It's the most wonderful time of the year for eCommerce sellers. It’s almost Christmas, and much of the world is in shopping mode. Boosting sales during the holidays is essential, and holiday eCommerce sales are expected to increase by 14.4% from last year.
So how can you harness the potential of this holiday season’s sales to increase your customer base and revenue going into 2022? These are seven of our best eCommerce marketing tips for this holiday season.
Share the last day to ship
There are many ways that you can express the final days to order gifts in time for the holidays:
“Order now to receive by Christmas”
“One week left to shop for Christmas”
“Order by ____ for Christmas delivery”
No matter what words you use, your goal is to tell your shoppers that if they make a purchase from your website by a certain date or time, then they will get their packages in time for Christmas festivities.
Since most of the information our brain processes is visual, using a countdown timer is a great way to build a sense of urgency. You can also place a banner across your website’s header displaying the last day to ship in your region, or a link to a chart that shows multiple holidays and the last shipping dates.
You should also place similar messaging at checkout. For example, “Continue to checkout for guaranteed arrival for Christmas,” or “this item will arrive by ___ if you order now.” This is a good way to be upfront with your customers and to make them more likely to complete purchases promptly.
Target sales-driven keywords
Targeting the wrong keywords is one of the biggest mistakes marketers can make around the holidays. Terms that have the highest search volume are not always the terms that will result in the most conversions.
While using high-volume search terms might get a lot of clicks, using more specific terms for keywords will catch the attention of driven buyers and result in a better conversion rate. When it comes to holiday sales, you want to choose specific keywords that will take shoppers directly to your product page. For example, instead of ranking for “Christmas gifts,” try something like “2021 top gifts for toddlers” to segment your visitors.
Focus on keyword intent
Not only do you want to get the attention of your desired audience and direct them to the products they are looking to buy, but you also want to capitalize on the intent of searches as well. eCommerce sites should always ensure they’re targeting transactional keywords, especially to increase organic engagement and conversions.
Part of Google’s algorithm RankBrain has the ability to determine why a consumer is conducting a search, for information or to make a purchase. Establishing intent helps Google to present links that are relevant to the reason why the person conducted the search in the first place.
As an eCommerce site, you want to find users whose intent is transactional. For an easy way to see if a particular term falls into either the transactional or informational categories, open an incognito window and type your search term into Google. If the results are mostly eCommerce sites and product pages, then you are heading in the right direction.
Utilize mobile-first indexing
Mobile searches largely outnumber desktop searches, so it's paramount that your eCommerce site uses a responsive design that can adapt to many types of screen sizes. Google now uses mobile-first indexing, meaning your search engine ranking is most likely based on the performance of your mobile site instead of the desktop version.
Your mobile site should have visible content that shows plenty of detail without becoming overwhelming on a smaller screen. Product pictures should load fully and be of high quality, and buttons should be easily clickable. Competition for clicks is high, particularly around the holidays, and mobile optimization is a significant part of providing a positive user experience for holiday shoppers.
Additionally, you will want to optimize for speed. Mobile sites that perform 0.1 seconds faster than their competitors can see numerous positive impacts, including:
- 9.2% increased average order value
- 8.4% increased retail conversions
- 5.7% improved bounce rates
Don’t forget to add schema markup to your site
This is one of the most valuable tips on this list, partially because it's easy to do but also vital for eCommerce success. Schema Markup is a batch of HTML tags that tells Google to display your prices, product rating, and other details in the shopping tab or on the first page of query results.
As the holidays draw nearer, consumers are more ready to buy than earlier in the season. Having a complete display of your product details can help customers make the decision to buy more quickly.
Optimize the checkout experience
To really make the most sales this holiday season, eCommerce businesses must optimize the checkout experience. Not only should you offer secure PCI payments, but you should also offer simplified payment options like a PayPal button for one-click redirection to external sites.
Make it easy for new customers to make a first-time purchase by checking out as a guest rather than forcing them to make an account. You should also make shipping and checkout communication clear with upfront tax and shipping fees, confirmation codes, and emailed receipts.
Give your customers the VIP treatment
Everyone likes to feel special, and online customers are no exception. This holiday season, create a VIP list that allows shoppers to opt-in for exclusive discounts or products for their Christmas shopping.
You can strategically display opt-in pop-ups at crucial points in the customer journey. This can go on your website, and you can send out an exclusive-sounding invitation to your email list to engage existing customers.
Getting your eCommerce site ready for the holiday season isn’t all that much different from the marketing optimization you’re doing year-round. The most important thing to remember as you prepare for the final sales push this year is that the customer journey doesn’t stop after the Christmas decorations are packed away. You can implement these key tips to boost sales during the holidays and all year long.