One of the unique attributes of the festive season is it brings customers and businesses together. People love to shop, and businesses find it an opportune moment to increase their profit margins. In other words, festive season celebrations are a win-win proposition for both. With the holiday season about to kickstart, we bet you are searching for some quick tips to boost your online sales this festive season.
So how are you strategizing to increase your online sales? As an e-commerce business owner/manager, you need to make most of the holidays in terms of pushing up your profits. Although the season is most likely going to be the busiest time of the year for you, close attention to product offerings, customer service, and marketing techniques could make your sales rise sharply.
According to Adobe Analytics, in 2017, online shopping sales hit a record of $108.2 billion during the e-commerce holiday season, which was a 14.7% increase from the previous year. If you want to make merry of this boom and improve on your business performance, you must make your way through the noise and come up with unique strategies. It’s time to gain people’s attention and convert visitors into loyal customers.
Here are some effective tips to help you get started:
In recent years mobile e-commerce has grown at an unprecedented pace. Smartphones and tablets are the biggest shopping drivers, especially during the festive season. According to a report by Econsultancy, 62% of companies with a mobile-first website design see an increase in sales over companies with desktop-only websites. Therefore, to reach your maximum sales potential, your website should be mobile-friendly.
Your campaigns should also revolve around all the mobile devices that people will be using to access your online store. This means the adaptive design should be your topmost priority to ensure your website is visible as well as accessible through any device. You need to focus on developing an effective and safe mobile commerce platform. According to research by Marketing Charts, speed and seamless mobile experience fair on top of online shoppers’ expectations:
A seamless mobile experience will provide a frictionless and easy way for your tech-savvy prospects to make purchases. A good example of friction is unnecessary fields in the sign-in form that can interrupt conversions. Have you ever monitored how many shoppers abandon the checkout process because of poor mobile responsiveness?
If you haven’t updated your website yet, it’s the right time to make it mobile-friendly because it signifies you care about the experience you provide your customers with. It also helps to have a reliable web hosting so that the website loading time can be improved to facilitate easy access to your online store.
The holiday season is always brimming with celebrations and festive designs, and so should your online store-front. Creating festive themes could prove a shot in the arm in terms of increasing conversions and sales. This is the time to pay attention to unique webpage layouts/designs to make your store stand out. Just like you decorate your home during holidays, you also need to refurbish your digital presence.
Adding a holiday-themed background image to your shop is the easiest and most effective way to update your store for the holidays. By doing so, you not just spread the festive cheer, but also convey a message to your customers that your store is where they should be to shop for holidays. There are many ways to do that, for instance, putting holiday-themed social media profile pictures and cover photos or getting a custom logo especially designed for the upcoming festivities. You can easily create designs yourself on online platforms like Canva.
Take the following Christmas theme, for example. It can invariably spurt a festive emotion in your buyers:
Picking the right theme is crucial because it is the base of your entire festive season campaign. And adding a top banner to highlight holiday sale items is like icing on the cake.
To generate sales, you have to know your target audience and find ways to engage with them. Social media makes both these things possible, and thus, has become a goldmine for sprouting customer conversations. It also provides you with valuable insights by observing, compiling, and analyzing conversations about your brand, industry, and competitors.
In pure business terms, social media is a low hanging fruit – it’s cheap, easily accessible, and most importantly, extremely popular. It is by far the most successful connectivity tool. A mere like or share on social media can provide a good boost to a business’s brand reputation. What’s more, social shares have also known to influence the search engine ranking of your content.
The following graph indicates how social media plays its part in terms of increasing sales –
There are many popular social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter that have the best potential to reach your target audience. After creating pertinent themes, you can post about your products with a holiday theme in the backdrop.
As the season progresses, you can use social media to bolster your campaigns. For example, running festive season contests on social media channels can come handy to generate a buzz. You can also make it easy for customers to buy on your social channels. Buy buttons can play a vital role in making purchases. They reduce what’s normally a multi-step process to a single click. Finally, it’s about quality over quantity. You must keep posting relevant content that piques everyone’s interest – and establishes you as a trusted authority.
Cart abandonment is one of the topmost concerns of online retailers. Although every audience segment’s needs are different, when it comes to making a purchase, e-tailers have noticed similar patterns. This is probably because all customers encounter similar friction while making a purchase. According to data recorded by Statista,60% of consumers don’t complete a purchase due to extra costs; 37% don’t buy because they were just browsing; 36% found a better price after comparison-shopping; 25% left because the navigation was too complicated.
It is clear from these numbers that you can’t afford to get complacent unless someone has bought from you. How do you make sure a purchase is made?
To begin with, just make sure your shipping costs are transparent while the customer is browsing through your products. You must be sensible enough not to force customers to create an account because it makes the buying process longer. Instead, offer a guest checkout option. You can also bring back the users who abandoned their carts by sending festive sale offers on the items in their carts. For that, you have to be on your toes to retarget the visitors whenever possible.
The following points will further help you reduce your cart abandonment rates:
1) Strategically place your CTAs
2) Keep the cart visible
3) Make the checkout process as easy as possible
4) Show testimonials and security badges
5) Offer a variety of payment options
6) Offer free shipping
Pro Tip: Visitors not converting into buyers? Here’s what you can do about it.
Good customer service is one of the best tips to boost your online sales this festive season. It is of paramount importance for converting and retaining your customers, regardless of how busy you are during the festive season. Make your customers feel the holiday spirit by sending them personalized emails or letters, thanking them for their business. But that’s not all. There are other ways you can spruce up your customer service for the holiday season. For instance, make sure your orders are delivered on time. It is the top priority of festive season shoppers. Customers do not want to wait longer for receiving shipments because they purchase the products either for giving gifts or decorations. A timely and efficient delivery, therefore, is the key to a satisfied festive customer. You should utilize pre-season as a strategic time to overhaul your packing, shipping, and delivery systems.
The time leading up to holiday season shopping is just as crucial as the festive season itself. As a tactic of smart play, the more prepared you are, the smoother and profitable your sales drive will become. Start making your advertising efforts at least four to six weeks in advance. Use this time to optimize your strategies based on customers’ purchase behaviors. During this period, you can build your audience. Running various engagement campaigns will provide you a better opportunity to create more relevant audience segments. This is also the time when many people search early for holiday items and deals. It is, therefore, a good idea to incentivize your site visitors, both current customers, and prospects.
The first step toward customer acquisition is knowing who your customers (or target audience) are, and what problems they are facing. Once, you figure this out, it is easy to engage them and much easier to get under their skin (read addressing their concerns). Once, you are well aware of their wants and needs, customer acquisition takes an easy route.
The festive season is a great time to not only make quick bucks, but also cash on the opportunity to create a significant customer base as well as retain them. Today’s online shoppers are smart and careful and you must make genuine efforts to attract them. Learn your customers’ needs for this holiday and fill up your stock with relevant products. Follow these tips to boost your online sales this festive season and thank us later!
Smith Willas is a freelance writer, blogger, and digital media journalist. He has a management degree in Supply Chain & Operations Management and Marketing and boasts a wide-ranging background in digital media.
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