Traditionally the Christmas period offers a huge opportunity for brands, retailers and small businesses to promote and increase sales volumes. A study conducted by Deloitte, analysing 9 countries including the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, UK and more discovered that more than ever the shopping journey is heavily digitally influenced and in developed markets 70% of consumers are now leading their own shopping journey utilising retail and non-retailer tools to gather information and make buying decisions.
Due to the growing influence of digital and social media, businesses must realise the power of these digital platforms in order to customise their digital offerings as well as online tactics to increase sales.
Below are our ultimate tips to help your business boost sales this Christmas.
Spice up your identity
Apart from ensuring your website is mobile friendly (as shoppers will spend hours on their phone browsing for gift ideas), you should definitely update promotional areas of your website such as banners, product pages and sign up popups to push your Christmas promotions. It is a great idea to have Christmas related images and content to attract holiday shoppers. Such content could be Christmas promotions, sales, blogs, gift guides and photos. Another tip is to optimise the content and meta data by adding important holiday related keywords to help the pages rank well in search engines. Tip: If you want something a bit fancier, perhaps create a Christmas landing page to funnel visitors to either your Christmas promotions, gift ideas or competitions to increase conversions.
If you own a large ecommerce site with lots of products, we suggest to organise your products nicely into several categories such as “Gifts for Her”, “Gifts for Him”, “Gifts under $30” and so on. This makes it so much easier for shoppers to browse for Christmas gifts and boost sales.
The power of testimonials and star ratings
Don’t underestimate the power of online influence. Consumers are highly influenced by online reviews and ratings. In fact, Deloitte’s survey found people were twice as likely to validate their product selections using online reviews than they are to discuss with a shop assistant. Add testimonials to your website, on product pages, in social media posts, aim to increase Google Plus reviews and Facebook reviews as it all helps to convert shoppers into buyers.
Create a holiday gift guide
Over the Christmas period, some consumers may feel overwhelmed or even stressed out when finding the right gifts for their families, friends or work colleagues. It is a good idea to create a holiday gift guide as this could be a huge savior for those who don’t have the time going through the lengthy process of searching for that perfect gift.
If you run a small local creative business, we suggest to cross promote with others in your industry. Apart from featuring your own products in the gift guide, include products from other local creative shops. Also consider grouping the products into different categories as discussed above.
Product bundling up
Do you have stock that sits on the shelf longer than others? Consider bundling them up with your best-sellers for a small increase in sales. Consumers will feel like they are getting a great deal at a bargain price. These slow-moving stocks may fly out the doors before you even notice!
Pop-up forms are another great way to build your database while promoting your latest content or Christmas promotions. These days there are so many types of popups such as time and behavioral popups as well as when someone goes to leave the website (exit popups). Some people may find popups annoying and intrusive, Hello Bar and SumoMe Smart Bar are some great alternatives. Both of them are full-width bars spanning at the top of your website that help grab your users attention.
Here are some of the great things you could include in the Hello Bar and SumoMe Smart Bar:
- Push latest Christmas offer
- Announce Free shipping
- Let customers know you offer Worldwide shipping
- Showcase new products
- Pose a question – Drive them to a new blog post
Alternatively, if you do not want to use a third party site, get your web developer to build a top banner or leaderboard design for your website. You can also check your (CMS) content management system, think WIX, Squarespace, WordPress and Shopify and see if they have internal features/plugins you can use to achieve the same effect.
Free local shipping
Consumers love free shipping, especially when they are on a tight budget or want to buy gifts from multiple online shops. Hence, consider offering free local shipping on all orders if you can. Another great sales offering is to offer free shipping over a certain amount spent such as spend $100 and get free shipping. This can increase average customer order values. Make sure to include a final cut off day for shipping before Christmas.
Bonus tips: Offer flash deals and free express shipping closer to Christmas eve as this will certainly appeal to those last-minute shoppers.
Free gift wrapping
Not everyone has the time or patience to gift wrap all their presents themselves. They could always use some help. As an incentive, you could offer free Christmas gift wrapping over the Christmas period. It’s one less thing to worry about for shoppers – who doesn’t love that?
Promote gift cards
Gift cards or gift vouchers are among some of the best sellers of many retailers, especially during the Christmas shopping period. Hence, it is a good idea to put your gift cards on display, whether in store on counter tops or creating dedicated gift voucher pages on your website which you can push via email campaigns and social media.
Bonus tip: Promote your gift cards as early as October to attract businesses who are planning and thinking about purchasing the gift cards to use as gifts for their employees or valued customers.
Many consumers won’t instantly buy your products or services over the Christmas period. They are more likely to browse other sites and compare prices, pros and cons you name it. This demonstrates an opportunity for you to implement remarketing to bring those wanderers back to your site and hopefully encourage them to take action by placing an order/completing a transaction. Platforms like ReTargeter, Adroll and Google Adwords Display Network are some of the most popular platforms. Learn more about remarketing.
Christmas is the perfect time to boost your sales numbers and there’s no better platform than emails to help you achieve your sales goals. Nicely crafted email campaigns can make all the difference in running a successful Christmas campaign. As customers will get bombarded with promotional emails during this time, it is important to give them a reason to click your email. Having great incentives and clever subject lines and wording may just win you a few extra sales. Mailchimp is a great email marketing tool, and it’s free for the first 2500 email subscribers.
Bonus tip: Send out emails right before Christmas with any last-minute gift suggestions for those customers who start late. Offering expedited shipping may be also a huge plus to win those sales!
Running Christmas giveaways and competitions is another great way to increase traffic to your website and social media channels, as well as boost your sales this Christmas. Not sure what kind of giveaways to run? How about running a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway through which participants can go in the draw for either a prize each day or a prize at the end of the promotion? Depending on the entry conditions you set out, through running giveaways like this, you could achieve the following:
- Boost your sales as consumers may start browsing your products while checking out the competition details
- Build a larger customer database
- Increase brand awareness and engagement as people may tag their friends, share, follow or like your social media channels.
- Encourage followers to visit your site or social media channels every day
Over the Christmas period you can look for local businesses that aren’t your direct competitor and cross promote each other’s social media posts as an example. Not sure what to do? How about partnering with complementary businesses to create Christmas gift bundles (your products and their products) and promote these to each other’s respective followers?
Another subtle way of cross promoting is through sponsorships. Find a cause that matches your values, or find a local event or 30 day social media challenge related to your industry and offer to sponsor the event. Tagging their social media profiles in your posts’ description is a good idea.
Social media messaging
When browsing for the perfect Christmas gift, consumers may have many questions relating to product features, promotions, delivery, refund and so on. It is very likely they will reach out to you either through phone calls, emails or direct messages to your social media platforms. According to Deloitte, 53% respondents are more likely to make a purchase from a business they can easily contact through a chat app. Hence, it is important to be actively monitoring the channels and responding to any consumer enquiries in a timely manner.
If you have a chat app on your website, good on you! This will hopefully help you convert more enquiries into sales. Don’t forget to always have someone actively attending to consumer questions and enquiries.
Create a Pinterest account
Depending on the industry, a lot of people will use Pinterest to look for gift ideas or a sale for themselves or their friends and families. It is a great idea to set up a Pinterest account and feature your products and Christmas promotions. You can also create gift boards to feature products from other shops and encourage them to link back to yours.
Tip: Don’t forget to create a Pinterest Business account.
Always use highly relevant hashtags in your social media posts to increase reach and engagement when promoting your Christmas promotions or giveaways. Some examples include #christmasshopping #xmasshopping #xmasgifts #xmapresents #christmasgift #12daysofchristmas #wishlist #Christmmas2016.
Social media advertising
Do you have a great giveaway or some exciting promotions for Christmas? Consider reaching out to a wider audience rather than just your followers. Boosting posts is a great way you can start to broaden the reach of your posts in social media platforms. However, Facebook and Instagram advertising takes it one step forward with more refined targeting features to really tap into those consumers spending hours on these social media channels.
If you are looking to invest some of your advertising dollars in either Facebook or Instagram ads, we at Lauren Benedetti can help. Contact us today to start boosting your sales this Christmas.
There’s no time like now to implement Christmas sales and marketing campaigns as many shoppers start very late and make their purchases from the 11th – 20th December (Deloitte).
We hope these tips help you make the most of your time and budget in attracting and converting more sales this Christmas.
Happy Holidays to you all!