Whether you’re solely running an e-commerce website, or you run an online store that supplements your brick-and-mortar locations, it’s important to tailor your website when the holidays come around. Trends show that U.S. holiday e-commerce sales are only increasing every year, so why wouldn’t you make sure your online store is set up for success during this busy shopping season?
We asked eight e-commerce experts to share their tips and tricks for tailoring online stores for this buying-intensive time of year. Consider these options as you prepare your own online store for the upcoming holiday season.
Give Your Website a Temporary Makeover
I always recommend businesses to change the visuals of their [online] store. Change the colour scheme, tweak your logo, introduce some festive images. Make your site visitors feel all warm and fuzzy before they start looking at your products.
Offer a ‘12 Days of Christmas Sale’ with certain products going on sale each day to boost sales in the days leading up to Christmas. Make special categories for your products centered around the holidays, like ‘Stocking Stuffers,’ ‘Santa’s Picks’ or ‘Christmas Gifts for the Grinch in Your Family.'
Meet Your Buyers’ Expectations
... as November approaches bargain shoppers expect holiday deals to appear. Ensure shipping times and inventories are super clear, so customers know if they will receive their products in time for travel and gifting.
We make sure ... all of [our customers] questions are answered, delivery times are easy to understand, and customer service is always available whether through email, live chat, or even text message.
Create Buzz Around Your Site
Contests and giveaways naturally drive traffic to your pages and products, ultimately boosting your brand recognition. In addition to acting as a friendly nudge to previous buyers, you can expect to see a rise in new customers.
What we really try to emphasize is that we sell out every Christmas and that shipments go out on a first come, first served basis. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is great leverage — especially during the holiday season. If you can offer expedited shipping, it's also a huge plus!
Don't compete, innovate. Major retailers kick up the marketing and sales messaging during the holidays. This is the time to launch exclusive ideas that nobody else carries to take advantage of gift giving.
… having a countdown timer for a particular price, or a 'only 3 left' indicator to increase the urgency of the buyer. Particularly in a holiday setting – contriving some kind of urgency, can be very effective in decreasing friction to checkout.
Use Tools to Drive Engagement
Add conversion tracking with a Facebook pixel. Facebook advertising is powerful, and adding a pixel to your ecommerce store will tell you exactly how much Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) you are achieving in Facebook's extensive ad network. It's a powerful way to learn more about your customers' tastes and preferences.
You should try implementing a chatbot [and then] customize it with the right questions and answers to automate the sales process even more. Use that to drive conversions during the holiday.
… focus on building your email list as much as you can before the holiday season. Our email lists have [been] extremely effective in our communication and relationship with our customers and convert much higher than any other marketing channel for us.
How else can e-commerce business owners tailor their online stores? The more tips the better! Share your expert advice below.