We may have seen some unexpected changes to the retail landscape in 2020, but here’s the good news: Holiday spending looks as strong as ever.
In fact, surveys show that consumers plan to spend 3% more than last year — but how they’re buying is different. Online shopping has skyrocketed, so if you want to rake in retail sales this holiday season, e-commerce is the place to look. Spruce up your web presence with the tips below.
Make your brand feel festive
It should go without saying, but if your business doesn’t appear excited about the holiday, your customers won’t, either. That’s particularly true this year. Between social distancing and travel plans gone awry, consumers are feeling nostalgic for the seasonal traditions they’re missing out on. They’re more likely to browse (and buy) if your business evokes a sense of celebration and holiday cheer.
Put the same thought and effort into your brand’s online platforms as you would put into on-site visual merchandising. It should feel like an event. Use warm, holiday-specific messaging and make your visuals engaging, clear, and unmistakably special.
Highlight gift-worthy products
Gifting is always a central part of holiday shopping, but in 2020, consumers are spending even less on non-gift purchases for themselves. Their primary focus will be on buying items for friends, family, and loved ones and reinforcing connections to ease the sense of uncertainty and isolation caused by the pandemic.
Choose holiday-specific items to highlight on the front page of your eCommerce site. Get customers inspired by showcasing giftable bundles with themes like “for him” or “for mom”. Offer and promote free gift wrapping as a perk.
Work this into your social media and email marketing, too. Holiday gift guides are popular — thinking of gift ideas can be a challenge for many people, so share content that inspires customers to buy your products and cross a few names off their list.
Offer tempting holiday deals
With all the online purchasing people have been doing this year, shoppers are getting even savvier about how they spend — the vast majority of consumers (86.8%) intend to buy their holiday gifts on sale. That means incentives are critical.
Plan rotating holiday-specific promotions and communicate them across all platforms. Keep it fresh and exciting by featuring new sales, special discounts, and limited-time offers regularly. Don’t overlook savings on shipping, either, because your customers certainly won’t — a whopping 91% of shoppers say that they are looking for free shipping.
Get in front of your audience
Your holiday promos and website may have a high conversion rate, but if most of your audience doesn’t see them, the actual number of sales will be limited. The potential for e-commerce revenue is huge – 60% of people are planning to do their holiday shopping online this year – so capitalize on that by attracting these shoppers to your website.
Reach out to customers with seasonal marketing emails and text messages. Provide a steady stream of holiday content on social media, mixing educational, promotional, and lifestyle content to boost engagement and drive traffic to your e-commerce store. Cross-promote across all your online platforms.
Optimize the shopping experience
Make placing online orders as hassle-free as possible for customers. Your e-commerce site should accept all major credit cards, Paypal, and other popular payment methods. Many consumers prefer to shop from their phones and tablets, so ensure your site is mobile-friendly. Offer safe, easy in-store pickup and returns. Prominently display your customer service contact details across all online platforms so shoppers can reach out for assistance if they have questions or need help.
Be structured and strategic
It can be hard to keep track of things during the busy holiday shopping season, so stay organized. Plan out your holiday promotions, marketing initiatives, and social media content calendar in advance, and keep everything in one place so you and your team stay on the ball. Afterwards, this organization will make it easier to evaluate the results of your efforts — and make holiday 2021 even more successful!