Ecommerce Tips To Win This Christmas
You may feel confused as to why Christmas has even crossed our minds in early September, but you’d be surprised how quickly it will catch up with your ecommerce business!
It’s better to be safe than sorry, and with the significant dates like Black Friday around the corner, you’ve got to keep up! We have rounded up some of the greatest ecommerce tips to get you started.
Now is a greater time than ever to check, evaluating your online store against your competitors:
Small details, big changes!
Most ecommerce stores will start out small and then grow as the business builds a customer base. Coming up to the festive period you may find yourself asking ‘Have I outgrown my site?’
- Is your site mobile optimised?
- Does it look professional?
- Is the layout efficient? How long does it take to get from A to B?
- Do you provide images of all your products?
Consider revamping your site with a Christmas redesign. It shows that you are offering something specifically for Christmas, and there is nothing wrong with making small changes up for a short while. It doesn’t even need to be a full redesign! Whether your logo changes slightly or you add a few Christmas specific banners, it might well be enough.
Steps to checkout
The number of steps to the checkout should be between one and six. Shopify’s study states that 21% of shoppers leave without paying due to the process taking too long.
Always be sure to inform customers about where they are in the process. Give customers a chance to review earlier steps and a way to return to their current stage. Enable them to jump back to product pages to make sure they selected the right item.
Unexpected charges & changes
56% of shoppers leave without paying due to unexpected costs (Shopify). To avoid disappointment and an abandoned shopping cart, keep customers informed of any extra/hidden costs. Present an estimated shipping fee while shoppers browse. Show availability information and estimated delivery date in the product descriptions with as much information and detail as possible early on in the checkout process.
Provide an easy process where you can select or change values in the cart to allow last minute changes such as quantities, options, sizes, colours, or delete an item from the cart.
Key dates to remember:
Black Friday – 25th November
Cyber Monday – 28th November
Small Business Saturday – 3rd December
Manic Monday – 5th December
Free Shipping Day – 16th December
Last day for postage (signed for 2nd class) – 19th Dec
Last day for postage (signed for 1st class) – 23rd Dec
Christmas Day – 25th December
Boxing Bay – 26th December
Update information little and often
Make sure you refresh the website as often as you can for products that are no longer available, discontinued or out of stock. There is no greater discouragement then finding the perfect gift, adding it to your basket and when you try and pay it says ‘this item is no longer available’ or ‘out of stock’ those three words are a sure-fire way to lose customers that will then search elsewhere for products similar.
With this information added to the product page, and people having the option to be contacted when the item is coming back into stock, it can go a long way to keeping the loyalty as well as grow your database without a purchase made.
Christmas is a time when people want to get the most bang for their buck. They want to find the best deals! Creating festive pages such as ‘gifts for him/her’ can attract Christmas shoppers and help to sell some of the less expensive products. The usual promotions such as buy two get one free or ‘10% off your first order’ are an excellent way to pull customers in.
The key is to know when your sales are going to begin. Will you start to discount items during the Christmas rush or after when the Boxing Day sales take effect? Knowing ahead will provide you with extra time to plan.
Promote your promotions
Are you promoting your promotions? Communicating them to your customers is vital. There are some ways in which this can succeed, from social media marketing, social advertising to e-mail campaigns. Get the message out there through your mailing lists and social media followers.
With social media posts, always include an image and a link to the product in question. With email marketing, it is crucial that the design and content are captivating.
Want it all? Blog it all…
A festive themed blog post (or six) is an excellent way to engage with your customers. Write about your top gift ideas or simply talk about your business during the Christmas period, as long as it is something that your customers will be interested in. Make sure that your blog posts are optimised so that they will organically drive traffic to your site via search engines.
Gift Wrapping and Gift Receipts
Offer a wrapping service and gift receipts for those who are ordering gifts from your site. Customers may want to send the gift straight to the recipient and will want these options considered. If you do not currently offer these services, then it may be time to look into if it is a worthwhile decision for your e-commerce store.
Also, make it clear about returns for Christmas Gifts. If you are opening your online Christmas store in November, you need to consider longer returns and exchange terms. Make this a USP and make it clear if you are not going to offer it.
When you start early enough your Christmas this year will be a successful one. With a plan in place, you can prepare for even the craziest of periods!