28th November 2014

Christmas E-commerce, How to Capitalise on the Holidays.

Christmas E-commerce, How to Capitalise on the Holidays.

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Ahh Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year and the most lucrative, if you are a savvy E-commerce site owner that is.

The way to truly capitalise on the loose purse strings of many a Christmas shopper, and bring in increased sales, is through clear messaging. There are many tips and tricks that you should keep in mind and consider incorporating into your general strategy in the run up to Christmas, but here are some fundamental guidelines to helping you increase conversions:

First up, don’t push the word “Christmas” too much. Might seem odd, but remember you are more than likely part of a global market, one in which not everyone celebrates Christmas, but instead observes some sort of winter holiday season. So why not opt to push words like ‘Seasonal’ and ‘holiday’, as opposed to Christmas? By doing so, you avoid alienating a significant section of your customer base. You could even try adding to your site a cheeky line such as “Don’t like Christmas then this is the place for you” and create a Christmas free zone for all the grinches out there. Do this through the use of Christmas free content and special offers based around non-seasonal products.

To get your customers in the mood for the holidays, change the homepage and Christmas landing page colour schemes to traditional festive colours and consider using a themed background.You could even place Christmas trivia up on your landing page each day in the run up to Christmas, to get shoppers in the mood.

Delivery is hugely important at Christmas. The first thing that will deter your customers from making a sale is the worry that their gifts will not arrive in time for Christmas day its self. You can easily ease these woes by simply instating clear messaging in and around your site, reminding customers of when goods will arrive. For example, on product pages when customers are clicking on a certain product and at the check out stage when items are being bought, make it clear when the goods in question will arrive. Make sure your last order date is prominent on your landing page, let customer knows when they have to order by to avoid missing out on receiving a gift in time for the big day.
Equally customers want to know whether or not they can expect to return their goods with ease, in exchange for different sizes or colours. The Christmas period is notorious for resulting in high levels of returns to E-commerce sites. It is so important again to state clearly in your returns policy, where you stand on returns, refunds and exchanges. The more explicit and transparent you are about these details, the more likely it is that your customers will trust you and feel confident about completing their sales, safe in the knowledge that should they need to return items, the option is there in clear specific terms.

Highlight any gift wrapping options that will be available at checkout, from the moment the user lands on your site.  This is a pleasant perk, that customers will appreciate and it could be the difference between a customer buying an item on your site and buying it on a different one.

Make sure your contact details are displayed prominently on your site. You might wish to display a Christmas hotline number, that customers can call during what will no doubt be a busy time for enquiries. Take as much heat off your customer service team as possible, by mitigating the amount of calls you are likely to get by including a well placed, detailed returns policy.

Don’t forget that a high amount of sales actually take place on Christmas day. With sales of iPads and tablets, consumers are poised and ready to make online purchases at this point in time. Make sure you still process orders and dispatch on Christmas day its self, so you avoid missing out on any sales.

Another golden rule you must adhere to, is ensuring site stability. Customers are typically more time-sensitive at Christmas, they are less tolerant of any crashes or frozen screens. Make sure you test for any bugs or issues that could result in customers dropping from your site, due to their irritation towards the lack of smoothness in the way it operates.

Lastly remember to capture data and put a follow up marketing plan in place. If someone buys from your site over Christmas, then target them again in the January sales.

There is no better time of year for increasing sales than Christmas. Tweak your site slightly and you are sure to cash in on the festive shoppers.

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