The holiday season kicks off in a few weeks. As a retailer, this is the time when you can maximize your sales. But for that to happen, you must make sure your name figures right at the top of the wish list of your target customers; you must devise and implement a plan of action that encourages them to buy products from your store. There are many web and brick & mortar stores out there competing to attract shoppers. So, the question is: How do you beat the competition in the upcoming festive season?
Businesses must rework their marketing and business strategies to stand out from the competition and boost sales to ensure holiday shoppers make a beeline for their store.
Here are some ideas that can help you spur sales and customer engagement during the holiday season:
1. Ready your Physical Store for the Holiday Season
To encourage in-store visitors, retailers should design or decorate their brick and mortar store with the upcoming holiday theme. Promoting a holiday spirit will encourage visitors to buy from your store.
Retailers should take steps to ensure that store associates form a personal connection with holiday shoppers and help them with their shopping. The best way to do this is to combine real-time in-store analytics with mobile technology. According to a Holiday Shopping Study conducted last December by Motorola, almost six in 10 shoppers have a better experience when store associates use handheld mobile computers to provide pricing and product availability information.
Everybody hates to wait, especially during the holiday rush. So, ensure a customer’s checkout time is cut down through better queue management. If you think your current staff will not be enough to handle the rush, consider taking on temporary help.
2. Optimize your Website for Holiday Season
With the holiday season approaching, an eCommerce store is bound to see a rise in site traffic and consumer shopping. E-Commerce store owners or site managers should therefore rework their strategies to ensure their sites are prepared to handle traffic spikes. Offering good user-experience to visitors will boost your conversion rate for the holiday season.
Give your eCommerce store a facelift to depict holiday themes. One way is to completely redesign your site or alternatively you can create dedicated landing pages for the discounts and promotions that are being specially offered for the holiday season.
A good tactic to increase sales during holiday season is to create a sense of urgency in your visitors. Prominently feature the end-time of a sale or a particular offer like free shipping. It’s called the ‘Fear of Missing Out’ – a real psychological condition that is considered to be a powerful tactic which eCommerce stores must definitely utilize.
Ensure the changes that you make to your website don’t affect its search rankings and speed. Every second of delay in site load time can reduce conversion rate by 7%.
Also, since customers want to complete their shopping as quickly as possible, you must make sure they are taken through a quick and convenient shopping cycle.
3. Use Customer Intelligence
Analyzing on-site and off-site customer data will give insights into customer likes and dislikes. These insights can help retailers get an idea about products that are likely to be popular among customers during holiday season.
Apart from gaining insights into in-store products that are likely to be popular amongst your customers, customer intelligence can also help form a bond with your subscribers and/or customers by providing them with personalized services.
In the eCommerce business, personalization is the key to success. Study shows that personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%. When personalized emails are sent during the holiday season, the recipient (prospective customer) is most likely to convert into a paying customer.
Ensure your email marketing campaign for the holiday season consists of initial holiday promotion emails, follow-up/reminder emails, re-targeting emails for customers that abandoned their shopping cart and a thank you email for the ones who have purchased from your store.
One of the tried and tested tactics to gain traction during the holiday season is to send personalized deals to your e-mail subscribers.
While sending re-targeting emails, you can provide some discount on the abandoned shopping cart items encouraging them to visit your site again and complete the sales funnel.
4. Leverage Social Media
The best way to boost sales and improve bottom-line during the holiday season is to leverage key social media platforms. An eCommerce business can offer exclusive deals to social followers to drive sales.
However, this tactic is being used by more and more eCommerce businesses every year. So, to differentiate themselves from their competition, businesses must consider offering the kind of incentives that their target audience will value. This can be accomplished by monitoring and analyzing social channels to get an idea about customer preferences.
Another way to know about customer preferences is to hold a poll for your social followers and ask them “If you could have one thing from our store, what would it be?” Then follow up by offering respondents a discount on the product they mentioned. This can help generate the necessary hype around your brand.
Something else you must do is prepare your holiday promotion posts and schedule them to be published at right times on social networks. Customers are looking for discounts and free offers at this time of the year. Develop a social media marketing campaign by offering special holiday prices, free shipping, daily deals and coupons. Another great marketing tactic is to offer free gifts. Studies show customers value freebies more than highly discounted products.
5. SaaS-based Solution
To leverage all the above mentioned points like utilizing social media channels and customer intelligence, ensure you use a SaaS-based solution.
A SaaS based solution will help you prepare for the holiday season by streamlining all your sales activities and managing all your business operations. It also helps in enhancing customer shopping experience.
SaaS solutions are scalable, secure and don’t require a high-level of expertise to use.
But, don’t think of a SaaS based commerce solution as something that only needs to be deployed for the holiday season. It makes sense to use SaaS to add to your existing sales channels and integrating them with your back and front end operations.
So, how is your company preparing for the holiday season? Do share your thoughts on how you are marketing your products for the holiday season.Tags: sales cha, Sales Strategy