You own an eCommerce shop or work for an online brand and you just had a great holiday season. Maybe it was Black Friday, Christmas, New Year or Eid. What was common was you saw a surge in your sales, the traffic spiked and the dollars came rolling in.
Whenever a big holiday comes by, don’t we all wish we could see the same sort of sales throughout the year? How nice would it be to have customers flocking to your store throughout the year? Sure, you’d have to process more orders and provide a larger volume of customer service…but those are good problems to have.
The good news is, expecting to have holiday-like sales throughout the year isn’t wishful thinking. This post will take you through 4 practical tactics, designed to capture the momentum of holiday season sales and carry it into the rest of your calendar year.
1. Give great customer service
This may sound like the simplest, most oft-repeated advice but this is the BEST thing you can do for your store during holiday sale spikes.
Did you know that after one negative experience, 51% of customers will never do business with that company again?
Couple this with the fact that consumers are willing to spend 17% more with a business that provides excellent service; and you have a great opportunity to avoid losing future customers, while also selling at a premium just through great service.
You might be thinking, why talk about good customer service as a holiday thing? Why not do it through-out the year?
Good service is key throughout the year, but the stakes are especially high during the holiday season.
Customers are extra sensitive, often impulsive and in a hurry during the holiday season so they have little room for tolerating errors. Their negative experiences are doubly amplified, but they also tend to remember their good experiences.
Holiday seasons are a chance for you to prove yourself as a customer-friendly brand. The customer will remember you, buy from you again, and if they really enjoyed your service, they’ll tell their friends to buy from you too. Not to mention it’ll cost you less to sell to existing customers than new ones.
Now, How can you ensure good customer service?
- Anticipate the rise in sales during holiday seasons and hire extra reps on contract
- Streamline any hiccups in your checkout process
- Check your website for any slow loading pages, optimize for speed
- Consider using a chatbot to assist customers with FAQs when reps are busy
- Make sure to follow up with unhappy customers and makeup through discounts, rebates, returns, etc.
2. Use spike in traffic to collect email addresses
According to some estimates, the average email address is worth $110.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to build your email list. This way, not only do you own this data (as compared to social media exposure which is at mercy of algorithms) but having emails of customers and visitors gives you a direct communication channel.
Using email addresses, you can:
- Promote new products
- Offer discounts
- Increase customer LTV
- Nurture relationships
- Push to complete orders
These are all actions that will help you increase sales even when the holidays are over.
So, when the holiday season comes, use this peak in traffic to your advantage: optimize your website for collecting email addresses.
And how do you optimize for that?
You create opt-in forms like pop-overs, top-bars, side-bars and entice people to exchange their email address for something that is of value to them.
To create forms that have high conversion rates, make sure to:
- Include an email capture form on your homepage. For most eCommerce stores the highest traffic page is their home page, which is why it is an essential place for capturing people’s email addresses.
- Make your form prominent and above the fold. If people want to sign up for your email list, don’t make it hard for them. Include a form near the top of the screen on important pages, as well as multiple prominent forms elsewhere on these pages to increase the chance of someone filling them in.
- Leverage social proof to get more signups. More people are likely to sign up for your email list if they think that lots of others have already done so in the past. Include testimonials and subscriber numbers to influence the human psychology of your audience.
- Emphasize your value proposition. Make sure it is super-clear exactly what someone will get from signing up to your email list. Is it a discount? A weekly email newsletter with helpful content? Whatever you are offering in exchange for their email address, articulate the benefit as close to the capture form as possible.
Using these tips, you can create highly converting forms that will grow your subscriber list. A list that you can then use to create more revenue for your online store.
3. Create retargeting campaigns for new site visitors
Your analytics are your best friend. They offer you insights into your store that can help you maximize conversions and sales.
And they can be really useful around the holidays. You can use analytics to find out all the people who were first-time visitors to your store and use this information to create ad campaigns to attract them back to your website.
You can calculate trends like where in the sales process people left your store, or which item they were interested in and didn’t buy, and use this information to create personalized ad campaigns.
Website visitors who are retargeted are more likely to convert by 43%.
This is a great way to capitalize on traffic and create new sales because these visitors already know about your eCommerce shop, they just need a nudge or incentive to buy from you…and that’s where retargeting campaigns are so good.
How to create a retargeting campaign
Your first step is to make sure you have the Facebook pixel installed on your website. The pixel will enable you to collect vital information about the behavior of your site visitors.
Once your pixel starts gathering data, it is now time to put that data to use. Using Custom Audiences inside Facebook, you can start to slice and dice your site visitors based on the following characteristics.
- What pages did they visit?
- What pages did they not visit?
- How many times did they come to the website?
- How much time did they spend on the website?
- And a lot more
Using these filters creatively, you can come up with a set of people who will be perfect for your retargeting campaign.
For example, people who visited your website 2 times in the last week, but did not purchase, are definitely interested in your product but might just need a small nudge to go through with the purchase.
Ads highlighting your after-sales service might encourage your audience to complete purchases at your store.
How to make ads to attract visitors back to your website
To make the most of your retargeting campaigns and create ads that bring the highest number of people back to your website:
- Use clean, mobile-friendly designs: Design your ads so that they load quickly on phones and don’t make them cluttered. Make sure your image/video attracts attention and your CTA is highly visible.
- Use consistent messaging: if you promise something in your ad, make sure your landing page delivers that exact promise. You don’t want to confuse people who click on your ad as that will just increase your bounce rate.
- Use carousel ads to showcase multiple products: Carousel ads on Facebook let you show many items from your store. You can use this format to show many related products that a customer may be interested in. Thus increasing the chance of them visiting your store.
- Use scarcity or sense of urgency: This is a psychological trick that increases the chances of a successful sale. If your ad says that you only have a few items in stock or that your promotion is going to expire in a few hours, people are more likely to make a quick purchase decision.
- Offer discounts: People love a good deal. If you offer discounts in your ads, people are more likely to buy from you.
- A/B tests for best results: You should create variations of your ad to check which ones perform the best. You can play around with ad copy, images, videos to see which get you the most amount of clicks and the highest conversion rate.
4. Create year-long, “evergreen” holiday URLs
Most people make the mistake of taking off their holiday pages once the event has passed. This is not a good SEO practice.
Creating year-long landing pages for holiday events helps you rank in Google results. Sure, this won’t affect your immediate sales but this will be really helpful when the same holiday comes next year.
Imagine you managed to rank your landing page for keyword ‘Christmas theme hats’ and managed to secure a spot in the top 10 results. That’s a lot of organic traffic coming your way.
Now if you take this off and create a new page next year for the same keyword, you’ll have to put in all that effort again, with no guarantee of ranking high.
A better option is to keep your landing page live and use it as a placeholder. You can add copy to your page that lets customers know that you’ll have great deals for them come Christmas season while adding a link to the current products you have available. This way, all your traffic doesn’t bounce and you still keep getting traffic to your website.
You can even choose to stock Christmas products through-out the year as some people may want to buy them even when it’s off-season.
Wanting to experience holiday-like sales throughout the year isn’t a far fetched desire. You can work towards it by taking steps that help you capitalize on holiday season sales momentum. You can:
- Capture emails and grow your list to sell to customers throughout the year
- Give great customer service so that people have positive experiences with your store and come back to shop with you
- Create retargeting campaigns by creating ads for people who visited your store during holidays but didn’t buy from you
- Create year-long landing pages so you can enjoy SEO benefits of getting organic traffic once the holiday season is near
Have you tried any of these tactics to increase your eCommerce sales? Do you have any other techniques that worked for you? Let us know how your experience went in the comments below.