How to increase your sales during Online Holiday shopping 2014 – Part 1
National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts, the Holidays 2014 sales to exceed $617 billion and eMarketer predicts the eCommerce sales to reach $72.41 billion in the US alone. These figures are the biggest ever in the history of holiday sales. Being an aspiring retailer you should be eager to gain a major chunk of that opportunity. The following points cover some must follow tips that will help you increase your sales and reap some serious profit this holiday season.
1. Holiday Theme
Your customers should experience the fun, the colours and the overall holiday mood when they enter your store. They should feel that the mood they feel in your store is what they need in their homes this season. To create this experience, customize your entire website, mailers, etc. in a holiday theme. Create an exclusive section which contains attractive holiday goods and seasonal offers and provides easy access to it. Give your users options to select holiday-themed gift wrappers and if possible provide a personalised greeting card inside every package.
2. Gift cards
Holidays and gifts go hand-in-hand. Give your customers an option in your e-commerce platform to purchase gift cards for their dear ones. Provide facilities that allow customers to easily mail their gift cards in physical or digital form. Use banners on your site to provide easy access to the gift cards section.
3. Discount coupons
Induce your customers to purchase from your site by sending them complimentary discount coupons as a gift. Tempt users by creating offers on most purchased products during holidays. Creatively configure offers by bundling multiple products so that you can encourage customers to purchase more. Discount coupons are a great way to attract customers but they can also backfire on you if the discounted products run out of stock. So stock up on products with offers and have a backup source with the help of your suppliers.
Cross-sell products by proving logical and tempting recommendations on and off your e-commerce platform. You may send emails recommending products based on customers’ previous purchases which will persuade them to purchase from your site.
5. Loyalty programs
Increase shopping cart size using loyalty programs. Provide offers that entice customers to earn and redeem loyalty points by shopping with you. Make sure you use this opportunity to create offers that will make customers return even after the holidays.
Emails have always been the best medium to bring traffic to the site. Use themed emails to send product recommendations based on holiday shopping trends or customers’ wishlist. Personalise the email content based on the consumer data available to you and make your customers feel special. Use your previous experience to understand the best time to send these emails to ensure maximum open rates and conversions.
7. Paid campaigns
Make use of Google Trends and the Adword tool to analyse and use keywords that are valid for holiday sales. It would be best if you could avoid the most competitive product segments and target on less competitive but more profitable niche segments. Please note that along with optimising PPC campaigns, it is also necessary to optimise your landing page to match the campaign.
You may also entice comparison shoppers by providing brief details about the deals you are providing in your text PPC ads. Use compelling retargeting ads to get back your lost sales as it has a better chance of conversion.
8. Content Marketing
Publish keyword focused articles through channels that will reach your customers. It will also be wise to partner with a PR firm to issue a press release. Press releases have higher conversion rates. If you find it difficult to distribute your articles, use content distribution platforms like Taboola which will help increase the reach of your content for a price.
9. Social Media
Theme your social media sites to match the holiday festivities. Engage with your audience using attractive campaigns which will help generate user developed contents. E.g. ask your audience to submit the images of products that they wish to purchase this holiday’s season and provide a prize for the most exquisite collection. A campaign like this will not only engage your audience but also will help you understand the market trend.
Send persuasive push notifications that tempt users to visit your store and use your app. Once they use your app, make sure your banners are ready with attractive offers and convenient shopping options. Create an easily accessible page exclusively for holiday shopping and provide a dedicated button or a call to action banner for the same.
Please read Part 2 of this blog to know more about the system aspects you have to consider in order to increase the efficiency of sales conversion cycle.