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Did you notice that the holiday shopping season has arrived? Maybe when your local mall put up a Christmas tree back in August? But, if you didn’t, it’s the season for spending, so make sure you’re all saved up. If you happen to have an online business, however, this is the most wonderful time of the year. According to this Google article, up to 40% of this year’s sales will happen during the holiday shopping season. You don’t have to crunch any numbers to realize that you need to take advantage of the holidays. And, you can accomplish that using these 15 ways to boost your holiday sales online.
15. Create Urgency
Have you ever noticed a homepage countdown to a deadline, such as ‘Free shipping ends at 10 pm on December 12’? Did that make you jump into buying something from that site just to take advantage of the free shipping? Having a countdown on your homepage or landing pages creates a sense of urgency that can continue throughout the holidays with deadlines ranging from one-day sales to free shipping.
14. Partner With a Non-Profit
Besides finding gifts for our friends and family, this is also the season of giving. Team up with a non-profit and donate a percentage of sales to that charity. It will make people feel better about purchasing something from your site since you’re giving back.
13. Bundle Products
Think of what Amazon does here. When you search for one product, Amazon will offer a couple of other suggestions that can be bundled together at a discount. You could also offer gift sets to stand out from other retailers. A nice move if you want to increase sales.
12. Email Previous Customers
You probably have been compiling an email list of customers, so now would be the time to use that list. Give these customers a heads up on sales and new products. Most importantly, however, use this as an opportunity to thank people for their patronage and even include a coupon just to prove how grateful you are.
11. Offer Holiday Bonuses/Coupons/Upsells
People enjoy being rewarded for being a customer. Offer a complimentary gift when you purchase a certain amount, coupons or something extra like free gift-wrapping to attract repeat customers.
10. Great Customer Service
People want to know that if there is a problem with their order or if they have a question regarding a product that they can reach a real, live person. Place your customer service number prominently throughout your site and have a live person on the other end of the phone. This is how Zappos became such a juggernaut.
9. Free Shipping
We all love freebies. And, does it get any better when you notice that a site offers free shipping? An essential move for people who are most-likely on a budget throughout the holidays.
8. Personal Suggestions/Experiences
Customers are constantly searching for gift recommendations or what the must-have item is this year. Offer consumers gift ideas through a list that was personally written by you or a ghost writer. Go the extra mile and share your own personal experiences with that product as well. Besides providing some personality, people may be more inclined to purchase a product if they know it’s been recommended by a real person.
7. Offer One Day Sale or Discounts
Pretty much every online retailer will be offering some sort of sale or discount during the holidays. So, this should be a no-brainer. If you don’t offer a one-day sale or end of year discounts, people will move on to a site that has the better deal.
6. Host Contests
Contests are a proven technique to gain attention. Whether it’s a wish list or caption contest, they are a simple and effective way to draw visitors to your site, which will hopefully result in more sales.
5. Use Social Media
There’s so much more you can do with social media than just informing customers that you have a website where they can buy stuff. Have a holiday flash sale via Facebook. Post hashtags on Twitter that link to discounts or coupons. Conduct a Pinterest holiday board contest. There a number of ways that you can use social media networks to bring people to your site for the final sale.
4. Make Sure You’re Smartphone Ready
The Google survey we mentioned earlier also discovered that three-quarters of smart phone owners will browse on their phones this season. Common sense, right here. You need to make sure that your site is compatible with smartphones. Whether that’s by having the correct size images or making sure that your checkout works properly, your site must be effective on these devices.
3. Offer Gift Cards/Certificates
Gift cards and gift certificates are big business, which is why your site must absolutely offer one. Be certain that your site has a section devoted to gift cards that is prominently displayed on the homepage. It also wouldn’t hurt for the card to be enclosed in a decorated box or envelope.
2. Feature Holiday Themes
Since everyone is in the holiday spirit, make sure that the graphics on your site are just as festive – just to remind people it is indeed the holidays! This could also be good chance to highlight some of your products, if you sell goods, right on the homepage. Also, make sure that all your social networks have holiday themed content. Tis’ the season.
1. Follow Social Media
Keep up with trends via social media. We’re not just talking about only Facebook and Twitter, but also Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest. By following trends on social networks you’ll be aware of what items shoppers are searching for this season so you know what to push.