I know it’s not quite November yet, but if the products you sell online make good Christmas gifts, it is time to start planning your strategy!
The number of visitors to your website probably increases in November and December without much action on your part. But if you want to make sure those extra visitors translate into extra sales, there are several things you should be doing, so read on for our 10 top tips for Christmas Sales Online.
Make Gift Shopping Easy with Recommendations
Choosing the perfect gift takes time. Some of your customers may not know what to buy for their spouse, let alone for the office Christmas gift exchange! Make it easier for them to choose by giving recommendations. Common categories could include:
Ladies / Men / Mother / Father / Boy / Girl / Husband / Wife / Under 5s / Toddler / Under £25 / Under £100 / Stocking Fillers.
And the list could go on and on!
1. Make Christmas Delivery Cut off Times Clear
A big concern for online shoppers is how late they can leave it to buy presents, and still be sure they will arrive before Christmas. One of the fastest ways to lose a repeat customer is for your Christmas gift delivery to reach them on December 26th!
Reinforce delivery date options throughout your site. “If you order by today we guarantee delivery by December 21st”.
You could use persuasive ways to show this on your site, perhaps with a countdown clock; have a look at sites like Amazon or M&S for ideas.
2. Offer Free Delivery
According to Econsultancy, more than half of Christmas shopping visitors to the top 30 retail sites said that they chose to buy from one retailer over another because they offered free delivery. Displaying this on the homepage and elsewhere on the site immediately answers customer questions about delivery charges which increases trust.
4. Provide a range of Delivery Options
Providing a range of delivery options is a good idea all year round, but it becomes especially important in the run-up to Christmas. If you can offer next day, or even same day, delivery then you can sell right up to Christmas Eve, and attract more last minute shoppers.
5. Make Returns Policies and Delivery Charges Clear and Easy to Find
Cost of delivery, returns policy and how easy it is to find this information on your website, always play an important part in the decision to make a purchase. But at Christmas when your customer is buying a gift which may not fit; they already have; they don’t like – the reassurance of being able to send back the gift if necessary can capture significantly more sales.
Make this information clearly accessible from anywhere on your website.
6. Make it Easy to ‘Save for Later’
Lots of people shop from work, but we’re often reluctant to actually pull out the credit card until we get home. Make sure that your visitors have a way to save their shopping cart items so that they can complete their purchase on their computer or tablet at home.
Approximately one third of consumers spend 2 or more days researching before buying. Make sure they can easily get back to the products they were interested in on your site.
7. Offer Gift Vouchers
Gift vouchers can provide a useful alternative for customers who just don’t know what to buy. And they are great for last minute shoppers, as they can be delivered by email or SMS!
8. Offer Gift Wrapping
If you don’t normally offer this service, it’s worth considering. It’s a valuable extra and can be used on the shopping basket page to bump up average order values. Highlight any gift wrapping options available from the moment the user lands on the site.
9. Use Your Thank You Page to Generate More Sales
When a customer buys online, they have put some trust into your site and they want to reassure themselves that they made a good decision. It may seem counter-intuitive, but one of the best ways for them to get that reassurance is to enter into another transaction with you – whether that is a further purchase or signing up to a newsletter.
So offer additional suggestions for complimentary products, either yours or your partners, on the thank you page. At least, recommend your email newsletter so they can be updated with your latest special offers.
10. Be ready for the January sales
If someone buys from you in the run up to Christmas, then target them again in the January sales, for example, with a voucher that they can redeem in January.
Consider starting your post-Christmas sale on December 25th – there is a rising trend for customers to start shopping online on Christmas day – spending their Christmas money and trying out their new laptop, tablet or phone. Why wait?