With the year-end holiday season fast approaching, one can expect a surge in ecommerce transactions. During Christmas, people all over the world go online and shop for gifts for their near and dear ones. According to a study, the holiday season accounts for 40-80% of annual online sales. No wonder, Christmas is considered to be the right time for ecommerce businesses to increase their overall revenue. As a VAR, you have to come up with various ecommerce marketing ideas to make the most of holiday season.
Here are some proven tips that online VARs can use to increase their ecommerce sales:
Table of Contents
- 1. Prepare your Store for Christmas
- 2. Marketing Tips to Boost Online Sales
1. Prepare your Store for Christmas
i. Christmas Themed Website
A little investment to bring Christmas feeling to your website can certainly encourage visitors to shop from your site. So, it is time to add that festive spirit to your store. This can put your visitors in the right holiday mood to shop. Change the look and feel of your store by adding adopting festive themes and color. Decorate your website with a theme that will capture the holiday spirit. You can also add festive elements such as gift box or Santa hat to your logo, thereby creating a Christmas ambience for your customers.
ii. Create a Christmas Landing Page
Christmas landing page is an important marketing tool that can help to increase online sales during the festive season. One of the main advantages of creating a festive landing page is that it brings awareness to your best deals and compels visitors to take action. In order to boost conversions, design your landing page with bright colors that capture the holiday spirit and grab the viewer’s attention ththey visit your website. You can also add festive banners and graphics on the landing page. Create your landing page with unique offers and include product/categories with jaw dropping deals.
iii. Offer Free Shipping
A Deloitte study noted that 69% of shoppers are more likely to shop with online retailers who offer free shipping. Hence, free shipping can be a good strategy to encourage your visitors to purchase more during the holiday season. Over the years, free shipping has become a successful promotional offer that can help to increase sales during Christmas. In order to ensure that free shipping is profitable to your business, make sure that you set free shipping for minimum order amount.
iv. Create Count-downs
Sale countdown tactic is used by some of the most popular shopping sites to win new sales. Add a countdown timer to your website that suggests the time left to close the Christmas sale. A countdown timer gives a second-by-second reminder of how much longer the offers are available. It gives a feeling that the product is in short supply, hence creates a sense of urgency. This can compel your buyers to act quickly. This scarcity tactics has shown to increase conversion rate. You can place countdown timer anywhere on your site and earn lots of extra sales.
v. Run Flash Deals
Online shoppers during the festive season are looking for flash sales that come with massive discounts. The deadline of flash sales is for a very limited period, in most cases, not lasting beyond 24 hours. Running 24 hour flash sale daily on specific products can also help to increase your ecommerce revenue. For instance, ecommerce giant Amazon runs lightening deals that are very similar to flash deals. Lightening deals are available only for a short time, usually not last for a few hours.
Since the discount is available for less than 24 hours, it urges your visitors to make a purchase. In order to foster a sense of urgency, you can use phrases such as ‘Only Today’, ‘Likely to Sell out Soon’, ‘Only # Left’, ‘Hurry’, ‘While Supplies Last’, ‘Closing Soon’, ‘Last Chance’, Immediately, etc. Offering flash sale with urgent messages helps convince the visitors that ‘right now’ is the time to purchase. In other words, they will rush to grab what you are offering. This strategy is commonly used for slow-moving stock that doesn’t sell. Although flash sales help to increase revenue, make sure you use an effective pricing strategy so that it does not take away your profit margins.
vi. Use Promo Codes
Depending on type of promotion you want to do, you can also create your own promo codes such as free shipping, 20% off on your cart at checkout, 30% off on all electronic devices etc., and share it on social media. Your social media users can use these promo codes to get discounts on your online store.
vii. Offer Gift Cards
Gift cards are commonly used as a marketing tool to increase online sales during the festive season. Gift cards increase brand awareness and can turn potential customers into regular buyers. Customers love gift cards as it allows them to buy products without spending money from their own pocket. You can display gift cards prominently on your homepage so that your customers can easily view it. Festive offer such as ‘Get $15 gift card on your next purchase’ gives a reason for your customers to visit your site and purchase.
You can also share it on social media and expect better returns. For instance, if you share $10 gift cards, the receipts may end up buying $50-100 products from your online store. Many ecommerce owners during Christmas promote discounted gift cards (for instance pay $50 for a $90 valued card) for their customers to increase online sale.
2. Marketing Tips to Boost Online Sales
i. Run Online Paid Advertising Campaigns
Online paid advertising can also make a huge contribution in increasing your business revenue during Christmas season. So allocate some budget for online advertising to reach your target audience. While pay-per-click (PPC) is one of the most popular paid advertising strategy, you can also promote your discounts and special offers through affiliate marketing, banner ads, contextual ads, floating ads and text link ads.
ii. Use Social Media
Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.) is an extremely valuable channel to promote your offers during festive season.Posting ads on social media that highlight your special Christmas offers can also help to grow your online sales. You can also use social media analytics to check how successful your social media content is. Depending on the performance of your campaign, you can even optimize your social media posts for better results. Social media analytics also allow you to gather user data from social media platforms. This data collected can be used for marketing your business not just during festive season but throughout the year.
Various social media sites, especially Facebook also come with effective paid marketing options that can help you to promote your discounts and special offers. For instance, you can use Facebook pixel (tracking code added to your website) to target buyers during Christmas. Using Facebook pixel, you can track how your visitors are interacting with your website after seeing your Facebook ad. This information about your website visitors is sent to your Facebook advertising account, which you can use for retargeting.
iii. Use Social Media Influencers
Another strategy to promote your products and increase brand awareness during the Christmas season is to collaborate with social media influencers. They are active social media users who have gained significant online credibility in their industry and have access to a large group of loyal followers. They can be bloggers, industry experts, etc., who can create insightful reviews, blogs and engaging videos about your products, services and drive engagement and online sales. So partner with social media influencers whose niches align with your business to increase online sales.
Hashtags can also be used to promote your social media campaigns. Holiday hashtags like #Christmas2018,#SeasonsGreetings,#ChristmasGifts, #ChristmasCountDown, #ChristmasIsComing, #ChristmasCheer, #ChristmasFun and #ChristmasSpirit are very popular during the festive season on social media, hence using them can boost your brand’s visibility. So whatever content you post on social media, make sure you do it using these trending hashtags. Online shoppers often use these trending hashtags in social media searches to look for special deals. Tagging your social media posts is equally important so that they are easily visible in social media searches.
v. Email Marketing
Email marketing has long been an important strategy to increase online sales during the Christmas season. You will be already having a long list of subscribers. This is the time to reward your subscribers and keep them engaged by offering exclusive deals. You can send coupons, promotions or online giveaways to your loyal subscribers to increase your online sale. Giving exclusive access to some of your best deals through emails is a proven strategy to get new business.
In order to drive conversions, you need to set a deadline to your discount offers. Displaying offers with countdown timers or adding last order and last shipping dates in your emails, will prompt your potential customers to rush for your products.
To make your email marketing more effective, it is advised to segment your email list depending on the criteria you choose. This will help you to create highly personalized email campaigns, thereby substantially increasing the chances of sale. Keep in mind that one-size rarely fits all, hence segmenting the list is crucial to get the desired results. Since your email subscribers are increasingly using mobile devices, make sure your email template is responsive.
vi.Integrate Social Media with Email Marketing
In order to make your emails more engaging, add links to your social media pages in the email body. This is an easy way to promote your deals that you are offering on your social media sites that includes, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Make sure your social media pages are updated with special festive offers, coupons and videos of sale items. This strategy can also help to increase engagement on social media and boost online sales.