Everyone feels festive during holidays. We open our wallets readily, eager to buy new clothes and household items. Retailers encourage this consumer readiness to spend by running holiday sales. The last quarter of the year is crucial for online retailers, with many consumers beginning their Christmas shopping in mid-October.
US shoppers spent $211 billion online in 2021 in the peak two month holiday season period, and this is slated to go up to $224 billion this year, according to Digital Commerce 360. Last minute shopping is still very common. A whopping 79% of shoppers completed all their shopping in the fortnight before Christmas in 2020. 44% only began shopping in the week before Christmas 2020 and this percentage rose to 62% in 2021.
So, it’s crucial that as an online retailer, you have your strategy in place well before the holiday season. Here are some ideas to boost lead engagement and conversion.
Use a Christmas concept to give a holiday flavour to your user experience design. Enterprise ecommerce platforms offer themes, so look for one that is seasonal. Colours associated with the festival, like red will give a festive look and touches like bells will put your visitors in the mood for shopping. Add a banner at the top with your holiday sale items to woo your visitors. Shoot product photos with a festive background.
Create landing pages with your Christmas deals and themes like ‘gifts for dad’ to attract visitors. Adding countdown timers will increase excitement and a sense of urgency. You can offer a Deal of the Day every day in the weeks before Christmas to encourage visitors to click and buy.
Welcome your customers with a Season’s Greetings that is personalized with their name. Use tools like Google Analytics to know which products your visitors searched for and how long they spent on different product pages. You can use these reports to show personalized recommendations to shoppers.
If your ecommerce customer experience is poor, more shoppers will abandon their carts. You can also get more complaints and negative reviews from irate visitors. 57% of shoppers abandon a website that doesn’t load within three seconds, says Radware research. So when you add holiday images and interactive elements to your site, make sure they don’t slow your site down.
Display your search field prominently to make it easy for shoppers to find what they want. Auto complete queries to save your vistors’ time. Enable shoppers to filter your search results for easy browsing. A sort by price option will also make it convenient for visitors to find items within their budget.
Provide guest checkout options, show thumbnails of products and progress indicators throughout the checkout process to increase holiday sales. Be transparent about costs like shipping and show total savings at checkout to make consumers feel they have got a good deal.
Download the Case Study to know the success story of a Luxury Retailer.
With 50%+ online sales coming from mobile devices, your ecommerce site needs to be highly mobile responsive. Make sure your website is mobile friendly by testing it with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Keep your content short and to the point for the mobile, in a format that’s easily readable. Use responsive website design so that your website looks consistent even on a small screen. Compress images to ensure your mobile site loads fast.
For a good mobile user experience design, adjust button and font sizes so that mobile visitors can tap and read easily. Resize popups for mobiles so that viewers don’t have to squint while reading them.
Ensure pages load fast so that viewers can access your pages even on a data connection. Enterprise ecommerce platforms perform faster, so if you’re on one, you have an edge. Enable mobile payment options like Google Pay, so that customers can check out fast without having to enter credit card information.
30% of holiday shoppers surveyed were likelier to trust a brand partnering with a trustworthy creator, according to a 2021 Meta survey. You can run an influencer affiliate campaign, giving each influencer a unique discount code so that you can track sales happening through clicks from their sites.
You can also sponsor giveaways using influencers. Partner with ten and compare results. Set rules like participants from their audience need to follow your brand, share the announcement post or comment on it. Invite influencers to take over your social media channels for a day, to get a larger audience.
You can even ask influencers to set a countdown to your holiday sale, with sneak peeks of hot deals. Give early access links to your sale to followers of influencers who sign up for your newsletter for an exciting ecommerce customer experience. You can curate influencer posts referencing you and share them in your newsletter.
Group a few related items together and offer them at a discount. For instance, you can offer wireless headphones and a Bluetooth speaker as a set. Sweeten the offer by throwing in a freebie. Offer each item in the bundle separately too, so that visitors can compare those prices with the bundle’s and see that they’re getting a genuine discount.
Look at items customers have purchased together earlier, to get ideas on which products to bundle. Perhaps a specific shirt complements a pant well. Also consider what customers will find useful when they buy an expensive item. Somebody getting a tablet will want a case for it.
Some items are used as sets, like towels or crockery, so they’re easy to bundle. When bundling, focus on items people like to gift. Ensure your bundles are not too big or highly priced. Give visitors the option of selecting color, size, etc. for items like clothes for a good ecommerce customer experience. Ensure you have sufficient inventory of all the items you’re bundling, otherwise if even one item is out of stock, the bundle will be unavailable.
Use limited time offers to increase sales without diluting your brand image. Run a ‘Deal of the Day’ or ‘Deal of the Hour’ to prompt visitors to act quickly. Add a countdown to when the deal ends to tell customers the time they have to place an order.
You can offer free shipping to visitors who order within the next 2 hours to nudge them to checkout. Or, you can offer free shipping to a limited number of customers, like the first 1000. Visitors will then be more motivated to place orders fast.
You can also announce that you have limited stock of a particular item to hint that the product is in high demand. This will play on shoppers’ Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) and lead to them taking immediate action.
Offer incentives to get shoppers to opt-in to your newsletters. Send card abandonment mails soon after leads drift away, to remind them of the product they wanted and encourage them to complete their purchase.
Personalize your emails and craft compelling subject lines to increase chances of customers opening and reading them. Many ecommerce website platforms integrate with email service providers, making it easy for you to mail your database. Automate your emails with free email marketing tools to reduce your workload.
Hubspot offers a free email marketing tool that you can use with its free CRM tool for best results. Another option is Mailchimp, which enables you to create eye-catching newsletters. You can also consider Sender, which lets you customize email templates.
Include text about the value customers will get when they opt-in to your web push notifications. For instance, you can say that customers will receive discount codes with their Christmas sales reminder.
Think about when you want to prompt customers to opt-in for holiday sales reminder alerts. You could nudge them if they view items on sale for longer than 5 seconds. If you take the effort to do this kind of personalization, your opt-in rates will increase significantly.
Include hero images in your web push notifications for a better user experience design. Send Deal of the Day notifications daily to customers. Customize these by targeting shoppers who visited a relevant product or category page on your website earlier.
Give a discount to customers who sign up for your loyalty program during holiday sales. This will motivate them to purchase again. Have a VIP tier with extra discounts, to give members a goal to work towards.
Send promotional emails to members of your loyalty program to remind them of discounts. Segment your customers and send offers. For instance, you could let VIP members in a day before everyone else in your sale.
Christmas holiday sales are a great time to mail dormant customers. A tempting offer could prod them in taking out their credit cards. Consider sending special discount codes valid for just a day, to get last minute shoppers to buy from you. Send promotional mails throughout the year, so that your customers don’t just think of you before the holidays. Use SEO and analytics services to monitor your performance and revise your mails if required.
The holidays are crucial for you as an online retailer, so make the most of them. Start working months in advance to personalize your website, improve navigation and optimize for mobile. Reach out early to influencers to partner with them. Plan your bundles, promotions and email marketing strategy. Work on your web push notifications and loyalty scheme to increase holiday sales. These tactics will help you get the customers you want, so execute them well. Good luck!
In decking up your website for the upcoming holiday sales season, Apexon can help create a demand-based, tailored and dynamic digital strategy that aligns with the KPIs and objectives. The team curates a tech architecture that bridges the gap between the bottom line and customer experience.