A Complete Guide to Selling Online This Holiday Season (Free eBook)
Hello all small business owners, online sellers, and website owners alike! Over the past few weeks we have been dropping tons of holiday eCommerce tips, strategies, tricks, and information to help you find the success you deserve selling online this season.
Now, we decided to wrap everything up into one complete eBook in order to have everything you need all in one resource! As always, Bookmark is here for you and your website’s success. Feel free to reach out via Live Chat (or check out our Help Center) to find the answers you’re looking for. Now, without further ado, let’s get into it!
PART ONE: Get Your Website Ready for the Holidays in 2022
Holidays! Those magical moments of the year when we are in celebration mode! And while we’re enjoying ourselves, we should also make our business website’s smile.
People excitedly buy holiday essentials and presents during the holiday season, so spending increases. As a result, holiday sales provide the opportunity to hit your revenue targets.
You can cash in on online holiday sales if you prepare your eCommerce site to meet holiday sales demands and provide a smooth shopping experience.
In this article, we will discuss how you can prep your website for the holidays.
Steps to prep your website for holiday sales
To prepare your online store for busy holiday shopping, you need to do the following:
1. Prepare your eCommerce holiday schedule
The first step to prepping your eCommerce store for holiday sales is to have a holiday schedule. Determine the dates of all the holidays, plan to acknowledge all or most of them, and plan to build active marketing campaigns around a few.
You cannot plan for an event if you don’t know its date. So, before anything else, you should identify the dates of all the holidays celebrated in the U.S. and worldwide.
Over a dozen holidays are packed into the holiday months of November and December. These are:
- World Kindness Day – November 13th
- Thanksgiving – November 24th
- Black Friday – November 25th
- Small Business Saturday – November 26th
- Cyber Monday – November 28th
- Giving Tuesday – November 29th
- Green Monday – December 12th
- Free Shipping Day – December 14th
- Hanukkah – December 18th – 26th
- Christmas Eve – December 24th
- Christmas Day – December 25th
- Boxing Day – December 26th
- Kwanzaa – December 26th – January 1st
- New Year’s Eve – December 31st
- New Year’s Day – January 1st
Know that every holiday matters to many people out there and that your potential customers may be among those people. So, it is important to acknowledge most or all the holidays.
Acknowledging the holidays promotes a sense of inclusiveness and helps you reach more people. Acknowledging a holiday can be as simple as making a related post on your social media channels.
Choose a few holidays to engage with and build marketing campaigns around.
It is a good idea to build campaigns for the popular holidays that everyone else will have campaigns for. So, plan to have promotional deals for Black Friday, Christmas, etc.
You should also plan campaigns for niche holidays that may not be very popular but are relevant to your business. For example, November 23rd (National Espresso day) should feature big on your marketing calendar if you sell espresso machines.
2. Discounts and promotions over the holiday season
Promotions are essential to driving holiday shopping traffic to your eCommerce store. So, after choosing the holidays to target, the next step is to plan the promotional strategies you will deploy.
Say you’ve decided to offer Christmas holiday deals. What deals will you offer? Discounts? Buy “X” get one free?
There are different promotional strategies that eCommerce stores employ. The most popular for online holiday sales include:
Allow customers to get products for lower than they would normally get them. Discounts are the most popular holidays promotional strategy, and they work because customers love to get a bargain.
Buy more, save more
Give customers a discount if they reach a minimum purchase amount (e.g., 15% off orders over $200). It works because it takes away the guilt of spending more money.
Eliminate shipping costs for customers to receive a purchase. Free shipping works because customers would rather not pay anything more over the article’s price.
Allow customers to get a product for free if they take specific actions (e.g., buy “2” get “1” free, buy “x” product get “y” product free). If you cannot give away products, create useful branded gifts to offer with each purchase. Product giveaways work because everyone loves freebies.
3. Sitewide testing and the customer experience
The increased shopping traffic during the holiday season can slow a site down or even crash it. Sadly, a crashed site means zero sales, while a slow site means reduced sales because 70% of online shoppers say a slow-loading eCommerce site is a turn-off.
The most attractive promotional deals will mean nothing if your eCommerce site crashes or is slow when people visit. So, to prep your online store for holiday sales, fix all bugs and get your site ready for increased holiday shopping traffic.
Know that three out of every four dollars spent on online purchases is done through a mobile device. While prepping your eCommerce site for holiday sales, you should ensure that it is mobile-friendly.
Late October/ early November is the best time to get your site ready. Bookmark offers all the solutions you need to create mobile-friendly eCommerce sites and boost website speed.
4. Create eye-catching holiday pop-ups
Even the most attractive promotional deals will fail to bring in business if customers do not know they exist.
Pop-ups are excellent website features to highlight deals and display them to your visitors. So, to prep your site for holiday sales, create eye-catching pop-ups that intelligently display your deals to customers and persuade them to buy.
You can set up pop-ups to:
- Display deals to visitors who intend to leave without making a purchase.
- Highlight deals on products relating to those that visitors add to their cart to nudge them to make more purchases.
- Highlight the savings (deals) on the total order in a cart to deter customers from abandoning their carts.
5. Make website design adjustments to embrace the festive look
Operators of physical retail stores will tell you that holiday decorations matter. Decorations create positive feelings that put customers at ease, increasing the likelihood of spending.
To prep your eCommerce store for holiday sales, you should embrace the festive look by making website adjustments to add decorations relevant to the holiday you are targeting.
Dressing up an online store to reflect the holiday season can easily be accomplished by clicking a few buttons. It will involve adding festive colors and fonts, banners, countdowns, slideshows, music, etc.
With Bookmark’s drag-and-drop site editing tools, you can easily add elements and customize your eCommerce website to embrace the festive look.
The increased shopping traffic during the holiday season is an opportunity to grow your sales online. To prepare your site for the holiday sales:
- Prepare your eCommerce holiday schedule for 2022. Know all the holiday dates, acknowledge most of the holidays, and target a few for active marketing campaigns.
- Plan discounts and promotions to offer over the holiday season. Discounts, free shipping, and product giveaways are some of the most popular.
- Do sitewide testing and fix bugs early. Ensure that increased holiday shopping traffic will not crash or slow the site and that it is optimized for mobile devices.
- Create eye-catching holiday pop-ups. These features display your deals to site visitors, encouraging them to complete their purchases or buy more.
- Make website design adjustments to add holiday decorations and embrace the festive look. Decorations create positive feelings that put customers at ease and make them more likely to shop.
As a bonus point, plan to fight shopping cart abandonment. Some customers may add an item to their cart and then leave without completing the purchase.
Bookmark’s “abandoned cart saver” is an excellent feature to fight cart abandonment. It allows you to automatically send a reminder email to customers who do not complete the checkout process.
If you’re thinking of how to meet revenue goals for the year, the upcoming holiday season is your opportunity. Use the tips mentioned above to prepare your eCommerce store for online holiday sales.
Bookmark has all the solutions and tools you need to get your site ready. Contact Bookmark to get started.
Stay tuned for other guides that help you start, build, and grow your online presence.
PART TWO: How To Maximize Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales Online in 2022
As the holidays approach, retailers begin to plan for their biggest sales of the year. For eCommerce businesses, this means preparing for a surge in online traffic and orders.
You might think it’s early, but now is the perfect time to start prepping for the holiday rush.
Every year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring a flurry of activity to eCommerce sites. It’s important to know what to expect and plan accordingly to prepare your site for the influx of traffic so that you can avoid common mistakes and maximize your revenue.
Starting your holiday marketing campaign early, making your website mobile-friendly, and devising an email discount campaign are some of the things you can do to make the most of the holiday shopping season.
In this post, we’ll share more tips on preparing your eCommerce site for Black Friday and Cyber Monday to help you boost your sales this holiday season.
Predictions for Black Friday Cyber Monday 2022
It’s never too early to start planning for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Understanding consumer trends and accordingly preparing your site can help you make the most of the holiday shopping season.
Sales duration will be longer
In 2022, the sales will likely start earlier and last longer than ever before. Retailers have a habit of starting their sales earlier each year in an attempt to beat the competition. This means that consumers can expect Black Friday deals to start popping up as early as October.
83% of consumers say they’re likely to shop earlier than Black Friday this year, while many others will be looking for good deals even after Cyber Monday. So, keeping your deals and promotions going throughout the weekend is important.
User experience and trust will be more important than ever
Some shoppers believe that the best prices are not always available on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They’re often right. In 2019, only 5% of Black Friday’s sales were doorbusters, items with intense discounts.
Despite a rise in purchases in recent years, between 2019 and 2021, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers declined by 15%. This suggests retailers need to focus on earning consumer trust to boost sales. But how do you achieve that?
Offering genuine prices that are lower than the regular price is a good start. Don’t overhype your sales or use misleading language. Be clear about what’s on sale and what’s not.
Your eCommerce site’s user experience is also important. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and that shoppers can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. If your site is slow or difficult to use, shoppers will likely leave and take their business elsewhere.
Statistics regarding Black Friday and Cyber Monday
As you prepare for the holiday season, knowing what to expect in terms of traffic and sales is helpful. Here are some statistics that can give you a better idea of what to expect.
- Last year, 108 million shoppers in the US visited stores during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This means that traffic will be up compared to previous years.
- Around 62.8 million were planning to shop online on Cyber Monday last year, so 2022 is expected to see a significant increase in online traffic and sales.
- Purchases made through desktop devices contributed to 58% of Black Friday Sales in 2021. With mobile sales taking 42% of the pie, it’s clear that user experience for your eCommerce site on all devices is more important than ever. You must ensure that your site is responsive and easy to use on desktop and mobile devices.
- Since one of the best ways to announce your Black Friday deals is through email marketing, retailers sent an average of 116.5 million emails on Black Friday in 2020.
- In 2020, the cart abandonment rate in the US was nearly 80%. Your checkout process needs to be smooth and easy to use if you want to reduce cart abandonment and boost your sales.
- Around 74% of shoppers plan to shop online on Black Friday to avoid crowds. Fighting for a parking spot and dealing with long lines are among the top reasons shoppers prefer to shop online. You should take advantage of this by offering exclusive deals and promotions for online shoppers.
- Mobile devices are becoming increasingly important for online shoppers, contributing to 37% of Cyber Monday sales. Your Cyber Monday deals need to be optimized for mobile and desktop users, who contribute significantly to online sales.
- Small businesses can benefit the most of the holiday season, as statistics show they experience an average of 501% increase in sales on Cyber Monday. If you’re a small business owner, this is an excellent opportunity to boost your sales and reach new customers.
Prepping for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Now that you know what to expect, it’s time to start preparing for the biggest shopping.
What is a Black Friday eCommerce strategy?
Your Black Friday eCommerce strategy is the plan you create to make the most of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday comes after Thanksgiving and was typically the busiest shopping day of the year in the US until Cyber Monday came along.
A Black Friday strategy generally includes planning your promotions and deals early, preparing your website and marketing materials, and ensuring your team is ready to handle the increased traffic and sales.
These are some tactics you can use to boost your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
1. Making your site mobile-friendly
According to Shopify, mobile devices contributed to 79% of Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic in 2021. A mobile-friendly website is essential for providing a good user experience and increasing conversion rates.
2. Plan and start your campaign early
Your competitors are already planning their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, so you need to start early to stay ahead of the game. Planning your campaign will give you time to create high-quality marketing materials and ensure your website is ready for increased traffic.
3. Email discount campaigns are key
Email marketing can effectively promote your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. It allows you to reach a large audience with minimal effort, and you can track your results to see what’s working.
4. Extend your deals beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The holiday shopping season doesn’t end on Cyber Monday. In fact, many shoppers are still looking for deals in December. Offer extended discounts on your website to keep the momentum going and boost your sales even further.
5. Upselling and cross-selling
During the holiday shopping season, shoppers are more likely to add items to their cart that they wouldn’t normally purchase. Upselling and cross-selling are great ways to boost your average order value and increase your holiday sales. You can convince shoppers to buy more expensive items by adding gifts to quality products that cost more.
Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is the busiest online shopping period. To make the most of this season:
- Check out the predictions for the upcoming season as they give you an idea of what to expect regarding customer behavior and sales volume so you can plan accordingly.
- Small businesses see the biggest relative increase in sales on Cyber Monday, so if you own a small business, this is an excellent opportunity to boost your sales and reach new customers.
- Your Black Friday eCommerce strategy will determine your success in making the most of the holiday shopping season.
- Tactics you can use to boost your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales include making your site mobile-friendly and planning your campaign early.
- Email discount campaigns are key this season, and you should extend your deals beyond just Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Don’t wait until the last minute to start planning your Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy – the sooner you start, the better prepared you’ll be.
And if you need help, Bookmark, the world’s first Ai-powered website builder & eCommerce solution, is here to assist. We have many tools to help you build a strong online presence, drive traffic to your website, and boost sales.
Get started today and see the results for yourself! We’ll be back next week with another helpful blog. In the meantime, happy planning!
PART THREE: Holiday Shipping Survival Guide for Small Business Owners (Presented by eShipper)
The following article is Featured Guest Post from eShipper, a one-stop shop for shipping born in Canada, giving small business owners access to the best shipping & fulfillment solutions.
Although it would seem natural to pour all your efforts into online promotions, giveaways, and incentives, holiday-themed webstore design, social media outreach, and email marketing campaigns galore, you should take care of something that may otherwise be treated as an afterthought: shipping.
Some of us may balk when we see holiday decorations for sale in October, but we also know that businesses do it for a reason–it works. Last year, holiday sales amounted to as much as $886.7 billion, a 14.1% increase since 2020. Holiday spending is expected to continue to grow this year–by 15.5% in the case of online shopping. If you want to get a good-sized slice out of that gigantic pie, now is the time to take action to boost your holiday sales.
Getting Started with Shipping
In those final moments of the purchasing journey, shipping is what will make or break the sale. Maybe you’ve done everything right: A customer saw your social media post, shared it with friends, clicked through to your store, browsed your attractively presented product line, picked a few favorites, and added them to their shopping cart. They are so close to hitting the “Purchase” button.
But wait–the customer is suddenly having second thoughts. The holiday shipping charges seem excessive, and the only delivery option states that it will take up to five days for the order to arrive. In less than a minute, your potential customer has abandoned the cart and moved on to a more accommodating competitor.
As many as 48% of shoppers do the same thing when they think the holiday shipping costs are too high. The truth is that shoppers may like surprises during the holiday season, but nothing sends them running in the opposite direction like a surprise at checkout. That’s why it’s essential to display shipping charges early in the checkout process; if you don’t, you run the risk of watching your potential customers head for the virtual door.
More importantly, you have to give customers control over speed and price, so they have the power to decide how and when they receive their orders. Close the sale by offering what they want: free or flat-rate shipping and several delivery options. From standard shipping to air shipping, next-day delivery, and everything in between, your customers have never had more options to get their order how they want, when they want.
Top Shipping Tips
Every time you package up your product and send it away you have to think of the person opening it on the other end. This is a continuation of the customer experience, even once they’ve left your site. So now that you know how to achieve success on your end, let’s look at some of the ways to give your customers the best experience possible.
- Use free shipping. Everyone else worth competing with is already using it. Free shipping doesn’t have to cost you, just factor it into the price of your product. After all, 90% of shoppers say free shipping is their number 1 incentive to shopping online.
- Consider the unboxing experience. The excitement of opening a gift sometimes rivals the gift itself. Tap into this excitement when you package your products. Making them personal with a handwritten note and your customer’s name takes a couple of minutes and makes them feel that much more special. At the very least you can have the notes printed and hand-sign them.
- Prepare for returns. Make sure you are clearly communicating your policy with your customers. You don’t want them to meet any unexpected fees. If your margins allow for it consider covering all of, or some of, the holiday shipping fees. This will make returning customers more likely. If your margins can’t handle that extra cost, don’t sweat it. Just make sure that your customers know this before they purchase.
- Set up order tracking. People are impatient when their expectations haven’t been managed. Having package tracking lets people follow their delivery every step of the way.
- Set up a FAQ about delivery. Regardless of how much you prepare for the holiday rush, there will be customers who still reach out for questions. Try to anticipate the questions ahead of time and have a FAQ available so customers can answer questions themselves.
Some of their questions may be:
- What is your return policy?
- How much is shipping?
- How long will delivery take?
- Can I get expedited shipping?
- Do I have to be home to sign for my package?
These are all necessary keys to shipping and delivery success for the holidays, but none of this information is really new.
Using Shipping as a Marketing Tool
The fact is that free shipping is a powerful motivator that can increase conversion rates and grow your average order value, so if you’re able to offer it, make sure you display that right on your homepage. And if you’re able to offer next-day delivery–even if it’s not free–make sure you display that as well. It’s all about managing (and meeting) customer expectations.
Remember that clarity from the get-go, along with a smooth shipping process and the right mix of delivery options, will help your customer march all the way to the other end of the sales funnel.
If done right, shipping keeps customers coming back. The holiday season is your opportunity to stand out from the competition. So, make sure those last-minute orders take the fast route to their end destinations. Your customers will thank you for it, and so will your bottom line.
Not sure how to find the best carriers and get the most competitive rates? Contact eShipper to get started!
PART FOUR: Holiday Marketing Strategies to Boost Online Sales
The holiday season is the busiest shopping time of the year. Store owners excitedly await the holiday season, as it comes with an opportunity to meet sales and revenue targets.
However, store owners often wonder how they can divert the increased holiday shopping traffic to their storefronts. This article will answer this question.
Targeted marketing strategies during the holiday season will help divert the increased shopping traffic to your online store to increase your sales and revenue significantly.
Specifically, this article will reveal some of the best holiday marketing strategies you can use to snag holiday shopping traffic and boost online sales.
Let’s start the discussion with what holiday marketing is and why it is essential.
What is holiday marketing?
Holiday marketing means actively running marketing campaigns during the holiday period to get customers more interested in products and services.
The goal of holiday marketing is to promote sales and boost revenue.
Why setting up holiday marketing strategies is important
Setting up holiday marketing strategies is key to attracting some of the increased holiday shopping traffic and boosting your sales figures and profits.
The holiday season is usually the busiest shopping time of the year. Holiday spending increases by over 8% compared to the earlier periods of the year because, as shoppers excitedly welcome the holiday, they tend to ease up and spend a lot more money.
To cash in on the increased shopping traffic of the holiday period, retailers are known to offer a variety of deals during this time. Customers generally love deals, causing them to gravitate toward retailers that have attractive deals.
You don’t want customers to view you as that odd retailer who refused to reward its customers when everyone else did. So, if there’s a “best time” to run marketing campaigns, it is the holiday period when everyone else offers deals, and customers are actively looking for bargains and perks.
Six holiday marketing strategies to boost online sales
Below we list some of the best holiday marketing strategies to boost online sales.
1. Make website design changes to give your website a holiday look
Have you ever wondered why physical stores bother with holiday decorations? The decorations tell customers that the store is part of the community, creating a connection between the store and customers.
Also, decorations fill your customer with the holiday spirit, putting them at ease and increasing their chances of buying. The same thing applies to online sales.
An eCommerce website dressed up to reflect the holiday season connects better with customers during this time, communicates positive feelings, and makes customers feel at ease as they shop. So, an easy and effective holiday marketing strategy means making website design changes to dress up your online store in the holiday spirit.
It’s easier to give an online store a holiday look than decorating a physical store to reflect a holiday. It involves adding some elements to your website. Some elements you can add to dress up your website in the holiday spirit include:
- Festive colors and fonts
- Music and jingles
- Holiday-themed images or video
- Countdown timer
- Holiday-related banners
With Bookmark, you don’t need to be a website designer to make these website changes to give your online store the holiday look. Bookmark’s simple drag-and-drop editing tools make it easy to add elements to your website and customize it to fit your unique needs. The Countdown Timer and Video Backgrounds are a few of Bookmark’s many features that can help you give your website the holiday flair.
2. Add holiday flavor to your products and collection
One way to connect better with customers is to extend the holiday spirit to your product and service offerings.
Holiday decorations create feelings that end in your online store. But extending the holiday spirit to your products creates feelings that follow customers home.
Some popular ways to add holiday flavor to your products include:
- Customize your packaging for the holiday.
- “Giftify” your products by bundling two or more into gift packs.
You can add holiday flavor to your collection by creating landing pages for active holiday marketing campaigns. Unlike regular web pages that encourage exploration, holiday-special landing pages would call for a specific action, making more visitors become customers.
With Bookmark’s easy website builder, you can create as many sub-pages as you want to organize your website to your unique needs.
You can add sales-boosting holiday landing pages like Christmas offers, Gifts for women (or men), Gifts for moms (or dads), Gifts for kids, etc.
3. Offer add-on services like gift-wrapping
Customers like add-on services, as these enhance the value of their purchase without additional costs to them. Thus, when considering holiday marketing strategies to boost online sales, look beyond your core products and services and plan to offer add-on services.
A popular holiday service add-on is gift wrapping. You may enhance the experience by allowing customers to include a gift message.
4. Offer free shipping and returns
Nine out of ten customers say that free shipping is the biggest incentive to shop online, while 78% of customers will buy if you offer free returns. Thus, free shipping and free return are some of the best holiday marketing strategies to boost online sales.
Know that customers generally would rather not pay anything above a product’s price. Free shipping promos eliminate the additional charge for receiving an online purchase, so customers gravitate toward them.
If you don’t want free-shipping offers to affect your bottom line, then offer it only when customers spend a certain amount (e.g., free shipping for orders that exceed a certain price or quantity).
Also, customers don’t want to lose money if they need to return an online purchase. Free return promos work because they allow customers to return an unwanted product with no extra fee.
5. Employ social media holiday marketing campaigns
About 4.7 billion people use social media worldwide, equating to 59% of the global population. So, social media campaigns help you reach potential customers where they are.
Before the holiday shopping season, you should determine where your target audience is (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, or TikTok).
Then determine what they want. Analytics that use browsing behavior can help you determine what your target audience wants. You may also interact directly with your target audience to find out what they want. For example, you can conduct polls to determine the promo they favor.
6. Run holiday email marketing campaigns
Despite the increasing popularity of social media, email is still the best channel to reach people. Thus, one efficient holiday marketing strategy to boost online sales is email marketing.
Here are some reasons why email marketing is one of the best marketing strategies.
- An email message is about five times more likely to be seen than a Facebook message
- Email has a 66% conversion rate versus social media.
If you’ve not done email marketing before, this holiday season may be the perfect time for it. Start by building a good email list, which helps you create leads. Then design compelling email messages. For best results, target a specific audience at a time and personalize the emails.
If you’ve done email marketing before, revisit your campaign and try to improve it.
Customer spending increases by 8.5% during the holiday season. Customers love deals, so running marketing campaigns during the holiday season can draw shopping traffic to your store to boost sales.
Some holiday marketing strategies to boost online sales are:
- Give your website a holiday look
- Add holiday flavor to your products and collections
- Offer add-on services like gift-wrapping
- Offer free shipping and easy returns
- Employ social media holiday marketing campaigns
- Run holiday email marketing campaigns
There’s no better time than the holiday season to boost sales and revenue figures. The six holiday marketing strategies above can help you attract part of the high shopping traffic during the holiday period.
Bookmark has solutions that can help with your holiday marketing strategies, especially with giving your website the holiday look (via adding holiday-themed elements) and adding holiday flavor to your collection (via creating holiday-special landing pages). Contact Bookmark to get started.
Stay tuned for other guides that help you start, build, and grow your online presence.
PART FIVE: Last Minute eCommerce Holiday Tips and Tricks
It’s the most beautiful time of the year unless you’re an eCommerce business owner scrambling to get everything ready for the holiday rush.
If you’re behind on your holiday preparations, don’t worry. There’s still a lot of time to get everything ready and prepare your business for the influx of holiday shoppers.
This article will discuss a few last-minute tips and tricks to help your eCommerce business make it through the holiday season.
Level up your customer service strategies
Your customer service team will be working overtime during the holidays, so it’s vital to ensure they’re well-prepared. Have friendly customer service representatives on standby for any questions or complaints.
Customer service representatives are essential during the holiday season. How they handle your customers can make or break your business, as shown in the data below:
- Statistics say 81% of customers consider excellent customer service a critical factor in making another purchase.
- A single negative customer experience is enough to make 61% of consumers switch to another brand.
Your customer service representatives are the ones who will be dealing with any queries and other types of grievances from customers, so it’s necessary to keep them well-equipped for the job, especially during the holidays.
- Ensure your customer service team is friendly and knowledgeable. Train them on your company’s policies. They should also be familiar with the products you sell so that they can answer any customer questions.
- Create a holiday customer service plan that outlines how you’ll deal with increased call volume, longer wait times, and other common issues.
- Establish a system for processing returns quickly and efficiently
- Train your team on handling disgruntled customers
Don’t forget to offer holiday-themed customer service perks, such as extended hours, holiday discounts, or free shipping. These few extras can make a huge difference in making your customers feel valued and appreciated.
Check out what worked last year
Determine what you did last holiday season and see how you can improve it this time. After all, 61% of small-to-medium businesses found that more than 50% of their revenue comes from repeat customers, so using the same methods might lead them to shop back at your store.
- Determine what type of content or advertisement performed significantly well at that time and identify whether you can replicate or improve it.
- You can also examine your site traffic and sales data to see which marketing channels generate the most traffic and conversions. Doing so will help you focus your resources on the areas that give you the best ROI.
- Refer to Google Analytics to see which pages on your website got the most traffic and for how long each visitor stayed on that page. From there, you can further analyze which products were the most popular and see how you can position them better this year.
- Knowing what days were the busiest in the past can also help you prepare your inventory and staffing to avoid getting overwhelmed and stressed during the holiday rush.
- Also, don’t forget to check what deals and promotions you ran last year. If they gave you increased revenue, see if you can either repeat them or offer something even better this holiday season.
Use striking visuals
Make sure your website and social media platforms are visually appealing. Images are an excellent method to convey a message fast since the brain can comprehend them in less than 5% of a second.
Furthermore, making them is simple if you have the right tools. To make your website more visually appealing, consider the following:
- Adding holiday-themed banners or images. Doing this doesn’t have to be expensive. You can always look for free tools to use, like Canva, to create them.
- Using high-quality product photos or videos. If you don’t have any, you can take some yourself with a smartphone or hire a professional photographer.
- Utilizing engaging visuals, like infographics and GIFs, to show off your products or services’ features and benefits.
- Including customer testimonials and reviews in images to build social proof and increase your conversion rate.
- Sharing this content on social media and using relevant hashtags to attract more attention.
Remember, you don’t have to spend much time and money creating good visual content. You can even find free stock photos online that you can use for your website or social media posts.
Just make sure they’re high-quality and relevant to what you’re trying to promote.
Offer a variety of options for pick-up
Shopify reports that a buy online, pick-up in-store type of shopping appeals to 59% of shoppers. If you have a physical location, take advantage of this by offering customers the option to pick up their orders instead of waiting for them to arrive by mail.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to change the way they operate. And since the virus is still active, you need to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, your employees, and your customers.
Offering a variety of pick-up options for your customers provides them with a safe and convenient way to shop while reducing the risk of exposure to the virus. It also offers flexibility, which is something that highly matters to shoppers.
You can allow them to choose between curbside, in-store, or contactless pick-up. And if you want to be extra safe, you can set up a drive-thru pick-up system.
This way, you can make safety a priority while making the pick-up process more efficient at the same time.
When offering pick-up options for your customers, keep in mind to:
- Have enough staff to handle the increased number of orders.
- Ensure your pick-up area is clean and organized to minimize contact between employees and customers.
- Communicate with your customers about the pick-up process and what they need to do to minimize contact and exposure to the virus.
Use a mobile-friendly page or website
Because smartphones are convenient for shopping, an increasing number of people use them to shop for the holidays, so having a mobile-friendly website is essential for your eCommerce business.
In 2021 alone, Americans spent more than $200 billion online during the holiday season, and 39% of the completed online transactions made from November 1, 2021, to December 31, happened via smartphones.
To create a mobile-friendly website:
- Use a responsive design that adjusts the page layout to fit the screen size of the device used by the customer, or create a separate mobile website.
- Use a plugin or app. There are plugins and apps you can use to make your website mobile-friendly.
- Simplify the design. Always keep the layout clean and easy to navigate.
- Use large, easy-to-read text.
- Use large buttons and icons.
- Minimize the use of drop-down menus.
- Use mobile-optimized images.
- Speed is essential. Make sure the website loads quickly.
- Include push notifications to keep your customers up-to-date with your latest deals, discounts, and promotions.
On top of providing a mobile-friendly and easy-to-navigate website, don’t forget to make the checkout process as smooth and quick as possible to guarantee a hassle-free purchase.
Understand your customers
To create a successful holiday marketing campaign, you must understand your customers’ needs and pain points.
Knowing these things can help you secure products and offers that address their problems and needs.
For instance, if you know that your customers are looking for unique and personalized gifts, you can create content that showcases your unique and customized products to encourage them to browse through your site and make a purchase.
If your customers are looking for gifts that are easy to wrap, you can make a list of suggestions and demonstrate how your customers can present them as nicely, quickly, and efficiently as possible.
Since affordability is always a plus, you can introduce your most affordable products, offers, and deals to your customers, including discounts and other coupons, to express gratitude for their continued support.
The bottom line is you need to understand your customers’ wants, needs, and pain points so you can make a campaign that will strongly appeal to them and encourage them to buy from you.
You can also connect with your customers in-person to build a sense of community, making them feel appreciated and more likely to return to your store in the future. Organize events, such as holiday parties, meet-and-greets, or gift exchanges, and provide exclusive deals to customers.
As an eCommerce business, you can develop a relevant and successful holiday marketing campaign that will help you grow your sales and business by:
- Leveling up your customer strategies
- Checking out previous years’ data
- Using striking visuals
- Offering a variety of options for pick-up
- Utilizing a mobile-friendly site, and
- Understanding your customers
The holiday season can boost your eCommerce business, but you must be fully prepared to handle all the surges of customers coming your way.
However, doing this doesn’t have to be expensive. Bookmark has all the solutions and tools you need to build a strong online presence for your business.
By following the tips in this guide, you can create a successful holiday marketing campaign and attract more customers willing to buy from you.