When you’re in eCommerce, the holiday season is about a lot more than finding the perfect gift for everyone on your shopping list or making sure the holiday turkey doesn’t turn out too dry. It’s also one of the busiest times of the year for you from a business standpoint. In fact, online sales are expected to account for over 10% of all holiday sales, a first for the eCommerce industry.
With more people shopping online during the holidays, online stores have the opportunity to see great returns on their marketing efforts. Make sure you’re primed and ready to see your profits soar this year by taking the following optimization tips into consideration.
1. Create urgency with a countdown.
Countdowns are already a holiday staple in a big way. Think about Advent calendars at Christmas time and end-of-year countdowns on New Year’s Eve. Work a countdown (either static or dynamic depending on your coding abilities) into your holiday emails, social posts, and even your homepage to build excitement.
Why are countdowns effective? No one likes to feel like they might be about to miss out on something amazing, and your customers are no exception. Limiting the amount of time they have to act on a special deal creates a sense of urgency and encourages people to finalize a purchase sooner rather than later.
2. Learn all you can from the previous year’s data.
One of the best ways to prepare for the holiday season when you’re in eCommerce is to look back at the data from the previous year. Which deals and discounts worked best? Which ones performed poorly? How much inventory did you move? Where did the bulk of your traffic come from last year? Use the answers to these questions and others like them to determine where and how you should focus your efforts this year.
3. Make sure you’re focusing enough effort on email marketing.
Email isn’t just a convenient way to keep in touch with your customers. It’s also one of the most effective ways to get the word out when it comes to all of your holiday deals, discounts, and sales. Get more out of your company’s approach to email by adding automated triggered emails to the mix.
Various kinds of triggered emails can boost revenue by reminding customers of abandoned cart items, rewarding them for continued loyalty, or commemorating customer-business relationship milestones. It’s also a good idea to update the copy and visuals of your existing triggered emails with holiday messaging to create a sense of urgency during the busy shopping season.
4. Use the holiday rush to build your subscriber list.
As touched on above, a responsive list of email subscribers is key when it comes to keeping sales on the rise. Make sure you’re taking advantage of increased holiday traffic when it comes to building your subscriber list.
Offer customers rewards or loyalty points if they register for an account on your site instead of simply checking out as a guest. Encourage them then to review your products, give you feedback on your site, or follow your company on social media.
5. Consider offering free shipping.
Did you know that given the choice, most shoppers would choose free shipping over a product discount worth $10? This is the case even if shipping only costs a few dollars, according to the Warton School of Business. Consider offering free shipping as part of your holiday plan for boosting revenue.
Drive sales by setting thresholds customers must reach before they qualify for free shipping. You can experiment a bit to see which thresholds are most effective for your business. The idea is to encourage the customer to increase their order value while still allowing them to feel like they’re getting a killer deal.
Many of the helpful solutions touched on above – like triggered email and data management – can be easily automated as well to help free up more of your limited time.
Looking for more holiday tips and tricks? Check out our Holiday Marketing Workshop for more resources!