With the holiday season right around the corner, many e-commerce business owners are scrambling to put marketing plans together at the last minute in an attempt to take full advantage of the opportunity. Increased website traffic during this period of time gives you a prime opportunity to generate strong sales numbers to close out Q4.
Competition is extremely fierce online, forcing companies to get creative and aggressive if they want to stand out and command the attention needed to secure a decent percentage of holiday sales from their competition.
Sometimes the most effective strategies are simple and cost-effective, and many e-commerce businesses skip over them because they think too hard. Here are four simple tips to implement that can lead to a healthy surge of e-commerce sales:
1. Distribute coupon codes.
There are several popular coupon directories that you can contact to have your discount codes published on completely free of charge. I do this every holiday season with several different sites, for example Couponbuffer and it always drives thousands of extra visits and conversions from all of them.
By distributing several discount codes, even if it’s for something as simple as free shipping, will help you generate more sales. If there are no discount codes available, many consumers will look for another option that does have active codes available.
Customers like to feel like they are getting a deal, and aside from the increased odds of them completing a purchase, you can also help introduce shoppers to your website that are actively looking for deals on these coupon sites.
2. Blow the dust off your email list.
Every e-commerce business should have a large email list, segmented into at least two groups. Those that are past customers and those that have never purchased before. I personally have segments broken out even further based on specific purchases, average order size, and gender (if I have it noted on the email record).
Sales are naturally higher, so the focus is typically placed on new customer acquisition, when there is an active list of people who are already familiar with the website and have a high likelihood of being repeat buyers. Also, the ones that are on your list that have not purchased in the past are at least familiar with your brand.
Send out emails to your past customers that reward their loyalty with an attractive discount offer, and tempt your non-buyer segment with an irresistible offer to make that first purchase. A little effort can go a long way, and don’t be afraid of mailing your list multiple times a week during the holiday season, as not every subscriber is going to see every email you send.
3. Be more human to your customers.
Customers continue to value the human touch, whether it’s through social media or the support they receive while shopping. Despite being time consuming, investing time in truly engaging your customers will lead to a more loyal, and ever expanding, customer base.
Consumers are active on social media throughout the day, giving you an opportunity to connect with them and convert them into customers. Take the time to get creative on social media. Reply to your followers, post current event topics, ask questions and get conversations started. This is how your brand appears human to your audience, and it acts as a magnet for new business.
When your customers arrive on your website, ensure a human approach to your customer service. With IM programs like Brosix you can improve your interoffice communication, guaranteeing that customers have their inquiries answered in a timely manner even when they require consultation between several colleagues. Helping your team members quickly communicate between themselves will lead to a more responsive and human customer service approach, which is an effective way to increase sales.
4. Split-test several exit-intent pop-up offers.
Most of the traffic that visits your website during the holiday season will never return, giving you essentially one shot at converting them. While many cringe when they hear the word “pop-up,” and exit-intent pop-up that fires when someone is leaving your website without purchasing, can be the most effective revenue generator.
If the pop-up annoys your visitors, it’s no harm or foul, as they likely weren’t planning on returning. They are only presented if someone is leaving, giving you your one and only chance to convert them into a sale.
Split-test several exit offers, including free shipping and instant discount coupons, requiring an email address for access. At the very least you will add to your subscriber base, which you can market to at a later date.