Believe it or not, the holiday season is upon us. If you haven’t already, you should be heavily thinking about how your ecommerce store can make the most of this busy shopping season. With more and more people shopping online each year, you have the potential to finish the year with a lot of success. In fact, the months of November and December report on average 30% more revenue from ecommerce purchases than all other non-holiday months.
The downside to ecommerce shopping is simply that there are so many options. Customers can easily get overwhelmed from all of the choices, and you don’t want to miss out and be passed over for another store. To avoid this, follow these five tips that are sure to increase your holiday sales (as well as your customer’s satisfaction!)
Be clear about your shipping dates
This first tip is a big one. People are not shopping for themselves this time of year (at least most of the time). Instead, they are busy shopping for friends and family. For some, they may be shipping gifts to family members they won’t see, or they are shipping to their home in order to host a family celebration. Either way, the gifts need to arrive on time! If people are unsure when their packages are going to arrive, they are likely to shop somewhere else. Be sure to post clear information on when a package will arrive, and if you reach a point where you cannot guarantee a package will be delivered by a certain date, such as Christmas Eve, you need to be up front about that.
This example from Nasty Gal shows clear deadlines about when people need to purchase items in order to get them by certain dates, such as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. They list dates by shipping method as well as whether the item is shipping within the United States, or if it is international. This is a great format to follow, and gives your customers confidence that they can purchase items from your store and have it when they need it.
Keep in mind that there will always be people who do their shopping last minute. For these individuals, it is in your best interest to offer expedited shipping. Just like the above example, list your dates for the latest a person can order online to have their items in time. This will also save you a bunch of time on answering customer service questions, freeing you up to spend time in other areas.
As we said earlier, people have plenty of options when it comes to shopping online. For this reason, you need to entice users to choose you instead of another company. There are plenty of ways you can go about this, and you should absolutely find an option that makes sense and is feasible for you. For example, you may offer a free gift with purchase, free shipping, or bonus rewards points if you run a rewards program. The incentive does not have to be huge, but it should be significant and meaningful enough to your customers.
Customers are spending a lot of money this time of year, so be sure to thank them for their business. This will benefit you in the long run as well, as incentives like this are likely to turn your customers into repeat customers. These customers tend to purchase more on average, and are likely to tell their friends and family about your business. Getting more business and free marketing: it’s a win win situation!
Create a gift guide
Help out your customers this holiday season by giving them ideas about what to purchase for their friends and family. A simple gift guide, like the above example from J. Crew, breaks down potential gifts into categories. Customers may not be aware of all of the products you have to offer, and this is a great way to inform them on what you have. If you do not have a large inventory of items, get creative and figure out who you think would love to receive your items as a gift. Consider creating blog posts highlighting certain items or certain people that your customers are shopping for.
Offer some great sales
This might sound obvious, but a great way to gain business is by offering a good sale. People are spending a lot of money this time of year, and they want to save money wherever they can. In particular, people do not like paying for shipping. Offering free shipping either on all orders, or on orders over a certain amount, is a great way to boost business. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 47% of people decide where to shop based on if they will get free shipping. If you are not able to offer free shipping, try to offer at least some other type of sale to help encourage users to purchase your items. Highlight how much money your customer saved when they are checking out- people love the satisfaction of saving money!
Create a content calendar
This final tip is not one that your customers will directly be aware of, but is sure to help you during the holiday season. You don’t need to be told how busy this time of year is, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Don’t let your marketing efforts suffer simply because you are running short on time and are preoccupied with other aspects of your business. Instead, create a specific content calendar for the holiday season and plan out exactly what you want to do.
On this calendar, decide which holidays you wish to focus on, plan out sales, blog posts, social media campaigns, email blasts, and anything else specific to this time of year. With this in place you can keep on track and not accidentally miss out on a holiday or forget to advertise your upcoming sale. With a solid plan you are sure to make the most of this holiday season and will surely see an increase in your sales.