If there’s any time of year that merchants should get excited about, it’s now. With a whole slew of seasonal events on the horizon, there’s ample opportunity to get out of the red and into the black with a solid holiday promotion.
Most notable in the lineup of holiday heavyweights are Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But you need to have all the pieces in place well ahead of schedule if you want to maximize conversions.
One of the most effective methods for promoting your special offer is to use a dedicated custom sales/landing page.
The right page with all the right elements put in front of the right people gives you a chance to bump up your conversion rate significantly. So in light of the upcoming opportunities around the corner, I’ll be covering how to build a new sales page this holiday season, what to put on it and why it’s so important.
After all, the game of consumerism has changed forever.
Seasonality in eCommerce and merchant opportunities
Put simply, demand for certain products can spike and drop drastically according to the seasons. For reference, here’s some quick keyword research I did using KeywordTool.
Consumers search for mosquito spray in the warmer months – closer to when they’ll need it
In the U.S alone, the surge in Google searches for the term “mosquito spray” starts in April and peaks in July – 10x higher than cooler months.
This rise and fall is the true essence of seasonality in eCommerce, but it’s the extreme spikes in demand that spells good news for anyone who sells stuff online.
There are however, certain non-seasonal holidays that every merchant can take advantage of – Black Friday being one of them.
Laptops are a less seasonal purchase – but there’s still a spike in searches during Black Friday
It’s no coincidence that online searches for “laptop sale” skyrocket in November and December during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas. And of course, anyone Googling such a keyword has intentions to buy.
It’s the most exciting and hectic time of the year, which means folks make hastier purchase decisions, taking to the ‘streets’ of the internet on an emotional rampage as they scramble for gifts.
More and more consumers are opting to stay in, ditch the rush and have their products delivered instead. Now it’s just a matter of giving them enough reason to choose YOUR brand over the rest.
You can do this with targeted sales pages.
Build a sales pages for Black Friday and seasonal holidays
“The traditional practice of sales as a business discipline has become at best ineffective, and in many cases flat out obsolete.” – Forbes
eCommerce is constantly evolving. We’re now in an era where content and value takes priority over hard sales pitches. The old-school approach to sales is dead, which means you need to stand out in a crowded marketplace by speaking to the consumer on a more personal, relatable level.
This change, combined with the shifts in keyword search intent shown above, calls for compelling content to increase conversions for Black Friday. Consumers are certainly prepping themselves to spend approaching the holidays, but still need to decide if your brand is the right fit for them.
A custom sales page lets you convince them it is, and are infinitely more effective than standard eCommerce product pages.
Here’s some things that help sales/landing pages convert.
- They focus on one specific offer
- They speak to a specific audience
- They’re information-rich to inform the audience
- They adopt user-generated content
- They create some form of desire, FOMO or urgency
These can be hard to fit into regular eCommerce product pages, which usually follow predefined formats. A customized landing page helps you overcome customer obligations by condensing the above points into one place, without limitations.
Follow these tips to get maximum conversions from your sales pages this BFCM.
1. Craft a unique offer and selling proposition
There’s a tonne of ways to create an offer for seasonal holidays, with the most obvious being a price discount or sale. But it’s certainly not the only way. Product bundles, coupons, discount when you purchase and Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) are to name a few.
When it comes to BFCM, as long as you have your offer figured out beforehand, you can tailor your content to promote that offer.
A great example of visual content that will be effective on all channels: emails, ads, social media
But even more important than your seasonal event offer is your Unique Selling Proposition. What makes you different? Why is your product unique? Does it solve a problem that others can’t?
Answering these questions and highlighting them on your page will generate interest, reduce bounce rates and capture conversions.
Death Wish Coffee has a beautiful narrative on its website
Death Wish Coffee’s unique selling proposition (USP) comes in the form of a bold claim of being the world’s strongest coffee. But it works because it’s fresh, they know their target market and they capture a tone of voice that appeals to them.
In addition, they strengthen their USP with free shipping, subscription service and a money-back guarantee. Combine your holiday offer with a strong Unique Selling Point and you’re on your way to cracking the conversion code.
2. Create excitement early
Shoppers don’t want to wait until Black Friday to decide what they want. In fact, 54% of shoppers start early, looking for offers, bookmarking pages then waiting patiently for the event (BFCM).
You can take advantage of this in a few ways:
- Sending regular emails to your list in months prior
- Using your site’s announcement bar to prep customers for upcoming sales
- Post on social media to generate excitement beforehand
- Use a lengthy timer on your page in the weeks/days leading up to Black Friday
When you give them plenty of notice and prior exposure, they’re more likely to keep your brand in mind when the big day comes.
3. Create urgency and FOMO
Hesitation is the silent assassin that kills your chances of conversions. Because when your prospects feel even the slightest bit of doubt, they’re out the metaphorical door, never to return to your store again.
Luckily, we can avoid this by taking advantage of the strange phenomenon of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
The most common way to do this – especially on Black Friday because of it’s clear time window – is to use a countdown timer. Countdown timers in eCommerce are certainly overdone and don’t produce the caliber of results that merchants expect them to, but Black Friday and Cyber Monday are unique exceptions.
Just make sure your countdown timer is clean, professional and ties in with your brand image. Too often they look out of place and spammy, sapping the credibility straight out of your site.
Another method for creating this fear of missing out is to display your stock limitations.
While Stocks Last is a classical marketing phrase that sells
Succinct and to the point. If anyone knows FOMO, it’s Amazon.
There are many forms of social proof, and press features like this are one of them. Straight up credibility from sources we know and trust can massively impact your conversion rate.
ReferralCandy uses two examples of social proof here — Big Crowds (30,000 stores) and Big Brands
But considering the average eCommerce merchant doesn’t have the resources for it, using reviews and testimonials is your best bet. Look at some of the mind-bending stats around just how important user-generated content in reviews is for the purchasing decision.
5. Use multiple calls to action
This is a great way to keep the reader engaged and make the purchasing process easier. Just make sure all calls to action lead to the same offer.
Creating multiple offers on your sales page will lead to confusion and most likely, no action being taken at all.
Everyone reaches a decision at a different point in the browsing process. For some, it may be further down the page after they’ve engaged with all the relevant content. You want to make sure it’s easy for them to take the next step at the click of a button, instead of having to scroll back to the top.
6. Optimize for mobile
The number of mobile internet users is erupting. So much in fact, that 58% of Google searches are done from mobile devices.
Mobile is the future of search, and the future of eCommerce. Optimizing your online store and landing page for these handheld devices will always yield better conversions (if you have the above steps downpat).
Are your buttons large enough to tap? Is the text readable? Is the site responsive across all handheld devices? These are questions you’ll need to address to make sure your customers have the best experience and don’t bounce from your landing page.
When it comes to responsiveness, it will largely depend on which software you’re using. An ideal landing page builder should be responsive by default, with the ability to change mobile elements without affecting the desktop experience.
The verdict: Standard product pages won’t cut it
Let’s compare the fundamental differences between regular product pages and specialized, custom landing pages.
Below we have a product page that’s busy, inconsistent and lacks clear direction. Brand colors aren’t congruent, price isn’t clear and the purchase process requires more effort than it’s worth. Plus, it looks just like any other product page, and there’s little that stands out:
Below is a sample landing page made with PageFly. Minimal design, no distracting navigation, custom graphics, countdown timers for urgency, multiple calls to action. There’s also social proof, clearly laid out benefits and one specific offer.
Granted, we’re comparing two different niches here, but the same principles apply for creating custom pages to increase conversions.
Figuring out your brand voice, USP, mission, and values takes time and deep reflection. But if you already have these figured out, along with products and a sales page that bring value to the niche you’re operating in, you’re ready for the biggest seasonal holiday events of the year.
It’s a special time for consumers and merchants to converge and benefit each other’s lives through the wonder of the internet and of course, the way we choose to shop.
Good luck out there!