August of 2017 is now in the past and we are now dipping our toes into the beginning of September. The weather will start changing soon and the leaves will begin taking on different colors. Yes, fall is approaching, which means one thing: It’s time to get your holiday sales in order.

Yes, the brisk weather will be a nice change after months of heat, but your focus should be on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas. If it seems like it’s too early to start preparing, then you must be new to this game. For the newcomer and beginners to the eCommerce game, let me give you a few tips on Holiday sale preparation:

Pick Your Promo and Stick with It 

A no-brainer, right? Well, you are absolutely right, it is. Now, why would this be the first point to make? Why make something so obvious the top of the list? It’s because it’s obvious that it’s the first stop on this ride. I’ve been at this for quite a while now, and let me tell you that this doesn’t always go as planned. Some people make last-minute changes to the promo, such as items included, percentages off, dates of the promo, etc.

This will confuse your customers. You need to choose the products carefully. You need to set the dates of the promotion. You need to pick the discount and stick with it. Pick if this will be a one-time coupon or a recurring discount. Customers need to know exactly what they are getting when you run a promotion. Anything else will leave consumers scratching their heads, or worse, losing interest. So, pick your promo and stick with it.

Know What You Have 

This does not necessarily mean your products, though that is very important. This is mostly in reference to your inventory. After emailing or Tweeting or however you get the news out that stuff is now on sale, those products are going to sell more (which is the goal). It is imperative, however, to keep track of how much of these products you have left and act accordingly.

You’re going to be so excited to sales increase and the celebration party will rage into the night, I’m sure, but you need to make sure that your customers are aware if an item is sold out. Most sites, like Magento-based stores, will automatically put up an “Out of Stock” banner on the product page. That being said, you need to relay this news to the guests. You don’t want to deal with angry customers who were expecting X to be available only to see it’s sold out.

Have a Plan of Attack

Again, another no-brainer, right? WRONG! Just kidding, this is another no-brainer. But, like with the first point, don't overlook this one. It may seem simple, but planning the promotion is just the first step. You also need to figure out how to get the promo out there, attracting attention and bringing in both new and recurring customers.

Is social media going to be the best approach? Maybe your best bet is with email marketing? That’s for you and your team to decide. Regardless of what you pick, you need to have it planned to the last detail. It needs to run along with the promotion. You don’t need a hype package; you need something to trigger interest and keep it going until you are finished with the sale.

Food for Thought

Look, I’m not going to lie to you here; this is going to take a lot of work and a lot of planning. But, as you may have picked up on in the points listed above, you need to not forget about the simple factors, as they are the most important. So long as you do not neglect these ideas and pour your energy into the planning process, you will be rewarded. I mean, customers are not going to pass up on a good sale, as long as it’s a good sale. Best of luck to you this holiday season!