While everyone else is still busy mourning the end of summer, the dreaded ‘C’ word has made itself right at home in the forefront of every online retailer’s mind. That’s right, Christmas is fast-approaching. Considering 53% of the British public get their shopping ticked off between October and November, we’re sure you’ll want to prepare your eCommerce business to take full advantage of this crucial period. We’ve compiled the below cheat-sheet scanning website development, marketing strategy and logistics to help save your bacon and maximise sales this festive period.
Winning on the web
Shop cart desertion is a killer, especially with a vast increase in impulse buys during the lead up to Christmas. This is usually caused by frustration and impatience felt by online shoppers due to slow loading, navigation difficulties and the necessity of time-consuming account creation. You’ve worked hard enough to develop an attractive product so the last thing you want is to fall at the last hurdle. To prevent basket abandonment on your site, we recommend rigorously testing ease of experience by adequately preparing for a surge in online traffic. If you don’t already have one, offer a guest checkout option with minimal data requirements. A Christmas landing page, or even a ‘Christmas shopping’ search filter will help to display exactly what your customers want to see.
As only 28% of online shoppers buy on desktop during the Christmas period, it is also vital that your site is mobile and tablet ready. Promoting a quick, easy purchasing process for your consumers is key if you want to maximise your sales and prevent them from slipping away to your closest competitors.
Arrange your products wisely:
Let’s be honest- everyone loves a steal, especially when buying for someone else. That’s why we recommend displaying related items on your site or physically creating gift sets and product bundles within your product listing. Even advertising these packages for a slightly discounted price will attract bargain hunters while increasing your average shopping basket size, making it a win-win.
Preparing your inventory
For a customer, there’s nothing worse than scouring the internet for the perfect present, only to find that it’s out of stock. To prevent this from happening to your business, you need to make sure that you have your inventory management under control. In the lead up to Christmas, forecast your purchasing quantities based on previous years while keeping an eye out for ongoing trends. On average, retailers dispatch four times as many orders in the final quarter as they do the rest of the financial year; so, if you’re a start-up and this is your first Christmas, forecast four times as much stock and then some to be safe side. You’ll kick yourself if you miss out
Deliver the best
Obviously, it’s impossible to rival the delivery speed of the man in the red suit but that doesn’t mean you have to let your customers down on Christmas Day. We suggest clearly displaying disclaimers on your website home page and within the ‘check-out’ process regarding your final delivery dates. Mentioning that orders must be placed at least 2-3 working days before Christmas Eve like giants John Lewis and Argos allows smaller retailers like you to compete by keeping consumers equally informed. Making an animated countdown to display on your website, “Order within XX hours to get it by Christmas” is ideal to get the message across without confusion.
Get your marketing in check
To boost your eCommerce sales, it’s important to get customers on your site in the first place. Advertise your best deals or signature products through a series of Adwords campaigns. Black Friday is notorious for present-buying, so we suggest promoting heavily during this time, especially via social media as all your competitors are likely to be doing this. Promotional emails that provide teasers of your best offers are also helpful in reminding your existing customers why you’re the best at your trade.