Consumers eagerly wait for the holiday season to fill their shopping carts with products for their home, self and for others too. Festivity and the general cheer in the atmosphere bring with it the want and need to buy things. Hence, it is around the holiday season that e-commerce portals and retailers alike have huge sales. Consumers like to cash in on these hefty discounts and in fact, buy much more than is needed. As e-commerce sellers, you can make a good fortune at such times, earning customers and conversions. All you need is to have effective and smart marketing strategies that offer optimum e-commerce conversions. Here are some tips and tricks to help you increase conversion rates during the holiday season.
Doing well in an online business is not always about getting new visitors and customers to your virtual store. It is also about improving the conversion rates. It is pertinent to ask yourself, where does the problem lie? Are you getting enough leads that are not getting converted, or are you not getting enough visitors to begin with?
Most often, improvements in sales can be made with minor tweaks and changes, but there are times when drastic changes have to be ensured in the way you market and present the products. It becomes more crucial for you to indulge in aggressive marketing strategies and have best practices in place during the holiday season.
Optimize loading speed
The loading speed of online portals is a major contributing factor for conversions. As per many surveys, visitors lose interest if it takes longer to load a page and they might back out from it. It has been seen that the first 5 seconds are the most crucial for conversion rates and the rates can drop by 4.42% on an average with each extra second.
With a plethora of options available for the same product and service, no shopper will spend time on a slow-performing portal. So it is pertinent to work on the website loading time reduction to enhance the overall conversion rates.
Unique discounts for loyal customers
The holiday season is all about gifting and giving. A lot of people take to online portals for shopping and most of the e-commerce vendors have huge discounts. However, you can be different and attract more customers with special discounts for loyal customers. These discounts will be over and above the regular ones. This will attract more customers to your portal and also make your current customers buy a lot more. You could try these discount ideas for this holiday season:
- Give a personalized gift once your customer buys above a certain amount.
- Customized discounts based on loyalty status.
- Use location information to give extremely customized local deals.
- Give a tiered discount for every repeated order.
Discount countdowns to create a sense of urgency
The feeling of FOMO (Fear of missing out) is immense when a customer knows that the discounts will last only for a very limited period. These countdown triggers help build a feeling of scarcity, making the brain feel that the product might be out soon. Many researchers found out that this feeling of scarcity makes products more attractive. This is more so with luxury products and will entice people to buy faster. You can use the following triggers to create a sense of urgency:
- Countdown triggers in email marketing for expensive signature products. This will make the sale semi-private and reduce brand dilution and will also enhance online sales.
- Have feature countdown banners on the portal of the high in-demand products. Have a timer next to the products, which will tell the customer that the time is running out and push them to buy sooner.
Incentivizing first-time buyers
People like to discover new brands and if your company has come upon their search during the holiday season, you can put in extra efforts to retain them.
- Start them off on a loyalty program that will help them move up the ladder, increase repeat business and also have a deeper connection.
- You can also give them a subscription offer during check-out and offer a discount for a second buy.
- Expedite shipping process for customer retention. It is always best to test the shipping strategy before the holiday season starts.
Optimizing the portal for mobiles
Online shopping has become the mainstay for most people, with mobile shopping taking the lead. So if you want your online sales to boom, ensure that your portal is optimized for mobiles. You can do a Google Mobile-Friendly test and take the suggestions from there. You can remove sidebars and pop-ups for mobile users as they cause friction. You could also pre-fill customer details for faster check-out and to avoid mistakes. Lastly, you can add Google Pay, PayPal One Touch or Apple Pay to hasten the checkout.
Accessorize your portal with a festive flair
Add some festive cheer to your portal with on-site pop-ups and banners. Change the color, add a festive message that matches seasonal promotion. You could also have special ad campaigns with discount offers and schemes to promote your portal during the holiday season.
Billing and shipping forms
These two forms usually take a lot of time and have a lot of errors. This could lead to losing potential customers. You can make it easier for everyone if you:
- Pre-fill the details for loyal customers.
- Auto-checking the shipping address to know the validity.
- Have a drop-down list for addresses based on the zip code.
- Have different payment portals so that the customer has a choice of payment. Otherwise, very often, customers have to abandon the purchase as their preferred mode of payment is unavailable.
Customize the portal for the holiday season
Customizing the website to suit the occasion is one of the greatest marketing strategies you can adopt. It makes the portal look eye catchy and creates a compelling picture for anybody coming to the portal. Make the landing page colorful with pictures and videos along with the ongoing offers and schemes.
Once the landing page is personalized, you should personalize the content. Adopt these simple ways to enhance content personalization:
- Evaluate the audience requirements and then create matching offers
- Whenever an old customer revisits the website, welcome him by name and keep a tab on the items they last browsed for a quicker purchase this time.
- Use technology to analyze the customer. Google Analytics is a valuable tool that can give you a detailed report about the visitor. It helps identify the product pages visited, the most searched products and the time spent on a specific product segment. Using these details, you can customize the content for the visitors and create banners with offers to attract those customers. This will increase sales as well as enhance customer satisfaction.
- Be available for your customer at every stage of the buying process. Optimize the website for each micro-moment, right from product search to purchase.
- Have a personalized season’s greetings message to improve the overall impact.
- If some of the products are sold out, instead of having a “sold out” message below those products, let the customers know when those products will come back in stock. Also, show similar products on the same page.
Enhance website navigation for the holiday season
Easy website navigation is what helps increase the chances of converting a customer. It is more critical during the holiday season as there are more chances of selling products.
To make it easier for customers to know what products are on sale, have a special tab that says Holiday discounts. Have clickable banners and pictures on the homepage to help customers go towards that segment. You can have more specific holiday segments such as Black Friday sales, Christmas fiesta or New Year discounts. It will help customers find what they are looking for and also increase sales.
Bundling offers is an excellent way to attract customers and increase sales. Have a combination of two to three similar products and give a package discount on them. This will give people the best value for their money and in turn, you will sell more products. You can look for ways to give freebies with these combo offers and have a profit.
Email marketing works wonders as a pre-sale promotion. It is also the fastest and most convenient way of broadcasting about your portal and its upcoming offers. It is best to start email campaigns about 10-15 days before the holiday season. This will give them enough time to prepare for the sale and plan out their purchases. They can browse through the product catalog, keep their carts ready, and buy them when the sale goes live. This will also help you to know how much stock will be needed based on the shopping carts. You can increase the supply of some products accordingly.
Web push notifications
You can send web push notifications to those people who have opted to receive the notifications. You do not need to have any personal details about the customers to send them these messages. You can send them notifications simply based on their browsing history. In case, you have a mobile app for the store; you can use the push notifications to increase the engagement rate. This strategy is a great tool during the holiday season as you want to reach out to a maximum number of people and have maximum conversions.
Thank you gifts
Make loyal customers feel special with a “Thank You” gift after a purchase pertaining to a certain amount. This is a powerful marketing strategy to retain customers and increase holiday season sales and conversions. It is a proven fact that when you regard a customer with cashback offers and additional points, they will surely come back to your website.
In fact, there are chances that they will return to the portal and make more purchases in the hope of getting more reward points the next time. The best way to lure such customers is through gift cards.
Promote the best-selling products more aggressively
Your top-selling products are the audience’s favorite and they have bought these products throughout the year. If you display them in front of every visitor, they are sure to check them out once and might purchase it too. Showing off these products during the holiday season will surely attract customers to buy them and increase sales and conversions. Use these techniques to expose these products:
- Showcase the best-selling products in your website’s landing pages, footer and more.
- Let every visitor be able to navigate to that product easily.
- Try to have one landing page dedicated to these top-selling products.
- Promote these products through emails much before the holiday season begins.
- Make these products look more attractive with good imagery and content.
Integrate live chat
This is an innovative way of connecting with your audience and convincing them to buy your products. During the bustle and chaos of the shopping season, giving a human touch to the virtual store will personalize the shopping experience and help build a bond with your customers.
Live chats help people get immediate help, thereby reducing the gap between physical and virtual store experiences. Also, if you allow the staff that use the live chat to give some discounts to shoppers after gauging their interest levels, you might save a lot of abandoned carts and increase sales and conversions too.
The holiday season is the most rewarding time of the year for e-commerce sellers as it sees an overall rise in sales. It is during this festive time that potential customers buy products, be it for gifting or for themselves. Online shopping works out to be the most convenient and hassle-free option. All you have to do is put in place smart marketing strategies to target customers hungry for big deals. Use these simple and easy-to-do hacks and make your online portal holiday-ready within no time at all.