Some e-commerce business owners assume that Christmas guarantees more sales, thus higher revenue for their business. For many, this may be true – but is your website optimised to make the most of this seasonal gold mine?
Get more e-commerce sales this Christmas
Optimising your site will ensure that the sure-fire ways for getting more sales have maximum impact. So, what do we mean by this?
1. Indulge in the festivity
The build-up to Christmas seems to start earlier every year, so your customers will already be well-aware of the approaching festivities. Although Christmas can seem a long way off for many people, it’s important to plant the seed in your customers’ minds as early as possible to prepare for the big event. It seems that it’s never too soon to plan for Christmas, but don’t worry if you’re just making a start – there’s still plenty of time to show your Christmas spirit.Add subtle Christmas decorations to your logo or website theme at the beginning of December to get your customers in the Christmas mood, and consider adding a slogan to your site. You may not have Coca Cola’s advertising budget, but a few words about the holiday ahead could add Christmas cheer to your customers’ shopping experience and make them more inclined to buy.
Coca Cola reminds their consumers that Christmas is on its way using their iconic Christmas truck.
2. Promote your service offerings
Are you offering any special services over the Christmas period? If so, spell them out to your customers.You could offer an extended Christmas returns guarantee. This reduces the risk of purchasing online, especially if you're buying an item of clothing for a member of the family and aren't sure if it'll be the right size.You could also have a ‘Price Match Guarantee’ or ‘Free Shipping on Orders over £XX’ to promote the service you are offering and to get ahead of the competition.
Wiggle.com present their service offers at the top of the page to entice customers to shop with them.
3. Build and utilise your mailing list
Now is the time to take advantage of your email marketing strategy! The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) estimates that 21% of retail sales take place online. Gather information from your customers to help you to know why they shop with you at Christmas and what you could improve next year.Data can be gathered alongside sending out promotions and adverts to your existing mailing list. This will increase the visibility of your brand and remind your customers how they can avoid the stress of the Christmas crowds by shopping online.
4. Offer incentives
Show your customers how much you value their visit to your online store. Whether they purchase something or not, make it clear that they are welcome. By offering all of your customers ‘Christmas Deals’ or ‘Christmas Best Sellers’ pages, they will feel that Christmas shopping in your store is a special, exclusive experience.Reward customers who purchase with an incentive to return to your online store in the New Year. Offer them a discount via a code that they enter before payment. A discount code is not only excellent service for your existing customers, but can attract new customers to return, and enable you to clear old stock, making room for new lines.
5. Reassure shoppers with secure shopping
Reassuring shoppers that your e-commerce site is secure is a vital conversion booster. Having poor security measures on your site is equivalent to asking your customers to walk down an unlit alley way. They may not get mugged, but there is a high risk of them doing so.It’s essential that you present your site as a safe and secure shopping platform for your customers. You can use images to promote that your site is verified or protected by a third party – popular online security stamps include Norton, McAfee and Verified by VISA. Your customers will feel more at ease with security stamps that they recognise.
Including the Verified by Visa logo is a great way of gaining your customers’ trust.
6. Simplify your checkout forms
Optimise the online forms on your site to offer your users a better shopping experience. Clunky forms that are difficult to complete or take too much time are proven killers for customer conversion rates. At a time when shoppers are likely to be in a rush with 1001 things to do, your site should be smooth, efficient and responsive.
7. Use effective calls-to-action
A call-to-action is a very effective way of increasing your online sales.You’ve supplied your customers with lots of information about a pair of trainers. There’s a selection of images to view. They’ve even chosen their size and colour. What do you want them to do next? Add to cart? Go to checkout? Maybe you want them to buy a shoe cleaning kit for the trainers? Whatever it is, you have the power to influence your customers’ next move.For some great tips on creating compelling calls-to-action or improving existing ones, check out these 11 ways to improve your calls to action.If you have calls-to-action on your site, try customising them to suit the Christmas season, for example, ‘Buy Now for Christmas’ or ‘Add to Santa’s Shopping List’.It’s always worth testing different calls-to-action to see which ones achieve the best results. Monitor your analytics to decide what works best for you.
Follow these seven simple strategies when preparing your e-commerce business for the Christmas rush and you will see an increase in sales. While each will have an effect, it's the combination of using them all at the same time that will make the greatest impact on your bottom line.How do you get more e-commerce sales over Christmas? Share your ideas. We’d be delighted to hear from you!