5 Ways to Maximize Holiday Profits For Your Ecommerce Store
posted By Patrick
5 Ways to Maximize Holiday Profits For Your Ecommerce Store
Selling seasonal products in bulk is a great way to make up for the slow season. But bringing in the right stock is only half the battle – you’ll need seasonal campaigns and offers that entice customers during these highly competitive periods. Be honest – have you really maximized your holiday selling potential? If the answer is no, here are five tips to help you optimize seasonal selling to maximize profits.
Create and optimize landing pages
Regardless of whether you’re selling lots of inventory or having a tough time, the holidays have the potential to turn it all around — and knowing what holidays your target audience celebrates is key to maximizing holiday profits.
Though Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day and Halloween are huge events on the retail calendar in the US, they might be irrelevant in other geographies. If you have a big market in China, then the Chinese New Year should be a much bigger priority for your business; In India, Diwali is the busiest time of the year for large purchases.
Because ecommerce makes it possible to trade internationally, consider setting up targeted seasonal landing pages within your biggest geographical sales areas. Creating specific landing pages for relevant holidays is easy and can help generate lead after lead. Make sure your landing pages are optimized with seasonal keywords and clear calls to action to drive traffic and conversions.
Categorizing your products will help your customers find the items they want all year round, but using seasonal categories when relevant will also help attract them during peak buying seasons and set you apart from competitors. Try using categories like:
Summer holiday must-haves.
Last-minute Christmas gifts.
Whether you’re creating a standard landing page or one tailored specifically for a holiday season, there are best practices that will help you increase conversions. These include crafting a benefit-orientated headline, including a focused call to action, and relevant content such as reviews and other examples of social proof.
Targeted overlays and pop-ups
One of the best ways to convert visitors to your landing pages is by using promotional pop-ups. Design bespoke holiday messages for customers that will appear at specific intervals or following set actions to help convert visitors.
Note that 99% of your website visitors won’t make a purchase the first time around, but 75% will plan to return later and buy then. By including pop-ups somewhere meaningful during the first journey, you have the opportunity to collect email details for retargeting or to provide a discount if they purchase there and then.
Don’t forget to get ready early as every holiday season has a preceding countdown you can use to hype your sales. Pop-ups are great for drawing attention and creating urgency, which means countdowns can make for really engaging ways to draw customers to your sale.
In addition to countdowns, you can use vouchers, competitions, and the promise of valuable content to persuade visitors to opt-in to your email. In short, there are plenty of useful ways to incorporate prominent pop-ups — just don’t overuse them or include them when there is no relevance. It’s best to stick to subtlety.
Scarcity and urgency
FOMO is a powerful thing, and something you should definitely use on your landing pages to encourage people is holiday offers, deals, and discounts. Consider the following constructions:
For a limited time only.
Only 3 days left.
Last 2 remaining.
While stocks last.
This is something Fera does incredibly well. By providing a running feed showing what other site visitors are doing (what they’re viewing, what they’re buying, etc.) and providing updates on stock levels and limited-time offers, it ensures that shoppers are driven along by a steady sense of urgency.
Who else does it well?
Creating a sense of urgency and scarcity is what holiday selling is all about. Amazon does this excellently with its ‘order in the next few hours and get same day delivery’ option. It also introduced Prime Now, exclusive to Amazon Prime members, offering 2-hour and 1-hour delivery. It’s this immediacy being offered by ecommerce that makes it so attractive to consumers, and it’s a great tactic for increasing profits during the holidays.
Big retail giants selling fashion items like trainers are also great at emphasizing scarcity. They make and release limited numbers of colorways and designs and advertise them for pre-order. Works like a charm.
Apple is a great case of a brand that’s amazing at creating hype about a product and releasing it around the holiday season to make it the must-have item of the season.
Produce seasonal content
Seasonal content is powerful, and you need to embrace it. Use blogs, videos, podcasts, create competitions and lure social media followers to your landing pages with great content.
The holidays make for a litany of easy wins: if it’s Christmas, write a post on spending Christmas in Lapland or New York and tie that experience back to your product. You can even turn an advent calendar into a hot seasonal product — play around with different product and content marketing formats to make the most of the holidays.
It’s all about creating a coherent content and sales approach that drives up profitability across the board. If it’s the summer holidays, create a series that drops your product in and incorporates lots of images to build a story around your brand. Get blogger influencers involved by asking them to mention you in a blog post or offer to guest blog for them.
And if it’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday, creating guides around last-minute gift ideas is a good tactic for targeting shoppers that are looking for bargain presents for themselves and others. There is so much room to create fantastic content that converts to clicks and sales during boom months. Let your imagination run wild, but don’t forget to link to your products, CTAs, sales and sign-ups.
Send seasonal emails to drive leads
Email marketing is another area in which ecommerce has a huge advantage over high street brands, because it’s so much easier to target your customers with holiday offers, coupons and gift guides. Use your seasonal emails to get customers excited about your brand and drive them to your site, then make sure you have all the elements in place that will help convert the sale.
Think carefully about the experience your customer will have if they click your email and end up on your store. Does the user experience make the path of purchase simple? Have you got user-generated reviews to provide social proof? Is there a frequently asked questions section that will help alleviate shopper concerns? Do you offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount?
When sending seasonal emails to drive leads, ensuring minimal complication is so important. Using a store builder with built-in marketing capabilities will make the flow from email to your website and finally the checkout as simple for the customer as possible – and easier for you to manage too.
Bump up your holiday advertising budget
If you don’t usually advertise during the year, creating a seasonal marketing budget is worth considering. Think about how much you’re planning to increase your sales by during specific holidays and create a budget for promoting your sales. We know Black Friday and Cyber Monday are massive, but to compete with big retailers you need to advertise and be different.
Throw your hat in the ring with some off-kilter ads — play on seasonal hashtags and design some fun holiday campaigns around top-selling items or high margin products. Offer easy delivery and returns, and mention them frequently. Items that are difficult to return can be hard to move, so tell your customers how easy you’ll make it.
When you bump up your holiday advertising budget, it’s crucial that your online store is ready for a sudden surge in traffic. If you are using a hosted online store builder like Shopify
you will be fine because such providers have the server capacity to cope with a large increase in the number of visitors. However, if your website is not on a hosted platform, you might want to consider investing in a CDN like Cloudflare, which helps protect and accelerate site performance, to prepare your site for increased traffic during busy seasonal periods.
Stay discoverable on social and mobile
Your customers are using mobile apps and social media to get ideas for purchases, so you must make sure you have a presence on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Post pictures and articles about your products, and encourage happy customers to post pictures and tag you.
Instagram now lets you integrate shoppable photo tags, so customers can shop for your products directly from their feed. This is perfect seasonal promotion and can also help you grow a following to increase sales all year round.
Credit: InstagramYour ecommerce site shouldn't rely on the holidays to stay afloat, but seasonal selling may be where the majority of the year’s income is generated. Having a marketing plan with a holiday budget and strategy factored in is so important. With everyone trying to cash in on the holidays, getting consumer attention is not going to be easy. Do what you do best during the year, just do it better. Emphasize your brand identity, optimize messaging and calls to action, create fresh seasonal content, and engage with customers and influencers on social media.