Top 10 things an online retailer can do before Christmas to increase sales

Posted by Richard Johnson on 29 November 2011

Christmas shopping is in full swing now and I can see many online retailers who have left it very late to promote their products. Here's my top 10 things you can do (quickly) to increase your festive sales.

1. Check your prices

If your competitors have lowered their prices to attract more customers it's worth seeing if you can be competitive.

2. Create some offers / deals / packages

Everyone likes a special offer and if it helps to entice a customer to your shop then it might be the cherry on the cake for them. Three for two offers etc...

3. Free delivery and returns

If you don't already offer free delivery and returns already it's definitely worth considering during the festive season. You can also add the latest order date in order for Christmas delivery. Put that at the top of the page in the header and on the product pages if possible. 

4. Create targeted landing pages

Let's say you sell items for him and for her. Its a good idea to make a standalone page that promotes each category of product. You can then put a little more information about why it's good to buy from you and link to the most popular products on your site. Example landing page for Gift watches for ladies.

5. Clever Email Marketing

Don't just spam your entire email database with a list of your products and a few offers. Try and be a little creative... Maybe make gift suggestions within price ranges. Most people set budgets for people they are buying for, this could help your conversions. Also, if you have order history associated to your email list, use it. If someone ordered a certain product before try and promote similar items.

6. Basic Social Media

I'm not going to suggest specific campaigns but see if you can get friends, family and (most importantly) loyal customers to help you with some social marketing. Some easy stuff to do is ask people to post a review or comment (positive) about your products on their Facebook profile, Twitter or personal blogs. Just make sure they are linking back to your site.

7. Christmas Banners

You don't have to be a programmer or be engaged with a web agency (although the results will be better) to create a few nice banners. You will need someone who is a good designer though, they have to look as good as the products and service that you deliver. Use the banners to promote some of the points above (free delivery, free returns, offers, deals and packages, customer reviews etc...).

8. Pay Per Click Advertising

WARNING! If you don't have experience with this its best not to experiment now. You could end up spending a lot of money on adverts and click throughs without converting a single customer. If you do have experience, do a little research on the products you have in stock and see if you can find some longtail search phrases to bid on. These will be less competitive and should provide you with a decent return. You should also look at Facebook's advertising system. It's very cost effective but again be careful if you haven't used this before.

9. Gift wrapping

If you can provide gift wrapping let your customers know as its a good value added service.

...and finally:

10. Customer Service

Make sure you have enough hands on people ready to cope with orders and general customer service. You might want to look at a live chat service that helps customers ask questions quickly without leaving your site to find an alternative.

Obviously this list doesn't fit every online retailer but it should give the smaller retailers a little help. Happy Christmas Selling!

If you are looking for some help with e-commerce or your online marketing please give me a call on 020 7183 1072 or via this form.

Comments (1)

  • Sharon Hill Sharon Hill on December 1st, 2011

    Thanks! Great Ideas! I know of a great way to accomplish some of the above points by creating group deals right on your site. The group deals are easy to share and now during the holiday season people are all about sharing. http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/ZizioGroupSale . I saw that Zizio just came up with a decorated version for the holidays !

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