The holiday season is here and that means that potential customers are browsing for the perfect gifts. This year is projected to be another record-breaking holiday season for e-commerce. Preparing for the holidays doesn’t take much of a time investment, but implementing a few key strategies will help you take advantage of the sales opportunities the holidays will bring to your online store.  Here are some tips to increase holiday sales this year:

1. Customer Experience Matters

According to Salesforce’s “State of the Connected Consumer” report, “Eighty percent of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services.”

The report also reveals that 57% of consumers have stopped buying from one company because they had a better experience at another retailer.

As an eCommerce small business, it’s incredibly important to treat each customer as a person rather than a number. It should come as no surprise that people value experiences. Use this principle to gain a leg-up on the competition. For many, holiday shopping brings back feelings of nostalgia. While you can’t recreate The Miracle on 34th Street, you can make your shopping experience unique and enjoyable.

2. Outstanding Customer Service

One thing customers fear losing when shopping online is the warmth and personalization of a brick and mortar store shopping experience. To increase holiday sales, offer unrivaled customer service by:

  • Follow up purchases with a personalized thank you note or email
  • Put the important information at their fingertips. If they can’t find things like shipping information, return policy, sizing guides…etc., right away they will get frustrated and walk away from the sale
  • Because holiday shopping happens in a pretty small timeframe, offer a direct phone number so customers can call with time-sensitive and urgent issues
  • Offer a live-chat feature on your site so customers can get answers to questions immediately
  • Leverage social media support. Although customer complaints will be out there for the world to see, you have an opportunity to prove to new and existing customers that you take customer service seriously and resolve issues in a timely manner. You can really make your business stand out with quality support conversations on social media

3. Seasonal Social Media

The holidays are a great time for seasonal social media content marketing campaigns. It’s important to stay connected with your audience if you hope to increase holiday sales. Be sure to optimize your content for your audience. Tailor your social media campaigns for the holidays to keep your brand relevant. Small changes like a holiday-themed profile picture, holiday messages, or pictures of your products in holiday gift wrap go a long way.

4. Go Local

Even though you may not operate out of a brick and mortar store, you can still capitalize on some of the advantages of local businesses during the holidays. Analyze which areas are your largest markets and run a promotion for that location. Just because you are based out of Maine doesn’t mean you can’t sell swimwear during the holiday months, you just have to target the right demographic such as consumers in Florida or California. Also consider advertising a discounted, free, or expedited holiday shipping promotion, if you have a warehouse, to customers within a certain radius.

5. Look at Your Conversion Rate

Use a free tool like Google Analytics to see where you can optimize conversion rates on your website. Track things like your bounce rate. Google Analytics gives insight into how much traffic your site has and how many visitors “bounced” because your site didn’t have what they were looking for. You’ll also be able to see how visitors are getting to your site whether it be a Google search, social media site, or an advertisement. Do you have a high rate of cart abandonment? Go through the checkout process yourself and see if there are any areas for improvement in your check out process.

6. Optimize for Mobile

People spend more time on mobile devices than any other platform. If your online store isn’t optimized for mobile, fix it immediately!

In 2017, 56% of traffic came through mobile devices, but mobile devices only generated 33% of the revenue.

This means that people are using mobile devices to shop, but not purchase, probably due to a messy mobile checkout process. Make it easy for customers to go from seeing your ad on Instagram to buying your product right from their mobile device to increase holiday sales.

Sources:

https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/holiday-shopping-online#2

https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2018/06/digital-customers-research.html