With festivities just around the corner, record-breaking ecommerce sales are expected to make a comeback too. But, how far can you bank on the holiday spirit?
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve are not too far behind! The retailers, year on year, look forward to banking on these occasions. While the 2020 festive season in the USA was a mixed bag of emotional and business sentiments, 2021 shall see rays of positivity. According to eMarketer, eCommerce sales will see a surge by about 11.3 per cent to $206.88 billion. Also, Cyber Monday and Black Friday are expected to surpass USD 10 billion in eCommerce sales.
Pandemic Effect on the Holiday Sale
Despite the world coming to a standstill amid the pandemic, the retail space reported quite impressive numbers. Bestbuy, The Home Depot, Lululemon and Peloton stood out as the winners during the 2020 holiday season. Now, these were the retailers. In terms of eCommerce and omnichannel retailers, Amazon, Walmart and Target took the top spots.
So how did the retail space report positive numbers when no one was stepping out? A significant factor is that shoppers gravitated to options such as delivery and click-to-collect. According to CNBC, another reason is that consumers resorted to buying gifts to lighten their moods during the pandemic. This emotional sentiment led to an 8.3 per cent ecommerce sales growth during the 2020 holiday season. The spending on gifts was a way to compensate for the limited travel and dinner outings.
The Game Plan Now (After Restrictions are Lifted)
The world is reviving, and the restrictions are gradually getting lifted. Now that people are already resorting to digital and online platforms for their shopping needs, what should be the game plan?
Putting things into perspective, online shopping, in 2020, had reached the levels that were not projected for until 2025. With that said, the game plan is getting more and more digitally inclined. First up, companies should work up profound strategies for addressing emerging threats. Some of them are greater adaptiveness and agility towards technology, an intensified competitive landscape, SEO, PPC and other internet marketing and advertising campaigns. Second, assessing the scope and scale for digital and eCommerce investments is equally important. Third, organizing the business operations to ensure maximum digital-commerce engagement and design shall take priority too.
Experts posit that eCommerce shall reach USD 469.3 million in 2021 and USD 502.6 million by 2022. For this to happen, digitization is the way forward.
How to increase holiday sales?
The unanimous response is to get digital! And this is a no-brainer.
1. Optimize for mobile
In 2020, mobile or smartphones were the driver of eCommerce shopping and buying behaviour. The expectation is for the mobile shopping trend to remain strong this year, too.
So, to pander to the on-the-go shoppers, companies should keep the following in mind:
- First, run a Google Mobile-Friendly test to curate the optimizations.
- Offer location-based shipping estimates and product availability
- Dynamic page serving to help improve website speed.
- Make sure to remove pop-ups and sidebars.
- As an add-on, consider offering guest users an option to email their shopping list. Doing so allows you to finish the pending requests on their desktops.
- Make provisions for digital wallets as this ensures speedy checkouts.
2. Run Cart Abandonment Campaigns
According to Statista, in 2020, 88 per cent of online shopping orders were abandoned globally. Abandoned carts are an antagonist for every eCommerce business. Unfortunately, you cannot eliminate cart abandonment completely. However, you can try and recover those lost customers. The way around this is to create cart abandonment campaigns. Get your hands on those email automation tools already! Set reminders for order completion at regular time intervals and keep sending those out through emails and push notifications.
3. Expose the Top-Selling Product
Think of this as digital window shopping. If you keep the audience’s favourite items at the forefront, they will at least check them out. This will get you an impression and a click. And since it is their favourite, they may even purchase them. So, you get that conversion too.
The best-sellers have already proved their steadfastness. It is their cash cow. Hence, frequent displays will attract more eyeballs and customers and boost your holiday ecommerce sales.
Below are ways to increase the exposure of the top-selling items.
- Feature them in the footer or landing pages, for example
- Market them through email push notifications
- Create or curate content around the top-selling items
4. Retarget Your Existing Customers
Targeting existing users is way more beneficial than new ones. The reason is familiarity. The existing customers are inclined towards your brand and have experience in interacting with it.
The way to go about this is:
- Segment the existing customer base for personalized targeting
- Curate personalized ads through remarketing
- Adopt cross-selling and upselling and offer products relevant to their purchase habits
5. Optimize pop-ups, forms, and website messaging
Leveraging omnichannel marketing channels is the need of the hour. Virtual chatbots are at the forefront of this revolution. You can also choose to interact and connect with your audiences through website messaging. But this is not alone sufficient. While you’re at it, optimizing your order and feedback forms is required to reduce friction and time wastage from the user’s perspective.
6. Create a Sense of Urgency
You must have come across limited time offers and the likes. Now, this falls under the gamut ‘FOMO’. The term is a millennial lingo which stands for Fear Of Missing Out. Some of the notable examples of this are out-of-stock and countdown timers. The former can be, ‘End of season sale’, whereas the latter, ‘Offer lasts for one week’.
7. Leverage the Power of Email Marketing
Email marketing is as powerful and relevant as it was yesterday. Typically offering coupons and rewards in exchange for brand loyalty goes a long way. But, email marketing can also help drive up traffic to the website. Think of it as a direct sales pitch to your audience that needs to be layered between valuable content.
The ways to get right with email marketing are:
- Use an email automation tool like Hubspot or MailChimp
- Always send welcome emails
- Use of stock images to add impact to the overall messaging
- Segment and personalize your emails
- Use A/B testing for prospects
8. Create unique and seasonal landing pages
If your products are festival-oriented or seasonal, such as clothing, apparel or gifting items, creating unique and seasonal landing pages helps garner engagement with your audience. It gives them deep insights into your brand and its offerings. Also, landing pages provide ample room for creativity. You can use colour schemes, infographics, visuals and images to create eye-catching content.
9. Loyalty Program Contest on the Website
Yet another impactful strategy is to curate a loyalty program contest. Doing so provides you with an opportunity for a loyalty test and makes it a memorable experience. You can leverage humour and wit, if you may, to make it more engaging. This is an excellent way to build further connections and bonds with your audience, giving them a taste of your brand proposition.
10. Promotion of Memberships
Memberships provide a feeling of speciality and association. It gives your audiences the perception that they are valued, cared for and heard. Also, memberships offer immense opportunities for offers, discounts and deals. You can further create members-only pages for recommendations, promotions and even money-back guarantees.
Wrapping it up
This holiday season is particularly primed for pumping up the sales volume. With increased digitization, you should optimize your website to provide an enhanced interface. Driving the digital experience as a holistic solution is what shall be the end game this season.
In summary, the idea is to create a bridge between the customers’ needs and your brand proposition to deliver engagement at all fronts. Adapty takes an umbrella approach to the holiday sale by improving your cost efficiency while pushing the front-facing products. See out how you can make the most of this ecommerce sales surge by talking to one of our Digital Experience Experts today.