The Christmas shopping season is officially here, and with it, billions of sales beginning to trickle in. What most eCommerce trend analysts can agree on, is that this is going to be a bumper season for online stores.
According to The Mirror, the UK is expected to kick off its gross holiday spend with £3 billion over Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend — an estimated 200 million more over 2015 spend. In January of this year, a survey revealed that 18% of UK shoppers admitted to doing more online shopping than they had set out and planned to do, and 2016 is not going to be any different.
Meanwhile, in the US, PWC‘s holiday outlook states that digital sales are said to rise by 25% over the Christmas holiday season. With Deloitte’s 2016 Holiday Retail Survey adding its predictions that digital sales are poised to make holiday shopping history, with more shoppers said to shop online for their gifts than the previous year.
They went on further by forecasting a 19% increase in eCommerce sales, reaching up to $98 billion between November 2016 and January 2017. So what will all these online shoppers be spending their money on?
According to Deloitte’s survey, clothing is the number one bought item, followed by giftcards, electronics and books. The increase in popularity of gift cards is great news for niche online stores. Why? Because gift cards are bound to help convert those last minute Christmas shopping sales across all store categories, allowing you to turn any of your products into a gift in the mind of your online traffic, no matter your niche.
Last year, according to Custora, email attracted the bulk of eCommerce orders throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday, setting the tone for Christmas shopping. Second was organic search and then CPC, a close second. This means you should be making email marketing your number one tool this holiday season to get noticed by online shoppers. But how do you win them over?
The first step in winning online shoppers over is to identify the different types of online Christmas shoppers there are. Here are the three main types of online shoppers expected this season and what you can do as a store owner to win Christmas shoppers and convert that traffic to sales.
The Well-Planned Type
This online shopper is dedicated, serious and well-planned. It is true that these kinds of shoppers take the longest time to convert, as they are less swayed by gimmicks or flash deals as they explore every option. However, they are also the most likely to become loyal customers.
A strategic way to win over these shoppers is through your Google AdWords campaigns. These types of shoppers are more likely to go onto Google and search for exactly what they want, which means that by promoting your store through PPC, you will help get the well-planned shopper to your online store.
In addition to creating marketing campaigns designed to help them explore and compare their options, is to use loyalty offers. Keeping these loyal shoppers happy, is a sure way to convert sales, especially for those who have already shopped with you before. Pre-Christmas VIP/special offers for loyal customers will entice these shoppers back to your store this Christmas and throughout the year.
The Haven’t-Decided Type
This type of shopper has a rough idea of the types of gifts they want to buy and are either still locking down specific products, exploring additional ideas or waiting for great deals before they commit. To win this shopper over, you will need to present your products in a clear way — highlighting the benefits, the price, and the features — to help them make a quick decision.
Retargeting strategies are ideal for this kind of shopper. Retargeting banner ads are a form of online marketing that is served to people who have already visited your site — or who are a contact in your database. You know all those sites that inform you that they are using cookies? Well this is pixel-based retargeting.
Retargeting offers a great way to target the ‘haven’t deciders’, as you can offer clear, concise messaging relaying your Christmas shopping deals to shoppers who have at least popped by your store once and therefore will be more inclined to decide on the spot.
Facebook is a perfect platform for retargeting as it is an audience-based channel, ideal for finding new customers based on who they are, and then retargeting them.
The Only-Checking Type
This type of shopper is me to a T: someone who doesn’t shop often and wants to get it over as quickly as possible. The type of shopper who is browsing for ideas because they just don’t know what they want to buy.
To win over this type of shopper you will need to be a little more engaging and creative by offering ideas. This can be done through your content planning with blogs like “ten gifts mom will love,” and by using cross-selling or upselling strategies. Cross-selling is where you aim marketing at existing customers to sell a different product and upselling involves getting them to buy more during the sales funnel.
Because this shopper is browsing for ideas and just doesn’t know what they want to buy, cross-selling and upselling works as it gives them ideas. Cross-selling — offering products from a brand they already know and trust. And upselling — adding things – gift additions – that the person hadn’t thought of yet.
Amazon is no stranger to cross-selling, a technique that has proven conversion results.
Email marketing is also a great cross-selling tool, allowing you to send a newsletter to existing buyers about new Christmas deals and products to hook those who are undecided as well as for people who want to make shopping easy with a low cost tool.
Check out our How to Use Upselling to Make Your Customers Happy post for tips on how to choose which products to upsell and when, as well as a list of upsell, eCommerce tools you can implement today!
The bottom line is this: you can expect a lot more traffic this year and with the right product positioning and marketing, there is no reason why you can’t win shoppers over and convert those Christmas sales.
Got questions? Post them in the comments below.
Nicole is a content writer at StoreYa with over sixteen years experience and flair for storytelling. She runs on a healthy dose of caffeine and enthusiasm. When she's not researching the next content trend or creating informative small business content, she's an avid beachgoer, coffee shop junkie and hangs out on LinkedIn.
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