Santa is ready for the frenzy are you?
The Holiday Season is coming up in a few weeks! And let’s be honest here, the rush of business you’re hoping for will not simply appear. There is much to be done and the next few weeks will leave you working hard as elves! Let’s go through some holiday ecommerce tips you can tackle now.
While you may not need a complete website redesign, a few tweaks here and there will make your site more welcoming to customers and this can increase your sales. A simple homepage redesign with some Holiday cheer may be enough to signal that you are ready for the gifting season.
Highlighting special offers with rotating banners on your website can give that added kick you need to showcase more. For example, the top half of your site should be focusing on promotional offers and discounts and making sure your on-sale price is clear for each product.
Re-categorize Your Products
Make it easy for customers to find the products they are looking for. Add a category to your store on top and place products you feel will sell well as gifts. This can be specific to gender or age depending on what you sell. You can go as far as creating price range categories to really make it easier to browse by budget. Many would appreciate a mix of both low-ticket and high-ticket items. Showing variety will clearly state you have something for everyone!
Don’t forget to use high quality photos of your items and provide a proper product description on why it would make a great gift for someone. The more you’re clear and honest about a product the higher it would sell.
Test The Site
So many fail to do this, and they are left with higher bounce rates and cart abandonments. So ask yourself, when was the last time you tested your website using most commonly used browsers and devices? Your customers are using both desktops, laptops and a wide range of tablets and smart phones that all come with even a wider array of browsers, so is your site capable of accommodating them? Maybe it’s time to call up your developer / friends and ask for a site test.
We know how important mobile optimization is, this is why every Wazala store URL is mobile optimized to the Wazala Touch experience, and making sure your own website matches this is expected if you want to look professional. We also make sure that the shopping experience is optimized on all commonly used browsers, so you have nothing to worry about when it comes down to your shop.
Everyone looks for bargains during the Holidays. Offering coupons on different products or categories will capture that impulse buyer and lock them in. Share these coupons on your home page banner, mail them out to customers early, or think of a sweepstake / giveaway via social media. Making it easy to share your coupon codes with friends on Facebook and Twitter will help spread the news about your promo. You can do this by simply installing social media sharing buttons on your ecommerce store. Install the Facebook “Like” button and encourage customers to send the coupon link to their friends.
Another way to attract customers is to offer a free or discounted shipping. Just make sure your bottom line is protected, and you can actually take on this extra fee yourself.
Work On Your Pitch
Come up with a captivating sales pitch. You will have to do better than the usual “Great Discounts!” Tell consumers why they should take advantage of your offer right now. Give them the benefits of the product and show how it’s going to make their life cool or better. To make a great sale, your marketing pitch needs to appeal to the emotions of the customer, it should instigate trust and sound honest and not sales like. This is a tough one, but in going through this exercise you will be able to find the best description for what you’re selling that will help you all year round!
Design A Kick-A$$ Newsletter
Reach out to your customers through emails. Design an appealing newsletter that will make them want that awesome product of yours. Use product pictures often and less mambo jumbo talk. Your main objective (past getting the email opened and not trashed) is to get the recipient to your website. So use your most attractive products, and link directly to the store where they can simply click add to cart. The easier you make the buying process the faster their decision is on buying.
We love MailChimp and Campaign Monitor and depending on your business needs there are many out there that you can research.
Email Early & Frequently
Now is the right time to prepare your email sequence. Keep reminding potential customers that you have great offers this holiday season. Here is a list of days to capitalize on:
- Black Friday on November 28th 2014 – The day after Thanksgiving in the USA and falls on the Friday after the fourth Thursday in November. It is considered to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
- Cyber Monday on December 1st 2014 – A common online marketing term for the Monday following Black Friday with online sales lasting for 8 days! A big day for ecommerce store.
- Hanukkah on December 16th 2014 – Many people gift on this Jewish Holiday. Although mostly stemming from tradition and not religious belief it has become the norm to gift especially with the close timing of Christmas.
- Free shipping day on December 18th 2014 – This is a one-day, online-shopping event when thousands of ecommerce sites offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve. Checkout more about the initiative at http://www.freeshippingday.com/
- Christmas is of course December 25th 2014 – Making sure you deliver shipments prior to the 25th is a must!
- And let’s not forget the day after Christmas when everyone is expecting even bigger sales! Consider dropping prices on overstocked products then.
Take advantage of all these special days to get customers flocking to your ecommerce site to purchases. Start crafting those compelling emails right now and schedule them on your email mailer.
Be Clear On Shipping Dates & Fees
Shoppers usually turn online for last minute shopping. However, many are worried that their items may not reach their intended destination on time. Clearly state on your website how long shipping to various destinations will take. You can have special fees for customers that want expedited shipping. If you are offering free shipping, clearly indicate the products that qualify and the cut-off date for purchasing. Make sure you are also clear on your returns and refund policy, if this info is hard find you may loose out on sales.
When a customer buys from you, there are higher chances that he or she is likely to make another purchase. After an order has been made and you have shipped the product, send the buyer a coupon offering them a percentage off on their next purchase on select items. To make it even more compelling offer it for a limited time only. Studies show that customers who buy are likely to make repeat purchases if given an incentive, so go ahead and give back!
Use Social Media
If you are on Twitter, search for tweets about your product or brand and reply to them with a coupon code, or just a link to your site to check you out, even offer to help them find that perfect gift. On Facebook make sure you highlight your store and be clear that you sell on Facebook, and market out daily specials and news on your page. Consider a Facebook advertising campaign to capture new customers, and provide a “Facebook only” coupon for discounts at your store that you can track within Wazala. Don’t forget to utilize the built in social promoter in Wazala to spread your news on Facebook and Twitter. And lastely but definitely not least checkout Pinterest, it can be a great source of traffic given that you can pin your product photos on your account.
Add a special surprise to your shipment, like shipping every product with a hand-signed thank you card or a little accompanying gift. Giving back may not bring return sales immediately but can gain you loyal customers who can bring significant sales in subsequent years. Give back; after all tis the Season!
Think smart on what you can up-sell and what you can offer for free. Things like gift wrapping should be free and clearly stated, but you can offer special wrapping material for an added cost. You can also opt to include a nicely handwritten card with a message. These little attention to details is what will set you apart. Make sure to also be clear on the ability to ship directly as a gift, so buyers do not have to worry about delivering the gifts themselves. Customers will love you for making things easier for them, and this will mean more sales for you. Everyone wins in such a scenario.
With the holidays a couple of weeks from now, this is the right time to start preparing your marketing campaign. Get those newsletters written, have the homepage redesigned with some Christmas graphics, and start getting the word out about your offers. If you have not been communicating to your email list, this is the time to start warming them up for your offers.
Happy Holiday Sales Everyone!
Checkout more Holiday Ecommerce Tips here on our blog.