The upcoming days are festive ones and in this techno-savvy age shoppers prefer to move online and continuous searching for discount sales instead of buying thorough retail outlets and shopping malls.
There are some fascinating statistics that appeals to human analytical left brain in general and for all ecommerce web portals in particular.
Online shopping and ecommerce is a gigantic multibillion dollar business and is expected to grow by 30% this year to $1.5 trillion globally and it has entirely transformed the business model right from its core.
In 2011, the number of digital buyers worldwide reached 792.6 million. A year later, the number rose to 903.6 million and 1.32 billion digital buyers across the globe in 2016.
And one thing is certain that in approaching year 2017 approximately 1.70 billion digital buyers globally shift their shopping pattern and move online.
In the Western countries, Christmas shopping fiesta traditionally kickoff on Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving Day.
In 2015, holiday season retail e-commerce expenditure in the United States amounted to 56.43 billion U.S. dollars with the most money being spent online on Cyber Monday and became the biggest U.S. online shopping day ever with close to 2.3 billion U.S. dollars.
In one recent survey, 65% of the customers admit that the Social media marketing and e-mail advertising messages about additional discounts or clearance sales would influence them to prefer digital buying for their holiday shopping needs.
After going through the statistics and as the holidays are approaching, your online business has the potential to rake in tons of profit.
So, now the focal of attention is not whether or not to grow but by looking at over all facts, the most burning questions are how to grow.
Below mentioned are some tangible ways to accelerate your business online.
1) Start Advertising Earlier:
Holiday campaigns are short term by nature and as the idiom goes ‘The Early bird catches the worm’ so online stores have to manage marketing plans earlier as they take time in promotion as well as in delivery too.
Promotion are a great way to express gratitude to consumers and do offer free sample with every product in this holiday season or reduced shipping, discount coupons, or special offers.
Deloitte’s Annual Holiday Survey also says that 43% of consumers plan to give gift cards or certificates this year.
3) Free & Fast Shipping:
Your shipping options should yell “fast and free” to attract regular and impulsive buyers.
A free shipping promotion or discounted shipping with bigger purchases attracts customers to bank on you.
Research also shows that 70% of online shoppers add items to their carts to qualify for free shipping.
4) Know your Customer:
Customer information is an important ingredient for better sale and to for that survey is an effective mean to get acquainted with your customers and prospects.
5) Financial planning:
Bank on your budget and move accordingly. Marketing channels costs vary as Pay Per Click for example, demands substantial budget than inbound marketing.
And, if money is not an issue then choose paid advertising or opt for social media and content marketing where your only investment is time.
6) Pick up the right channel:
Select an advertising channel that suits your product category. For example, lifestyle, food and fashion related products perform well on platforms that encourage discovery, such as Pinterest and Instagram.
While as Technology related products perform better on medium that put forward shoppers’ research and reviews, such as blogs.
7) Countdown Banner:
Add a countdown timer/banner on your home page shows the days to the holidays.
This reflects a sense of urgency and can boost factors that increase sales as customers’ notice the time slipping away.
8) Homepage Holiday Focused:
Redesign your home page and make it entirely holiday focused. Highlight sale banners, holiday related stuff or even curated gift packs for different categories.
Major ECommerce industry focuses on this strategy to make shopping easier for customers to drive sales.
9) Show Customer Reviews:
Majority of the customers after going through product specification move to customer feedbacks.
It’s a proven and admittable fact that shoppers are more likely to buy items that have been reviewed online.
10) Highlight Site Security.
Be sure that your SSL seal is displayed with clarity as nowadays online shopping is on rise and novice shoppers are little bit apprehensive of revealing their payment information.
11) Curate shopping lists:
Design inventory for different age groups, genders, and even in different price ranges.
This assist buyer to rapidly search for multiple gifts in less time and apart from this also highlight clearance section so that bargain hunters can effortlessly come across good deals.
12) Mobile-Friendly Website:
Ensure your website is ready for all mobiles for providing seamless shopping experience.
Google has spoken. You need a mobile experience for your eCommerce stores. Otherwise, you’ll be penalized in the search engines.
13) Donation to a Charity:
Every human is philanthropist by nature and if corporate sector cares about social welfare and if it shares the profit by doing some charity, buyers feel better about since they gain a sense that they have done a good thing over the holiday season.
Some companies even ask the customers which charity they would like to contribute to.
14) Email Marketing and Social Media:
This is an inexpensive outlet for you during the holidays, but it’s indispensable to combine your holiday marketing campaign with Facebook or Twitter and email marketing.
By leveraging your existing customer database, your probability of increasing traffic and acquiring sales will be much higher than other channels such as PPC.
15) Return policy and Payment options:
In the light of holiday season and to be competitive, you’ve to offer more liberal and extended return and exchange policy.
If you only accept Visa and MasterCard, would your business benefit from permitting PayPal or even Bitcoin payments?
These alternatives are lucrative and can enhance conversions from shoppers that prefer these methods of payment.
16) Analytics software:
It’s very important to figure out where your traffic and sales are coming from, and how you should plan your marketing.
Its’ indispensable to double check the competency of logistic providers in deliverance of high volume of complex orders on time & the ability to handle returns and exchanges quickly and economically as it’s a key differentiator for sustainable growth.
18) Website Update:
Before you start promoting for the holiday season, make sure that you’ve updated your website for the avalanche of traffic ahead.
Get a CDN to make your website load faster as nearly 50% of shoppers will abandon slow loading sites.
19) Quick Checkout:
During the holiday season, shoppers shop through their mobile phones, because they expect that it will take less time.
You have to design the checkout process quick and easy with few clicks. Make sure that the form on the checkout page seeks information that is enough to process the order.
20) Help Option on Every Page:
Do mention your helpline number or offer live chat support 24/7 during the holiday season, so your visitors can get their queries resolved while they are still on your website.
21) Last-minute gift guides:
Last moment buyers are the most confused ones and they surf a lot for getting gift ideas.
So, it’s better to add a new section to the website dedicated to gift ideas and these will not only be informative but can have direct links to specific product to bring in more sales.
The holiday season is tough time, but it is also wildly lucrative.
With the ever-increasing use of technology and as the entire thing become convenient and effortless, you have to consider these unique factors to increase your profits — and make your customers happy.
And the last thing but not the least one is intended for to the eCommerce development that while designing the entire phase of the festive season, they have to be very agile and mindful about implementation of ideas mentioned as eCommerce developers are the key players in this whole exercise of boosting business and generating profits in a small span of time.