For most businesses, 2021 has been a challenging year. If the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted your business and you’re feeling discouraged about hitting your year-end targets, I want to let you know that there’s still hope.
The holiday season is coming in just a few weeks. As a time when consumers become extra enthusiastic about shopping, it is a great opportunity to boost your sales and revenue. With so much on the line, you must fully prepare to make the most out of the season. In fact, in 2020, consumers spent around $10.8 billion and $12.7 billion online on Black Friday alone, which would represent a growth of 15% to 35% from a year earlier.
So, you can imagine the potential of not only the entire holiday season—but the unique 2023 holiday season that will be more digital than ever due to the pandemic. And in this blog post, you’re going to learn 11 holiday sales tips you can use to create strategies that increase holiday sales of your eCommerce store. With these top tips you’ll be able to achieve:
- A larger number of sales
- Higher revenues
- Better conversion rates
- More loyal customers
So let’s not waste time and begin since the blog is already quite lengthy with 10 tips to discuss in a go.
Tips To Boost Holiday Sales
1. Don’t Be Unwary About COVID-19
Covid has changed everything.
From our daily routine to our shopping style, everything is affected. And if you want to survive as a business, make shopping 100% safe for your customers. Also, if you’re trying to keep your shoppers safe, make sure to flex it.
Here are the tips you can follow to tell people you’re following all the safety measures:
- Show you care about your customers’ health
- Give your content a Covid-19 touch
- Encourage shoppers to make cashless transactions to avoid physical contacts
- Employ contactless delivery and leave the product on customers’ doorstep
- Add product filters that help customers sort products according to their safety
2. Focus On Existing Customers
When a business is looking for growth the first thought is normally “how do we attract more customers?”. Well, there’s a strong case that you should start by targeting your existing customer to keep them buying from you.
On average, existing customers add more items to their cart, spend more money and have a higher conversion rate. Loyal customers can be worth up to 10 times the value of their first purchase. Plus the chances of selling to existing customers is around 60-70% compared to a 5-20% probability of a sale with new customers.
Add the fact that customer retention is much more cost-effective than customer acquisition and you’ll soon see that instead of focusing everything towards attracting new customers, improving your customer retention strategy can yield fantastic results.
Your loyal customers have already bought into your brand, are familiar with your products and most importantly trust them. Loyal customers are far easier to convince to buy again from you compared to new customers. So how do you tap into this goldmine that you’re sitting on? Simple, focus on things that will enhance their experience.
Establish a loyalty reward scheme to keep existing customers buying again and again by giving people an incentive to spend more money with you. Reward points can be used for free products, discounts, special promotions or even free shipping.
Use email to stay at the forefront of their memory and make them feel cared for. Notify them of product launches, suggest recommended products or send them a birthday coupon.
These devoted customers are also a huge source of information so listen to what they have to say, or better still, be proactive and ask. You may uncover trends you weren’t aware of or unveil new needs that will help guide the way forward.
3. Give Your Website a Festive Look
Have you seen how brick and mortar stores are decorated for festivals? They decorate their shops according to the festival so that people can relate.
In the eCommerce business, your website is your store. You need to give it a festive look and feel so that customers know you’re prepared for the festivals and they can get some good deals there.
Along with giving your site a festive look, make the website navigation and checkout process easy for the users.
Remember, many users shop from mobile devices and according to a report, if your mobile website has complex navigation, 61% of users won’t return to it. And 40% will visit the competitor’s site instead.
Here’s how you can give your website a festive look:
- You can use festive images on your website home and other pages
- Use graphics and themes that represent the festival or the ongoing season
- Change the fonts to give your website a festive look
4. Expose Your Top-selling Product
Your top-selling products are the audience’s favorite. Your customers buy them throughout the year and if you present them in front of every visitor, they’ll at least check them out once and may purchase them too.
Your best sellers have already proved their mettle. Showing them often will attract more customers towards it and boost holiday sales, conversions, etc.
Here’s how you can expose your top-selling products:
- Display your best-selling products in your website’s footer, landing pages, etc.
- Make them easily accessible for every visitor
- If possible, create a dedicated landing page for top-selling products
- Pitch your top-selling products through emails
- You can also generate content around your best-selling products
5. Exciting Promotions
To really get the most out of promotions you need to incorporate a variety of promotions at different times and intervals. For example, you may want to create quarterly themes for your promotions that drive an influx of traffic, while at the same time reach out to previous customers or inactive leads to get them to re-engage and spend their money with you.
Who doesn’t love getting a good deal? Promotions can be a potent weapon in your arsenal when used well. The right promotion can accelerate your marketing fourfold, but what makes a great promotion?
A great promotion should include features & benefits of your product or service but not only the functionality but also how that fits into the life of the prospect as well as the emotional benefit of how it will make them feel. This is an opportunity to differentiate your company from your competitors. Also include price, terms of the promotion and a guarantee to reduce any perceived risk. Focusing on the individual elements of the promotion will lead to better conversion rates.
Step up promotions around holidays as these peak shopping times are when people are looking to buy gifts for others, and themselves, and generally spend more.
Converting new customers costs more than converting the existing ones.
Here’s what you can do to retain first-time buyers with exciting rewards:
- Offer discount, free shipping, cashback, etc. on the first purchase of the users
- Create offers that are dedicated only for first-time buyers
- Provide them early access to your upcoming sale
- Offer them a referral bonus
6. Get a Competitive Edge by Using Free Shipping
Free shipping can be a powerful tool to get those wavering prospects over the line. Often consumers will end up buying more if shipping is free. If you’re not convinced then just consider a heavyweight in eCommerce like Amazon.
This tactic can actually be more effective than a percentage discount, even when the discount is larger than the shipping costs. Amaze and amuse your customers with free shipping and they’ll likely be back for more.
Consider offering it across your entire inventory or set a spend threshold to be eligible for free shipping. Or why not combat abandoned carts with free shipping which can be done via email or better still at the exact moment with an exit-intent popup offer.
Shipping confirmation emails are opened 1.5 times on average so this is a perfect opportunity to engage with your customers and turn them from one-time buyers into loyal customers.
7. Don’t Overlook Customer Service
People shop most during the holiday season. And the more they shop, the more issues pop up. Your job is to provide them with customer service that can fix those issues in no time.
If you do that successfully, 93% of the customers would like to shop again from your brand. Keep in mind, you can’t keep every user happy, but if most of them are, you’re doing great.
Here’s what you can do to improve your customer service:
- Reduce your average response time
- Provide an omnichannel customer service
- Add a self-service option to your website
- Use chatbots to fix common and repetitive problems
8. Retarget Your Existing Customers
Targeting existing users is much more beneficial than targeting new ones. The existing customers are already interested in your brand and have interacted with you before. Hence they are more likely to listen to you and your offers when you approach them.
According to Invespcro, investing in new customers is 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining the existing ones.
And also the existing customers purchase more products than the fresh ones. So it’s always fruitful to target existing customers if you want to boost holiday sales.
Here’s how you can retarget your existing customers:
- Segment your existing customers for better targeting
- Show them personalized ads through remarketing
- Offer them products relevant to their current and previous purchases via cross-selling and upselling
9. Simplify The Transaction Process
A simple checkout process is essential to improving conversion rates. By reducing friction during the transaction journey, you’ll make it easier for users to make that purchase which will have a huge effect on sales.
Abandoned carts are one of the largest obstacles that eCommerce companies face.
On average 7 out of every 10 shoppers will abandon their cart. For mobile users, it’s even higher.
Thankfully there are many things you can do to improve conversion rates and combat abandoned carts. Be sure to only include necessary steps, eliminating those that aren’t and only include fields in forms that you absolutely need. Below you’ll find a list to work through
- Display trust signals at each point of the checkout process
- Create a progression indicator so user know how many steps are left
- Have thumbnail product images displayed during the process
- Allow for easy navigation between cart and store
- Allow shoppers to use a variety of payment methods
- Have a clear call to action on checkout pages
- Allow users to save carts easily
- Don’t time out users causing them to start the process from scratch
- Allow shopper to checkout as a guest
- Include money-back guarantees
- Show shipping options and costs along with any other costs early in the process
- Use analytics to identify any steps where users drop off mid-process
- Ensure page loading speed is good
To give your sales an extra boost be sure to include up-selling and cross-selling in the process. Just think of Amazon’s “frequently bought together” or “related products”.
10. Boost Impulse Buys with Upselling and Cross-selling
Has it ever happened to you, you planned to buy something but return with many other unplanned products. Personally, it happens to me a lot.
We call this impulse buying. When a customer is purchasing something and buys another product with it s/he hasn’t planned to. Increasing impulse buys also increases the revenue of your store since the customers purchase more products.
In the online business, we propose impulse purchases through upselling and cross-selling.
Upselling is about offering an upgrade or a better version of the product the user is purchasing. Whereas, cross-selling refers to offering complementary products to the initial purchase that will add more value to the parent product if bought.
Here’s how you can increase impulse buys at your store:
- Use smart upselling or cross-selling plugin
- Offer post-purchase upsells, i.e., after checkout
- Offer them cross-selling products right before they add a product in the cart
- Show them the products relevant to the initial purchase
- Avoid offering a product they’ve already purchased before
11. Build Email Lists and Develop Your Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing is an underutilized marketing strategy that is key to unlocking potential sales and increasing revenue and should be an integral part of your marketing strategy.
The power of email marketing lies in the fact that you are targeting consumers already interested in your products. They have given permission for you to communicate directly with them without having to pay for ads. Plus you create an opportunity to build a community.
Send your customer base regular emails which are personalized and relevant. An effective email marketing strategy encourages repeat buying.
Aim to continuously grow your email list through your organic efforts to allow you to sell more often to them. Building an email list may seem a little daunting, to begin with, but there are many options to accomplish this.
Popups are remarkably effective in building email lists when executed correctly. The key is that they don’t annoy or frustrate the user so think about how the popup is triggered. This can be activated when a user scrolls to a certain point on the page or is on a page for a particular amount of time.
Opt-in checkboxes provide a useful tactic that is much less intrusive and can be incorporated into the checkout process. This is a prime opportunity as the consumer is already engaging with you to make the purchase and will likely have just entered an email address as part of the checkout process.
With either option, you can include an opt-in incentive, such as a discount to give the shopper extra motivation.
The beauty of your email list is that you own it and have full control of it. Changes in policy from Google, Facebook and other platforms happen all the time and you could be left to pay the price. With email, you will always have the ability to directly communicate with your customers.
Combating abandoned carts, as mentioned previously, is a huge challenge for every eCommerce site. Sending out abandoned cart emails is a great way to recoup some of that lost revenue but also provides an opportunity for up-selling which shouldn’t be missed.
Create a nurturing campaign to revive a stale email list. Use personalization and segment your list to get your message on point to make your email marketing much more effective. When your list is segmented you’ll be able to send promotions that are more relevant to each individual. When emails use personalization, your customers are more likely to engage with your brand.
Create workflows that trigger emails depending on user behavior. Track users as they navigate your site and set up emails to be sent automatically when certain pages are viewed or products are clicked. There are so many good tools out there to help you accomplish this.
Don’t just use email marketing for just discounts and promotions though, tell a story, tell your story and make the recipient feel part of your club. This is a slow play move that may not produce instant ROI but will pay dividends in the long run.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted millions of entrepreneurs nationwide, prompting many to close their doors and reducing business for many others besides the lucky few.
Holidays make people crazy. They literally buy things without even thinking too much. You just need to encase this opportunity to make more profit and boost holiday sales.
And the tips I’ve told you above can surely help you out and increase holiday sales at your store if you use them properly.
Thank you and stay safe.