Fire up your cylinders! The holiday season is almost here, and it is expected to be bigger than ever. The National Retail Federation has announced that holiday retail sales is expected to increase between 4.3 and 4.8% over 2017 and will amount from $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion.
So, are you up for the challenge? Undoubtedly, spreading holiday cheer is fun and all, but attracting and getting customer’s attention during the holidays is a lot of hard work. Essentially, this means fighting with other business discounts, promos, giveaways and a lot more.
The best way to cut through the noise and capture all the attention is to stand unique. You also need to have a hold of your target market’s likes and dislikes, and additionally, you need to know how your customers are interacting online? What hashtags are making it big?
Here are a few tips that will help you blow your trumpet by boosting your online sales this holiday season.
Decorate Your Website
Just as you would decorate your home and brick-and-mortar store ahead of a festival, it is the right time to decorate your digital business as well.
Firstly, it spreads the right vibes and lets your customers know that you are all decked up for the holiday season. This inspires them to check out your awesome online collection and helps you win their attention really quick.
Secondly, it gives you a chance to re-analyze your website and work on the navigation and user-experience a bit more. Do not forget that a well-designed website is more likely to convert visitors over an ill-designed one.
- Add a countdown timer indicating the time left for them to grab the best deals.
- Allow customers to wish-list the products, thus even when they plan to buy a certain product in the near future, they should be able to find it.
- Revamp your website keeping the festive mood in mind.
- Get a custom logo for the holidays by making use of lights, snow, and the likes.
Stick to the Basics
Marketing is all about establishing a connection with your customers and connecting with them emotionally. One of the best ways to do this is by sticking to the basics.
Sending greetings to your customers is a great way to let them know that you are thinking of them this holiday season, and we are sure, they would not be able to stop themselves from visiting your website.
- This holiday season, revive your relations with your customers and send them a handwritten holiday card by regular mail.
Provide a Seamless Mobile Experience
58.9% or 1.4 trillion of e-commerce sales is expected to happen on mobile this year. This pretty much explains why providing seamless mobile e-commerce is no more an option now, but a necessity.
The millennial generation looks for a frictionless and smooth mobile shopping experience. Thus, it is necessary to integrate m-commerce with your e-commerce strategy.
- Have a responsive website.
- Also, make sure that you provide seamless cross-channel interaction such that if a user visited a certain product on the mobile app or mobile website, your desktop website should be able to show those products under ‘recently visited section’ and vice versa and so forth.
- Focus on speed optimization of your website. Aim to have a Google PageSpeed score of at least 85.
Get the Discounts Rolling
One of the best ways to make the most out of your holiday season is to offer lucrative discounts and offers.
- Offer attractive discounts.
- Give your customers an additional discount if they shop for a certain amount, this would encourage them to shop more.
- Offer personalized suggestions at discounted prices based on their past purchase history.
- Provide free-gift wrapping.
- Design special ‘combo offers’ at the checkout stage which would encourage shoppers to buy an add-on product.
Review Your Return Policy
Now, that you are preparing for the holiday season, it is the right time to review your return policy, make it easy to understand and easy to locate as well.
You might find this a bit useless, but 66% of online shoppers revealed that they look at ‘return policy’ of a website before making a purchase.
- Place a link of your return policy on the footer of your website.
- You might also want to talk about its major points in the FAQ page.
- Highlighting the important aspects like ‘30-day returns’ on the home page of your website will help you in establishing trust.
- Don’t force your customers to use returns only as store credits, but offer them the refunded amount directly in their bank accounts.
Use Email Campaigns
Encourage people to visit your website with effective email marketing. Let them know that you have got discounts raining and an amazing collection, and this is the right time to catch all the action.
- Make sure that your emails are personalized.
- Segment your subscribers based on their browsing history, purchase history, interests and so on.
- Make the right use of imagery and videos to spruce-up your emails.
Fast and Free Shipping
Probably, one advantage that all brick-and-mortar stores enjoy over the online stores is the instant gratification. And this is one reason that encourages people to shop from brick-and-mortar stores.
A survey revealed that 79% of shoppers rank instant ownership as the one reason why they prefer shopping at physical stores.
- Offer quick delivery, probably the same-day delivery if you are a local store.
- You can also roll-out free shipping offers from time to time to encourage people to shop.
Do Not Let the Cart Abandonments Slide
Shopping cart abandonments are a clear indication of something going wrong at the last moment. Your products resonated with your potential buyers, but then something stopped them from making a purchase.
- Analyze your checkout process and see if it is time-consuming or confusing.
- Check if it is the shipping costs which is discouraging most of your customers.
- Send a follow-up mail to your potential buyers, something like ‘Your products in the cart are selling out fast!’
- Offer a personalized coupon code to your customers to encourage them to finish their purchases.
- Conducting a quick survey and asking your potential customers about shopping cart abandonment could also help you in getting enough insights.
Kickstart a Referral Program
If you have been planning to thank your customers for some time now, but never got a perfect opportunity so far, now is the right time. Create double-sided referral programs and thank your loyal customers for spreading the word while also thanking the new customers for trying out your products.
- Incentivize your referral program and encourage your customers to spread the good word about your business. You could use a Zapier account or an online form such as Typeform or Wufoo.
Reward Your Most Loyal Customers with Gift Card
Express your appreciation towards the most loyal customers this Christmas. Tell them that you have some special offers for them.
- Provide your loyal customers with a gift card. This will make them feel special and they will surely stick to your platform.
- Furthermore, for the convenience of the customers ensure that you do not have too many terms and conditions attached to your gift cards as it might simply repel the customers.
Incorporate Discovery Shopping
It is highly recommended to use discovery shopping as a part of your holiday sales strategy. More often than not, customers are not exactly aware of their needs and wants and are looking for inspiration. This is where you can bridge the gap by helping them in discovering great products.
- Publish articles and videos featuring the best products in different categories
- Creating content like best gifts under $50, or best Diwali gifts for your mother-in-law can come to your rescue. However, make sure that you do not sound too salesy, thus adopting a subtler sales approach is important.
- If you are a home décor store, producing content like Christmas day decorations on a budget will provide required information to the users, and would also persuade them to make a purchase without making you sound like a salesman.
Undoubtedly, this might sound a bit cliché but is this is what is important above everything. It is important to keep trying until you succeed. Once you have that approach, there is nothing that can stop you – mark our words!