5 Tips To Increase E-Commerce Sales During The Holiday Season

increase e-commerce sales

Between fall festivals, back-to-school schedules, and Q3 sales pushes, the holiday season is coming fast. Now is the right time to ensure that your e-commerce store is set up for holiday-sales success. To help, we’re sharing our top five tips to increase e-commerce sales this holiday season so your store is holiday-ready!


The Impact of E-Commerce on the Holiday Season

In 2017, total retail e-commerce sales reached $2.3 trillion dollars. By 2021 they’re projected to reach $3.5 trillion. No surprise, a majority of these sales are made during the holiday season. In fact, November and December drive 30% more e-commerce revenue than non-holiday months – which means your website is the perfect place to start engaging online holiday shoppers!

The sales aren’t only happening on desktop devices either. 64% of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in 2017 came from mobile devices.

People aren’t turning to e-commerce sites strictly for buying goods. They also use e-commerce sites as a research portal. In 2016, 54% of shoppers began researching their products and gift ideas in October.

The truth, in 2018, shoppers are anticipating a seamless, cross-channel experience that meets both their shopping AND research needs. Here’s how to give that experience to them.


5 Best Practices to Increase E-Commerce Sales During the Holidays

Regardless of your e-commerce vertical, there are a variety of strategies you can take to help increase e-commerce sales this holiday season. Use a single one or multiple in tandem for maximum effect.

1) Use Advocacy Marketing

Because the holiday season is so saturated with ads, advocacy marketing can help your brand stand out from the holiday crowds. There are several ways to use advocacy marketing to increase e-commerce sales, but for when it comes to driving holiday sales we recommend the tried-and-true advocacy marketing program.

In an advocacy marketing program, your loyal fans and customers are invited to join in on your content marketing efforts. Customers join your program by signing up with their social media profile. After they join they have the opportunity to earn points and win prizes by sharing your content with their friends, family, and followers.

[box] Did You Know? The average person has a reach of about 600 people? For every 1,000 people who join your advocacy marketing program, you have the potential to reach 600,000 of their closest friends and family.[/box]

Pro Tip: If you’re worried about spreading yourself too thin, don’t worry. You can make the most of the holiday season with the help of an advocacy marketing platform like SocialToaster. SocialToaster manages everything from marketing campaigns to contest prizes.

2) Ensure Your Site Is Holiday-Ready

It’s never too early to start getting your site “holiday-ready”. Over the Black Friday holiday weekend in 2017, 42% of shoppers skipped the long lines (and in-store mayhem) opting instead to fulfill their shopping needs online. That following Cyber Monday, more than 58 million people did the same.

Even a few seconds of downtime during this intense buying frenzy can be detrimental to your e-commerce sales numbers. In fact, a one second delay during this time can result in a 2.8% decrease in revenue. Customers are more likely to jump to a competitor’s site if yours is slow or fails to load correctly.

Avoid losing e-commerce sales due to technical difficulties by prepping your site for heavy traffic and spikes. Some preparations to consider are:

  • Hosting stress tests
  • Commission new hardware or software in advance
  • Review performance expectations and SLAs with your providers
  • Ensure you have the right bandwidth and capacity for expected spikes
  • Monitor your SSL certificates for validity and expiration.

Conducting stress tests, updating software and hardware, and ensuring that your security certificates are valid and up to date will enhance the customer experience and boost consumer confidence in your brand. Optimizing your site is one of the most critical things you can do to help increase e-commerce sales.

3) Create (and Publish) Holiday Themed Content

It’s the season of giving, so spread some cheer with holiday-themed content! Holiday themed content is the perfect way to add a festive touch to your messaging. Plus, customers have proven that they appreciate when brands take the time to add a bit of holiday fun to their marketing communications. Emails featuring Black Friday themed content generated a 33% higher conversion rate than business as usual (BAU) messages.

Here are two examples of how your brand can include (and create) holiday-themed content to increase e-commerce sales:

a) Host a Holiday Photo Contest

Did you know that user-generated-content (UGC) posts see a 28% increase in engagement compared to standard “brand” posts? A surefire way to collect UGC is by hosting an online photo submission contest. Photo contests allow your customers to show off their creativity and have some fun together.

As the UGC photos start flying in, share them with your fans on social media, through emails, and even on your website. Just be sure to include some language in the submission rules that will allow your brand to publish entries cart blanche.

b) Publish Themed Content

Gift guides, decorating tips, and historical facts about individual holidays are just a few themed blog post ideas. Themed blog posts are a fun way to drive traffic to your site as well as engage and educate your audience. Remember, holiday shopping doesn’t only happen on Black Friday. Your customers are already planning out their holiday gift buying plans. The earlier you publish your themed content, the sooner you can start driving holiday sales.

Pro Tip: Be sure to have a remarketing pixel installed on your blog to allow you to market your store to blog readers at a later date. To take your remarketing efforts to the next level, consider creating a new segmented audience composed solely of holiday content consumers. Then show your best performing holiday ads to this new audience.

4) Put the Mobile Experience First

In 2017, total mobile revenue reached $35.8 billion during the months of November and December. Despite 56% of traffic coming from mobile, only 33% of revenue was generated from mobile. So why weren’t more people buying on mobile?

Many websites fail to recognize the importance of mobile and fail to optimize their site accordingly. A positive user-experience means having a straightforward site that is easy to use and navigate and that also looks as good on a smartphone as it does on a tablet.

If you’re not sure if your site is mobile ready, go ahead and pull out your phone right now and do a quick overview. This will give you an idea of what it’s like to shop as a customer. Some things to implement on your mobile site are:

  • Match the branding elements from your standard desktop site
  • Reduce the amount of necessary text
  • Avoid pop-up windows
  • Offer a full site option
  • Enlarge the search bar so it’s easier to find

But the best tip we can give to increase e-commerce sales on mobile is to keep it simple!

5) Get Personal

The Internet has given us a new (and better) way of living. But we’ve lost some of the touches we enjoy from traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Friendly greetings, personalized help, and that feeling that a brand understands our individual wants and needs. This year give your customers the gift of personalization to increase e-commerce sales.

Personalized product recommendations accounted for only 5% of last holiday season’s clicks. Yet those same clicks accounted for a whopping 30% of Cyber Week revenue. Additionally, 28% of last holiday season revenue were from individuals that tapped on personalized product recommendations.

Customers are 4x more likely to respond to a message with a personalized offering. 49% of customers expect communications that are relevant to their interests. Create a unique experience for your customer this holiday season with

  • Wishlist tools
  • Personalized gift guides
  • Offer personalized discounts like 20% off or free shipping

Find out what activates your audience (you can ask them directly using SocialToaster’s built-in survey functionality) and give it to them!


‘Tis the Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Make sure that your customers’ e-commerce experience reflects that and you’ll surely increase e-commerce sales!

If you need an extra toymaker this year, SocialToaster can help you manage all the fun and exciting marketing campaigns you have planned. If you’re curious about how SocialToaster can assist your marketing efforts, send us an email, request a free demo, or give us a call at 855.62.TOAST today!

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