Q1 is your opportunity in eCommerce to map your path to your strongest holiday growth yet. It all comes down to understanding where you need to be in October so you know how to get there. Start now to avoid clambering to get it all done in time.

① Focus on Infrastructure

You should know by now what you could have done last holiday if only… Q1 is the perfect time to address technical barriers and fulfillment issues so everything is already operating optimally when you hit the holiday rush. Those issues will likely take some time to resolve, so give your team the time to smooth out the kinks.

③ Nurture your [new] holiday customers to retain them

You could be spending some time on your upper funnel – and you should – but now is the time to nurture that relationship with your newly won customers. Identify ways you can provide value to them throughout the year, and when loyalty to your brand is well-earned, you’ll reap the rewards when those same customers are looking for that perfect gift at the end of the year.

④ Work on those time-consuming and expensive efforts

Plan out those more complex projects you need to execute your marketing strategy. The more you plan and prepare your video marketing strategy, for example, the better you will be able to execute – and you’ll find your expense will be lower while getting you better results.

⑤ Experiment

This is the perfect time to try something new, different, or test out an idea. Try a new way of segmenting your emails and delivering highly targeted offers. This is the new get-to-know-your-customer time. Get to know them, what they respond to, and for the love of all that is good in the world TEST. This is a time to invent. Embrace it. By the time you get to Q3, you’ll have everything you need to launch a Q4 that’s better than anything you could have imagined at the beginning of the year.

Do these things now, and you’ll have a less stressful holiday season with stronger results. You’ll be so glad you didn’t wait until the 11th hour… again.