The dust has settled; it’s now time to review what we did, what we missed, and what we could have done last holiday shopping season!
The holiday season is a big celebration for the whole world. Shopping during this time is very extensive as this season is known for giving gifts. That is why it is essential for a business to gear up for a marketing campaign that will attract customers to buy from your shop.
Here is a run-down of 15 lessons of holiday’s past that you can incorporate in your 2017 game plan!
- Get into the holiday cheer with your web design.
Decorate your e-commerce with all things for the New Year. Party poppers, fireworks, 2017 typography; you have it all. Amazon’s simple typography can get customers into the year-end, new year sale spirit. On every holiday, don’t forget to join in the festivities!
- Prepare holiday coupons
Shoppers love coupons. Coupons alone give them a feel that whatever they buy, they will get more than what they are paying for. Strategize how your coupons will work and your will still get a lot of profit even if you are not selling at full price. Again, this is another opportunity to get email sign-ups. Here’s a cool email from Milled during their Valentines promo. Optimizely has a great list on how to increase newsletter subscriptions, so check out their list and get ready to fill up your subscription list!
- Offer gift cards.
When shoppers don’t know what to buy as gifts, gift cards are the best alternative. This is also a safe choice because one might mistakenly give a gift that the recipient already has. It is a wise idea to give your loved ones the freedom to choose what they really want for that last minute shopping in 2016. So offer gift cards and let your customers know that.
- Check your product inventory.
Don’t go to war if you have not prepared for it. Ensure that your supplies are ready to meet the high demands during the season. From last year, you already have an idea which among your products sold the highest, so get more of that. You would not want to tell your customers that you don’t have any stock anymore. That would lead not only to lost transactions but possibly a lost customer as well.
- Upsell subtly.
Upselling may get your more sales but it can be annoying if you do it conspicuously. If you must upsell, please do it subtly as not to ward off customers.
- Confirm shipping dates and capabilities.
Plan your shipping schedules well. When you make a promise to ship by this date, ensure that you will do as promised. You would not want to disappoint your customers by delivering late. Better to provide a longer shipment date and arrive earlier than the opposite. According to Shopify’s Shipping and Fulfillment 101, a definite shipping strategy and packaging can help foster repeat business and even help acquire new customers through powerful word-of-mouth marketing. It’s easier to retain customers rather than getting new customers online.
- Optimize for speed
With the downpour of online shoppers, your site may become slow. Optimize your site so that despite the heavy traffic, your site will run seamlessly. Mobile commerce has been on the rise, with statistics evidently pointing that mobile ecommerce is gaining popularity. If your website loads slow on a desktop, or a mobile phone, chances are you’re still losing customers even in 2017. You can use this guide to speed up a WordPress website, but you might want to check it out with Google’s new Mobile Friendly Test tool to get a bird’s eye view of the problem.
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- Encourage past customers to buy again through email marketing.
Email marketing can work to ask your customers to make another purchase. You can give them special rewards such as discounts for making a second purchase and even more rewards for more purchases. How about free shipping for your loyal customers? 93% of Online Shoppers say free shipping is often the final push to get them to make a purchase. Entice them to buy again!
- Holiday packaging for extra UX points.
Online shoppers don’t get to have a feel of online stores. In order to counter this, consider providing a special packaging for your products so that when the customers receive them, they will have a certain tangible experience with your otherwise intangible store. And since it’s the holidays, consider coming up with a festive design for your packaging.
- Don’t forget to backup everything.
It’s always best to prepare for the worst. Should your site go down because of unforeseen circumstances, you could continue your business with your backup. This should be done not only around the holidays but all year round. It is just extra important to do so around the holiday because you wouldn’t want to let off the sales opportunity during this time.
- Offer wrapping options.
Your customers would appreciate it if you would provide wrapping options for their purchases. You can charge a little for it, but if you could provide it for free, your customers would greatly appreciate it. You can subtly put your mark on the gift wrap, or the gift tag, but just remember to don’t overdo it.
- Optimize bestsellers for the holidays.
Highlight your bestsellers so that you can make even more sales for it. Also, ensure that you have lots of it available on your stockroom so that all your orders for it will be accommodated. The time between Christmas and New Year is the time when people look for deals for another chance to buy gifts for their loved ones, or for people they forgot to give gifts during the 25th.
- Create Holiday categories
Give a touch of the Holidays to your categories. For example, instead of “Men” change it to “Gifts for Men”. This will further give a holiday feel to your site. “New Year, New You.” This is everyone’s mantra as 2017 approaches. If you’ll check Nielsen’s 2015 New Year’s Resolution list, you can start creating categories for fitness, saving options, hobby and crafts, fashion, and traveling.
This Valentines, how about giving your favorite girl some of her best makeup choices? Do you have someone graduating this March? He will surely appreciate a new bean bag or duffel bag as he goes off to college! Mark holidays on your calendar and create gift options for every occasion.
- Be the customer service star
Aside from high-quality products, customers are looking for great service from you. You should provide for a 24/7 customer service team that would gladly assist your customers with their inquiries and concerns from even after sales have been made.
- There’s always time for A/B Testing
Customers’ taste always change. What works now might not work well tomorrow. That is why A/B Testing is essential – to know what will work best for now. With much more customers last year, use their data as there’s much more reason to find the best version of your site.
This New Year is indeed a good opportunity for online stores, especially that nowadays, online sales are beating in-store sales. This is all the more reason why you should step up your marketing campaign and not get yourself beaten by all your competitors – and there are lots of them out there.
Follow our tips above and you will be able to make your online shopping campaign more effective so that you can make the most out of the online shopping bonanza in 2017.
By Alexis Trinidad