The expansion of ecommerce is changing the face of holiday shopping. Today, 18.9% of 2021’s total holiday retail sales are forecasted for ecommerce alone. Ecommerce sales for the second quarter of 2021 increased 3.3% from the first quarter of the year, hitting an estimated $222.5 billion.
For ecommerce store owners, this is the most critical time of the year. Get ready for your best year yet. Keep reading for our top holiday selling ecommerce tips.
Holiday Selling Ecommerce Tips: Pre-Holiday Marketing
It’s go time for the holiday season.
There are many things to prepare. You have to ensure your website is ready for the surge of traffic. Shipping and fulfillment needs to prepare for the holiday rush. And it’s imperative to reach holiday shoppers with effective marketing.
In the fall, start planning out and executing your ad strategy.
Determine Your Budget
What will you be spending on ads and marketing for Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Christmas? Knowing ahead of time will keep your spending in check and help you maximize profits.
Plan Out & Test Your Ads
Now is the time to start creating a multichannel ecommerce ad strategy — whether that’s display, social, PPC, native, or retargeting. Whether you have an in-house person at your disposal or you’re spending long nights making your own in Canva or Bannersnack, you need those ads ahead of time.
Related reading: The Ultimate Ecommerce Holiday Survival Guide >>
Ideally you’ve been A/B testing ads earlier in the summer. If you’ve done that, you can retarget your existing audience, which will be FAR cheaper than starting from scratch.
Haven’t done that? No worries, start building your audience RIGHT now. Put up some ads, A/B test them, and plan to retarget them leading up to your sales.
Start Writing Your Content
Nurture campaigns, email blasts, social posts — you’ll need all that ready. Allow time to proof your content and ensure that everything (that needs to) has passed through legal. Approve it ahead of time and get it all scheduled so you’ve got less to worry about when those jingle bells start ringing.
Master Email Segmentation
Everyone hates a cluttered inbox. Tailoring your email blasts to people who are interested in your content and products is a great way to increase open and click through rates.
Using a service like Convertkit, you can tag users as they view your site. You can then use those tags to segment subscribers for offers that are specific to what they are interested in. According to Campaign Monitor, marketers saw a 760% increase in sales with email marketing segmentation.
Create Tracking Links
Use a generator to create UTMs for any and all campaigns you’re running. Use Google Analytics to track activity with links you’ve posted through Twitter, Facebook, your newsletter, what your influencers post (if you use them), in forums, or even from your email signature.
Knowing where click-throughs come from helps you to figure out where to put your marketing dollars. It also helps figure out which posts have driven customers to make conversions.
Start Scheduling Your Sale Prices
Whether you’re doing storewide discounts, reducing pricing by category, or you’re using another pricing strategy, there are apps, extensions and modules that can help you do this, like Dynamic Pricing for WooCommerce.
Other Holiday Selling Ecommerce Tips to Try
Plan a Cross-Sell & Upsell Strategy
Think about upsells and cross-sells for your inventory. There are apps and extensions that can show your customers other products that have been purchased. It can cost anywhere from $10 to in the hundreds. Do your homework though — as always, you can use as many plugins and extensions as you like. If they’re coded badly you’ll end up slowing down your site.
Another great idea is enabling in-cart upselling. Smart product recommendations and upsells can be a massive revenue boost.
Another great tactic for increasing sales is introducing bundles to your inventory! Selling products together and including a small discount can sway customers toward conversion, pending you’re not solely offering bundles.
Provide a Favorite Function
Enable save or favorite features so customers can be reminded of what they want. Giving shoppers a way to mark favorite items, or add them to a wishlist, is a fantastic way to give your customers more opportunities to buy.
Curate Gift Lists
Everyone has a family member, friend, or coworker they dread shopping for. Provide niche wish lists for customers to look through. Make ideas for gifting super easy. Make sure you can add those items directly to a cart! These are easy, quick conversions that can be made with little effort.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Top 10 Gifts for Dad
- Top 5 Gifts for the Person Who Has Everything
- 50 Gifts No College Student Should Be Without This Holiday Season
Consider Offering Gift Cards
Many people feel more comfortable letting people shop for what they want. According to MuchNeeded in 2021, 56% of all shoppers buy gift cards.
Enable Cart Abandonment Technology
During the holidays, there’s a LOT going on. Everyone forgets something. When your potential customers walk away from a filled cart, do what you can to reduce cart abandonment.
Create a shopping cart abandonment email campaign. There are apps and plugins you can connect to seamlessly remind your customers about their cart. Make sure you have a well-designed, noticeable email that grabs attention.
We’ve all seen the “You’ve forgotten something!” emails. This is also a great time to add some holiday design and flair to it. Work with your graphic designers and plot out a seriously merry way to remind folks of what they’ve left behind.
Implement Live Chat
Now would be a great time to implement live chat features if you don’t already offer it. There are some great plugins available that provide this feature. When properly implemented, they can increase sales, customer loyalty, and even reveal flaws in your site design or UX.
Pricing begins at roughly $15 and can get into the hundreds or more. While this may not be an option everyone needs, the bigger your store’s reach the more live chat becomes useful.
Set Up Your Free Shipping Terms
For very obvious reasons, offering free shipping helps a customer decide to buy. Whether or not the cost would be very high, it gives the shopper a perceived sense of increased value.
Sometimes the cost of a product is higher than normal, and free shipping entices them anyway. The perception of getting something for free can really help to secure a conversion.
Now is the time to clarify terms and the threshold for free shipping before entering it into your Point of Service system. It’s one less thing to worry about later on!
We’re Just Getting Started
We hope these holiday selling ecommerce tips help you have a successful season. There’s so much to consider, and we’re just scratching the surface.
Read our eBook for even more advice: The Ultimate Ecommerce Holiday Survival Guide.
Read the eBook to:
- Learn how to prepare your website for holiday traffic.
- Boost revenue with expert marketing & sales strategies.
- Get an ecommerce holiday checklist that covers all your bases.