Christmas is peak season for most eCommerce stores. Here are 10 steps to make sure that your online business makes the most of it.
Soon it's that time of year when the Home Alone movies will be on your TV and your label machines will be working on full throttle to handle the many orders coming in.
The Christmas sales is what defines a successful year for most webshops. To get you ready, here are the 10 steps that will give you and your eCommerce business a very happy (and busy) Christmas:
1. Personalised newsletter
The quest to increase your Christmas sales starts even before customers enter your webshop.
Because a newsletter with product recommendations tailored to the individual recipients will increase your click-through rates and convince more people to take their Christmas shopping to your webshop.
The more your customer feels that the newsletter is created for him (and him alone), the more likely he is to convert. Phrase the email as if you were writing a friend or colleague.
2. Captivating front page
The front page is typically where you either lose or gain a customer.
For this reason it's crucial to make sure that the front page appeals to your individual visitors. You achieve this by inserting:
1: A banner attracting initial attention
2: Sliders with personal product recommendations
3: Product recommendations with trending products and best offers.
The Christmas shopper is typically not a patient one, so use the banner to immediately catch his attention. One way to do this, is by promising a discount or small gift if customers buy for a certain amount.
3. Onsite search that converts
But for your onsite search engine to be a genuine help that makes it easy for your customers to convert, it must support:
1: Live search (personalised to the shopping behaviour of the individual customer)
2: Full phrase search
3: Automatic spell correction
If you have a well-functioning search engine installed, it can be one of your most effective revenue streams. So make sure that your customers can't miss it when entering your webshop. If you don't have a well-functioning search engine installed, then get one.
4. A product page that sells
When customers enter a product page, you must do everything you can to make them to fall in love with that product.
After all, they are only a few clicks away from converting now. So, to make that product become a Christmas present, you should design a product page with:
1: A clean design (don't over-clutter the page!)
2: A big product picture- and title
3: A list of central information about product and services
4: A visible call-to-action
5: Sliders with product recommendations (to keep your customers from leaving)
Remember to always think omnichannel. Add information about the availability of your product in potential physical store(s) of yours and make it possible for customers to pick up their orders in those stores if possible.
5. Great customer service
Your customers expect you to answer any question regarding products or services just as readily and rapidly as were you standing across from them in a physical store.
To accommodate this demand, you must clearly communicate the phone number and opening hours of your customer support and consider including a live chat service.
Nothing raises questions and doubt in a customer like buying presents to family and friends. So, consider extending the opening hours of your customer support around Christmas to help guide them.
6. Fast and reliable delivery
A big concern of your customers will be whether or not they will get their order before Christmas.
To give them peace of mind, it's important that you clearly state when they will receive the products they are about to purchase.
Also, by adding a clock indicating how late your customers can place their order and still receive it the next or following day, you instil a sense of urgency, which can further improve your conversion rates.
Remember that mail- and parcel services are extra busy during Christmas too. So, better to be conservative about your delivery times, than to make promises you cannot keep. After all, it's quite hard to explain a 7-year old boy on Christmas Eve, why his new Barcelona shirt is at the post office and not under the tree. And your customers will hold this against you, if you promised that the shirt would reach them before Christmas...
7. A power step up-selling your customers
The power step is one of the most effective ways of up-selling your Christmas shoppers.
In fact, by making it easy for them to find that extra controller for their son's new Playstation, you can increase your total sales with as much as 10%
Not all your customers are interested in buying more products. This means that your first priority on the power step should be to give your customers the opportunity of checking out. If you fail to do so, the power step can backfire and make your customers leave.
8. Check-out offers
Perhaps your business can't learn a lot from the Supermarkets industry, but check-out offers is one very profitable strategy you should adopt.
By inserting product recommendations on your basket page, you get one last chance to up-sell your customers and increase your average order value.
Just as in the Supermarket, your customers won't make expensive impulse purchases just before checking out. This is why your check-out offers should consist of cheap steals and gift certificates - items that don't take a lot of contemplation to buy.
9. Simple check-out
You are so close to converting your customers now.
So, don't mess it up by hurling them into a complicated check-out system that makes them loose their Christmas spirit.
To reduce the number of customers abandoning their carts during check-out, you should make this process as simple as possible - try and limit yourself to only 3 steps and always let your customers know how far they have come.
By letting your customers check out using their email address, you have an excellent opportunity to get in touch with them in case they abandon their shopping cart.
10. Personalised abandoned cart emails
...Because a large part of your customers will leave their carts behind before checking out - no matter how well-designed your check-out system is.
But by sending your customers abandoned cart emails, you can save a lot of otherwise lost Christmas sales by getting those customers back to finish their orders.
It's a good idea to send out 2 or 3 abandoned cart emails within the first 48 hours of your customers leaving. If they haven't returned within that time frame, chances are that they have bought what they needed somewhere else.
These are your 10 eCommerce commandments that will help send your Christmas sales through the roof.
Have fun and happy Holidays!