In the world of both online and real world retail, Christmas really is just around the corner.
Yes, there is a lot of time before the big day but for both online and offline sellers, now is the time to start planning your Christmas sales and marketing to capitalize on the season.
Christmas Sales Is Not Easy
The first thing that we need to do though is dispense with complacency. Christmas shouldn’t ever be thought of as a safe bet for sales.
In 2014, nearly 70% of all virtual shopping baskets were abandoned before virtual checkouts. The reason? People don’t necessarily want the cheapest and most discounted gifts they can find. People want quality and individual product details are key to emphasizing product quality.
A great example to demonstrate this is to use the example of someone buying a new computer required for a specific purpose. Yes, the same model might be listed on several different websites, but a customer will likely only buy from the site which tells them that yes, the product in question does meet their specific requirements.
It’s simple. When people shop online for Christmas, they often keep several tabs open on their web browsers so as to be able to analyze several product descriptions at once. Yours, therefore, needs to be the best and most informative that they check.
Use SEO and Other Sales Channels to Get Discovered
All that said, people still need to stumble upon your product catalog in the first place. In this case, now is the time to start not just revamping your product descriptions but to make sure that your product descriptions are as search engine optimized as possible.
Selling handmade silver necklaces? A Google, Ebay or Etsy search will throw literally thousands of suggestions at you if you try search for ‘handmade silver necklaces.’ Make sure that you title and describe each item that you sell online as specifically as possible by using as relevant as possible keywords.
An easy way for anyone in online retail to dive straight into SEO, is to simply research their top selling competitors and adapt the keywords which they use in their titles and descriptions (don’t copy the titles or descriptions themselves).
Online sellers need to also maximize their sales channels. Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, Facebook Ads, whatever you sell, the best way to maximize product sales over Christmas is to use as many sales channels as possible. Doing so increases your products’ find-ability.
And linking each channel with your own website and social media profiles will not just potentially benefit sales but also contribute towards marketing your business better even when Christmas is over.
Really want to ramp up sales? Over the past few years online video has become the majority of Internet users’ content medium of choice when it comes to finding out more about what they purchase – from popular consumer electronics to handmade gifts.
Adding product unboxing and product overview videos to your products and posting them on Facebook, Youtube and your product blog can dramatically help increase sales at the expense of a little effort.
One great example of this is the niche handmade soap company Clean Bar Box, who regularly offer free samples to bloggers and video bloggers for review. Moreover, you can see Clean Bar Box’ most recent vlog promotion with Subaholic.com.
Don’t Forget the Customer Relationship
Whatever you do though don’t forget how important the human touch is in achieving great Christmas sales and conversions. Now is the ideal time, for instance, to start email marketing Christmas stock which you have available to past and present customers in the form of e-cards and/or Christmas themed newsletters.
Likewise, make sure that customers can contact you over the Christmas period and get prompt feedback on potential purchases. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to be checking your inbox all day. That 70% of virtual shopping carts we talked about earlier usually gets abandoned at around 8pm-9pm. In this case, be online at this time and make sure that customers know that you are online and are available to respond to any and all potential purchase queries.
You can do this by setting up those handly little plugins for live chat on your website. And you can also setup automated email campaigns that remind users about their abandoned shopping carts.
Lastly remember that although Christmas is just once a year, it is every year. In this case, be sure to build a great rapport with new customers over this period, and if part of your strategy does (or even doesn’t) work this time, make a note of it and remember this for the next Christmas.