After the pandemic related restrictions of 2020, online sales have boomed – and have continued to grow through 2021. With consumers having been actively encouraged to shop online (rather than in-store), readying your Ecommerce store for the holiday period is critical if you are serious about maximising revenue. So where do you start?
Make holiday shipping schedules clear
There is a high chance that, during the holidays, your website traffic will include people who are unfamiliar with your brand. Ensure both visitors new and old have full awareness of your shipping deadlines and last order dates. It is really important that your customers are clear about this so their expectations are managed and they can be confident of knowing when they will receive the packages they have paid for, before the holidays.
We recommend including all relevant shipping information across multiple pages within your website at this time; general shipping lead times, international shipping policies, days/hours left to qualify for overnight or two-day shipping etc. The holiday season can be very stressful so by being fully transparent, you can ensure that you are able to avoid any unnecessary frustration on either side.
Offer Electronic Gift Cards
Whether you’re a small scale online store or a fully fledged Ecommerce operation, offering electronic gift cards is a great holiday marketing strategy which will cater for last minute shoppers. If they see that the shipping cut-off date has already passed, an instantly downloadable online gift card might just be the alternative they are looking for. This may guarantee their business stays with you (in spite of any shipping limitations) and they may just recall your brand at a later date, when they’re on a similar gifting mission, too.
But electronic gift cards are not just for Christmas….it’s a good idea to offer both physical and virtual gift cards or vouchers throughout the year too. And the bonuns of virtual gift cards? They don’t require shipping and will arrive in a recipient’s inbox within minutes of ordering.
The checkout process is probably the most crucial part of your Ecommerce business. If the checkout process is clumsy, the chances of your customer/s abandoning the shopping cart are increased. As an example, the travel sector has one of the highest abandonment rates of any Ecommerce vertical, at almost 85%
With the inclusion of a guest checkout option, the user can make a purchase without the long-windedness of undertaking a full registration process. You are much more likely to get your customers to commit to buy (and return to buy) if the purchase process is efficient.
Create your own festive theme
Creating attractive festive themes can correlate with increasing conversions and sales as it shows potential customers that you are dedicated to maintaining and promoting your website design – and you are keeping your website updated and relevant. Adding a holiday-themed background image or festive banner is the easiest and most effective way to keep your store looking great ahead of the holidays.
Why social media matters
One of the biggest reasons for social media marketing is customer engagement.
Send creative ‘cart abandonment’ emails
Over 88% of shopping carts are abandoned, across all sales categories, during the holiday season. This number can be higher as consumers are more committed to chasing down the best deal at this time of year.
Get back on your customers’ shopping radar by sending a quick email reminder when they have failed to complete their purchase. Why not also consider adding a small discount on the products they have left behind or offering a coupon code for their second order within your reminder emails?
According to Adobe Digital Holiday Recap 2019, consumers spent over $50 billion via mobile devices during the 2019 holiday season. $2.9 billion of mobile commerce sales were made over the Black Friday period. This trend is likely to grow so make sure you deliver the best mobile experience for your customers. We’ve included some handy tips below in relation to this:
- Run a Google Mobile-Friendly test and make the suggested optimisations.
- Remove pop-ups and sidebars for mobile users as they add friction.
- Add support for Apple Pay, Google Pay & PayPal to speed up checkout.
- Improve your website speeds to ensure optimal running time on mobile devices.
Use your existing mailing lists to ensure your subscribers are fully aware of any offers and discounts you will be running across the holiday season. Email marketing is still a primary method of increasing sales and profits within your Ecommerce store. Make sure your emails are personalised and stand out in the best way possible during the holiday season. It’s a good idea to include offers and discounts which are exclusive to those already signed up to your mailing list – and that both new and old subscribers are aware that by signing up, they alone qualify for these. It is important that your customers are aware that they are being taken care of in this way. This will help you to grow your subscriber list now and in the future.
The holiday season is the busiest and most profitable time of the year for many Ecommerce businesses. Rather than leaving it too late, we strongly recommend implementing a marketing strategy well in advance (and at least several months ahead). This should incorporate website design, functionality and consideration of the products and services you would like to promote.
If you would like support in improving the design, development or marketing of your Ecommerce website, or any aspect of your website’s experience,The Digital Studios can help.