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10 Holiday Prep Tips for Your eCommerce Business

There’s an undeniable nip of cold in the air and the Holidays are just around the corner. Soon the waves of eager customers looking for holiday gifts for friends and family will flood online and physical shopping venues all over the world. Once, shoppers would…

The post Blog first appeared on Ottawa Logistics.



10 Holiday Prep Tips for Your eCommerce Business

There’s an undeniable nip of cold in the air and the Holidays are just around the corner. Soon the waves of eager customers looking for holiday gifts for friends and family will flood online and physical shopping venues all over the world. Once, shoppers would have had to perform their yearly pilgrimage to the shopping malls to get everything they need but today, eCommerce is the new crowd-free shopping mall alternative. Of course, what this means is that no matter how small your eCommerce site, you’re likely to see a massive boost in sales as the holiday season rolls around. Are you ready?

Here are ten great tips to face the holiday onslaught of orders, thrive, and come out the other side with more revenue than you can shake a stick at. While you may be exhausted from restocking and shipping by New Years, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that next year could be even bigger. All you have to do is prepare correctly and your inventory will be flying off the shelves in no time.

1) Stock Up on Inventory Early

First and foremost, the holidays are a season of shopping. No matter what you sell, if it would make an interesting, lovely, or useful gift you are likely to sell a lot of it. Your primary goal over the holiday season is to avoid the dreaded ‘out of stock’ sign. Make sure to stock up extra goods before the buying frenzy starts and be prepared to restock at a moment’s notice. Running out of an item people want to buy means lost sales, lost revenue, and potentially lost customers as they look somewhere else for the item they would have bought from you. Make sure your inventory is ready for the rush.

2) Make a Fast-Restock Plan with Your Suppliers

Most industries, even homemade handicrafts, have some kind of supplier. If you are working with any 3PL (third-party logistics) companies who supply you or help you with other logistical tasks, give them a heads up about your holiday preparation plans. Make sure to get your restock orders in early, while there’s still plenty of inventory left, so you never fully run out. If you are running any special promotions on specific items, let your partners know about the potential extra orders as well.

3) Clearly State Shipping and Return Policies

To reduce the number of confused or unhappy shoppers calling your customer service, make sure your policies are clearly stated and highly visible during the shopping experience. Clearly state shipping policies and give estimates based on selected shipping method early and display it prominently so customers can calculate against their own busy schedules. Clearly stated return policies will help customers make their return decisions quickly to comply.

4) Make a Holiday Promotions Calendar

The final cluster of holidays aren’t the only ones you can promote, celebrate, and make extra sales from. Make a calendar of every holiday you plan to participate in along with the featured items and promotions you’d like to associate with them. Don’t forget specialties like Free Shipping Day and Green Monday, which are special holidays just for retail venues. Publish your promotions calendar so your customers can come find deals on those special days.

Merry Christmas Sale banner. Contemporary geometric background with bold typographic design and golden glitter elements. Horizontal template. Vector illustration. Pale Blue.

5) Website Speed, Load Capacity, and Security

While you may be doing tons of hard work on promotions, images, and planning, it’s your website that brings the orders into home-base. It needs to be fast or people will wander off, it needs to handle a lot of customers at once without crashing, and it needs to be secured against potential hackers trying to ruin your lucrative holiday season. If you’re not an IT expert, work with a freelancer or agency to beef up the durability, security, and speed of your eCommerce portal before the rush and consider arranging for steady IT support until the holidays are over.

6) Festive Item Images

People buy based on a lot of things, but their final decision is often based on the images. Do a full assessment of your listed item images and make sure they are big, detailed, well-lit, and complimentary from all angles. Any sub-par images should be re-shot to make sure your entire inventory is literally presented in its best light.

7) Featured Items and Gift Ideas

If there’s one thing shoppers need in the months leading up to the holidays, it’s gift ideas. Make and feature special lists and item categories that would make good gift ideas for categories of people like ‘dad’ or ‘best friend’ or ‘girl children’ as these will help people organize their thoughts and find the perfect gifts. Don’t be shy about throwing your overstock items into the featured lists. If they are perfect for someone, it’s a great way to clean out old inventory.

8) SSL Secure Your Website

You know that little green lock on the left-hand side of your browser address bar? That indicates that a website is safe. The browser knows this because the website domain and IP address are registered with the SSL system and the site you’re visiting matches this registration. This tells visitors that they are on the real website and not some hacker-spoof built to steal credit card information. If your eCommerce portal is not yet set up to be SSL secure, now is a good time.

9) Increase Customer Service

Have no doubt, customers want the same level of customer service no matter how many of them are swamping your phone and chat lines. They expect prompt answers, fast solutions, and considerate upbeat service and it’s your responsibility to provide this. If you can, consider hiring extra customer service staff for the busiest part of the holiday season. This will allow you to continue providing top quality responsiveness and service without overworking your regular staff. Make sure to brief the entire team on how to maintain a unified response to things like special requests, shipping delay notifications (practically inevitable), and standard procedures.

10) Optimize the Checkout Process

Getting customers to come shop is one thing but closing the deal and getting their virtual carts to the finish line is often its own special challenge. To optimize your checkout process, there are a few things you can do. First, make your shipping estimates clear early on so shoppers know as soon as possible whether or not their items will arrive ‘in time’ for their plans. Next, display shipping fees as soon as they select a shipping method and consider integrating more payment options to make it easier for more people to buy from your store. Finally, try to optimize the page load time for checkouts as waiting more than three seconds result in impatiently abandoned carts.

The holidays are an exciting and festive time for shopping, buying, and commerce in general. Preparing your eCommerce site is important, but it doesn’t have to be a hassle. Get into the holiday spirit and have some fun designing your promotions and featured items lists. Just make sure your website, inventory, and shipment fulfillment are up to the increased traffic and you’re ready to restock your inventor at a moment’s notice. For more small business tips in and out of the holiday season, don’t hesitate to contact us today! Here at Ottawa Logistics, helping eCommerce businesses handle high volume orders is what we do best.



U.S. Homeland Security Signs $1.36M Contract with Coinbase




In brief

Coinbase will provide the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement branch with blockchain analytics software.
The crypto exchange has also provided software to the U.S. Secret Service and Inland Revenue.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch of the U.S. Homeland Security has given a $1.36 million contract to crypto exchange giant Coinbase for “business application” and “application development software”, according to the Federal Procurement Data System.

The new deal is Coinbase’s largest federal contract yet. The deal was signed on Thursday and is worth around forty times more than Coinbase’s last contract with the Homeland Security branch. 

Back on August 9 this year, the ICE paid Coinbase $29,000 for forensics software. According to a document dated August 3, the contract was given to Coinbase on the basis that the company is “the only vendor who can reasonably provide the services required by the agency.”

Details as to exactly what the ICE wants Coinbase software for are scarce. The same document later states, “This requirement is LAW ENFORCEMENT SENITIVE[sic], therefore minimal information will be provided publicly.”

ICE is not the first government agency to request Coinbase’s services. Last year, Coinbase announced its desire to sell analytics tools to two U.S. government branches: the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Inland Revenue Service. 

The IRS said that it could use several analytics tools to help catch blockchain-savvy tax dodgers, including “Coinbase Analytics”, formerly known as Neutrino. Coinbase acquired Neutrino back in 2019 for $13.5 million.

It was a controversial acquisition at the time since Neutrino members had been linked to an Italian organization called Hacking Team, which sold spyware to authoritarian regimes in Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Venezuela.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong later expressed his regret towards the purchase and sacked the more dubious members of the team. Coinbase later sourced analytics software deals with both the Secret Service and the IRS

Coinbase is now inking million-dollar deals with the federal government. Move over Chainalysis: the U.S. government may have a new favorite blockchain company.


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Solana’s DeFi Projects are Raising Millions of Dollars




Solana may be up 122% in the past month, but its rise has begun to slow down. As the blockchain secures its place in the top 10 by market cap, investors in the nascent low fee, high-speed blockchain are turning their attention to something else: Solana’s decentralized finance protocols.

In the past week, investment in some Solana-based DeFi protocols came so thick and fast that the blockchain couldn’t handle all the attention. Solana crashed for 17 hours on Tuesday after bots rushed to invest in a token sale for Grape Protocol. 

But what are these new projects, how much have they raised, and who’s funding them? We take a look: here’s our roundup of some of the biggest protocols that are capping off a heady and hot Solana Summer, and a glance at those yet to come. 

Big IDOs

First is Grape Protocol, the culprit of the outage, which despite all the upset raised only $600,000 during its public raise on Raydium’s “Acceleraytor”. 

Grape Network hooks up to platforms like Discord, Telegram and (soon) Twitter to help decentralized communities coordinate over Solana and reward their members with cryptocurrencies. It’s all powered by the protocol’s token, GRAPE.

Next up is Parrot Protocol, which raised $69 million in an Initial DEX Offering from investors including Sino Global Capital, Alameda Research, and QTUM VC. Parrot’s a non-custodial lending platform and decentralized exchange—similar to the Maker protocol on Ethereum.

Parrot’s partly backed by PAI, an algorithmic stablecoin. In its IDO, however, Parrot sold a governance token called PRT. It’ll allow investors to vote on how the protocol is run and farm for yields on Solana without taking money out of yield farms on other Layer 1 blockchains

Parrot’s IDO slowed to a halt due to Solana’s outage but all was wrapped up by September 16. In a “Letter from the Parrot” this morning, the team said it’ll commence work on PRT staking, NFTs and adjustable interest rates. 

Many more projects are set to launch within the next few days on Solana launchpads like Solanium, Boca Chica, and Solstarter. Today, the sale for whitelisted users for MatrixETF, a decentralized ETF platform, began on Solanium. 

On September 16, a lending protocol called Larix launched on Solana. From September 15 through September 17, the total value locked in Larix rocketed from $1.7 million to $119 million. Solana, Huobi Global and Polygon are among investors.

Flippies, a sold-out NFT penguin collection, also launched on Solanium and will be distributed on September 21. Contrastive, a generative AI art series on the Solana blockchain is set to launch in two days

With the breakneck speed at which Solana continues to grow, the network’s ability to sustain all these diverse projects will be a good way to determine their success.


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Maxim Magazine Launches NFT Marketplace With xSigma




A partnership between Maxim and xSigma has birthed a new non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace. 


MaximNFT is a new platform launched from a partnership between xSigma and Maxim Magazine. The marketplace is said to grant exclusive access to Maxim’s NFT collections. xSigma, a blockchain R&D laboratory, is a subsidiary of ZK International (Nasdaq: ZKIN). The lab has been developing its own DeFi, NFT, and stablecoin based products. Meanwhile, Maxim magazine is celebrating 25 years in the business and is now available in 75 countries across the globe. The magazine is geared towards younger men and focuses on cars, fashion, lifestyle, and women. It is considered the “safe for work” version of magazines like Playboy. Previous cover models include Angelina Jolie, Christina Aguilera, and Megan Fox. 

The goal of the NFT marketplace is to combine the clout that Maxim’s brand name has with the research and development capabilities of xSigma’s lab. The MaximNFT marketplace will give users the option to buy, sell and mint NFTs that utilize multiple blockchains including Ethereum, Polkadot, and the Binance Smart Chain. 


Using the power of its 10 million monthly readers, MaximNFT is looking to attract a large base of creators and traders via print, social media, and digital publishing efforts. Behind the scenes, xSigma will be adding in features to include “NFT tokenization,” which will allow traders to sell fractional ownership of their NFTs. This will allow for these unique assets to be broken apart and shared with the cryptocurrency community in what the MaximNFT hopes will be a step to change the industry. 

Maxim NFTs will focus on sports and pop culture

Maxim plans to focus its attention on “sports and celebrities’ collectibles, as well as gaming content.” So far, just one of these collaborations has been confirmed. In a post to Twitter on Sept. 2, MaximNFT announced it had teamed up with former NBA star Michael Beasley. In a post on Instagram, Beasley confirmed that his NFTs will be sold exclusively on MaximNFT starting in November. Unless something else happens first, they will become the first NFTs sold on the platform. 

The press release also stated that the company is confident the rise of gaming and the incorporation of NFTs in the metaverse will continue to grow. MaximNFT also plans to combine the NFT’s minted with AR and VR technology. 

The announcement states that MaximNFT will be going live in Q4 2021 with “a series of NFTs from celebrities, athletes, and brands.”


All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Matthew De Saro is a journalist and media personality specializing in sports, gambling, and statistics. Before joining BeInCrypto, his work was featured on Fansided, Forbes, and OutKick. With a background in statistical analysis and a love of writing, he takes an outside-the-box approach to reporting news.

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