What is the most intense period in the eCommerce? Of course, it is the end of the year when Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year are coming. There are some pieces of advice how to increase sales and make the sales season even more successful.
First impressions are half the battle, so start with décor
Many merchants disregard Christmas and New Year web design. But it is a gross blunder. It is the easiest way to catch visitors’ attention and inform them that this online store is ready for sales season, so they can search for discounts and special offers. Of course, you can place a banner, but there are other elements that can support your ideas and create holiday’s atmosphere:
- Change your online store background theme to Winter and Christmas and related images
- Implement positive and festival colors and add animation
- Change your corporate logo and add some Winter and Christmas elements on it
It is a great opportunity to make your online store fresh and unusual, so don’t lose it.
Start your email marketing on time
Email is the best channel to deliver information to your existing customers. How do you know when the right time is? It depends on the range and type of products in the online store. If you have expensive products and people need to think twice before making a purchase decision, you can start emailing campaign earlier to prepare your potential customers. But don’t be too early, because people can postpone shopping, when they know about your great discounts for Black Friday or other attractive offers. There are some tips on what you can use to prepare your email templates:
- Develop subject line in email carefully. It should be informative and attractive. Remember that about 33% of recipients open email based on the subject line only, and 66% of them mark the email as SPAM after reading the subject line only, as well.
- Add personalization to your messages and try to design it not as an advertisement but more like a postcard style. Consider that emails with personalization in the subject lines have 26% higher unique open rate than emails without personalization.
- Specify the expiration date of the special offer clearly and plan the frequency of sending emails to remind about the duration of your offers and discounts. But don’t send too many emails to one recipient.
Prepare gifts program
Remember that many people will make purchases with the purpose to buy presents for relatives and friends, and it may be a real challenge to make a right choice. So, you can add a special section on your site with gift ideas. It can be an article on your blog or special gift offer page. You can also propose gift certificates for a certain amount of money and in this way, you solve the problem of choosing a gift and can attract one more new customer.
Start to write about Christmas on your blog a little in advance
An effective way to make your sale campaign more effective is to start blogging about Christmas, New Year, gift ideas. You can also expand your content and add other topics, such as how to be well prepared for Christmas and New Year celebration, how to decorate the holiday table, home design ideas and so on. If there are relative products in your store, you can recommend them to be bought in order to implement the ideas in life.
Use social media
This is an important channel of communication with both existing and potential customers. It is better to develop and plan this communication program for the whole sales period in advance. News, blog articles, information about discounts – all these points must be published in social networks.
Use different discount types for sales promotion
Discounts are different and have various effects on the buyers’ behavior. Discount program should be developed carefully, and another significant thing is how you tell about your proposition to a potential customer. We recommend to pay attention to the following types of discounts:
- Discount as a gift. During winter holidays, all people like gifts and this discount type must be an option in an online store. Actually, it doesn’t look like a discount, you just provide a gift in response to some customer’s activity such as making a purchase over a certain amount, recommendations of the online store, repeat purchase and so on.
- Discounts for regular customers. It is also a “must be” category. Each regular customer needs to know that they have a discount and, furthermore, it should be understandable that it is unique. The way of informing customers about this is important. It is better to send a personal email or SMS.
- Discounts for all. Almost all online stores will announce sales and because users know about this, they will compare the actual prices. Giving discounts for all is a good practice, but it is important to support this campaign with other promotions.
- Unexpected one-day discounts. Unexpected drop of prices for some products may surprise and stimulate sales. But if a customer made a purchase before and after this has got information about the cutting price, they may be disappointed. This type of discount should be used carefully. It can work good for unpopular or non-seasonal products.
- Pre-discount. You can provide discount for orders paid in advance.
- Bulk discount. It is also possible if you have enough items in stock.
These are only hints concerning what you can use. Each type of discounts works differently in every business and it is hard to give universal advice that would work for all spheres.
Christmas wrapping service
It is also a “must be” option you should provide. As in the previous cases, you can use this for sales promotion. A lot of online stores provide decoration/wrapping service for free and this stimulates customers to make decision about purchase.
Provide as many payment options as possible
During the sales period, you will have more buyers and some of them may need not very popular payment methods. You must predict this situation not to lose potential customers. We also recommend checking the checkout flow. Again, it is a very busy period for both merchants and buyers. A long checkout process which includes several pages and many fields that should be filled in may discourage the desire to make a purchase and lead to a large number of abandoned carts. For Magento online store owners, we recommend optimizing the checkout flow with one step checkout extension. Also, test this flow carefully.
Offer quick delivery
Again, everyone is busy before Christmas and New Year, and fast delivery service can play a key role in choosing the online store to make a purchase. If you can offer a quick and free delivery, it is a kind of “advanced aerobatics”.
In conclusion, we would like to add that CRM systems and well-developed loyalty programs are very significant competitive advantages during the period of sales. If your customers know that they always have the best conditions and service in your store, they will stay loyal even during the period when there are many attractive offers on the market. Use all opportunities, there is still enough time to be well prepared for the great sales season.
Have a nice selling!