It’s that time of the year again when businesses thrive and customer’s open their hearts (and wallets). Countless studies show that as an ecommerce store, if there is ever going to be a time to get your act together and pull all the right stops then NOW is that time.
This article will give you five premium ideas on how to leverage the holiday season to take in more conversions and make a huge impression on your target audience. However, before we jump into that, here are some quick facts around WHY you should be thinking about optimizing your store and your marketing efforts for the holiday season:
▪ According to eMarketer, “retail ecommerce holiday sales in the US will rise about 15% again this year, matching last year’s gains. In total, US retail ecommerce sales for the holiday season—defined as November and December—are expected to reach $61.8 billion, up from $53.7 billion last year.” Yes, you read that number correct.
▪ eMarketer further predicts that purchases made via mobile devices will go up to 16% from last year’s 15%.
▪ According to Nielsen about 30% of shoppers will spend between $250 and $500 this season. Whereas, 20% will spend between $500 and $1000. Another 6% will spend even more than that.
▪ Nielsen also revealed that the most sought after items this year would be (1) gift cards, (2) tech products and (3) toys.
And here is a biggie…
▪ According to Deloitte, “For the first time, “Internet” ranks No. 1 on the list of venues respondents expect to shop.”
Now that we have determined that there is tremendous value in tapping into the holiday season spending madness, let’s get into those five most powerful things you can do to boost online sales.
First and foremost…
1. Create a strong & consistent holiday theme across your entire website, landing pages, blogs & social media channels
There is immense power in creating visual cues that give your customers the holiday feel when they visit your store, your blog, and your social media platforms. Try using holiday-themed banners, snowy menus, call-to-action buttons and even social media icons. The purpose of this is to tap into that holiday vibe which is synonymous with gift-giving (and spending!). You can find some adorable holiday-themed social media icons here http://c2c.bigfuel.com/fuel/holiday-social-media-icons and here http://iconfever.com/free-holiday-social-icon-set/ You should also update your Facebook shop layout to use the Christmas theme, this is relevant for the Coupon Pop as well. Log in to StoreYa now and update your settings to fit the Christmas spirit.
Quick note: Be sure to keep your theme visually consistent across your entire online presence.
2. Time to create a gift buying wizard
I personally am not a champ at gift buying. I always know how much I want to spend but I am just not good at deciding what to buy.
Why not create a gift buying wizard on your store to help your visitors out a bit? Allow them to punch in variables such as price range, gender, age, interests, and occasion etc and then provide them with a dynamic listing of all the appropriate gift items available on your store.
3. Create offers around wishlists
This is a good one. I hope your store has the ability to allow visitors to add items to their wishlist and then comeback and make the purchase later. With wishlists you can create holiday-season-driven offers for items that your customers have wishlisted. Here are some ideas on how you can do that:
✓ Offer a percentage of discount on all items wishlisted. You can even advertise this on your site by saying something to the effect of “add items to your wishlist and receive offers and discounts throughout the holiday season.”
✓ Allow visitors to share their wishlists with their friends so they know what to get them as gifts. Allow them to do this via email or social media with as few clicks as possible
✓ Ask visitors to purchase their wishlisted items with X number of days in order to avail deeper discounts or free shipping. Another idea is to reduce the discount by X percent with each passing day. A bit of urgency never hurts, right?
If you need help implementing these features on your ecommerce site check out Tweaky.com where you can hire a developer to improve your website from just $39.
4. Leverage the ever-growing power of mobile-based coupons
We have already seen the numbers in terms of how purchases made via mobile are growing and that’s exactly why its time to optimize your site for it too. Around 88% of mobile shoppers report a bad experience (according to Skava) and if you can manage to be among that 12%, there is a more than likely chance of repeat business and the word-of-mouth effect kicking in. Here are some reasons that discourage customers from making their purchases via mobile:
✓ The small screen doesn’t allow them to view the product pictures satisfactorily. You can improve in this department by looking for ways to make images clearer and more visible across all standard mobiles. Maybe a one-click “fit-image-to-screen” functionality will go a long way.
✓ Customer’s usually revert to cross-checking pricing and delivery lead times on their mobile phones while they are physically present in a brick and mortar store. Make sure your delivery lead times and special offers are clearly visible.
✓ Customers who are checking price and delivery options on your online store while they are present in a physical store will almost always use the in-site search function. Make sure your in-site search is prominent enough.
… and last but not least…
5. Let your customers personalize their gifts
Think beyond just buying and delivering gifts. Let your customers personalize their gifts to make them more memorable and cherishable. Let them add a personal note or a picture. Give them the option to choose their gift paper and choice of accenting on the wrapping.
The holiday season is all about being prepared but it does take a fair amount of planning to set your store up for holiday season success. These 5 ideas will set you on the right path, however, there are tons of other ideas you can implement to increase conversions and engagement.
Eyal is the co-founder of StoreYa and a leader in social commerce. He has extensive experience in online marketing and project management. He is passionate about building amazing products that will grow your business!
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