It’s Christmas time! The holiday season is just around the corner. This time of the year is a great opportunity for your eCommerce businesses to take the advantage and drive sales. However, any eCommerce entrepreneur knows that Christmas and New Year is not only busy for shoppers alone. They are extremely busy for storeowners as well.
Now, if you are into a business of offering personalized products and merchandise, the trick is to get your online store ready for the busiest season. To make sure valuable sales aren’t missed, I ‘m sure all the essential advanced planning and preparations are done. Even if you missed out, worry not — you can still win a great holiday success. Here is a last minute checklist for your eCommerce store and ideas that will help you prepare your online store for the last minute rush at holiday shopping, especially if you haven’t made preparations.
1. Customer segmentation
I’m sure you have been segmenting your list for the shoppers throughout the year to receive messages that are the most relevant for them. What you can do here is, you can even take your holidays to the next level and start segmenting your customers for the season too on the basis of the engagement level and purchase history. Some of the suggestions for segmenting your holidays shopping campaigns are:
- Last Year’s Buyers – Offer customizations to this segment on the products at discounted rates or discounts on the product they purchased during the prior year’s holiday season!
- Best customers – Customers with higher average order value or with frequent visits to your site should be encouraged to spend more dollars on gifts this season!
- Geography – Make special offers targeted to specific locations. You can even offer convenient shipping deadlines for each country that you ship to!
- Past Purchases – segment your shoppers by knowing what they purchased before and promote a guide based on what they might be interested this holiday season.
2. Adding a “Gifts” tab in your Main Navigation
Have you given a thought to the holiday shoppers, the ones who are typical ‘lazy’? Such shoppers postpone their shopping for a later time and make last minute shopping for themselves or find gifts for their loved ones. You can highlight how you can make it super easy for them and save their time by offering them with holiday gifts and product guides to narrow down their choices. You can also add filters of price, gender, brand and the type of the present or can create separate holiday category headers too! For example,
Price points (e.g.: gifts under $10, gifts under $20)
Gender selections (e.g.: gifts for her, gifts for fathers)
Relationship categories (e.g.: gifts for workmates, gifts for best friends)
3. Donate to a charity
Holiday season is not only about boosting your sales, personalizing your website and the creating a seamless shopping experience but it is also a time to give and share. You can support a cause by donating a percentage of sales to a particular organisation and in this way you can create a positive image around your brand and help those in need as well.
4. Create special landing pages for holiday offers
Creating automated emails campaigns is essential, but where do you send all the traffic then? When it comes to promoting your holiday offers, creating holiday themed landing pages on specific keywords will attract relevant visitors and provide relevant content from get-go. Choose products that reflect holiday shopper needs – for example many people are looking for gift ideas for significant others and special deals.
5. A Contest or Giveaway
Creating a competition during the holiday season is much more engaging and entertaining way to drive sales. You can set up competition aimed at existing customers, different segments of your contact base or visitors that never bought but are interested in your brand. Here are a few contest ideas that will ensure success:
- Photo competition – Ask your shoppers share holiday-themed photos related to your product. You can also set up content specific hash tag and generate a great amount of user-generated content.
- Voting competition – get your customers engaged by letting them share opinions about the products.
- Refer a friend campaign can encourage your customers to be your brand ambassadors! Use this growth hack to reach new people.
- Before the holiday purchase: promote relevant products or customizations at the main product pages
- During the purchase: use up-selling and cross-selling the designs or customizations at the shopping cart page, during the checkout process and when sending abandoned cart emails to your customers.
6. Countdown to Christmas
This is a classic festive drip campaign every marketer should be using during the holiday season. Sending a series of emails to holiday shoppers that tell a story is an original way to build trust over time and suggest different products as gifts or various special offers for a period of up to 30 days. Alternatively, a longer term campaign can be set up to spread demand over a long period.
Retargeting could be a great way to engage with the previous customers through the emails or social media reminding them about the products they bought before or were looking for, in order to stay at the top of their mind. While creating retargeted emails you can get even offer a better price, emphasize free shipping, or introduce product bundles to your customers.
8. E-gift Card
Digital gift cards are popular with the convenience seeker and last- minute shoppers. However many marketers are still missing the opportunity by not not incorporating it in holiday shopping marketing campaigns or making gift cards more personalized.
There are many benefits of using digital gift cards: they are easy to give, easy to keep track of and are vastly helps with brand awareness. By adding a little bit of Holiday spirit and making gift cards holiday-friendly, you can attract a lot of last-minute strugglers.
Don’t forget to feature your cards on the day of Christmas for those truly last-minute shoppers.
9. Cross-channel Promotion
To draw traffic and sales this holiday season, promote your brand across social media profiles to capture the attention of your shoppers and make sure to maximize the benefits these platforms. If you haven’t thought of it yet, prepare Tweets and Facebook posts immediately for use throughout the month of December as well as on special sale days. Take your cell phone out and make a quick instructional or humorous YouTube video about your favourite product. Video expands your social brand presence like nothing else. Don’t let professionalism hold you back; the home-made, amusing little videos are the ones that are often most popular or viral.
10. Cross-selling and Up-selling
In most of the cases and especially during the Christmas shopping, consumers usually don’t know what they want. By implementing smart and data driven suggestions and using cross-selling and up-selling techniques businesses can easily generate sales. A well merchandised e-commerce can help increase your holiday sales!
Where should you use cross-selling and up-selling?
11. Abandoned Shopping Cart Emails
While all the automated lifecycle email campaigns are important, cart abandonment emails are a must in order to bring customers back to your site to complete a purchase on your site.
Did you know ? 67 out of every 100 potential customers who are browsing on your website and looking for products or going to the checkout page intend to purchase and do not complete it. So don´t be afraid of cart abandonment emails for your e-commerce!
12. Post-holiday sale for excess inventory
Even if you have a very good season, you will probably have excess inventory.
When you plan your post holiday sales to increase the turnover and clear your inventory, you should have post-holiday email marketing and merchandising campaigns ready in advance. January is also a promising month to re-boost with your sales. You may still receive traffics from holiday shoppers because of the redemptions of the discount coupon or the holiday gift cards and other holiday deals and promotions. Hence, it becomes a perfect timing to still engage your post-holiday store visitors with sales promotions or new products.
Ready to make your Season Merrier?
Every holiday season brings new trends and new strategies to try – one thing that is sure about holiday season is that´s retail’s biggest opportunity to connect with digital shoppers. Be sure to apply the above holiday marketing tips and tricks to boost your sales this holiday season. The earlier you start building your holiday shopping strategy and building a personalized experience – the more sales you will generate throughout the coming year. Happy selling!