Record-breaking sales, mind-blowing revenues, and highest ever purchase rate per minute, makes this holiday season the most lucrative time for ecommerce businesses across the world.
With this surge in ecommerce transactions, it is quite clear that people now prefer online shopping over standing long hours in store aisles. Nothing is a better proof of this fact than this year’s Cyber Monday Sales. For example, Walmart had the highest ever online sales in a day. And it wasn’t just limited to Walmart as online sales reached a total of $2 billion dollars in the US alone.
Long story short, we are all set to have the busiest, most gratifying holiday sales season ever in the history of ecommerce where US consumers are expected to spend more than $750 billion on Christmas gifts.
If you are an ecommerce retailer who hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon as yet, you shouldn’t waste a single second of this shopping frenzy. Just set off your Christmas marketing campaign and rake in the profits as fast as you can!
For your convenience, we have created this quick and helpful 10-step guide of tried and tested methods to capitalize on Christmas sales.
Different types of online stores need to come up with different kind of marketing strategies.
If you are selling gift items, you should be going full throttle in marketing, because gift shopping will account for more than 50% of all Christmas spending. Same goes for decoration, food, drink, and travel related businesses.
But these are not the only businesses that can take advantage.
Even if your products or services are not directly related to Christmas, you should still devise a Christmas special marketing plan. If you can’t think of a connection, simply offer a special deal or discount on whatever you are selling. Try to be a part of the festivities. Even if it doesn’t bring any sale, it will definitely help with trust building.
Bonus Tip: If you are starting to plan now, try to focus on last minute shoppers. If you can think of a way to accommodate distressed buyers, you might win lots of loyal customers with a lifetime value.
Decorate your online store
The moment a visitor lands on your website, they must be able to notice that spirit of joy and celebration. Don’t keep your website dull and lackluster. Invest in a professional web designer and if not much, at least change the form, color or add in some greeting icons that will make the website look festive and joyous.
Think of all those decorated shopping malls or stores in the season.
Just like those malls or brick and mortar shops invest on decorations, you must also spend some of your Christmas marketing budget on giving your website a festive makeover (even if it is a $5 dollar gig at fiverr).
Dressing Up for the Occasion – Christmas Special Google Doodles
Special Offers for the Special Occasion
Special occasions like Christmas or Halloweens are ideal for running promotional offers, special discounts, and deals.
Nothing catches the customer’s eye like a special offer, so you must try to come up with something special, even if it is a free gift wrapping service.
But don’t think of the minimum, think of the maximum that you can do to make them happy. Make no mistake, when you will go that extra mile for your customers, they will return the favor in one way or another.
Social Media campaign
Post relevant content that talk about your plans, or special arrangements for Christmas (as a business). Ask questions, find out what they want and start a conversation with your target audience.
As earlier mentioned, Christmas can be a great occasion for launching a contest or sweepstake.
Remember that it’s not just the spending, social sharing also increase prior to special occasions. If you can reward your target audience for sharing something about your business, it will be the icing on the cake.
With all the frantic figures of online sales being recorded worldwide, one can safely assume that there are lots of people browsing the Internet with “intent to buy”.
It’s a given that Christmas shoppers will make a lot of product related searches, and that’s all the more reason to try Adwords, especially Google Shopping Campaigns. If you have the budget, don’t stop at Adwords, try other platforms like Facebook Ads or some of those daily deals websites.
Ideally, you should be sending emails to your subscribers, or past customers well in advance. And as the day draws nearer, you can send customized emails with offers and subject lines like “Christmas gift last minute delivery” or “Christmas sale ending in 1 week”.
That doesn’t mean you start bluffing or spamming customers with ridiculous emails. The idea is to instill a little bit of urgency and invoke them into buying before the season ends.
From your featured product slider to your special offers, and ad copies to email’s subject lines, you have got to be relevant.
For example, online shoppers may usually be concerned of the delivery time and so, your ad copy or the home page banner in the last few days of the sale must address these concerns, by ensuring them that deliveries will be made on time.
A big percentage of online sales are instigated from mobile phones, and the numbers will only grow from here.
You must have a responsive website for people browsing your store from a mobile phone. If you are using a premium theme or one of those popular ecommerce platforms, there’s a good chance that your online store is already responsive.
If it’s not, don’t leave it to another time. Get yourself a mobile friendly store because mobile phones account for more than 50% of all ecommerce traffic.
Make the most of last minute shoppers
If you are thinking that it’s already too late to launch a Christmas Marketing campaign, then you are wrong. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite.
The sales have been increasing since Thanksgiving Day, and the upward trend will continue for another 1 or 2 weeks. If you can ensure the delivery by Christmas Day, you will manage to get a lot of orders from last minute shoppers.
It’s important to follow up with the customers who have purchased from you on this Christmas. Christmas sale is not about a one-off purchase, it’s all about building strong relationship with your customers.
Get in touch with the customer to ensure that they are happy with the product. Share your social media pages and ask them to join. You can also offer them a discount code or a membership plan with special benefits. The idea is to build loyalty and get repeat business.
Feature image curtsey of Haley McMichael