This blog was written by Donald Pingaro, of Redstage Worldwide.
The holidays are a no-holds-barred marketing free-for-all. Ad spend is out the window. Half the office is in tears. You’ve been planning for months, but nothing can train you for this. It’s all or nothing. Go time. Game day. But wait… You’re not ready yet, because there’s something you forgot. Something urgent, scratching in the back of your mind. Chances are it’s on this list. Here are 9 holiday truths that will make you a better profit this season.
According to the National Retail Federation, your customers are already researching what gifts they hope to buy this holiday. The clock is ticking to make sure you have a proper plan in place to scale for a successful season.It can be challenging to handle a tremendous surge in sales volume while delivering the right products. Don’t forget, they also have to be delivered on time and at a reasonable cost to ensure customer satisfaction.Take time now to identify the objectives and steps required to improve your holiday fulfillment for the coming year.
Gift Guides: Get Some
When your BFCM email campaign launches, that first email should have a gift guide in it. Telling your customers what hot items you’re stocking right off the bat makes their lives easier — but more importantly, it makes spending easier. Give your customers a good idea of what’s available, who it’s for, what to click, and they’ll reward you with bigger purchases. Much more effective than a 25% off coupon.
Suggesting who to buy for is a powerful connection with your customer. Gift giving is about feeling and if your store sells the feeling of a loved one cherishing a gift it can push the user to go through with the purchase.
Test segmentation in your navigation too. Get your customers as close to what they think they want to buy with advanced product grouping – targeted for the holidays.
Scarcity Tactics Work
“What’s that? A pop-up about a popular item? AND THERE’S ONLY 20 LEFT!?!”
Spread fear into the hearts and minds of customers this holiday season with this age-old power-move. Don’t forget to remind them every so often via email either…
Expect UX Issues
This is where the pre-planning you do in March comes into play. Plan a conversion audit from an experienced agency into your budget for the season. This is the time when nothing can go wrong, so make sure your site is ready for anything. Optimize the customer experience for the busy parent with three kids and no time. How quickly can they find and buy what they need?
Check out part 1 of our blog series “Web Designer Woes” for some common UX/UI mistakes that we have found reduce conversion rates across your store. And don’t wait until Thanksgiving to start optimizing!
‘Tis The Season Sites Go Down
This is the year you planned your badass ad strategy. You’ve executed everything perfectly and your subscriber numbers are primed and ready. But wait, you had so many unsuccessful ad campaigns in past years that you never imagined the horrors that success could bring. Make sure your site can handle the traffic when the time comes. Get a cloud service and buy more room than you need. It’s better to have it and not need it than lose money every second your site is down. Be prepared for traffic spikes.
Golden Rings (of related items)
Unleash a torrent of holiday spirit on shoppers. You want them to see the related items:
(1.) on the product page,
(2.) In the cart and
(3.) at the checkout.
After that, you want them to see the ones they skipped over on:
(4.) Facebook and
(5.) Google, along with basically every website they visit until the holidays are over.
Up your re-marketing efforts. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Last-minute Stocking Stuffers
Assuming you don’t have the budget for re-marketing this year, hit them where it hurts: crunch time. If you’re not sending stocking-stuffer emails after your BFCM rush, you’re uninspired. Everyone needs just one last gift to grab before the holidays are upon us. Squeeze that last shirt, toy or tablet out of them. It’s worth it. Mention how many days it will take to ship as well to push the customer to buy NOW instead of waiting.
Not Optimizing Your Checkout
This is shaping up to be the biggest year for mobile purchases yet. Are you accepting Apple Pay? What about Samsung Pay? …no? Amazon Pay?? Make sure you’re ready with alternative options if one checkout method goes down this holiday, it’s happened before.
Imagine a shopper, Nancy, who spent four hours compiling the perfect gift-bag. She’s been swapping items out, comparing, visiting stores and reading reviews. She FINALLY found the right coupon codes thanks to your last-minute subscriber-only email. She’s barely under-budget and ready to hit CHECKOUT. But wait, there’s one thing in the way: Unexpected shipping costs and delays because your shipping service shipped the bed. Make Nancy’s life easier. Use ShipStation instead.
You were so busy planning the perfect marketing strategy you forgot the most important part. How are you going to collect and manage the biggest influx of customer data for the year?! Don’t end up Ebenezer screwed. Make the smart move and make sure that your analytics accounts are set up properly. Get a demo of an advanced AI data driven system like HiConversion that can supercharge your future testing (and your conversion rates!).
If your site’s not responsive, you’re losing the race. Just check out how well we did with Jura (View Case Study)! Also, kill the horizontal scrolling. Your customers will have none of it. Roughly 70% of online shoppers use mobile. Many of them even use their phones while in-store for comparison shopping. Do your due diligence and set yourself up for a happy new year.