Handle E-Commerce Holiday Sales Like a Boss! That time of the year has finally arrived! Well, no! White Walkers aren’t back from the dead yet! But the start of a crazy holiday sales season. With festival sales going on, followed by Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.
Everyone was celebrating holidays alone in 2020 and getting gifts delivered at home. Researchers expected a change in behaviour by the end of 2021. They expected 92% of physical shoppers to turn out. But did this happen?
Not at all In fact, more than 55% of shoppers still prefer shopping online, while just 43% of shoppers prefer to shop in stores. E-commerce share in the retail market sales remains the highest.
Thus to offer online shoppers the best shopping experience, it’s important to leave no stone unturned. This blog is a guide to preparing your website for holiday sales and handling the surge in demand.
Key Challenges to Address this 2023 Holiday Season
Retailers rely heavily on the holiday season to make a big chunk of their annual revenue. It is crucial to stay ahead of the competition and make the most out of your holiday sales. These are the key challenges that e-commerce websites should address.
1. Prepare for the surge in web traffic.
2. Festive marketing and increasing AOV.
3. Deliver the best user experience.
4. Automate your e-commerce back-end workflow.
5. Offering 24/7 customer support and service.
6. Prepare for the surge in web traffic.
The average number of visitors to your website increases by 2X or more during the holiday season. This sudden surge in web traffic can result in site outages or downtime.
1. Check website reliability
Webpage loading speed has a direct relationship with revenue. A crucial step to preparing for a holiday sale is to check your e-commerce website's stability. Your website should perform at its best even with the increased web traffic. Websites built on the Fynd Platform get 99.99% uptime during regular days and 100% during holiday sales.
1. Evaluate installed extensions and third-party integrations
Extensions make long and tiring manual tasks easy. If you have installed any new extensions before the holiday sale, it is necessary to test them. Adding new extensions or configuring the existing ones during the ongoing sale can slow your website. Test beforehand to avoid delays and blockages during the sale.
2. Stock-up inventory
When the number of shoppers increases, the demand for certain items skyrockets. Being an e-commerce seller, you need to stock up on products that are high in demand and likely to go out of stock during the sale. You lose customers if they see 'Sold Out’ signs on products.
There’s a possibility that they don’t come back to buy something else later. Thus before the sale starts, check with your suppliers about the maximum volume they can handle and update your stock status accordingly.
2. Festive marketing and increasing AOV
One way to increase revenue with the same or small customer list is by increasing the Average Order Value (AOV). Marketing, if done right, helps in increasing sales and AOV. Keep your website fully optimised before the holiday sales start. Plan your marketing campaigns well in advance of the holiday season. Let's talk about some marketing ideas for a successful holiday season.
1. Personalise your website as per the festive season
- Enable an announcement banner on your website to share festive offers. Fynd Platform offers a Screensaver extension that allows you to display a banner at a timely interval when a customer visits your website.
- Redesign your banner to highlight festive CTAs using the relevant content. Edit your banner graphics to match the holiday season sale.
- Deliver clear messages about the offers and sales to your customers. A clear CTA increases the conversion rate by more than 50%.
2. SEO optimise your content for better customer outreach
If you’re planning for a successful holiday sale, SEO optimisation is key to higher brand visibility. The greater your SEO optimisation, the higher your rank and the significantly larger your website visitors. SEO is a part of marketing long game and should be planned in advance. Here’s how SEO help in generating sales for your business.
- SEO helps in increasing organic traffic on your website. Getting organic visitors helps you in saving the promotional costs involved in getting new customers.
- SEO helps in generating high-quality leads for your business. When a user searches for a keyword related to your business, you have the opportunity to show up higher in their search field and grab their attention.
- SEO helps in enhancing your brand awareness among a wider audience. If a large number of users search for keywords related to your business and your website appears frequently, most users will become acquainted with your brand and begin to recognise it. It’s a great way to increase brand visibility.
3. Offer reward points to your customers
Who doesn't like to get something for free? Though offering gifts to customers is expensive, offering reward points are substantially cheaper and helps you across the marketing funnel.
1. Acquisition: Acquiring new customers is a costly process in a highly competitive market. Despite spending a huge chunk on customer acquisitions, customers might bail out before checkout. Offering rewards provide an extra push by incentivising customers to their purchase. If done right, you will acquire a customer who purchases products from you repeatedly.
2. Retention: If acquiring is hard, retention is harder. The cost of building a new customer base varies across industries and it's expensive. Replacing an old customer with a new one is five times more expensive than retaining old customers. Running reward marketing programs on your website helps in increasing customer loyalty.
3. Referral: Say you have a list of loyal customers enjoying what they buy from your website. Encouraging them to share their experience and invite their friend's referral rewards is pretty handy. Referral rewards can be offered in one of the following ways -
- Reward your customer who recommended your product with coupons or points
- Reward both parties with coupons or redeemable reward points
- Set a referral threshold to offer free products to the recommended
4. Engage with customers on social channels
1. Email Campaigns: Share special offers with customers who have subscribed to your mailing list. Emails give far better accessibility for you to reach your potential customers. Timing is crucial during the festive season, make sure to send an email at regular intervals. FOMO of missing out on a great offer is the biggest last-minute sales booster.
2. Run Sale Campaigns: Discounts are offered daily on an e-commerce website but during the festive season it’s crucial to offer deeper discounts. Running a flash sale is a great way of retaining customers and motivating them to check out faster.
3. Increase Social Engagement: Interact with customers online and ask them for a review. Live reviews and customer feedback help in increasing e-commerce sales by more than 93%. Social validity improves conversion rate and helps make purchase decisions faster, thus reducing cart abandonment rates.
4. Upsell and Cross-Sell: Recommending the right product can help you in enhancing store sales by 11%. Upselling and cross-selling mean selling more relevant products to the same customer. For example, if a person has bought shoes, it’s a perfect opportunity for you to recommend socks, polishes, and accessories. Fynd Platform offers an intelligent and easy-to-configure product recommendation extension.
5. Partner with Influencers: Customers look up to influencers trying out products online. You might have come across different product tryouts and hauls done by influencers online. Partnering with the right influencers can help you gain their audience.
3. Deliver the best user experience
Modern shoppers want everything fast and frictionless. Creating a fuss-free customer experience is key to increased conversions. Thus it’s highly essential to deliver the best user experience during your peak sales season.How to provide the best customer experience?
1. Test features and extensions before the sales start
2. Check site speed, identify issues, and mitigate them
3. Offer personalised shopping experience with product recommendations, reviews, and ratings
4. Offer guest checkouts with a highly optimised checkout page (No fuss checkouts)
5. Reduce cart abandonment rate by showing exact product price on checkouts (No hidden charges)
If the customer has already reached your product checkout page, then it’s a clear indication that he knows what he wants and is ready to buy it. Optimising the checkout page ensures smooth checkouts and lower cart abandonments. As per a recent survey, 21% of customers abandon their carts due to the long and hasty checkout process. The key to retention is to keep it simple.
4. Automate your e-commerce workflow
Some tasks are repetitive and take up a huge chunk of your time while doing it manually. This time if saved can be used to do something more productive. Automation helps in automating repetitive manual tasks to avoid manual labour.
How to automate your e-commerce workflow?
1. Identify repetitive manual tasks: Identify the tasks that are time-consuming and keep your staff engaged. These tasks can vary from social media management, scheduling, inventory management, sending abandoned cart emails, or responding to similar client questions.
2. Analyse the possibility of e-commerce automation: From your identified tasks that can be automated analyse the most important tasks that need to be automated and will help in increasing workplace productivity.
3. Get trained to use the right tools: There are multiple tools available online that can be used to automate your recurring manual tasks. Select the ones that serve your purpose and integrate them into your work setting. After adopting track the performance and check insights to track increased productivity and time saved with automation.
E-commerce workflow automation ideas
1. Automatic inventory management.
2. Automating accounting work - receipts, invoices, and other documentation.
3. Automate the cart abandonment email. Customer abandoning their cart will get email reminders.
4. Automate customer service using chatbots and automatic message responders.
5. Automate your marketing using a scheduler.
Best tools for automating e-commerce workflow
Online shoppers are projected to increase to 300 million and India’s e-commerce spending is expected to have 2X growth to over $130 Billion in GMV by 2025. Festive sales are the best time to engage with your customers and reengage with potential customers.
Increased engagement using different channels helps in increasing the conversion rate. Creating the best user experience entices a customer to purchase from your site and be a repeat customer.
Looking to build an e-commerce website for your business? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and get your e-commerce website up and running in no time.