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3 Ways to Maximize Holiday Sales with Engaging E-Commerce Tactics

Posted by Drew Melendy on Oct 21, 2020 11:00:00 AM
Drew Melendy

A unique holiday season is on the horizon as retailers rely more heavily on digital channels and less on in-store sales. New consumer behaviors put online shopping at the forefront. Here’s how your business can take advantage of this by using the most engaging e-commerce tactics to capture consumer attention and increase conversions.

1. Get creative with your social media strategy

If you want your business to get noticed, there is no better place to be than on social media. Massive audiences visit Facebook and Instagram often, especially during the holidays when they’re looking to connect with family and friends. 

How do you get them to connect with your brand? You’ll need a plan to capture their attention in a noisy newsfeed while inspiring them to take action-- whether that’s buying a product, interacting with your business, or sharing your content. The key to doing this isn’t to post endlessly or to spend infinite ad dollars. You’ll make a much bigger impact by using high quality, creative, and engaging content.

Many businesses use these platforms to spread holiday cheer, showcase their products, and build customer relationships at scale. You know your ideal customer best, so find fun ways to catch their attention! Share discount codes and promote upcoming sales, share gift ideas, run 12 Days of Christmas giveaways, and use live video to entertain, sell, and converse with followers.

Whichever social tactics you use, make sure you are fully integrating your social channels into your overall customer experience. This will mean the difference between a “like” and a sale, a first-time purchase, and a loyal customer. 

Be prepared to have an active presence, provide simple ways to shop the items found in your posts, and offer the same level of care and customer service that you would in-store or on your website.

Related Reading: How to Get Started with Social Commerce

2. Increase AOV with the right tools & inventory

It’s no fun to search endlessly through online product listings when you’re making the perfect Christmas list. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to combat shopper burnout with engaging e-commerce tactics. 

Product suggestions & add-ons

Be sure that your e-commerce platform provides built-in technology to deliver timely, intelligently chosen, personalized product recommendations for website visitors. Personalized deals and product recommendations make for tempting order add-ons.

Don’t forget gift wrapping! Gift wrapping is an excellent product add-on for the holidays. Busy shoppers will appreciate this service, and it works as a straightforward way to tack on extra dollars.

Curated commerce

The busy consumer may also turn to holiday gift guides for further assistance. You can add a gift guide to your website with curated items from different collections to achieve this. But, for best results, add video content to the mix. Videos allow you to sell with a much more consultative approach and bring a human element to your digital storefront.

Follow in the footsteps of successful fashion apparel brands who use video to inspire shoppers with “fit videos,” in which they model curated looks and discuss the key selling points of complementary items. 

Much like live video, these videos are not only informative; they’re entertaining and binge-worthy. These bite-sized videos can also be easily distributed from your website to your mobile app to social media for the most engagement and best return on investment.

Stocking stuffers & gift cards

While consumers may be on the hunt for those larger gift items, don’t ignore the need for stocking stuffers. Think outside of the box for these. You may be providing very different products than you’re used to. 

Candies, air fresheners, beauty items, and small tech accessories are all popular items to consider. But one of the best holiday staples you can provide your customers are gift cards. Time-crunched shoppers will thank you for this timeless gift option.

Related Reading: 7 Easy Upsells for the Holiday Season

Buy now, pay later

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options cater to credit averse and cash strapped shoppers by allowing them to get their order right away and pay over time with installments. 

By adding BNPL to your payment options, you can reduce sticker shock, encourage large orders, and appeal to Millenials and Gen Z. Best of all, some BNPL services, like Sezzle, assume all credit risk, so your business will be paid in full immediately.

3. Tap into buyer psychology with powerful incentives

Grabbing attention is only the first step to getting shoppers through the proverbial door this season. If you want to drive traffic to your listings or move them to checkout, you can use a few of these tried and true methods to seal the deal.

Free shipping

Thanks to Amazon, most consumers expect free shipping from online retailers. This doesn’t mean you can’t use it to your advantage, however. 93% of shoppers will take action to qualify for free shipping. Free shipping thresholds can increase average order value, giving small businesses the added revenue they need to make free shipping affordable.

Other tools like free shipping windows and cart countdown timers give shoppers an incentive to check out within a set amount of time in return for, you guessed it, free shipping. This quickly locks in sales and capitalizes on impulse buys. You can even make a game out of it by enabling free shipping for 24 hours after every purchase, which encourages customers to make repeat purchases to maintain their streak.

For brick and mortar stores, buy online, pick up in store and curbside pick up options will be crucial to cutting shipping costs and delivering even more shopping convenience.

Related Reading: How to Offer Free Shipping Without Breaking The Bank

Discounts

70% of consumers say they expect to find the best deals around the holidays. With that in mind, retailers must be strategic about when and how these deals and discounts are delivered so that they aren’t seen as a bargain brand. Flexible coupon codes and limited-time sales events will help with this.

For example, you may want to move aged inventory by setting discounts to apply only to those specific items or collections. Perhaps you want to drive traffic and spending on your most lucrative channels, such as your mobile app. Offer coupon codes that are exclusive to these channels.

Automated email marketing is also a highly effective way to drive conversions and average order value because of its ability to offer extremely personalized discounts.

Looking to drive more immediate results? Harness the power of live sales. Live video sales keep customers glued to their devices to catch the best deals. Plus, their spontaneous nature and limited time frames make them the perfect medium for flash sales.

Rewards programs

Virtually every business under the sun has a loyalty and referral program and for good reason! Loyalty and referral programs are effective ways to supercharge customer acquisition and drive repeat business at a low-cost. 

Loyalty programs reward shoppers for repeat business with store credits, while referral programs reward shoppers for digital word-of-mouth marketing. Both can turn your online shoppers into loyal customers and brand ambassadors. If you don’t have these programs in place, it’s time to get them! Some e-commerce platforms have this as a built-in tool, while others might require a plug-in.

Making the most of an uncertain season

This year, retailers will need to pull out all the stops to get their cut. By using these proven e-commerce tactics, you can set yourself apart and deliver the most engaging brand experiences. The best way to ensure this is to get equipped with an e-commerce platform that supports your goals, and get prepared well ahead of significant holiday retail dates

Topics: Marketing, Technology, Sales, Business Strategy

Woman on laptop prepares to make an online gift purchase surrounded by Christmas decor