Five tips to maximising your Christmas sales

1. Review what worked last year

Analysis of what strategies were particularly successful over Christmas last year, and building on those, is one of the best ways to convert website traffic into sales. For example, reviewing dates that promotions ran and how these coincide with holidays or events that cause a spike in traffic as people rush to get orders in on time, such as Cyber Monday. This is a sure-fire way to begin boosting sales. Promotions should also be cross-checked with delivery dates to ensure that they conclude with enough time to arrive before the event.

2. Defining seasonal customer segments

As a retailer, you want to acknowledge that the customer has visited the site before and make them feel valued. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, such as greeting the customer with a personalised welcome back message or using their shopping and browsing history guiding them towards relevant categories with a particular focus on highlighting festive-themed products.

New customers also provide a valuable opportunity to increase revenue. If specific activation programs, such as highlighting on-site functionalities with tips, are included on the website there is a greater chance of new customers completing a purchase.

3. Maximising email

Email still remains one of the largest drivers of holiday traffic. Some 44 per cent of people who purchased a promoted item over the festive period heard about the deal through email.
This means potential sales are lost every time a site fails to drive customers toward an email sign-up. Some of the best ways this can be done is by highlighting or creating an email sign-up banner on the site. Offering customers a redemption item, such as a discount code or free shipping, can also encourage sign-ups. 

It is important to note that personalisation and consistency is essential to implementing an effective sign-up campaign. If the customer has already signed up to the mailing list, they won’t want to see a banner urging them to do so.

4. Making relevant changes to website navigation

With increasingly short attention spans, 32 per cent of users abandon slow-loading pages, this means grabbing customers’ attention is vital in converting visits to sales. Over the festive period it is imperative that seasonal promotions are prioritised on the main page. Navigation tabs should also be customised with relevant panes, allowing visitors to access deals with greater ease.

Sales can also be driven through the use of banners that add a sense of immediacy to a user’s shopping experience. These banners could feature shipping deadlines or countdowns particularly effective alongside reminders of seasonal festivities.

5. Providing service guarantee messaging

A barrier that many online retailers find hinders conversion rates is the uncertainty that still exists in peoples’ minds over the legitimacy of e-commerce. This can be heightened over the Christmas period, as the stress of whether an item will arrive in time or not becomes pressing. 

Online retailers can ensure that customers will receive their products before Christmas by providing guarantees and safe dates to order. They can also offer “risk-free gifting” which allows free returns on any orders in case the item doesn’t fit, or the receiver just plain doesn’t like them. Displaying up-to-date security certificates can also reassure users about the legitimacy of an e-commerce site.

Implement these pro-tips and you can ensure that your business is positioned to take full advantage of the rise of e-commerce and the changes in user spending habits over the festive season. Good luck and happy holidays!

John Healy is COO at Monetate

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