Last Minute Tactics to Improve Online Sales During the Holidays

From time to time we have guest posts on the blog. Today’s post is from Stacy Farrington at Creatuity.

With the holiday season almost in full swing, consumers are starting to shop ‘til they drop! With such an influx of holiday traffic to your site and new customers purchasing from you, conversion rate optimization is crucial! November and December drive 30% more ecommerce revenue than non-holiday months and it’s not too late to improve your conversion rates in time for the holiday season.

According to the Deloitte 2016 Holiday Survey, 73% of holiday shoppers will shop at new/different stores or online retailers. This is your chance to capture new customers and increase your sales by implementing some last minute changes to your site. Some of the long term tactics may be too much to execute in time for the holiday rush, but here are a few pretty quick and simple tactics to implement that will help improve your sales during the 2016 holiday season!

Employing temporary or seasonal workers can be a great way for small businesses to prosper during the holiday months. However, appointing temporary seasonal workers is different from hiring permanent workers. Temporary employees must possess the skills and knowledge to learn quickly because there’s no time for intensive training. Also, the interview process doesn’t have to be as in-depth as it typically is when enlisting permanent employees. Whether the employees you bring on will be temporary staff or if there’s a chance you’ll hire them on permanently, there are some essential facts you should keep in mind when hiring temporary holiday help.

Offer Free Shipping and Returns

This is a pretty effective way to increase conversion rates and your sales. Most customers deem shipping costs (especially high ones!) annoying and a possible deterrent from purchasing. 93% of shoppers take action for free shipping, according to Adept. Offering free shipping and returns will help shoppers trust you and your brand. If it so happens that they don’t absolutely love what they purchased from you, they know they have the availability to return it!

If offering free shipping on every order just isn’t do-able for your company, try implementing something like free shipping over $25 or even over $50. This will increase your sales because most shoppers will add more to their cart if they can receive free shipping!

And keeping in mind the shipping dates for receiving holiday packages, make sure that you are making your shipping cutoff dates obvious on your website. If shoppers know that the last day to order gifts for Christmas is on December 21st, it will cause an urgency for them to purchase and make them happy knowing that they will be receiving their gifts in time for special holidays.

Have a Responsive Site

You might be rolling your eyes at this one because having a responsive site has been talked about for years! But can you believe that some ecommerce sites are still not mobile-friendly? According to Google, 85% of online shoppers start a purchase on one device and finish on another so a responsive site is crucial! Your ecommerce site should have a fully responsive theme that displays well on all devices, is easy to navigate, and most importantly, is easy to checkout on.

During the 2015 holiday season, one third of all ecommerce purchases were made on a smartphone and mobile sales brought in $838 million! This is such a huge opportunity for your business. If you are unsure about your website’s mobile responsiveness, you can use Google’s Mobile Friendly test. It takes a few minutes to analyze your website and then will let you know where your problem areas are, if you have any; it’s very helpful!

Test Your Site

For any size business, having a functioning and fast website is always critical, but even more so during the season. With the spike in traffic that you are sure to be getting, you don’t want any shoppers to become frustrated with your site speed! Long page loading time or glitchy pages can make shoppers frustrated and ultimately leave your site.

You can conduct a quick site speed test on the Web Page Test site; it will let you know your website’s load time and give you a performance review of your site. This will give you the opportunity to fix the problems on your site just in time for the holidays! Along with this site test, you should think about doing load tests as well. Load tests are intended to help you understand how your system would perform under normal conditions and under peak traffic conditions.

Easy Checkout

Making checkout as easy as possible will help conversion rates and also sales! If you aren’t already, think about using a one step checkout extension. A one step checkout essentially lets the customer fill in all of their information (name, shipping address, credit card, etc.) on one page, at one time. In the checkout process, be sure to reduce the amount of unnecessary question – keep it only vital information here. Let shoppers be able to checkout as a guest very easily, or on the other hand, be able to create an account in a breeze.

Another way to make checkout a little easier and painless is to give your customers a different payment option as well. Adding PayPal Express as alternative checkout options is a great idea!

Providing Customer Support & Service

Providing great customer service with a fast response time is always a tactic you should be implementing, but this is especially so during the holiday season! Shoppers are going to feel more and more rushed to find the perfect gift as the season progresses and providing them with an answer fast is key to increasing sales!

If you don’t have the resources to provide online chat help or offer a quick email response, make sure your products have amazing descriptions and answer the most common questions! Think about what questions you ask yourself when browsing a new product – things like “How is the fit? Will this accessory work with my phone? Am I able to return this if I don’t like it?” Keep in mind the brain of a shopper and answer their questions before they even have to ask!

Utilize Social Media

Hopefully your brand is already active on social media! If not, I wouldn’t suggest this as the greatest time to start focusing on growing your following. If you are already active on social media, take advantage of it during the holiday season! Consumers are constantly browsing all platforms for gift ideas, discount codes, and cool items to purchase for themselves. Since you already have a following, you know these people are ones who are already interested in your company. This is another opportunity to share discount codes, “sneak peeks” at upcoming products in lieu of the holidays, or any other exciting info would be pertinent to your customers.

The most popular holiday shopping months (November and December) can account for as much as 30% of an individual retailers’ total sales. This is not an opportunity you want to miss! With these six tactics to improve your sales during the holidays, you are sure to have a great season!


About Stacy Farrington
Stacy is the Marketing & Community Coordinator at Creatuity. Creatuity is a full-service eCommerce agency with an in-house team of Magento certified developers and solution specialists. They specialize in Magento eCommerce design, development, and support for leading retailers. Creatuity has helped numerous merchants propel fast growing brand with exceptional Magento stores.

Looking for a web host that understands ecommerce and business hosting?
Check us out today!

Leave a Reply