November and December are crucial months for online businesses. Of the 60 days that make up November and December, an average of 58 days see over $1 billion in online sales.
To be more specific, in 2017, approximately $2.8 billion in sales took place on Thanksgiving, $5.03 billion on Black Friday, $2.43 billion on Small business Saturday and $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday. That is over $16 billion in online sales in a 5 day span. Current global projections are placing 2018– notably Thanksgiving and Black Friday to surpass 2017’s numbers greatly by at least 15%.
With this kind of cash flow at stake, online retailers in every niche should be preparing their online stores to win over fierce shopping competition. Instead of waiting until a few weeks before Christmas, October should be used as a month to update their site, implement changes and carry out the ideal marketing strategy to boost sales.
We’ve put together some quick and easy ways online retailers can stand out among their competitors before Christmas comes around.
There are numerous ways that online shopping trumps brick-and-mortar including a wider selection, quicker checkout, less pressure by sales clerks, and zero crowds. However, large shipping costs can quickly deter a shopper from following through with a purchase. In fact, 25% of customers specifically cited unexpected shipping costs as the primary reason driving them away from cart checkout.
Free shipping regardless of the total order cost is the most ideal offer, but for many retailers this is not realistic. Setting a minimum order price that customers must reach before they get free shipping is an excellent way to ensure the order is of significant value. Also, customers often spend more than they originally intended to reach the free shipping threshold.
Christmas Delivery Guarantee
Shipping costs aren’t the only drawback of shopping online. The shipping process itself can make a customer more likely to battle the crowds in store to ensure they get their items before Christmas.
If you can guarantee Christmas delivery, promote it as much as possible on the homepage, product page and checkout page. This is most essential for last minute purchases a few days before December 25th. Ensuring your customers receive their gifts before Christmas gives them peace of mind, and usually means they won’t think twice about placing an order.
Gift Wrap Option
Consider adding a gift-wrap option on your checkout page to instantly grab the attention of many customers. Last minute shoppers, the artistically challenged and those with no extra time to spare will jump on the opportunity to have their gifts arriving pre-wrapped.
It is best to offer a few Christmas wraps, a Hanukkah wrap and a generic holiday wrap for those that do not want the gift to associate with a specific religious domination. Gift wrapping should be offered at a fair additional charge to cover the material and labor. As a bonus, you can offer a free ribbon or bow– something that seems of extra value for the shopper.
Offering gift wrap is a simple way to save shoppers the hassle of creating a nice presentation, which means they get to spend less time stressing and more time enjoying the holidays.
While capturing data from your website is important for marketing purposes, forcing a hurried shopper to create an entire account for a single purchase is one of the quickest ways to send them to a competitor. Touted as the #2 reason for shopping cart abandonment, having to create a new account before a customer can complete the checkout process will kill more deals than the “vital” data capture will bring in the future.
Instead, set up a ‘Guest Checkout’ option for shoppers asking them to simply provide their email, shipping and billing address and card details. Claiming their email is actually the most important and will allow you to target them in the future. If you want to boost your sales this Christmas, make checking out as swift as possible.
Pay Over Time Option
One of the main strategies that is bound to boost your sales throughout the year, and particularly during the holiday season is offering your customers an opportunity to pay over time. During the holiday season, shoppers are typically buying many gifts for family members and friends. By splitting the total cost of their purchases over time, they are better able to manager their budget and cash flow.
Enter Splitit, a 0% installment option for consumers that allows them to use their existing credit or debit card and pay over time. Splitit requires no application or registration and there are never any late fees.
For merchants, offering the Splitit payment solution is seamless and the effects are seen immediately. Current Splitit merchants have seen +80% higher AOV, +12% sales increase and -10% decrease in cart abandonment. In addition, Splitit is an omnichannel solution enabling monthly payments online, on mobile and in-store.