13 Tips for Getting the Most from the Holiday eCommerce Sale Season
The holiday season is almost upon us, a time when most online businesses launch promotions that can represent a big share of their yearly bottom line. But too often, these same businesses fail to prepare for the unique challenges and opportunities offered by holiday eCommerce sales.
These 13 simple tips can help you avoid that mistake.
13 Holiday eCommerce Tips
1. Make your holiday eCommerce sale the focus of your website. Modify your site design to a holiday theme for a few weeks to put your promotion front and center. And don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be a full redesign. You can simply overhaul your homepage—and any landing pages where you send pay-for-click (PPC) traffic—or add a new splash page. If you’re looking for pointers, Shopify has some great tips.
2. Add a website overlay. Though some critics love to hate them, promotional overlays can work like gangbusters when it comes to converting website visitors into paying customers. According to the results of an online marketing test conducted by Derek Gehl (as reported at Entrepreneur), overlay messaging can increase sales by a whopping 162 percent.
But there’s definitely a right and wrong way to implement overlay messaging. Try not to use it on the first page a visitor sees; instead, introduce it to visitors as they navigate to a secondary page. And make sure to offer something of value, too, such as a promo code tied into your holiday eCommerce sale.
3. Double-check your mobile optimization. The holiday eCommerce season is particularly mobile-focused, with Americans scanning their phone for sales while they watch football or holiday movies with the family. In fact, mobile shopping represented more than half of all eCommerce traffic for the first time during the 2018 holiday season, according to Adobe Analytics (via Business Insider).
As such, any site that isn’t fully optimized of the mobile experience isn’t likely to get the best possible results. Even if your design team assures you that your site is fully mobile responsive, it’s worth your while to double-check it well in advance of your holiday eCommerce sale.
4. Double-check your site’s bandwidth. The last thing you want is a website crash or a failure of your shopping cart during a time when you’re trying to attract as many visitors as possible. Double-check with your web service provider to ensure the IT servers that house your site can accommodate spikes in traffic.
Pro Tips: Be Ready byOptimizing Your Site’s Performance with IT Outsourcing Services
5. Focus on gift-giving. Many of the folks who browse your site during the holiday season are looking to make purchases for others, not themselves. With this in mind, we recommend integrating key gift-giving add-ons, such as gift-wrapping services and the option to purchase gift cards. And by charging a small fee for these add-ons, you’ll give yourself the gift of highly profitable upselling.
6. Emphasize shipping speed and convenience. Shipping is another major priority for holiday shoppers. Will it come in time? Or will it cost so much that the promotion itself loses its appeal? Making a point of addressing these kinds of questions immediately and clearly will go far toward winning over fickle holiday shoppers.
And if you can throw in free shipping too, you’re likely to see even more conversions. According to Wharton marketing professor David Bell, “a free shipping offer that saves a customer $6.99 is more appealing to many than a discount that cuts the purchase price by $10.”
“Free shipping offer that saves a customer $6.99 is more appealing to many than a discount that cuts the purchase price by $10.” Click To Tweet
7. Make returns as easy as possible. Returns are second perhaps only to shipping on the minds of most holiday shoppers. Adding an easy-return option to your holiday eCommerce sale—and then communicating that very prominently in your promotional materials—could win over a lot of shoppers.
8. Get the word out on email, blogs and social media. A key part of the success of your holiday eCommerce sale is letting people know about it. Make a point of creating an email marketing campaign to let everyone on your list know about it well in advance. And the more you talk about it on social media and any blogs you publish, the better.
9. Be ready for the holiday customer service spike. Heightened sales activity brings with it a rise in customer service outreach, so be ready. For businesses that choose to handle their customer service on an in-house basis, this could mean employing extra agents to handle inquiries, as well as setting up dedicated voice, email or social channels to offer additional support.
For businesses that use an on-demand contact center service, this is a simple matter of letting them know about your plans for a holiday season promotion well in advance. They’ll make sure you’re ready to scale up to meet any spikes in utilization.
10. Get to know your audience, ASAP. If you haven’t already, it’s time to take a closer look at your analytical data to discover as much as you can about your customers. Where do they live? What age group is most represented? What time of day do they visit your site? The better you understand this information, the better chance you’ll have to entice people to come to your site and make a purchase.
11. Personalize your communications. Once you’ve got a clearer understanding of your customer demographics, you’ll be better positioned to personalize your messaging. To put it simply, personalization works: One customer experience survey shows that 49 percent of shoppers say they’ve made a purchase they hadn’t planned to make after receiving a customized recommendation.
“49 percent of shoppers say they’ve made a purchase they hadn’t planned to make after receiving a customized recommendation.” Click To Tweet
12. Emphasize urgency. In your marketing, on your website, and everywhere else you’re speaking to customers, be sure to make it clear that your sale is valid for a limited time only. Temporary discounts, clearance sales and free shipping for a brief window of time can all be powerful motivators when you’re trying to get people to make immediate decisions rather than simply adding you to their wish list.
Call it the fear of missing out (FOMO), but urgency works. And the better you can communicate the limited basis of your holiday eCommerce sale, the more likely it’ll be to succeed. The first step is a big, bold headline on your home page—and then following that up with enticing language that emphasizes its limited nature. A countdown timer is another tried-and-true method that often gets results.
13. Keep track of your success rate for next year. One of the most effective ways to boost your holiday eCommerce sale is to keep track of what does and doesn’t work this year, so you can leverage that knowledge to improve your approach next year. “After all these years on the internet, you just never know what strategy or angle is going to work best for you… until you test it,” writes Gehl.
We Can Help You Meet Your Holiday eCommerce Sale Goals.
Need some help putting these holiday eCommerce sales tips in action? Working Solutions is the smart choice to help you get the most from the holiday eCommerce sale season—with more than 20 years of experience assisting a wide variety of businesses implement superior customer care, technology, security and back-office infrastructure solutions.
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