The festive Season is here and it’s high time you got your ecommerce store on ready for the highest revenue months of the year. According to market surveys, December is said to have a 30% higher turn over than any other month of the year. But just because shoppers are spending more money doesn’t mean it’s easier to make sales. There is a lot of noise in cyber space over the festive season so you have to be fully optimised on every digital level if you’re going to be heard.
This post offers you great advice on how to prep your web presence for the holidays.
Start with Aesthetics
Decorating your online store is every bit as important as decorating your brick and mortar store. You need to use a theme and colours that remind people that the holidays are here. This prompts gift buying for others. It also tells the customer that your store is celebrating too, and they get the feeling they might find holiday bargains. Don’t be afraid of a bit of festivity. Customers are more likely to leave your e-commerce store because they don’t feel any festive spirit than because they’re offended by it.
If ever there is a time to offer special deals, discounts and bargains, now is the time to do it. Customers are expecting to find special holiday prices on at least some of your stock and if you don’t have anything special to offer them they will quickly go somewhere else. You’re competition is definitely offering holiday deals – so should you be.
Special deals also encourage first time buyers to be more daring. Customers go to new websites at this time of year to find special deals. The holiday season is a great time to convert new customers, and as all good marketers know, it’s easier to sell to an existing client than to convert a new one – so making these connections has a positive effect on your outlook for the new year.
We know that customers are gift shopping. We also know how hard it can be to find the perfect gift for someone. Offer suggestions for items that make great gifts in a “Holiday Gift Guide” section. You can make lists based on gender, age and interests. You can also suggest things that go well together and offer discounts on a second item if the first one is purchased (or freebies)! For example, If your customer buys your men’s electric shaver kit (from the “gifts for him” section), throw in a free men’s face lotion. It can be a sample size, as long as it’s free. Now you are closing deals and introducing a customer to a new commodity product that they may return for again.
Get Technical – Prepare your Website
There is nothing fun about filling an online shopping cart only to have the site crash. Or worse yet, not even manage to get onto the site at all. Prepare your website for added traffic and be ready to process orders and offer customer support with all the little elves you can muster. If you need to hire extra help (or servers) now is the time to do it.
If your site is not already mobile friendly then now is the time to make it that way. People are on the go and they don’t always have time to sit at a desktop. Make sure that the shopping experience you offer via mobile and tablet is as easy and comfortable as your desktop experience.
You need to pull out the big guns with your Social Media marketing, e-mail marketing and remarketing right now. This is the time when people are looking for ideas and bargains and now is the time to make sure that they know you exist, they have easy links to follow to get to you, and they are seeing suggestions for what to buy. Couple your marketing budget with your special deals and offers and entice people to your site with them.
Safeguard Against Abandoned Shopping Carts
It happens. Make sure that you keep reminding them of their carts with e-mail reminders and remarketing. Now is also a good time to offer a Live Chat assistant. Having someone to help customers find what they want, understand the products and the process and help them compare products is great for closing sales.
Win Them over with Shipping
Most customers are going to want their purchases delivered to them in a hurry over the festive season. Offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount spent. This encourages both the sale and the minimum purchase amount.
You can also offer a premium, high speed shipping service which customers can choose to pay for. This is something you will have to organise through your courier prior to the deal being offered, to help you determine whether you can offer over-night or same day shipping and at what cost.
Use Scarcity and Exclusivity
Display your inventory so that customers can clearly see how many units of an item are available (especially if you have limited numbers). This drives a sense of urgency because of the fear that if they don’t buy now they will miss out. This tactic works best in conjunction with a sale or special offer.
The most important thing to realise about the festive spending streak is that it’s not just about your holiday turn-over. If you give new clients a positive experience, make them feel special, deliver on time, and offer spectacular customer support, the holiday season shopping can set you up with clients who will keep returning all year long, and they will tell their friends about you.
Personalise their content by using machine learning so that they are offered an experience that is interesting and relevant to them. Make them feel welcome.
A happy customer is not just returning customer – they are also an advocate for your store and they will direct more traffic towards you in future.