It's time to ring in another holiday season — and for eCommerce stores that also means ringing up sales. There's no better time to give your business a boost: The holiday season can account for as much as 30% of total retail industry sales, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). For some stores, that percentage can be even higher. Saltopia Salts, for example, does 60% of its business over the holidays.
There's more good news: U.S. retail eCommerce sales will grow about 20% during the 2017 holiday season, reaching up to $114 billion, and there are plenty of opportunities for eCommerce sites and stores to make the most of this holiday windfall.
Here you'll find 8 tips to get your online store ready for the busiest time of the year:
- Add Product Recommendations
- Run a Holiday Sale
- Create Coupons
- Rescue Abandoned Carts
- Offer Gift Cards
- Provide Mobile Pay
- Send Holiday Emails
- Get Physical
- Use Sale Badges
- Make Products Scarce
- Request Product Reviews
1. Add Product Recommendations
Customers want your advice: Nearly two-thirds of holiday shoppers want to use wish lists from retailers to help them buy gifts, reports the NRF. It's easy to manually select products to recommend to shoppers, either on different pages of your store or through holiday emails.
Weebly Research found that when customers shop on sites that use a rotating carousel to showcase content, titles such as “Similar Products" or “Customers Who Viewed This, Also Bought" it can encourage comparison shopping and provide inspiration for gifts.
On product pages, titles like “Recommended Products" or “You may also like" can also help increase sales and engagement by providing suggestions for complementary products that shoppers can add to their baskets. You can also make these types of suggestions on home pages, category pages and in emails.
How To Do It: From the Editor, navigate to the a product page from Store > Products and add the Products Element to the long description area. Next, select Products and choose the single row layout. Finally, increase the column number (optional) and text element. This option is available for the Starter Plan and above.
2. Run a Holiday Sale
Shoppers love sales: In a survey done by Weebly Research, a whopping 95% of shoppers frequently (and sometimes immediately) clicked on a “Sale" category the instant they landed in an online store.
About seven in ten millennial and Generation Z shoppers say they make more impulsive purchases during the holidays, according to the NRF, so be sure to include a few sale items that are specifically targeted for these younger shoppers.
How To Do It: Make your own "On Sale" category using the Category Feature in Store > Products > Categories. Then, create a new page and add it to your top navigation. Title the page "Sale" and use the Categories Element to drag and drop your "On Sale" category directly into the page. Available for all plans.
3. Create Coupons
Those same shoppers who love sales (pretty much everybody) also love a good deal: About two-thirds of shoppers look for coupons before making a purchase. When shoppers immediately see an in-site coupon code after landing in your store, they are more likely to make a purchase.
Weebly provides tools to make three different types of coupons. You can create a percentage discount, dollar deduction or free shipping coupon.
How To Do It: Create your own coupons in just a few steps with the Coupon Builder. Advertise your coupon codes using Header or Section Elements. You can also use Weebly Promote to send coupon promotion emails to your best customers. Coupons are available for Business Plan and above.
4. Rescue Abandoned Carts
In 2016, the average global cart abandonment rate over the Black Friday - Cyber Monday weekend was 69%, reports Barilliance. For mobile shoppers the rate was even higher, at 78%.
Here's one way to capture those lost sales this holiday season: An effective Abandoned Cart recovery email can help you recapture up to 18% of these lost carts. Do it right by including a coupon and a personalized message.
5. Offer Gift Cards
Rather than simply enabling gift card purchases, give your sales a boost by advertising gift cards on your homepage banner or other high-visibility areas of your site. As the holidays get closer, promote gift cards as last-minute shopping ideas by letting visitors know they are sent automatically and immediately to the lucky recipients.
6. Provide Mobile Pay
For Apple and Android users, mobile pay provides faster checkout options during the holiday season – a big plus for busy shoppers. Thanks to larger screen sizes and more comfort with using online payment systems, smartphones are now a huge driver of mobile sales, accounting for 65% of mobile eCommerce in 2017.
In addition, over half of the purchases made on Weebly stores are done using a mobile device or tablet. Providing a great checkout experience for this important customer group is a great way to increase holiday sales.
7. Send Holiday Emails
A significant portion of eCommerce holiday sales are directly inspired by holiday emails sent to consumers. The competition for inbox space is tough during the holidays — especially from companies with large marketing budgets.
The good news, you now have the same power as the big guys to target customers through email. Claim your spot in the inbox by creating an entire suite of holiday emails that are auto populated with customer content.
How To Do It: From the Weebly Promote dashboard, click Suggested Emails to see a list of all pre-made Holiday email templates. Click into any template to begin customizing your email (the templates will be removed after the holidays).
8. Get Physical
Go where the shoppers are this holiday season to share gift ideas and inspirations for last-minute purchases. Customers still love to shop in physical locations during the holidays, so meet them in some of their favorite spots.
If you don't have a brick-and-mortar location, consider joining a Farmer's Market, Holiday Fair or Small Business Saturday event in your local area to get some real life face time with shoppers. Try using Square to process offline and online payments so you can connect physical sales with digital purchases.
How To Do It: Check with your local Chamber of Commerce or City Council for information about local sales events. Then get out and have fun! To use Square, go to Store > Setup > Checkout and click Connect. You can use Square with a Starter plan and above. If you’re a Weebly user and new to Square, signup before November 30th 2017 and get free processing on $1,000 of sales.
9. Use Sale Badges
If you're having a sale, one way to replicate the in-store experience is by badging, or using graphics and text to call shoppers' attention to a promotion for a specific product. Badges work: Online stores that used product badges saw a 55% increase in conversion rates compared to those who didn't, according to Monetate.
Test your results to make sure that you're using the right badges for the right products. It's also important to use badges consistently across your site to create the best shopping experience.
How To Do It: Go to Products, then Add or Edit Product. Next, add a “Sale" price. A sale badge or icon will show on the product image to clearly indicate that it's discounted. Available for the Starter Plan and above.
10. Make It Scarce
When personalization company Qubit (founded by four Googlers) set out to discover “What works in eCommerce" they found a consistent result. Across 29 different categories of sales tactics, stores that made a product scarce in some way created the highest increase in conversions.
The NRF suggests that in 2017, one of the best ways to encourage an impulse buy is to create a limited-time promotional offer across multiple channels (on your site, on social media, in emails, etc.). You can rotate these offers throughout the holiday season to reach a broad range of customers. You can also display a badge to let your customers know when a product is on sale or out of stock.
How To Do It: Available for Business Plan users and above.
11. Request Product Reviews
Some 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation from a friend, according to BrightLocal. Among consumers, two-thirds say they quickly form an opinion about a business after reading one to six reviews. And 90% say they make up their minds after reading 10 reviews – making this the recommended benchmark if you want to appeal to the largest group of shoppers.
Most shoppers check out the top reviews first, so it's important to regularly monitor your reviews. Focus on earning positive feedback in order to push negative reviews further down the list, recommends BrightLocal.
How To Do It: To automatically request product reviews from customers who purchased from you, go to your review dashboard from Store > Products > Reviews. Choose enable, then select timeframe, then choose customize email. The feature is now available for the Business Plan and above.
Give these holiday tips a try today to get your online store ready for the upcoming selling season. With retail eCommerce sales on the rise in 2017, helping your customers find great deals at a great price will ensure this holiday season delivers.