7 Ways to Ring in Holiday SalesNovember 15, 2012 By Bill Van De Laarschot
The holiday season is upon us. Is your e-commerce business ready to maximize sales during the year's busiest time? If not, here are seven strategies that can help you:
1. Promote early and stay late. Holiday sales are no longer just about Black Friday and New Year's Day. There are newcomers like Cyber Monday, Green Monday and Free Shipping Day to drive holiday sales. Analyze your metrics to understand the key promotional dates for your business, then create a promotional plan with special deals and limited-time offers to capitalize on these new shopping traditions.
2. Optimize your site for tablet and mobile viewing. More people than ever are shopping online using their mobile devices. In fact, half of Google searches originate from a mobile device. Make the most of this trend by ensuring your site is optimized with speed and usability features for touchscreen browsing. It's also a good idea to limit the use of Flash and minimize scrolling. A mobile app that takes opted-in customers directly to your store can also boost sales.
3. Present a unified front in multiple marketing channels. It's important that your marketing campaigns are consistent across all platforms, including web, email, social media, display and in-store ads. It's also crucial to make sure the message is consistent on all devices. Before the holiday season kicks into high gear, take the time to review your campaign messaging and creative work for all channels and devices.
4. Segment your customer base. Another strategy for supercharging holiday sales is customer segmentation. Create offers designed to highlight your competitive advantages to new shoppers. Welcome back return holiday shoppers with recommendations based on past purchases. Reward loyal customers with exclusive deals and personalized pitches. Entice cart abandoners with discounts or free shipping to close sales.
5. Get the most out of holiday marketing and merchandising. Maximize the impact of the extended holiday season by putting special offers, purchasing options, etc., in front of shoppers quickly. There are a number of ways you can do this, including special seasonal landing pages, holiday shopping tabs and shoppers’ aids such as gift guides, top-seller lists and volume discounts. Countdowns to key dates can add urgency and spur sales.
6. Quickly engage customers — and hold their attention. People shopping under a deadline have extremely short attention spans, hopping from site to site in search of bargains and the perfect gift. Your site needs to load fast and deliver compelling content in an organized way to grab and hold the attention of these hyperactive shoppers. Be sure your navigation and linking strategy are up to the task, and place pages that receive high traffic above the fold.