Festive Season Marketing Tips to drive more sales to your e-commerce store.
Learn some workable Techniques to grow sales from your eCommerce online store!
With the festive season around the corner, for most people it would mean a well deserved holiday time. This is also the annual golden opportunity to spike up those sales.
A 2013 survey (by Assocham) reports that online retailers were expecting upwards of 250% rise in sales during the Diwali season.
For e-commerce marketing strategists, this is the busiest season of the year. You think you are done with your homework to accept it with all the pomp and show you planned for?
Is your e-store is all decorated shapely and stacked up for record-breaking statistics you aimed at?
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If you are still under the conception that all the designs and strategies that worked last year will be a hit this time as well, then you are picking the wrong card from the deck.
Neither you will be trying the same dress in a different shades, then why present the same to your customers?
The best part about owning an eCommerce business is when you give it a makeover you have the liberty to transform it into something fresh and amazing.
You made your list and checked it twice. You have developed a strategic approach to holiday promotions and are ready to see what eCommerce success will come with the 2015 holiday season.
But before you launch full throttle into the holidays, step back and make sure you are well prepared for the upcoming shopping season. Read hear about eCommerce coupon marketing tips
Festive Season Marketing Tips
So, if you haven’t yet pulled up your socks to meet your competition during this holiday period, do not bother!
Below mentioned are some quick tips to rejuvenate that Online store of yours. In this series, we’ll take you through the pain points that retailers experience during the holiday rush and share some tips on how to plan ahead to prevent such issues this season.
1. Analyze the sales trend and make sure your site is up and runs fast
a. Strategize your market and sales plan Google Trends is a good place to start. Just type in most probable keywords a buyer will search for and look at how they did during the last festive season, but Google Trends will only give you a brief idea.
In-depth analysis of sales trends requires a more sophisticated tracking system.
The best way is to look at your own sales reports from the previous season and learn from your mistakes and decide what products to push. Review your past performance metrics against and ensure that you have bandwidth and capacity for the expected spikes.
Your emails and ads need to queued up and ready to go when you know they'll be most effective. Keep all your emails ready to shoot at definite periods. Ensure that you have the scalability to handle the peak load.
b. Make sure your teams, servers and partners can handle holiday traffic. Tie up with third party vendors, for pay-per-click and email marketers, to ensure they efficiently handle increased load.
Equally important is to work with warehouse and fulfillment teams to know when cut-off times are for shipping to ensure all feeds are properly updating inventory and pricing.
c. Make sure pages load quickly. Web performance expectations have evolved and users are demanding much more -- a one-second performance delay can make a huge difference between a profitable and unprofitable year," says Kavitha Mariappan, director, Product Marketing, at Riverbed, an application performance company.
d. Upscale staff and machine capacity for the worst case scenario. Also, have people ready to reply to customer emails, tweets, blog comments, Facebook queries and calls.
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2. Social Media Strategy
a. E-Commerce sales statistics had been projected to account for $14.25 billion in 2013 and $30 billion in 2015 only through social media brand pages.
If you have developed custom landing pages for your holiday specials, don’t miss to include social sharing buttons on them for buyers to become your promoters.
Using the various tools for social media integration, streamline your online store’s landing pages, blog page, thank you page and any other shareable content is made easily shareable on the web.
b. Post updates about discounts that you are running and holiday specials on your brand pages across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+.
c. Share high quality and appealing product images along with attractive updates to make a deeper impact on your shared content.
d. Run contests for the holidays.
e. Use appropriate hashtags on Twitter, related to discounts and sales in the holiday season and tweet consistently.
f. Target your Pinterest Fans by running contests like best food pictures etc.
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3. Email marketing
Email marketing is a reliable method to get targeted website traffic to e-commerce store. Offer attractive holiday discount coupons as a gesture of appreciation for shopping with you.
Club multiple products and make a combo deal and offer lucrative discount on one of the products. Make sure you have a catchy subject line.
Best Ideas to promote an eCommerce business
a. Use personalized holiday messages in your email and make it look less promotional and more postcard-style.
b. Keep sending follow-up emails with varied different subject line and create urgency on the offer by reiterating the deadline of the discount or offer.
This will help grab your customer’s attention much more effectively if they happened to miss out on the first email.
c. You may also send offers via email such as free gift cards on purchases of a certain value at your online store.
d. Collect data of what works and what does not work in your email campaign in order to be well-prepared in advance for the season. Understand the complete metrics using Google Analytics.
e. Test which subject lines get the best response. For example, whether the free shipping offer garner the most attention or the 20% discount attracted more customers in your mailing list?
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4. Technology plan
a. Optimize your site for mobile. This is imperative for any site, but especially an e-commerce platform. A smooth mobile experience, either through a responsive design, a specific mobile design is always impressive and advantageous.
To give better mobile experience to the customers come up with an interactive mobile application. This will become increasingly important in the coming years.
b. Optimize your site load times by reducing the size of your images. It's important to have attractive high-quality images on your product pages, but don't go overboard.
Best tools to check and optimize your website's load time
Uploading too many high-quality images can slow down your site which is a big no. Provide image zoom-in feature while keeping the reduced display size. This will keep your loading speeds in check at the same time facilitating users with the quality they need to see.
c. Establish easy site navigation
If you aim to attain higher search engine rankings or improve your site's user experience easy navigation is equally important for both. Try to organize your product pages as wisely as possible, segregate them into easily searchable and easily understandable categories.
Tips to make great landing pages of your eCommerce website
Make your site-map obvious and easy to follow. Design your website in a way that is appealing to the eye and immediately directs users where to go.
d. Create unique product descriptions for every product. It is not advisable to use a manufacturer's description for your products, or to repeat the sections of content for similar products.
Always invest some time to create a completely unique description for each of your products and it will pay off.
e. Competitor Spying: Spy on your competitor to figure out what they offer. You could then opt to offer something that they don’t and spread the word quickly via all social media, blogs and other online channels.
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5. Implement a holiday SEO strategy
"SEO takes time. So optimize your top performing pages [now], starting with the home page," says Reed Daw, SEO associate, Volusion, an e-commerce software and shopping cart provider.
"Introduce seasonal product pages on the same URL as many months in advance as possible to build up organic SEO juice before the actual buying period begins," says Rob Hooton.
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Just by displaying offers and discounts will never get you customers. How would they come to know about your holiday offers if they don’t at all visit your website? You need to get some organic traffic for this through SEO.
Landing pages for holiday offer drive traffic, optimizing by holiday specific keywords, etc are important to get traffic.
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6. Contest and special offers during the festive season
a. Publishing gift guides is the best thing an e-commerce site can do:
Create some attractive gift ideas and publish on your website.
b. If you are not already offering free shipping you may start it till the end of the festive season.
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7. Holiday Site Makeover
Change the complete look and feel of your website according to the holiday season so that at first sight it creates an interest and intrigue website visitors.
They get an instant clue that you are running festive and/or Christmas or New Year’s specials at this time of year, just by the first glance
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