Irrespective of which agency gathers them, statistics about sales during the holiday season show that the ecommerce buzz never ends. Instead, it increases with each passing year. Shoppers in the United States spent nearly $1 trillion during 2018. Trends show that ecommerce sales are set to approach nearly $5 trillion by 2021.
As we know, 37 percent of the world’s population is now shopping online. Holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Year, are days on which nearly unlimited sales and shopping take place. Over the years, e-retailers have adopted, and are using, cutting-edge technology to their advantage; they also focus on various holidays and events for successful online business.
Nevertheless, pressure on businesses to perform may build up during the holidays due to the higher volumes of traffic, sales and support tickets generated. If you are not prepared, this pressure can cause nightmares. To save you time, we have put together some of the best holiday e-commerce marketing tips and checklists that can help you increase sales and maintain an edge over your competitors.
Plan Your Holiday Marketing Campaign
From display ads to re-marketing emails and promotion codes, create a ‘complete’ special holiday campaign to take advantage of the holiday shopping trend. Also, make sure your website can handle the increase in traffic that occurs during the holiday season, by performing or getting regular website maintenance throughout the year, especially just before the holidays. Important dates to keep in mind during the holiday season are:
|Nov 11th Veterans Day|
|Nov 28th Thanksgiving|
|Nov 29th Black Friday|
|Dec 02nd Cyber Monday||Dec 09th Green Monday||Dec 14th Free Shipping Day|
|Dec 21st Super Saturday||Dec 24th Christmas Eve||Dec 25th Christmas Day|
|Dec 26th Boxing Day (Canada, UK)||Dec 31st New Year’s Eve|
Solid Web Design
Website design directly affects conversion rates. User experience and user interface plays a key role in the success of a website. Since mobile commerce because popular, a growing number of consumers have used their mobiles to make at least one purchase online. As the sizes and capabilities of all the different mobile devices differ, getting the design and interface right can be a time consuming process. Good design is especially important for your mobile e-commerce site, because a delay of even one-second can affect conversion of a sale by 20%.
Health Of Your Products
Measuring the health of your products is important at any point in a year, especially during the peak holiday season. The data you collect, measure and analyze can help you make informed decisions during the holidays. Although products that remain popular during the 9 months leading up to the holiday are the ones that would get you the best sales, checking the data you about the products you list on your website is equally important. Replacing incomplete, outdated data with updated information as soon as you can will propel you down the path to success.
Customized Email Marketing Campaigns
E-mail marketing does a good job of driving sales during the holidays. According to Shopify, e-mail marketing accounted for 24% of holiday sales during the 2018 e-commerce season. Plan your email campaigns and tweaks them to get better results by:
Customized Email Template
Most brands change the color and themes of their website according to the holiday season. You can do the same with your holiday email marketing campaigns. Let us face it. If your emails are still the same, your subscribers will soon get bored. It is good to change your email templates regularly. Use holiday email templates, to get much more attention and open rates.
Exclusive Offers For Subscribers
You can also surprise your subscribers by emailing them information about exclusive holiday offers. Getting something for nothing is not just a pleasant feeling; it is a way to show your subscribers you appreciate their patronage. Offering discounts can even help you generate more revenue.
Test Your Campaigns
Try out your email marketing campaigns by sending test emails to close confidants, use the feedback you gather from them to tweak your campaign. You do not need to wait for the holidays to try out your email marketing campaigns. Get an idea of what your subscribers liked during earlier holidays. That way, you can determine which products, services, and campaigns get the best response and take steps to drive more sales before the holiday starts.
User experience, from surfing to buying a product on your website should be easy and simple. Trust plays an important role in selling online and sending a buyer through a non-branded or a third-party payment gateway can quickly undermine customer trust.
Buyers want to be sure of whom they are buying from, as well as whether the transaction they are engaging in is secured or not. Therefore, you must enable an SSL certificate on your website and check that the checkout on your website is an extension of your brand. Your checkout page must have a consistent look that matches the colors, fonts, buttons, design, and logo of your website.
Last-Minute Holiday E-Commerce Optimization Tips:
Put Up Banners
Banners are a good way to inform customers about sales, approaching deadlines, and promotions. You can use ideas in your banner content, such as:
- Discount Codes:
During the holidays, you can add discount coupon codes to the banners on your website, so that buyers find them easily while browsing your website. You can also include a countdown timer to create a sense of urgency.
- Sales or Promotions:
To get more sales you could provide offers in all categories, like a buy one – get one.
- Free shipping:
Shipping costs remain one of the main reasons for cart abandonment. Free shipping gives a new user a very good reason to shop from your website.
- Guaranteed Delivery:
If you can guarantee delivery before Christmas, a banner that tells customers in advance increases the chances of more visitors and conversions.
- Discount Codes:
Easy Return And Exchange Policies
Keeping your return and exchange policy flexible and simple obviously helps in closing more sales. Indicate how long buyers have to exchange or return their products. If the contract duration is 30 days or less, you should consider renewing at least until mid-January. This would give recipients the time they need to unpack and appreciate their purchases and creates more trust for your business.
Integrate Live Chat Support
Many users left e-commerce sites because of confusion or lack of customer support. If your store features live chat, now is the time to make sure a representative is available 24/7 to answer questions. If they are not, shoppers are apt to go elsewhere.
Take Advantage Of Social Media
Video marketing is very effective. Video marketing results in an increase of 54% in brand awareness and 66% in qualified leads per year. You can create a short and appealing video to add to your Instagram, Facebook stories or on YouTube.
Videos make it easy to establish and maintain a relationship with your audience. With video, you can share current product information, reviews of your products, services or features, and also the latest holiday sales offers.
Take Advantage of PPC
Ideally, you would want to reach out to new customers who are interested in your products, besides interacting with people who already know about your business. Pay-per-click advertising can help you achieve that goal. We recommend that you schedule your ads to start 2-4 weeks before the holidays. You can use PPC advertising to promote your holiday offerings and draw attention to items you sell that people may consider as gifts. People going straight to a search engine to looking for holiday gifts, have a better chance of seeing your products at the top of the search results page, when they use keywords that you target.
Make Sure The Search Box On Your Website Works Perfectly
Customers may search by category or click on products they find desirable on the homepage. However, a large proportion of potential buyers may look for specific products using the search bar on your website. Make sure that the search box is working properly and that it considers misspelled words as well. If someone misspells the name of a product, does he still lands to the right product page? Take care of these issues before the holiday begins.
Winter is near and so is the holiday season. Pull up your socks and give it your best shot. While we have covered most of the important tips for holiday e-commerce, you can always find new concepts to maximize sales.