Nothing grabs the attention of a consumer like the announcement of a sale. Seasonal sales are a great way to entice customers with discounts which may only be available once a year, and these sales are known to generate high traffic on ecommerce platforms.
Think of the last time you really wanted to own something but could not justify paying the full price for it. Now, what if you were offered the same thing at a much-discounted price, say 40% to 50% off. Would you not jump off your chair and rush to pick up your wallet or credit card? Sales are a beckoning bell for all such customers who wait on the sidelines hoping for a price drop.
Seasonal Sales Are An Expected Event
Digital marketplaces are stronger than ever, and Ecommerce platforms are raking in the big cash. As it was the case with retail outlets, customers expect to see seasonal sales across leading ecommerce brands when the time arrives.
For example, Black Friday is an event in the United States that witnesses thousands of people flocking to retail outlets that have organised special, soul-stealing discounts on products. It is a year-on-year event that customers eagerly await. Over the years, Black Friday sales have become part of the buying frenzy on the internet. It is now even expected in the United Kingdom; a country that traditionally does not celebrate Thanksgiving.
Then there is Cyber Monday, Easter sale, and the biggest one of them all: Christmas/Holiday sales.
They Can Emotionally Connect With Customers
Creating seasonal sales and seasonal marketing campaigns show that you take strong interest towards serving your customers. Holidays are a time when emotions are high, everyone celebrating is taking time off work to meet and greet with their loved ones. Kick off your marketing campaign that resonates with the emotions of customers.
Small things can contribute towards winning customers. For example, as an ecommerce platform, you can offer to gift wrap items for free or send a little greeting note with every deliverable item.
Be Genuine In Seasonal Sales
The idea of a sale is to offer an item at an attractive discount. Try not to offer menial discounts or play with the perception of customers.
The latter involves listing a product higher than its normal price and marking it down to create an illusion for the customer. Ecommerce owners have to be genuine with their discounts. Customers are generally aware of the running price of an item because it is in their wish list.
Three in 4 consumers reported that sales and promotions are very or extremely important to them. 85% of consumers have reported backing out of a purchase because it wasn’t on sale. Therefore, it is essential to demonstrate to consumers that they will receive a great deal.
Be generous with the discounts if you can. Shoppers will be looking for fifty to even seventy percent off at the end of the year. Try to undercut your competitors and still earn a profit.
It Creates Brand Awareness
This one is specific to brands that sell only their products. Seasonal sales are a great way to attract potential long-term customers. As a new or lesser known brand, it is okay to expect mixed feelings from customers.
Discounted prices allow reluctant customers the opportunity to give the brand a chance – they can potentially return as a customer. And if the marketing is on point, customers can be emotionally influenced to have a better perception about your brand.
Use Google Adwords, or Facebook promotions to deliver news to targeted audiences. Giveaways are another successful way of growing brand awareness through word-of-mouth.
Step-up With Loyalty Rewards Program
A common theme among successful ecommerce platforms is that they value customers. It means providing special treatment to customers based on how much time and money they have invested in your e-store.
The number one way e-stores get back to their loyal customers is by introducing a rewards program that directly ties in with the customer’s investment. Customers can sign-up for the program, and each time they make a purchase, points get added, which the customer can rack up and finally cash in towards an item.
It is another enticing way, alongside seasonal sales, that can help maintain a recurring customer base. The program can reward double points during special occasions, such as during Christmas.
Work Within Your Capacity
Nobody ever succeeded in running a business by being a benevolent king. The idea of discounting everything in the inventory to drive 10x traffic on the platform sounds like an ideal way to go. But businesses are run with money, and it is effective management that ensures the business stays afloat.
It is critical that businesses first analyze how far they can go with the discounts. Play it smart by adding discounts to products that best fit the occasion.
On smaller occasions such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, it would be better to offer a customized gift basket than offer discounts on a range of products. You can, of course, totally do that. But that entirely depends on the business capacity and how far you are willing to go.
Ecommerce Platforms Can Take Greater Risks
In this day and age, when every business is creating and maintaining a strong digital presence, Ecommerce solutions and platforms are enjoying growth. That is not to take away the importance or downplay the existence of retail outlets worldwide, but it is a fact that digital distribution is now the preferred method for the majority of customers.
It provides convenience and the delight of shopping through sales from time to time. There are, though, people who still think of visiting a physical outlet as a ritual of sorts. They are a fast way of acquiring an item when you urgently need it.
However, Ecommerce platforms also enjoy the benefit of lower operating cost than retail outlets. All they require is a strong distribution backbone and an online virtual storefront. They do not have to worry about slow walk-in traffic that could ultimately make one question if it is worth keeping the lights on.
Be Prepared In Advance
Seasonal sales and campaigns require time, resources, and effort. Businesses prepare in advance to meet the rush. Expect an influx of orders as the day approaches. The operation must be ready to tackle the challenge. Teams are one of the key factors for successful execution; train and motivate them for the occasion.
As an ecommerce owner, the worst thing you can do for your brand/platform is to ignore the importance of seasonal events. They hold tremendous potential to drive brand awareness and traffic. Keep your ears to the ground and come up with unique marketing campaigns.
Optimizing Your Store for Holiday Sales
If you take all of these proactive measures, your website will be in tip-top share to make plenty of holiday sales. You can comfortably drive extra traffic to your website without any worry that you’ll miss a sale or disappoint someone.
Can you customize your products to draw in a holiday spirit? Many products can have winter motives for their packages. T-shirts, mugs, sweaters, and hoodies can all be customized with a holiday theme.
Festive Store Design
This doesn’t have to be a major change. Simply try adding some nice winter-themed elements to your logo or change some of the images to include holiday light displays, Christmas trees, menorahs, the seven candles of Kwanzaa, or snowflakes. This makes your customers feel like your online store is exactly where they should be purchasing their holiday gifts.
New Featured Products
Your online store probably has featured products on their homepage. Many stores that sell different items will have some that are more likely to be purchased as holiday gifts. Make sure that you feature the products that are most likely to be given as gifts.
Recommended Product Bundles
Create recommended and frequently purchased bundles. You can use this opportunity for upselling customers. Adding multiple products to your shopping cart from one page increases your sales. Feature sets of items that are related to each other in content, navigation, social campaigns, and email campaigns.
Amazon tends to do a great job of recommending related products that may be helpful to the consumer. In the example below, they suggest a variety pack of k-cups and a cup holder to someone who is purchasing a Keurig K55 classic coffee maker. That person will definitely need k-cups eventually to make their single serving cup of coffee.
Change the Product Descriptions
Add a little bit of spice to the product descriptions. Make sure that they reflect why the product would make a wonderful holiday gift. Focus on the features and benefits that your friends and family will love.
If you are short on time, focus on the product descriptions for popular products and new items. These are the ones that will likely generate the majority of sales during the holiday season.
Create Holiday Content
Content marketing helps customers see the importance of your products and services. It helps them make the connection of how important it is in solving their problems.
Many shoppers are stumped for gift ideas, so gift giving guides can be very helpful to consumers. Create an article that features great holiday gifts. Some possible titles could be “Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Girls in 2018” or “Best Boy Holiday Gifts This Season.” These blog posts should feature your products.
The blog posts should describe how happy the children will be when opening up the box in the morning and discovering the wonderful gift. It can feature all the great benefits of your products.
Special Advertising Campaigns
According to Wordstream, paid search was the top driver of sales during the 2017 holiday season. Make sure to plan your paid search advertising campaigns well in advance.
The competition will also increase during the holiday time. Therefore, you’ll need to adjust your bids.
Pay per click campaigns should include “holiday discount” and similar terms. For your banners, make sure that you include some holiday or winter themes as well as the discounts that you’re providing. Pictures of holiday pets, stockings, snowflakes, snowmen and decorated trees tend to do well in holiday advertising campaigns. They make people very nostalgic.
Special Discount Codes
You can pitch your discount codes to online influencers in your niche. Ask them if they would share the codes with their readers or viewers. Pitch your codes to as many relevant blogs, vlogs, and magazines as possible.
You can also find websites that are dedicated to discount coupon codes. You can submit your discount codes to these coupon code directories.
- 80% of millennials said they used coupon codes when shopping online (CouponFollow)
- 42.4% of online shoppers say price discounts as the most important factors in convincing them to shop with a retailer during the holidays.
Display the Estimated Delivery Time
Customers may not purchase from your website if they aren’t sure that the products will be delivered in time for their holiday. It is very important to ensure that the estimated delivery time is clearly visible to your customers.
This will help to ensure the customers that their gifts will arrive in time!
One of the coolest additions that you can make during the holiday season is special gift wrapping. Many customers are lazy or want the gift sent directly to their loved ones. They won’t have time to wrap it themselves. Make it easy on them and offer to send the products already wrapped. Customers will love you for these features.
Many people want to save money on shipping. 47% of Shoppers don’t want to pay for shipping. Therefore, you can optimize your store by increasing the cost of your products slightly in order to cover the cost of shipping. This works best if the value of the products is relatively high and there are comparable products on the market that are priced at the same level as your product plus the cost of shipping.
Optimize Your Holiday Season Gift Pages
When creating landing pages for the holidays, keep SEO in mind. Make sure that you’re optimizing for keywords that have a good search volume.
Google and Bing do need a bit of time to follow your links and find your holiday season landing pages. Try to make changes a few weeks prior to the holiday in question.
To optimize your existing landing pages, you can change the page title and meta description to include the holidays specifically.
Finally, you can check to ensure you have added the important data to all key product pages. Rich snippets are great for products in the search results. It will show ratings, prices and can help give you an edge to your competition.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Implement Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP. AMP, is a Google-backed project designed with the open standard to have pages load quickly on mobile devices. AMP is not a ranking factor, but AMP improves the user experience. It increases page speed for mobile users. This has the potential of increasing user engagement on your website.
Check Your Site Speed
If your website is loading slowly, it is likely that customers won’t stick around to make a purchase. You can prevent this from happening by testing your infrastructure. Do a simple round of load time testing. This will let you know whether servers can handle increases in traffic and transactions.
Reach out to your tech provider. These companies can help you to perform load testing and determine visit numbers and traffic patterns.