Tis the season to be jolly (and generate loads of revenue for your e-commerce store).
After the rush of black Friday and Cyber Monday, you might feel like the world of e-commerce slows down.
This isn’t the case at all.
In fact, more people than ever are preparing to spend money right up until Christmas day.
And to be in with a chance of increasing your revenue this festive period, you need to make sure your site and stock are in working order.
In this post, we’re going to give you 5 Christmas strategies you can use to make sure when it comes to unwrapping gifts, the only thing you unwrap is profit.
Ho ho ho!
Get your site ready
The first thing you need to do in order to get ready for christmas is make sure that your site is ready to handle all the extra traffic you will get.
More so than that, you need to make sure that your site looks nice and is easy to navigate.
Put yourself in your customers’ position. When you’re hunting for a present for a loved one or friend, do you want to visit a website that crashes constantly, randomly removes items from the cart, or worse, doesn’t let you check out?
Not at all.
So making sure your site is ready for the expedited traffic will put you leagues ahead of your competitors.
One thing you can do is make sure your site is super mobile friendly. Many shoppers around this period will do a great deal of their shopping right on their phones.
If they have to zoom in and scroll around the site in order to find more details about the items they hope to buy, they’re likely to move over to one of your competitors.
The graph above shows the increase in mobile e-commerce and how it’s predicted to grow across the years.
What that means is now more than ever, it’s time to get your e-commerce mobile site ready.
You also need to think about how fast your website runs.
You can use Google’s own tool to help you work out how fast your website loads.
Simply enter your e-commerce’s URL and you’ll get a number of insights.
As you can see, Amazon has a very fast site, however, there are still some issues they could sort out.
When it comes to Christmas, people are looking for specific offers.
You can display these offers on your homepage
Or you can create a new page, specific for Christmas. This is what Amazon does.
Here they’ll have a range of different gifts that are suitable for their customers.
The benefit of Amazon and their wide product range is it gives their customers the chance to really segment the types of products they want.
For example, you might be looking for presents for children and have a budget of $10 or less.
If you were to select this criteria, you’d only see the products that are most relevant to you.
In order to create Christmas deals, you don’t just have to create a whole page and put your products on, you could create Christmas specific deals.
This could be discounts, or specific offers.
I want one of those uses a large banner on their website during the festive period.
You’ll see that they’ve still followed their brand ethos, but have added Christmas themed decorations.
Because of this, it doesn’t feel out of place for them to have Christmas deals.
Although people want to spend money during the holiday period, they’re also very aware of when companies try and rinse them for all their money.
So, make sure your Christmas deals and offers feel authentic and in line with your brand.
Extra returns policy
There are a range of people who will buy Christmas presents at the last minute.
There are also a range of people who will be over prepared and buy their presents early.
With most e-commerce companies, you’ll have a set amount of time in which the customer can return the product.
Usually, this is 30 days.
However, what happens when a customer buys a product in early November, but it won’t be opened until December 25th?
If the customer’s gift receiver doesn’t like the item, and it’s passed the return date, they’re going to be upset.
So consider if you can extend your returns policy.
Also keep in mind, people usually don’t think about returns until at least a few days after the festive period has died down, so if you can, extend the policy for as long as possible.
Debenhams has a specific page on their website that lets their customers know their returns policy.
They clearly state when you can start buying your products from and how long you have to return them.
They’ve been very generous in the amount of time they offer their customers.
Social media is a goldmine when it comes to e-commerce, but even more so when it comes to e-commerce at Christmas.
You see, people use social media to discover new things, connect with friends, but more recently, to buy from their favourite brands.
If you can get your Christmas social strategy right, you have a great advantage to attract entire new audiences.
You’ll all know of big brands, spending thousands of dollars on their Christmas adverts and the thing is, it works.
Let’s look at the John Lewis advert for example.
To date, the advert has been watched (on youtube) over 11 million times. That doesn’t account for the people who have seen it on their tv or shared it over other platforms.
The thing about this is because John Lewis always creates so much buzz and anticipation around their advert, people have started to proactively wait for its arrival.
The sharing nature of social media means that if you can get it right for your e-commerce store this Christmas, you’re in for a good treat yourself.
You might have various strategies in place to attract new audiences to your store during the festive period.
However, what you might not realize is that you have a whole untapped opportunity, right under your fingertips: namely, in your email list.
Your email marketing list is most likely built up of people who have already bought a product from you.
As a result, you can boost your sales.
Postable make use of the fact that everyone will most likely receive a present at Christmas and attempts to generate extra sales after Christmas is over.
They use their email list of current customers to convince them to buy a pack of thank you cards for the people who were kind enough to buy them gifts.
When you think about it, this approach works.
You’re already a Postable customer and so you understand their brand and ethos and also prices.
Also, you’ve already received your presents so why wouldn’t you buy a pack of cards to show your gratitude.
We’ve already mentioned how important it is to make sure that your website runs well, at speed and is void of any bugs.
But that’s not the only thing that can cause unnecessary friction.
You also know that your customers are prone to shopping on their mobile.
So what’s one of the most frustrating things about mobile shopping?
Entering your card details of course.
You know how it is, you’re trying to input all your details (accurately), only the screen is tiny and you the input field is even smaller.
One way to counteract this is to allow people to pay for items through their phone via apple pay or the Android equivalent.
Some people already have their bank details stored in their phone and so making a payment becomes as seamless as tapping your thumb on the screen.
If you can work towards removing as much friction as possible, you’ll increase the chance of a customer making a purchase.
In the example above, you can see that this brand allows the customer to pay via apple pay or Paypal.
Giving customers more options to pay increases the chance of success. Especially because when browsing on their phone, some customers might not have their card with them.
As a result, they’ll promise to come back to it later, but we all know how easy it is to forget.
Your Christmas campaign is arguably one of the most important parts of your entire e-commerce strategy so it’s definitely not worth it to leave it to the last minute.
Give yourself time to prepare, get your audience excited and give yourself the best possible opportunity to generate sales.
After all, Christmas is the season of giving, right?
What strategies do you put in place to make sure your e-commerce store rocks at Christmas? Leave a comment below.