later with your batteries charged,” says Duarte.

The consumption of social networks doubles during the holiday periods, which offers a great opportunity to reach your customers through these channels or enhance the social selling (sell on social networks). If your community manager is going on vacation, make sure you have a substitute. You can also schedule social media posts using platforms like Hootsuite or Buffer.

Take the opportunity to share contests and special promotions on social networks, publish additional content and invest something in Instagram or Facebook advertising to reach more followers.

Boosting holiday sales is all about being prepared for the rush and future planning. Start early with your website optimization and online marketing endeavors so you can take advantage of the holiday season in the best possible way.