Is your E-Commerce store ready for the Holiday shopping boom?
According to MasterCard, E-commerce sales grew roughly 20% compared to last year and growth is expected to rise another 11% this Holiday season. So how can you get the most out of your store this year? Here are 5 ideas to help sell more online during the 2016 Holiday season.
Get Started Early (Right Now)
Online shoppers are looking for Holiday deals earlier each year. Amazon Prime day started the trend of early gift buying and other retailers are following suit. According to Experian, 69 percent of the marketers stated they started planning holiday campaigns by August. Start your Holiday marketing campaigns now! Sales the week before Cyber Monday are growing faster than sales on Cyber Monday.
You can increase visibility to your Holiday promotions and build your email list by encouraging visitors to sign up for alerts on your upcoming sales. Target prompts users to sign up by offering their deals first to people who have signed up for the email list.
Experienced online shoppers want to be the first to know about upcoming holiday deals. Use language that increases urgency or implies exclusivity to get more sign ups. Once they are signed up, you can send your latest promotions right to their inbox.
After the Holiday season, follow up with your new customers. 30% of customers will buy again if they are given the chance. Give former customers a reason to come back by offering them deals on similar products. Multiple positive experiences will create brand loyalty that turns a shopper into a life-long customer.
Optimize For Mobile
In 2014, mobile devices drove 52 percent of all internet traffic on Thanksgiving. Mobile traffic also accounted for 27% of all online sales on Cyber Monday in 2015. Mobile shopping is the future of E-Commerce, and the future is here.
Conversion on desktop is 2X higher than on mobile. This is due to slow, un-responsive mobile sites. According to Google, 29% of shoppers leave mobile sites immediately if the page does not satisfy their needs. Some websites saw a conversion increase of 2% after cutting down their load time by four seconds.
So how do we speed it up? First, use the PageSpeed Insights tool. This will analyze the content of your website and make suggestions on how to improve.
Limit the number of redirects on your page. This retailer was able to cut their page load time from 9 seconds down to 6 by removing two redirect links. Keep only the essential items on your home page to help cut down on long load times.
Make sure your images are formatted correctly. A large image will kill page load time. Use Pixlr to edit images to the desired page width without losing quality.
Limit the number of checkout steps. Reduce the number of taps required to checkout by including cross-platform logins through social media. Including an option to log in via Facebook will reduce content that is not related to the purchase at checkout. This simple change can eliminate an entire step of the checkout process. 23% of people abandon retailer sites because they were required to create an account. Allow first-time buyers the option to check out as a guest to move them to the payment information page faster.
Create Urgent Calls-To-Action
One way to nudge shoppers towards the checkout is to create a sense of urgency. Urgent CTA’s provoke the shopper to buy now instead of leaving to comparison shop. This retailer increased sales by 332% by including more urgent CTA’s on his website. Here are a few things you could include to create more urgency.
Use countdown timers to encourage the shopper to buy now or miss out. Countdown timers are extremely effective towards the end of a sale or promotion. One store saw an 8.6% lift in conversion after installing a timer on their product page!
Create urgency by using scarcity. Showing a limited number of products available pushes the shopper to act now and buy at the current price, or miss out on getting the product altogether. Display your product availability and implement pop-ups that alert a shopper if the product is low on stock. A simple “checkout” button on these pop-ups is beneficial for the shopper and for you, the seller.
According to the National Retail Federation, 47% of consumers said free shipping was one of the most important factors during the holiday season. Offer different types of shipping options for a limited time to sweeten the deal and create urgency at the same time! Don’t forget, December 16th is Free Shipping Day! Sign up and become one of the online partners for this event.
Read more about this in the Perfect Product Page Playbook
Create Deals For Last Minute Shoppers
The single biggest year-over-year increase for E-commerce sales was on December 23. Adobe measured a 56% growth rate in E-commerce sales on this day. This is important because more people than ever are waiting until the last minute. Lauren Freedman explains why:
“People know that they can shop later because they know that it will be delivered. We saw that the average number of days to ship [via] ground delivery was about 3.45. This year, there were 10% of the retailers [in our study] that actually shipped in one day. … Retailers feel a logistical sense of urgency to deliver faster.”
This presents an interesting opportunity for retailers. If you can ship product in 24-48 hours you can separate yourself from competitors and cash in on last minute sales. One tactic to use is by promoting an extension on Holiday sales after the deadline has ended.
Offering deals after Cyber Monday and on the closing days before Christmas is a good opportunity to make the most out of every second during the Holiday season. Extending deals is also an excellent promotional tool for the new emails you collect during the Holiday rush.
Get Festive For The Seasons
Don’t be a scrooge! Creating custom Holiday themed landing pages can be a big hit for your store. Standalone landing pages help you target specific buyers for specific products. Directing them straight to the product page reduces distraction. You can also use these pages to give detailed information and to boost SEO at the same time.
Shoppers will be searching for specific products looking for specific details. Make them a page focusing on deals related to these products.
Crate & Barrel has a different landing page for each Holiday. This will increase search traffic for shoppers searching for specific products for each different Holiday. Optimize these pages by including seasonal search terms.
Creating a landing page for Black Friday is a great way to gain attention to your specific deal. This example created urgency by clearly stating the sale would end tonight. Remember to keep it simple. Clearly display where shoppers need to click. These pages need to get right to the point and tell shoppers where they can find these deals. Wix has a fantastic guide on how to create killer Black Friday landing pages.
This is the most important time of the year for E-Commerce retailers. Make the most of it by implementing these ideas:
- Get started early and build your email list
- Optimize your mobile site
- Use urgent calls-to-action
- Extend Holiday deals to capitalize on last-minute shoppers
- Use Holiday specific landing pages to drive traffic
One last thing…COLLECT YOUR DATA! This time next year you can build off what works and what doesn’t. This will save you valuable time and money heading into the 2017 Holiday season! If you are looking to gain more visitors before the season starts, check out these 30 Proven Ways to Drive Traffic.
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