Summer is officially over and retailers all around the world are preparing for the holiday season. And rightly so, as for many retailers peak season (especially November and December) accounts for 20-30% of their total yearly sales. Specifically in Greece, new peaks are being introduced, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. Indicatively, in 2017 Black Friday in Greece resulted in a 40% increase in retail revenues compared to 2016.

So how can retailers prepare using digital to reap the benefits of a successful execution of peak shopping season?

1. Plan: Start by reviewing and analyzing last year’s performance in order to avoid overstocks, out-of-stock, and return costs. Consumers’ tolerance for disappointment is lowest during the holiday season, so consider implementing order management systems that would assist you with accurately forecasting inventory and demand as well as fulfillment planning and shipping needs.

2. Prepare for Mobile: according to the shopping data of over 500 million global shoppers, holiday shoppers will buy more on mobile than on any other device. You should therefore ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and that it includes marketing engagement and easy checkout.

3. Show Security: security when buying online is a great concern for Greek consumers. Cash on delivery remains the most popular way of payment for them due to their fear of security and online fraud. In addition to ensuring your customers’ credit card details and other sensitive information is protected, you can also invest in fraud prevention tools.

4. Invest in Social: plan on content that taps on mobile consideration and purchasing. Instagram will emerge as a significant traffic-driver to retail sales, growing 3x faster than the growth of other social media platforms, which translates to a 51% year-over-year increase in traffic to retail sites.

5. Think PPC: go big with pay per click advertising, especially in November. Online Advertising is an excellent way to remind people of the holidays and events. Think compelling offers such as free shipping.

6. Consider Artificial Intelligence: with the assistance of AI software you can provide your customers with highly relevant product suggestions based on their past behavior on e-commerce sites. Product recommendations based on AI will drive 35% of revenue, as more consumers look for a more personalized shopping experience.

Retail peak season will be here before you know it and with all this in mind you will be well prepared for what’s poised to be an even bigger year for retailers. Happy sales!