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10 Steps to Holiday Online Sales Success

“76% of early shoppers say they intend to spend more this holiday season than last year,” according to Internet Retailer’s latest numbers by SGK Inc and “many shoppers have already begun to shop for the holidays”.

“E-retail sales in the United States this holiday season will increase between 13% and 15% compared with last year,” stated Shop.org in a recent survey and free-shipping offers are the trend this holiday season.

These 10 easy and effective tips will help prepare your site before, during, and after Black Friday:

  1. Run a triple-strike Turkey 'Black Friday or Cyber Monday preview' email campaign. Send the early birds an email 2 weeks in advanced so shoppers are aware of your fantastic deals and mark their calendars. As noted above, the selling season starts earlier and earlier. At the very least send a promotion out at least a week in advance. The 3rd and final email should catch any last minute shoppers checking their inboxes between gravy and dessert. Send a reminder of your must-buy products a few hours up to 24 hours before your event.
  1. Promote the 12 days of Christmas! Promote a limited quantity 'product of the day' via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Send your first email/post on the afternoon of Thanksgiving. An email a day sounds like a lot, but shoppers will want be the first to click the 'confirm order' button before the deal runs out.
  1. "Get on the nice list." Set up a call to action immediately to receive email signups from your website and Facebook page. The message is "don't miss out on the great deals this holiday season." Also, do not forget to add or follow up with a "get your friends on the nice list" email promotion.
  1. Refresh your navigation. For example, emphasize the top selling categories from the last holiday. Use the Page Value metric in Google Analytics to find your top performing categories. These categories make excellent landing pages in email. You can also create new categories, like 'gifts for men under $50', for destination shoppers.
  1. Send abandoned cart emails (ACEs) to shoppers who did not complete a purchase. ACEs are necessary no matter what season, but especially when holiday shoppers access your site from their office where abandons happen because the phone rings, the boss is singing holiday cheer, or a co-worker is shows their cat in a Santa hat. If you already send ACEs, add a holiday touch to the emails and include specific call outs or triggers based around "the last day to order using ground”, 2nd day, and overnight shipping for packages to arrive before the holidays.
  1. Place trust marks in the optimal place especially for new shoppers. Increase the conversion of new shoppers by showing them your site is safe to shop. Services such as Kalio’s eCommerce Optimization Services enable you to split test rapidly your trust mark location. Excellent locations for trust marks are next to the add-to-cart button on product pages or adjacent to the payment detail entry fields on the check-out page.
  1. Display 'last day for standard and expedited shipping' messages on your site, in email and on Facebook. Create a holiday FAQ and create engaging and entertaining text with tips and tricks, such as selecting the right gift wrapping or including a holiday card. This visual will reduce customer service replies for popular holiday inquiries and educate shoppers so that they can make informed choices, which can increase average order value.
  1. Fine tune your search. Check the most popular search results with low click through rates to product pages and even lower conversions. This should be done as early as possible to prepare for Black Friday; failed searches go up this time of year. Your eCommerce or site search solution provider has tools to redirect these failed searches to the relevant product page, category page, or general information page such as a search term for “shipping rates”.
  1. Improve site speed. Look for bloated pages and file size heavy images, the biggest culprits for slowing down site speed. When you add an image to your site through the 'art' folder, these images are not automatically compressed, unlike our image import routine. Take advantage of free services like www.webpagetest.org to identify large images and find pages with more than 250K of images on them. Adjusting these will give your site speed a massive boost!
  1. Advertise your holiday deals in dynamic email retargeting campaigns. When shoppers come from organic search or PPC and land, but bounce on product pages or categories, they have some level of interest in the previously viewed products. In your retargeting emails, show them a range of products related to the product pages or categories they landed on with an additional discount to add to cart immediately from the email.

For more information or if you need help putting these tips into place, please contact Carrie Brumback, Kalio’s Customer Support Supervisor, with email deliverability expertise at your.partner@kaliocommerce.com or +1 (859) 261-8700.

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