'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.' You can ask: Already? Yes already. It's hard to believe, but with the first gusts of fall, people begin to look around for Christmas gift ideas for their loved ones.
From previous years, we know that the pre-holiday season is a hot time in both online and brick-and-mortar stores. Despite the early preparations of consumers, many of them leave the final purchase until the last minute.
In this text, you will learn how to benefit from this crazy time and sell even more than before. Ready for a dose of practical knowledge?
Customer experience as a key to the customers’ hearts
Taking care of your customer's experience should be your priority. After all, your sale depends on them.
Retailers should take a look at customer analysis to better understand consumer patterns while making sure that they deliver flawless customer experience with their shops and websites.
So let's dive in this topic, and make it clear what to do to boost Christmas sales.
If you haven't read a piece about driving sales via your website, you need to catch up. It will be a great introduction to this topic.
So what you need to do is making the website user-friendly. Once it's done, you can deal with speed. You are probably aware of the fact that online stores are under a siege in the time around Christmas. Every year, people spend more and more on Christmas presents - such as bath bombs. This causes sites to slow down and impatient consumers to close slow sites’ windows and keep looking somewhere else. Don't let that happen. Take care of the speed of your website. Prepare your server for consistent (and high) speed with heavy traffic. However, please do not leave it for the last minute; not only you want your website to be fast and sometimes it takes some time.
A fast headless eCommerce storefront may come in handy, too. Thanks to a SEO-friendly, responsive and fully integrated Shopify Headless Storefront, you'll be able to sell more online using popular ecommerce systems like Shopify, BigCommerce or Magento.
A mobile-friendly website should be a standard now. If yours isn't like that, you know what to do. In 2018, the average share processed by mobiles was 48% which was a 19% increase comparing with 2017. As you can see, mcommerce has power. It would be best if you took advantage of it. The app will also be a good idea. If you've thought about such a solution, the pre-holiday period is perfect. But don't test your app in December - it's a wrong time to find bugs in your app. Test it early enough to be clockwork for Christmas shopping. You may also try to make the most out of customer portal to make it easier for your clients.
Make it look like Christmas
As you probably know, your website's design is one of a crucial factor when it comes to improving customer experience. So when it's Christmas add some Christmas joy to your website. Add some red, gold and green to website colour palette. Few Christmas trees or Christmas lights also add some magic to your site.
What is more, create a Christmas-related products categories. It would be helpful for those who haven't the slightest idea what to buy. Make categories like Gifts for Mum, Gifts for Husband or Gifts up to 20$, Gifts up to 30$. Also, gift packs will be something that customers would appreciate. If you manage to create a compilation of a few smaller products or accessories, packed in a cute Christmas package, it may be a last resort for some. Then, you can even start a blog and cover those categories in the form of content.
Send some Christmas cards
What we mean, Christmas wishes sent via an email newsletter software.
Add a Christmas gift - a discount code. It is a nice gesture that will make your customers feel looked after. If you are planning a sale or promotional campaign in December - let your customer know. Otherwise, they will miss the chance.
Also, take care of your social media. Not only your accounts should follow the Christmas spirit but it also should help with managing increasing traffic and interests of customers. Many of them ask about the product directly via social media. Don't leave questions without answers.
Start preparation early
A little early preparation never killed nobody. Remember that searching for Christmas starts with autumn. Facebook ads for Black Friday or Cyber Monday - these are potential chances to find Christmas gifts at lower prices. What should you do before the start of December?
Fill in your stock
More orders mean more products needed, but to get it bought they need to be in stock. Supplement products in stock, take into account last year's trends, what sold best, what has sold out until the last item. Learn from last year's data and draw conclusions from the previous years’ mistakes.
Another crucial aspect - the workforce. Somebody needs to take care of orders. They need to be packed and sent. The more orders, the more people to work you need. The recruitment process should be done earlier, to let new employees learn how it all works.
Keep an eye on your competitors
Don't be left behind. The key is not following but overtaking. Keep your eyes wide open. The giants in the industry are usually these who the first come out with Christmas marketing. Have all you're marketing prepared, from social media to newsletter and web design. And be ready to implement these actions at any time.
Analyze last year's activities of the closest competitors. Check when they implemented specific solutions and do it earlier this year. It is also important that you collect information for future years. From year to year, more and more people are choosing to buy online. Did you know that in 2018 only in the US holiday shoppers spend $119.54 billion in retail e-commerce? In 2019, it was $135.35. It is a huge growing trend.
Do what you need to do but earlier
Start all preparation before Black Friday. Sometimes this is the most challenging time of the year. So take care of your website's speed and design. Prepare your marketing campaign. Just be ready.
If you are wondering who should do what, or just how to manage the work - announce a meeting with a brainstorm. You can arrange a few meetings with each team to complete ideas. Starting with marketing ideas, covering products offer and ending with customer service. If you are afraid of forgetting one or two meetings - make a schedule via Harmonizely. It will send you a notification about each meeting, and there is also a calendar integration. All of this to not let you forget! And you can customize it to make it look more Christmassy.
What is also crucial - your customer service. Such a busy time needs more engagement from your team. Hire more seasonal employees or split the forces. Remember that during such crazy time, people will probably need customer serve’ help 24/7 and via all communication channels. So don’t focus only on one. It is crucial that all social media messages, live chats, e-mails and calls have the shortest response time as possible.
Also, remember about introducing all necessary payment integrations to make payment process easier. For example, you can consider accepting payments via Stripe using Hubspot.
Choose shipping options
Some prefer free shipping some prefer to pay extra to make it faster. Give your customers options. By offering different providers and ways of shipping you will win customers' heart. But remember to keep pricing clear. Almost 30% of customers abandon their shopping carts due to unexpected shipping costs.
What may be also very helpful - gift wrapping. This could turn out to be a game-changer. For many people, wrapping gifts is a real torment. The choice of paper, meters of sellotape - not everyone sees gift wrapping as the definition of the Christmas magic. And that’s good because it means you can help them. By offering a gift wrapping option, you can gain a huge advantage over the competition. It is this service that can determine the choice of your store over competitors.
Christmas time is undoubtedly magic but also very demanding for sale sector. Preparation for this season should start early and be well-designed to make positive effects. We have a deep hope that our tips will help you to get the most out of this period of the year. Fingers crossed to this year holiday season to bring even more joy during this hard year!