It’s the holiday season again; that time of the year when even the darned scrooges of society have to open their wallets! You cannot shut shop at night like a brick and mortar retail – you’re online. It’s gift giving season folks, and that means for you, e-commerce business owners, a 24/7 opportunity to mint money, and here’s how:
1. Tailor Your Keywords
Give your SEO a bit of a seasonal tweak. Incorporate Christmassy keywords into your tags and titles. Do this early on, say by September, to maximize sales. Test it out yourself to see if it works.
2. Update Your Site Design
Get festive; Christmas means color and lots of it. Throw in some festive tunes and use festive graphics in the shopping cart section. After all, bricks and mortar retailers doll up their stores for Christmas and that’s what customers are used to. Why should you be any different?
3. Sell Gift Certificates
Many people don’t have time to buy gifts for their families and friends. That’s why retail stores and manufactures offer gift certificates. So can you – offer gift certificates at a discount for various packages. Deliver the gift certificate directly to your customer’s email, cutting through all the hassles. Promote gift certificates in your email campaigns as gift ideas well before Christmas.
4. Get Your Name Out There
Engage yourself online via social media sites. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – you should be active on these websites, with your products, with your message, with your articles, valuable content, unique opinions, and free stuff. The more you share, the more links you will generate, and the more people will know about you. Just don’t make it all about you.
5. Leverage Cross And Up Sell Opportunities
A customer looking to buy a purse may be interested in a matching wallet, as well. Someone buying a new digital camera might be interested in original leather covers, also. Make sure that each product page displays a set of complimentary, and supplementary, items to tempt the customers.
6. Renew Email Marketing Strategies
We hope you already have a user database and email IDs. If you don’t, it’s time to get a list of subscribers for future sales. With Christmas around the corner, you can mount several email campaigns to hit the soft spot with your consumers. Announce new products, offer daily and weekly specials and discounts, and get people to know your name each day.
7. Offer Freebies
Freebies can be anything – free gifts, or discount coupons, or even free stylist services at a clothing online retail! You don’t have to give products away, just expand on the Christmas spirit of giving and let your customers know you mean it. Offer freebies during Christmas and your customers will come to you even after Christmas.
8. Don’t Neglect Your Inventory
Study the previous year’s selling patterns. Stock the items that you know will sell and order more than you require, considering your new promotional activities, and the response so far. Study trends, as well. People are getting very technologically savvy and know exactly what they want.
9. Can Your Site Handle The Load?
No point in spending money on inventory and campaigns if your site is not equipped to handle high traffic. Get the technicalities looked at; do you need a faster server? Multiple payment gateways? Do you need extra space?
10. Test Your Site
Get your staff to buy goods simultaneously and test the speed. Navigate through each page yourself and see if you’re satisfied as a user. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and test every aspect of the aesthetic, technical, and shopping experience. Do the testing well before December comes up.
11. Check Your Fulfillment Process
Make sure your delivery process is as good as your products and marketing. Customers want their orders on time, so use the best delivery channels and ensure a good return policy. Some customers prefer to receive items at their work address, so you must allow this. Set up an order tracking facility so people can track their orders as they are processed and delivered.
12. Exploit The “Buy More” Mentality
During the festive season, people are extremely susceptible to the “buy more” mentality. This is the time to put out the “buy 1 get 1 free” offers. People love to get more for less, since they can adjust gifts for more people.
13. Highlight Last Date
Prominently mention, highlight, and email the last date by which customers should order to ensure guaranteed delivery.
14. Allow Easy Searching
Help shoppers to search and filter products by price range, category, and clearance goods, and so on. Users should be able to quickly find what they’re looking for.
15. Offer Free Gift Wrapping
As a special Christmas touch, offer free gift wrapping for goods exceeding a certain amount. You can offer gift wrapping at a small fee, as well. Most people will gladly pay, as it spares them the tedious task of packing.
About the Author: Marina is co-owner of 1001Shops LLC a retail specialty store where you can shop for imported products like Russian nesting dolls, vanity mirrors, etageres and a lot more.