The online sales are expected to increase 7 to 10 percent this holiday season, according to the National Retail Association.
So are you geared up to cash-in on this opportunity? As the holiday season approaches, most eCommerce companies are getting ready to handle the influx of holiday season. Increasing sales in today’s high competition market is not an easy task. The success of an eCommerce business needs a lot of hard work – updating your website, optimizing the order fulfillment, optimizing your marketing plan and a lot more.
Still wondering if you should put in that much of effort to get prepared for the holiday season? Let’s take a look at some more statistics.
- According to a Deloitte-authored sales forecast by Inc.com states that the total retail sales this will reach $965 billion, which is an increase of 4 percent from 2014.
- Reuters predicted that the sales growth will be the slowest since 2009; even then the businesses will experience a growth of about 2.8 percent to 3.4 percent.
Holidays are the most important period of the year for the retailers as well as the shoppers. About one-third of the retail stores make profit during the last two months of the year.
If you’ve done nothing to prepare for the huge rush during the holiday season, fret not! You can still make the most of the ever increasing eCommerce and online sales. Wondering how?
Here are some tips that will help you make the most of the holiday season:
1. Create a Mobile Responsive Website
Mobile eCommerce sales grew by 28 percent in 2014 and more than 50 percent online shopping are performed through various mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc. So if your website is not ready to cater to the needs the online shoppers, you are losing a lot of holiday shoppers. If you still haven’t upgraded your website, it’s high time you do it.
Also make sure the pages load quickly. Almost 40 percent of the customers abandon a site due to slow-loading pages, so implement techniques that will help the pages load faster. If you are able to satisfy your customers, they will recommend your site to others and you can take advantage of the free marketing and this takes us to the next point.
2. Optimize Check Out Process
The average shopping cart abandonment rate in 2015 is 68 percent. This means online shoppers spend time to browse through the products, pick the best items, add them to the shopping basket and then leave the site without completing the purchase. What stops them from completing the buying cycle?
The check out process for many eCommerce websites are very complicated and ask for information that is not even required. You can avoid shopping cart abandonment this holiday season, by optimizing the check out process for your online eCommerce website. Implement easy check out process, ask for essential information only and implement a secured payment gateway. In short, you must try to offer the best user experience for your customers.
3. Social Media Integration
If you want to reach your targeted audience, it is recommended that you add social sharing buttons to the product pages. This will enable your customers to share their favourite products with their networks and become your brand advocate. Promote your special offers on social media and improve the visibility of your products and services.
4. Implement Email and Mobile Marketing
To make your eCommerce business successful during the holiday season you should implement email and mobile marketing strategies. Email marketing is still effective to reach out to the targeted audience, so make sure you have an email marketing plan in place before the holiday season starts.
Mobile marketing is even more important that email marketing- about 50 percent of the mobile messages are read within 2 minutes, so with help of mobile marketing you can reach a wide and diverse audience effectively.
5. Invest in Content Marketing Strategies
Content marketing has proved to be effective in attracting prospective customers and converting them into qualified leads. Publish helpful and informative content and build customer trust. Content marketing help you to position your website in a manner that your target audience considers you as reputed source of information. Posting high-quality and highly informative content will also help you garner top positions on the leading search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
Sales for your eCommerce business will not increase just because it is holiday season and people are busy shopping for their friends and family. You need to put in a lot of effort to position your business rightly in front of your target market and attract prospective customers. By implementing the above mentioned
Top eCommerce Holiday Season Trends to Watch Out for
According to BigCommerce, the global B2C will record the biggest growth in 2015 with the revenue reaching $2 trillion. Another study by Emarketer.com, Asia-Pacific will top the list of top region for eCommerce sales in 2015, which will be followed by North America and Western Europe.
These figures portray an encouraging picture for those who own eCommerce website, but the success solely depends on the capability of the business owners to identify and implement the latest trends into their marketing strategies. With the 2015 holiday season fast approaching, e-retailers should start preparing the new challenges that the changing customer behaviours will bring to them.
Here are top 3 trends that the eCommerce business owners should watch out for this holiday season:
In-Store Pick-Up Facilities
In store pick up facilities will gain momentum in 2015 and this will provide the customers with a better and improved customer experience. The largest online retailers have been leveraging on this trend to attract more customers and allow them to make online purchases and pick the items from the nearest brick and mortar stores.
Mcommerce to be the Next Big Thing
Business owners are well aware of the fact that a major portion of their sales come from mobile platforms. Customers have been using mobile devices to browse products and fetch information, but in the recent times the consumers are engaged in online shopping through their mobile devices. So if you want to make the most of the mobile sales, it is necessary that you prepare your website to provide amazing mobile shopping experience.
Omni Channel Marketing
Today’s customers demonstrate a more diverse shopping behaviour – they use multiple channels to access products and services. Business owners should offer the customers with the opportunity to shop through mobile devices, brick-and-mortar stores, and by scanning QR codes. The fate of online and offline retailing is completely in the hands of customers, so the businesses offering cross-channel interaction opportunities for their customers will be the ones who will win the race.
Though it is necessary to gear up for the holiday season to improve the online sales, smart businesses should employ the eCommerce best practices all-round the year to keep up with the online sales throughout the year. Working on your eCommerce website all through the year will help you reach a point where you can outsmart your competition and build customer loyalty.