You can make up to 50% of your annual sales during the holiday shopping season. Last year alone, holiday retail sales increased by 8.5% (which was the most significant yearly increase in 17 years (Deloitte). It’s a time when ecommerce merchants need to go on the offensive, given the heavy competition. Holiday planning and managing your ecommerce platform amidst this gift-shopping frenzy is stressful. However, if you plan right, you can serve customers a seamless buying journey and keep both of you happy. Here are ten ways to ensure you’re ready for the holidays.
1. Close Gaps On Product Pages
Audit your product pages to ensure the information is up-to-date and relevant to your buyer persona. Broken images, outdated copy, missing assets, and incorrect attributes cause potential customers to abandon your site and opt for a merchant with a more effortless experience. To make this audit easier, Kensium’s partner Noibu provides website analysis and finds broken links, images, and other website errors.
2. Make Products Discoverable Online
Even though some holiday traffic is intentional shoppers (people who know what they’re looking for), many visit your store for inspiration and gift ideas. The way to get both types of customers into a buying journey, ensure that product discovery is easy to navigate.
For intentional shoppers, your on-site search should be ready to go. Nothing is worse than searching on a website and getting a 404 error or random products that aren’t relevant to a search term. Instead, consider personalizing the buyer journey and promoting items likely to be appealing at the top of the results.
Shoppers seeking inspiration are drawn in by upsells, bundles, personalized recommendations, and more to encourage interaction and engagement. In addition, offer discounts for signing up for email or SMS updates about new products and deals. As a result, you’ll capture an audience that’s not only looking for inspiration but wants to see what else you have to offer.
3. Curate Gift Guides
It may feel a bit old school but creating gift guides is still a great way to inspire and encourage customers to shop. These guides get people to spend more time on your website and engage with product pages. Make sure these gift guides match the right buyer personas and can help you segment your customers for future sales.
Here are a few things to consider when creating a gift guide:
- Make it visually appealing
- Use professional, high-quality graphics and images
- Ensure all product information is up-to-date and accurate
Help guide your customers with gift ideas, promotes inspiration, and gets people excited for the holiday. Our partner BigCommerce has created a Gift Guide for 2022.
4. Digital Holiday Decorations
Just like a brick-and-mortar store decorating for the holidays, your website should be too. Swap out banner ads for something festive! Instead, create visual elements to indicate the celebrated holiday and personalize the experience for your customers. For example, if it’s Halloween, add some pumpkin graphics. Or, for Christmas, enhance the design with some snowflakes and snowmen. And don’t forget the essentials:
- Add holiday sales to the site.
- Highlight your promotions and gift packages.
- Don’t change too much in terms of navigation. You want return customers to find what they are looking for easily.
- Remember the call-to-action buttons.
No matter the holiday or season, a touch of spirit goes a long way to personalize your site for customers while encouraging purchases.
5. Create “Make Your Own” Gift Opportunities
When people exchange gifts on holidays, they love personal, custom-made presents. Adding a unique touch that allows customers to tailor their gifts to those receiving them helps add additional value and encourage larger purchases.
For even more engagement, create gift bundles. For example, if you sell scented candles, create a bundle of similar scents, or offer a free item with the purchase of a certain amount. These efforts will pay off long after the holidays because you took the time to create a better gift than your customer could have imagined.
6. Email Marketing Campaigns
Email campaigns are a must for the holidays. They serve as a gentle reminder to customers that they can buy presents from you. They also get people on your site and looking for inspiration. You can send personalized product ideas and special offers if you have enough customer data. For example, creating promo codes or free shipping entices customers to browse gift ideas and understand how your products will enhance the recipient's life.
Another good email to send is a reminder for abandoned carts. Many customers that add a product to their carts tend to leave the page. It could be from a bad connection or debating if the product is the right option for them. During the holidays, most shoppers need more time to decide. A gentle reminder re-engages them and gets your brand in front of them again.
7. Display Return/Exchange Policies Clearly
Sometimes a customer gets the product, and they change their mind. Or maybe it’s just not what they expected. So first things first, make sure your return and exchange policies are visible on your website. Then, consider making your return and exchange more flexible to streamline the process and show them that you’re willing to go the extra mile to help.
8. Optimize Your Customer Experience
There are many ways to track and improve online shopping experiences. Just like checking your product information for any issues, look for shortcuts, simplicity, and design elements that help your customers have a better shopping experience.
We all know that with the holidays comes higher traffic and greater customer demand. Ensure you have everything in place before the holidays to manage your customer journey. Ensure your web host can handle the traffic. If not, investigate options like a CDN to ensure uptime on your site.
9. Live Chat
A live chat with customer service reps is a great way to add another touchpoint with customers. Run a chatbot to offer relevant web pages, blog posts, or help articles. If customers still want more, have live chat agents available to answer in-depth questions. Keep your live chat available during regular business hours and provide a message to the customer when they contact you outside those hours. Chatbots and live chat functions help customers feel you care and want to provide personal experiences.
10. Let Kensium Help
High holiday traffic means an increase in sales. Let Kensium help you get ready for the increased traffic and make the most of your holidays. With over 16 years of experience helping ecommerce businesses attract customers and grow, Kensium understands what it takes to manage every aspect of your business. From ERP systems to ecommerce website platforms, we can help! Contact us today and find out more.