How to Boost Your Online Sales During the Holiday Season

by | Dec 2, 2020 | Social Media, Marketing, Small Business, Strategy

Use these tips to attract more customers and boost your online sales!

If you’re a small retail business, chances are you count on the holiday season to boost your end-of-year revenue. This year, more than ever, holiday shoppers are being pushed to do most of their shopping online – are you ready to take on this influx of online shoppers?

If you’re fairly new to the world of e-commerce, we’ve put together a few useful tips for attracting more customers to your site, optimizing your user experience, and boosting sales during this holiday season.

Engage! Engage! Engage!

What’s better than free promotion?!

Social media has become significant in influencing purchasing decisions—especially for younger consumers. In fact, 72% of millennials base their fashion and beauty shopping decisions on Instagram posts.

When you engage with your followers, you are building brand loyalty. Showing recognition by directly engaging with your following is an excellent way to foster trusting and long-lasting relationships. In fact, 48% of consumers admit that when a company is responsive on social media, it encourages them to make a purchase from that company. When social media users see you interacting and building engagement with your followers, it creates a positive perception of your brand.

So, what should you be doing to attract customers on social media?

  1. Post frequently and consistently. Post at least 3 times a week so your customers don’t forget about you. But make sure your posts contain content that is engaging and valuable to your followers, otherwise it may have the opposite effect!
  2. Engage your users. Ask your followers questions, take surveys, reply to their comments, and show them that you care!
  3. Choose the best platforms for your business. While different social media platforms can cater to different audiences, Facebook and Pinterest have been found to drive the most traffic to online stores. Do your research and figure out where you can best reach your target audience.
  4. Use visually pleasing graphics. Posts with pleasant images usually garner greater engagement than others. Make your graphics bright, stimulating, and relevant to your brand.

Take advantage of email marketing

It may come as no surprise that email marketing comes as a must-have for any holiday marketing campaign. Every business – small or large – should establish marketing campaigns to drive customers back to your online store. Use your email marketing strategy to announce holiday sales and promotions. If you really want to capture attention in a crowded inbox, try sending out deals that are only available to email subscribers. You can also send reminder emails with countdowns throughout the duration of your promotion to urge customers to shop quickly.

This is your chance to get creative and give your subscribers a reason to keep reading (and to keep their subscription)!

Optimize the user experience

How your site looks and works can be the determining factor in gaining or losing a customer. If a user has to wait 5 seconds for a page to load or click through multiple buttons just to find what they are looking for, chances are they will get fed up and continue their search elsewhere.

This is your chance to get creative and give your subscribers a reason to keep reading (and to keep their subscription)!

Optimize the user experience

How your site looks and works can be the determining factor in gaining or losing a customer. If a user has to wait 5 seconds for a page to load or click through multiple buttons just to find what they are looking for, chances are they will get fed up and continue their search elsewhere.

Here are some tips for optimizing your e-commerce site:

  1. Test your infrastructure. This holiday season, many shoppers are turning online for all their gift-buying needs. Your e-commerce store needs to be able to handle a surge in both traffic and transactions. Test your servers and reach out to your technology provider if you need help testing or optimizing your infrastructure.
  2. Optimize your site speed. Your page load time should be less than 3 seconds — any longer than that and you’ll be experiencing high bounce rates. If your load speed isn’t optimal, a tool like GTmetrix can provide you with a list of recommendations on what needs to change in order to speed things up.
  3. Enable cart abandonment notifications. There are various reasons a customer might leave your site with a cart full of items. Sending them a push notification will remind them that they left products behind and can push them to finally make the purchase. These email notifications have double (and sometimes triple!) the click-through-rate of email. Leveraging this tool to prevent cart abandonment can significantly boost your overall e-commerce revenue.
  4. Optimize site search for each customer. Ensure your website’s search results return accurate products so your customers can find exactly what they’re looking for. If a customer can’t easily search for and find what they need, they’ll quickly give up.
  5. Simplify checkout. This is the final hurdle. If your customer has made it through the rest of your site effortlessly but experiences even the slightest bit of frustration in their checkout process, you’ve potentially lost a sale. For instance, 18% of people who abandon their carts blame slow load times during checkout.

Enabling guest checkout is important for first-time customers who don’t feel comfortable saving their contact information. Registration interrupts the shopping process and can be frustrating for many shoppers. Once customers decide to make a purchase, they want the checkout process to be quick and easy. Checking out as a guest is quicker than creating an account, is viewed as less of a commitment, and erases the impression that you’re after personal data.

Be mobile-friendly!

Did you know that 42% of holiday shoppers use their smartphones or tablets for online shopping? Mobile site optimization is the key to boosting your e-commerce sales during the holiday shopping season. In fact, by making your page load 2 seconds faster, you can boost your conversion rates by 66%! One of the best ways to improve the mobile customer experience is by using sticky Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons such as “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now.” Once your customer is ready to buy your products on their phone, you want to get them to checkout as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Preparing your business for the holiday shopping season is critical for maximizing revenue. This year, with more people ordering online, it’s important to create a smooth user experience, from start to finish.

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