Every year, holiday season is the most expected period when everybody shops as if they are buying up for the whole year. Good news for online retailers: holidays today mean holi-sales, as more people than ever before will do their holiday shopping online.
Statista has just published their estimate that U.S. online retail sales on holiday season is projected to reach nearly 80 billion US Dollar in 2015, a remarkable 13.9% increase from the previous year.
The holiday season starts with Halloween, the 4th largest holiday for ecommerce (coming after Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas & New Year). If you don’t wanna miss any sales on this shopping craze, you’d better get prepared right now. Here are 6 must-do tips to help you get started for this Halloween.
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1/ Prepare and start selling holiday deals at least 2 weeks ahead
It has become common that people are buying sooner and sooner before the holidays. According to National Retail Foundation, 40% of consumers begin shopping before Halloween. They do not only shop for the Halloween but also shop for later holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. This fact is well proven by Google reporting that 1 in 4 American shoppers searches for gifts and stuffs long before Halloween.
In order to catch the early sales, online retailers need to prepare for the holiday sales as soon as possible. Get your inventory bulked up, promotions ready, store decoration finished and everything else done and up at least 2 weeks before the holiday. If you don’t want to bring up everything too soon, start with publishing some teasers in landing page or sending promotional emails to remind your customers of visiting your store on the big day to catch the deal. The ideal is to become your customers top-of-mind choice when they think about where to shop/search for the holidays.
2/ Optimize mobile version of your website
From search to purchase, online shoppers are turning from web to mobile devices, thanks to the booming era of smartphones and tablets. M-Commerce now has become an essential growing part of e-Commerce.
With more than 50% of online shopping occurring on smartphones and tablets, you’re virtually about lose half of potential sales in this holiday season if your website isn’t mobile-friendly. You should design a mobile-responsive website and perfect the user experience on mobile shopping:
- Don’t require logging in to shop on mobile
- Make it easy to browse with one finger
- Simple and quick checkout process
- If you want to invest more: create a separate app for shopping on your store
3/ Decorate your store with a spooky look and feel
Shoppers are most willing to pay real money when they are in the mood. Why do offline-retailers spend about $60 billion annually on in-store display for special events? Because customers are much more lavish when being emotionally affected. If you’re doing online business, you’re saving much more than offline retailers in decorating and changing the look and feel of your store.
Designing some thrilling images on homepage, installing themed add-ons, sending HTML emails are all easy and cost-saving ideas to prepare a spooky look for Halloween to impress your visitors.
Halloween theme – Checkout Boost app for Social Word Of Mouth
4/ Run flash and urgent discount promotions
Holiday season is the best occasion to run promotional deals and get the highest conversion rate. On these events, shoppers are highly price-elastic, especially online buyers, as deals and offers are everywhere and they have so many choices to compare.
It is suggested that you combine products into bundles by using up-sell and cross-sell tactics, with big discount offers to sell in bulk on these days. The close it gets to the holiday, the more urgent your deals need to be since people will finish their preparatory shopping when the holiday ends. Running daily flash deals with urging messages such as ONLY TODAY, DISCOUNT VALID UNTIL MIDNIGHT, DEALS ARE GONE IN 1 HOUR….definitely works on special sales event.
Sample up-sell offer by Boost Sales App (Up-sell & Cross-sell Both In Just 1 App)
5/ Free shipping – it really matters on holidays!
Last holiday season, it was reported that shipping was the #1 reason for shopping cart abandonment. For sure, free shipping is a big driver of purchasing decisions on e-Commerce. Amazon Prime Membership is valuable and can attract so many subscribers because it offers free 2-day shipping and other shipping benefits.
It would cost you a little bit, but free shipping is a must policy on holiday season if you want to win sales over competitors. One tips to minimize this cost is to set total bill conditions for applicable free-shipping. Nearly 60% of shoppers are willing to add more products to their cart to qualify for free shipping, so this strategy will also increase your average cart value, boosting revenue up while lowering delivery cost.
6/ Invest in sharable content on social media
Social media are good channels to engage and impress customers, especially on peak sales seasons. Here are a few tactics that you can try:
- Prepare facebook post or tweets with engaging content and teasing images days before the Halloween. You should use popular hashtags such as #Halloweendeals, #trickortreat, #Halloweensales to make your posts more reachable.
- Run small Halloween contests that can get viral to get your store widely known via social word of mouth.
- If you have instagram or pinterest, build a spooky products gallery to impress your followers. Remember that both Instagram and Pinterest are quick-growing e-commerce social platforms and these are 2 potential channels for you to drive sales on holiday season. (Follow this thread to grab killing tips on how to drive sales through these channels)
Sales does not come in just because it’s the season and people are supposed to shop like crazy. Online shoppers are smart and careful, especially when they can do all the search and comparison transparently online. You need to get your sleeves up and start preparing for the big days right away. Before implementing the 6 tips above, learn your customer’s needs for this holiday and then fill up your stock. No matter what promotions or advertisements you run, you can only win the game if you start from your customers.