Six Easy Steps to a Perfect E-Commerce Holiday Season

e-Commerce is our favorite thing so we can’t help but repeat the obvious — the holiday season is your best money time, so let’s make sure we’re ready for it.

1. Sharing is caring, right? Make your products shareable. Integrate social media sharing button your customers can use to share their favorite products on your site. You need to be very careful how you do this so as not to turn it into a sales killer:

a. Reserve social sharing buttons for the confirmation page following the sale. Studies show that social sharing buttons on some product pages actually reduced sales. Use A/B testing to gauge conversion on product pages with and without social sharing buttons.

b. Sales come first, social second. Don’t allow social sharing to become a distraction taking the customer’s attention away from the sale.

c. Use smaller buttons. They are less distracting while still enabling those who wish to share do that.

d. Don’t use share buttons with counters unless you are 100% sure you can get a reasonable amount of shares.

e. Remember, at the end — it is not the actual buttons that cause people to share, but rather the subjective value they assign to the product.

2. Early bird catches the fattest worm. Offer an incentive for early orders. For example ‘Buy your holiday gifts by November 20th and enjoy free shipping!” or ‘Get a 15% discount on all holiday gifts if you buy before December 15th.’ Providing the right offer will jump start your holiday sales way ahead of the competition. Use banner campaigns in the relevant categories to advertise this smart offer!

3. Be extra nice to your existing customers. You already have their emails, which is a pot of gold right there. You work hard to maintain a year round relationship with them and now is the time to cash in on your efforts. Offer them Loyalty Club discounts, create email campaigns that lead them to specific landing pages based on virtual categories — this means, you can create virtual categories to match different customer types, according to their shopping history and send them directly to a landing page that matches their shopping habits AND offers them a great deal. I guarantee your customers will feel appreciated and your bottom, line will confirm it. You can even take it a step further and offer them to share this offer with a friend for an extra bonus for you both!

4. Did I say Free shipping yet?

5. Make a wish. People are often on a budget. The holidays is an expensive time and people usually blow their budget by December 31, if not a lot earlier. That doesn’t mean they will not start buying again come January, right? Create a “Buy it later/wish list” option where customers can save coveted products their budget prevents them from buying at the moment. Take their email address and start an email campaign for those customers with special deals on the items they saved in their wish list.

6. Give New Year’s a shot. Try a new approach this year. Instead of pushing sales for Christmas, try pushing sales with a New Year approach. Many shoppers have already completed their holiday purchases as early as November and they’re thinking ahead to the New Year.
New Year’s purchases are way different from holiday-season purchases: almost anything goes! You can sell spices, mobile gadgets, computers, stationary, digital goods, books — anything! Try and own this sales approach ahead of your competitors.

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