We are almost reaching the end of this series! This week we got more tips for you in Part 2 to get your ecommerce store prepared for the Christmas season. Ready to make skyrocketing sales? Read on:
Get Your Website Ready
It’s crucial to provide a seamless, fast web experience for your customers – 40% of consumers abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load (Source: KissMetrics). There are several ways to improve your site performance so as to get your website to load faster, such as reducing the size of your images and minimising HTTP requests needed to make the page render.
With mobile being one of the most commonly used devices for online shopping, and 83% of mobile users saying that a seamless experience across all devices is very important (Source: Wolfgang Jaegel), it is a must to ensure that your website is optimised for mobile and that the experience is consistent across all possible touchpoints that holiday shoppers might come into contact with your brand.
93% of shoppers expect to receive proactive shipment updates (Source: Business wire) – providing service like sending automated shipping notification emails and having your own branded tracking page for customers to track the parcels anytime enhances customer experience and brings immense marketing benefits. Customers get a peace of mind from knowing where their packages are and you receive less shipment queries, lowering customer service hours as a result. In addition, both are perfect channels for showcasing your brand and marketing our products to these first-time customers. By leveraging on these, you have more opportunities to expose your brand and make gift recommendations to holiday shoppers, increasing your chances of making more sales while building brand loyalty.
Welcome visitors to your web store and update your branding by switching out your usual store design with a Christmas-themed background and incorporate some Christmas elements into your promotional offers for some seasonal appeal, just like how Harris Farm does it:
The festive atmosphere is bound to put shoppers in shopping mood. You can also associate your web store and promotional offers with Christmas themes such as ‘The Joy of Giving’ to entice them into purchasing gifts from your store.
Offer Free Shipping and Shipping Options
Free shipping is not just a strong incentive for shoppers to purchase from your store, but holiday shoppers may actually be turned off from your store if you do not offer it – 61% of the customers abandon cart because of paid shipping (Source: Baymard.com). You can offer free shipping in many ways: For example, offer free shipping for shoppers who purchased a minimum order value.
This is a common and effective upsell tactic as many shoppers will add additional items to their shopping cart to receive your offer. In fact, 52% of American shoppers have added items to their ecommerce shopping cart to qualify for free shipping (Source: comScore and UPS). There are also many shoppers out there who are willing to pay a premium for faster or same-day delivery, think last-minute gift shoppers. So do offer a few shipping options and ensure that you have a clear and easy to understand shipping policy that can be conveniently found in your website.
Offer Free Returns
Same goes for returns. Free returns shipping forms a crucial part of a consumer’s best return experience – 66% of the participants in comScore’s survey want free returns shipping. If customers know that they can return items or be refunded easily, they will not only be more likely to buy from you, but will also be more willing to repeatedly do so. Having a clear and easy returns policy is a great tactic to persuade first time customers to make a purchase as well as keep them coming back again. On top of bringing convenience to your customers, it also serves to build their trust and confidence in your products.
Offer Gift-Wrapping Services
Free shipping and returns are not the only incentives you can dangle in front of your shoppers to get them to put more into their shopping cart. This holiday season, many shoppers will be shopping for gifts for their loved ones.
Hence, a good way to leverage on this opportunity is to offer free gift-wrapping services to shoppers who purchase beyond a specific amount. This might just persuade someone to add another item into their cart – you get more product sales this way! Another good idea that can enhance customer experience is to provide gift receipts to your customers so that the gift recipient can make an swap if the gift was something they don’t want.
Extend Your Promotions Beyond the Holidays
Your marketing efforts should not cease right after christmas! Maximise your sales by catching those last minute and post-holiday shoppers with a post-christmas sales promotion. Post-holiday is also a perfect time for holding holiday clearance sales to get rid of excess inventories and engage the post-holiday traffic. Besides, competition for shoppers’ attention will also be lower than during the holiday period and hence you stand to gain better returns from your marketing efforts.
Share with us what other experiences or insights you have from your own holiday marketing efforts this Christmas season!