Do you know the story about Coca Cola stealing Christmas? Legend has it that Coca Cola painted Santa Claus red and white so that he’d match Coke’s logo colors and boost their sales – that’s how the Santa that we know and love was born. The reality is probably a coincidence that took place in the thirties, when Coca Cola was looking for a new winter presenter and old sketches of Santa dressed in red and white turned up. Since then, Santa has been advertising Coca Cola, or perhaps Coca Cola has been advertising Santa, depends on the perspective.
Either way, it’s been almost 100 years since companies have started using holidays in order to spread their message, or better yet, to sell their products, and that’s how Christmas became one big shopping holiday. Together with Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the holiday season has become a two month long season of shopping, in which the market prospers and retail and consumerism are at an all-time high.
Data from Google on searches for gifts during last year’s shopping season:
Google’s data shows that last year 40% of the season’s shopping was conducted online and almost 80% of consumers conducted online research in order to help themselves complete their shopping.
Do you have an online store? Great! In order to make sure that you stay in the race and that you’re able to get the most out of this year’s shopping season, as well as in upcoming years, we prepared a few tips for you.
How to make sure that your website is ready for the great shopping festivities:
Shopping with your Mobile
Today, 30% of all online shopping is conducted from mobile phones. Consumers no longer check out products on their cell phones only to conduct the actual transaction on a computer or in the physical store- they carry out the entire process from browsing to checkout directly from their mobile. It’s also useful to know that the average consumer spends less and less time browsing online stores, conducting purchases only after a few minutes of browsing. The age of browsing aimlessly for hours in online stores is quickly coming to an end, making room for shopping in moments through mobile.
What does this mean for you? Make sure that your online store is mobile responsive and that it runs properly on both android and IOS systems.
Make sure that the quality of your products visibility and customer experience (UX) in your online store doesn’t fall while surfing via mobile, compared to a computer. Important elements that must be taken into consideration when testing user experience include the site visibility, images placement and orientation, prominence of the call-to-action, purchase process, and the thank you page after every purchase.
Mobile screen shot of Shari’s Berries online store:
Images and Videos
Online shopping is becoming more sophisticated, more nifty, and of course, more profitable. Your target customers want to know what they’re buying and what they’re receiving in exchange for their pretty penny. Whether you’re selling speakers, smartphones, jackets, underwear, vacuum cleaners or egg whisks, your product images must be desirable, and most importantly, as detailed and accurate as possible.
Uniqlo’s online store:
But the pictures are just the beginning – consumers want to know how your product works and how it looks outside the package. This is precisely why unboxing videos, which show how a product looks outside of its box, have become the next big thing on YouTube.
Every day is a Holiday
Winter/End of the Year/Christmas/Black Friday/Pink Sunday Sales (yes, we made up the last one J) all have one thing in common – you can take advantage of them in order to make a sale or offer a discount!
Pass out coupons for special occasions, launch end of the year sales, and offer especially worthwhile offers in your store. For example: a present with any purchase over a certain amount, buy one get one free, reduced price shipping, buy $200 worth and pay only $100, and the list goes on and on… Make your customers feel like this season really is one huge shopping festivity – one that won’t end until the fat lady sings, or at least until they’ve bought everything that they wanted.
A newsletter promotion for Cyber Monday:
Market and then Re-market
During this season the sales and discounts surround us from every corner – we check our email and find newsletters about sales, we check Facebook and ads are on the sides and in our feed and we are bombarded with pop-ups on every other website, each telling us what we should buy today. But hey, it works. After you’ve already worked hard on your site, designed it to be mobile responsive, uploaded beautiful images of your products and offered discounts, all you have left is to tell your customers that you’ve done so.
Design a special newsletter in honor of the holidays, in which you tell your customers about your products that are on sale, embed the images and videos of your product into it and invite them to your store. Advertise the sale in your social networks so your fans will be exposed to it and even text it to them especially. This way you can be sure that all of your efforts on your store are not made in vain.
Hold onto your new customers
The shopping season is exceptional at bringing in new customers. Data shows that 41% of those who purchase online, purchase at new businesses – which means that this is a great opportunity for you to attain new customers:
- After you’ve already attracted customers to your site and they’ve already expressed their interest in both your store and products, don’t lose them! Set up automated emails with the help of ActiveCommerce – they’ll be sent to consumers that abandoned their carts without making a purchase.
- Add those that enter your store or website to your mailing list with the use of a pop-up sign-up form or a mailing list sign-up checkbox during checkout.
- Create a series of personally designed, automated emails for your new customers with ActiveCommerce, updating them about the different sales or on additional products that they might be interested in. Send them out weeks or months after their last purchase, so they will remember you.
This will not only help you bring in more revenue but will also turn your new shoppers to your regular customers.
After all of this, it’s pretty clear – the holiday season is the shopping season. Don’t miss it!
For additional articles read more in ActiveTrail’s blog.