It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and that means it’s shopping season! Here are 5 practical tips and areas of focus, for E-Commerce success through the Holiday season (and beyond).
1. Make the Most of E-Commerce Business This Holiday Season
The days between the end of October and the beginning of January are filled with great joy, love, and festivity as people huddle up to their loved ones in celebration.
But amidst the excitement and comfort, for many people there is also immense stress and a lot of work to be done. That is especially true of those involved in the world of E-Commerce.
First, you’ve got to find the right audience – and deliver the right message to them.
While it is totally possible to make a huge profit during the holiday season, it is important to have the know-how and a clear plan in order to navigate the tricky system and stand out among the crowd of online companies.
Since many e-commerce companies carry on with business as usual during the festive season, there’s actually evidence to support the choice to focus in on holiday marketing.
Research has shown that e-commerce sales increase by a noticeable percentage (up to 80%) during November and December. So why not tap into that market of eager shoppers and secret santas?
Here we’ll go through some helpful tips that will give you the power to confidently–and with as much peace as possible–thrive during this holiday season, no matter the size of your business.
2. Form a Clear Vision of Holiday Campaign and Sales
Let’s assume you have all your products or services lined-up, ready to go in tip-top shape.
That’s what you do best, so we’ll leave that creative part of the process in your hands. But what do you do with all those amazing products?
It’s essential to have a solid idea of what sort of holiday campaign you want to run.
This largely ties into the products you offer. For example, a toy company will advertise much differently than a liquor company. Know your audience and advertise accordingly.
It’s also key to know what type of sales you’re prepared to offer.
What can you do to both entice potential customers while also making the profit you need to keep going? With Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, there are unlimited opportunities to offer great sales that will keep customers returning to your site throughout the holiday season to do more shopping, even after the deals have subsided.
Coupon codes, holiday promotions, and free shipping are typically what works best here – but get creative.
Knowing what your strategy will be, and what you hope to gain from holiday business is the first step to a successful season.
3. Research Performance Metrics
Regardless of what platform you use for your e-commerce – Magento, Shopify, WordPress, or otherwise–there are accessible tools to research performance metrics that give you key info in determining the best way forward.
Are people accessing your site organically or are they being coaxed there through email or other social media campaigns?
If you are able to determine your target demographic and how that demographic is most often arriving at your site, you can better design your holiday marketing towards those people. Get your facts straight first, then let creativity take the lead.
Traffic sources aren’t the only thing to focus on, though. When examining performance metrics, check out how long your site takes to load so you can correct any errors before the shopping rush begins.
Page speed is an ever-increasing rank factor in the eyes of most search engines, so you don’t want to overlook your website’s speed and load times.
Determine how much money customers are spending on average on your site so you can ensure the deals you offer are effective while remaining financially viable. And examine your abandonment rate.
If people leave your site, do they come back? After how much time?
Sending a reminder through email that they have items in their shopping cart or sending them a personalized deal is a great way to get shoppers back to your site.
4. Update SEO Strategy to Match the Season
While many people tap similar words into their go-to search engines year round, the holidays tend to change the wording and search specifications quite a bit.
No longer are people just searching for the “best clothes,” but they’re searching for the “best clothes for Christmas gift.” And although it’s easy to forget about with so much else going on, it can’t hurt to take a look at your SEO plan and make some updates to best suit the season.
In a nutshell, you’ve got to have a specific SEO and search engine marketing strategy that will attract the right customers to your store.
Re-optimization of search engine systems is important to ensure your brand scores high rankings all season long. But this process doesn’t happen overnight, so make sure you allow plenty of time to implement changes.
Creating your brand’s promotional calendar, includes a time-table for SEO content, improving your website’s structure, and much more.
Know your keywords!
These will be different during the holidays, as the general mindset of a shopper shifts and the way they search will follow.
Assess the trends of previous years and use that sales information to inform your keywords and SEO strategy this season.
From there, you can create holiday-focused content with intention that you know yields high results.
5. Help Your Customers by Giving Them a Shopping Guide
One foolproof way to put customers in the gift-giving spirit, as well as make them feel they are having a highly personalized, unique experience on your site–is with a festive shopping guide.
Successful guides inspire the desire to give, which means they are more likely to make purchases from your site based on the items the guide suggests.
They also add immense convenience to the shopping experience and reaffirm that the gift choice a customer is selecting is indeed a great gift!
There are many popular sites that use this as a model during the holiday season, from home goods stores to clothing brands and everything in between.
Generally, this is done with the addition of a simple holiday theme to the homepage and slight restructuring of the flow of site content.
For example, changing page categories from “Women” or “Children” to “For Her” or “For the Kids,” promotes an atmosphere of giving on the page and easily directs customers to the products that they are seeking and you are promoting.
In Conclusion: Wrapping It All Up
By funneling customers through a shopping experience with helpful categories and simple language adjustments, your site is likely to be more profitable and customers are more likely to return because of the ease of experience.
With these few tricks, your e-commerce company can thrive this holiday season. Now, go out and make it happen!