Black Friday just went past us, and the takeaways for e-commerce businesses were plenty. Now, we’re on the brink of the holiday season with just over a couple of weeks to go, and you might have already planned out your approach towards it, but for those who haven’t started, it’s never too late!
Though it’s important to note that Thanksgiving and Black Friday contribute their part to the sales brought in holiday season with Black Friday bringing over $6.22 million this year in the US alone according to Adobe Analytics, the spotlight still remains on the pre-Christmas days, usually a week or so before the occasion, leading up all the way to New Year’s Eve.
Winter holiday season presents many opportunities for businesses even going by logical reasons. For one, individuals are finally able to take out time for shopping after grinding out a long fiscal year. Furthermore, it can’t be denied most of the winter vacations are in the lieu of family reunions where gift exchanges occur quite frequently.
In short, consumers don’t hold back when shopping in holiday seasons, especially when they’ve got incentives in the form of discounted deals. There’s no reason your business should hold back either. Below we highlight some of the essential guidelines to follow to get the best out of the holiday season in terms of conversation rates and sales:
Prioritize deals and discounts
Being the number one factor that individuals expect even before logging onto the e-commerce platform, deals and voucher codes are the epitome of a holiday season sale. This is why you don’t shy away from deals at all but embrace them just as your customers would expect you to do so.
Be it along the lines of Amazon’s ’12 Days of Deals’ for products in different categories each day, or a simple voucher code that takes the front page of the website like Macy’s homepage example below, ‘give back’ to the visitor.
You’ll also benefit from including gift packages and gift lists that will serve as enticing options for consumers who are likely to buy multiple products while staying in the bounds of their budget and at the same time, looking for a small reward for purchasing the many items.
Maybe even put discounts on gift cards to lure the consumer in and give them a reason to continue shopping. It’s no doubt why Black Friday 2018 was so successful since the average discount rates laid around 27%. Thus continue the spirit of the specialty of the Christmas season by introducing limited-timed exclusive deals.
Respect the theme for the festival
Though customers are largely interested in discounted services and special promotions, on a subtle and subconscious level, they’ll expect some sort of stride from your business’s side to display the colors and styles of the holiday season which is responsible for this special sale. Incorporating a Christmas theme will give your user-base the idea that you respect the festivities and honour the special occasion.
For this purpose, making a few tweaks to the web design to reflect the presence of Christmas all around is a great idea. This can be done by using CTAs that carry the traditional red and white flairs or incorporating chandeliers or Christmas tree lights around the navigation bar.
Sometimes a simple high-res picture recognizing the arrival of the season will be enough like Joules example below:
Going the extra mile, a lot can be added to the web design as is evident by these examples demonstrated by Shopify including ones like Kylie Cosmetics which add a little snowfall animation in the back and change the colours of the CTAs to display a more faithful representation of the holiday season when it comes to e-commerce.
Utilize your email list
An emailing list even outside of holiday season poses many benefits for marketing since people will always carry their inboxes with them. It’s furthermore a cost-effective strategy to keep users alerted about new promotions and deals.
Even in a holiday season, you can make use of the channel by being creative and clever in your newsletters and giving it a personal touch. Something like, ‘Jingle bells are jingling, but what about your wallet on such an occasion?’ Mailer Lite has some pretty inspiring examples of companies that have carried out the marketing efforts via the email channel.
One particularly good one is this from Configure IT that’s direct about its coupon code and the respective expiry date for it so to create urgency.
Emails are particularly successful since most of the users on your email list will be subscribers who were already looking forward to any new arrivals or deals that you would have in store for them during the Christmas season. By alerting them via email, you can reach them almost anywhere thanks to the handheld and mobile channel.
Some useful practices of implementing an effective holiday season email letter include the use of CTAs for immediate action like ‘Go to cart’ or ‘Check out new deals’, big font and text size for ease-of-use on mobile devices and a striking and attractive style to make up for an interesting read.
Strive for free shipping
Free shipping is one of the strengths of online retailers and e-commerce platforms and the numbers reflect that. Around 93% buyers continue to add items to their cart if they know free shipping is an option and 9 out of every 10 consumers believe not charging for shipping is the number one incentive for shopping online. It’s hard to see if the case will be any different during Christmas season. When your business’ goal is to strive for customer satisfaction, then you should know that charging them an additional fee for delivery really bothers them and this might result in ‘second-thoughts’ which you definitely don’t want to arise.
Though this strategy should be applicable through the year, as popular e-retailers like Zappos and Kohl’s have in their policies, those who don’t should especially emphasise free shipping in the holiday season where user convenience is key, even when there are mass orders and the delivery channels may be crowded. Remember, this doesn’t mean that the delivery channel and quality for the service is to be compromised in the name of free shipping since that will defeat the purpose of the customer satisfaction we’re trying to reach here.
Review the other important channels
Mobile browsing and social media interactions have both increased immensely over the years and mark a growing importance in the businesses sector when it comes to inbound traffic for many of the e-commerce platforms.
Over 87% of users in the UK operate via mobile phones when shopping online, while that percentage
Is about 69% in the US. As for social networking sites, there has been a yearly increase of 13 percent in the total user-base amounting to roughly 3.2 billion in the total population of users.
These statistics are too big to ignore. That is why you need a well optimized mobile platform that’s streamlined in how it functions and a speedy web host service coupled with a tool like Google Analytics can help you achieve that goal.
You should also boost robust social channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allowing users to not only get new updates and alerts about anything new but to share their purchases with friends, relatives and everyone they hold dear to themselves. Iron out any inconsistencies related to any of these two channels since you cannot afford to frustrate the user on the big day when the trees are decorated up to shine and icy roads force you to stay home and shop!
Christmas season is always a busy couple of weeks for businesses who are looking to capitalize and considerably increase their sales with the implementation of right strategies.
In addition to maximizing profits, this is a brand’s chance to make the user aware of what the e-commerce holds for him and how eager it would be to get it across to the consumer as conveniently as possible with special regards to cost-effectiveness and quality of the service.