Powering e-commerce sales this holiday season

Tips to boost your e-commerce sales this holiday season

Many businesses are gearing up for the holiday season with great grit and anticipation of a boost in sales and revenue. Even the brick and mortar stores have used this pandemic as an opportunity to use digital as a medium for online shopping and sales.

Even though the COVID-induced economic tailspin has shrouded the global economy in the first half of this year, post-August we have seen increased activity in sales and online shopping for various categories apart from essentials. This sentiment will continue till the end of the year as more and more people are willing to spend and things have started to look a little brighter.

The impact of COVID-19 on e-commerce platforms

In its latest Adobe Digital Economy Index report foray 2020, Adobe Analytics found that e-commerce sales during May 2020 alone eclipsed the entire 2019 holiday season.

The reason being the long lockdown period and the forced isolation at home which left people with little to no choice but to adopt online shopping.

As per a recent report, the pandemic has accelerated the growth of online shopping just within 2 months, which was expected to take close to 5 years.

Average online spend of users surpassed expected spend this year

The pandemic has transformed the e-commerce industry completely and has changed the way business will be done forever. “We think that over the next couple of months we will see an even bigger focus on experience-driven e-commerce, as the competition heats up where consumers are now putting so much of their attention online,” says John Copeland, VP of customer and marketing insights at Adobe.

Lockdown impact on revenue

Since the enforcement of lockdowns in March, e-commerce spending has grown beyond expectations with more than $52 billion in transactions. The Indian e-retail market is ready to reach 300 to 350 million shoppers over the next five years, driving the online Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) to $100 to $120 billion by 2025.

This makes it even more essential to plan the holiday season to make the most of this new user experience. For many businesses that are new to the e-commerce market, it is important to improve their website traffic, drive engagement and awareness, and create personalized experiences for their customers.

How can e-commerce help in driving sales this holiday season?

A lot of businesses are vying for the customer’s attention, so how will you cut through the noise and connect with the customers?

1. Enhanced/Seamless Mobile Experience

In recent times, smartphones are the drivers of online traffic, especially during the festive season. As per Adobe report, the share of products purchased through smartphones increased by 10% in May compared with January (pre-COVID-19). And new consumers who were shopping online for the first time are doing so from their smartphones.

Mobile spending has crossed expected trend sales this year

This data shows us that a seamless mobile experience is the need of the hour for a customer shopping experience. If the page is too heavy, or the UX/UI design is way out of sync or not user-friendly, then the customer is bound to be driven away to your competitor’s site.

The only way a customer can experience your product is through the use of high-quality images, videos, clear product descriptions, almost life-like visual experiences, which can help lead to better engagement, conversions, and lower returns.

2. Use a festive theme for the layout

To capture the user’s attention, it is important to give them a feel of what you are trying to achieve. If the holiday season is around the corner, make the most of this by applying it in your design and color schemes to make for a brighter, livelier online store-front that spreads cheer and joy.

Creating themes will make you stand out from the rest and help you convey the message to your customers that the store is holiday-ready.

There are many ways to do that, for instance, posting holiday-themed social media profile pictures, cover photos of the products or getting a custom logo especially designed for the upcoming festivities. You can easily create designs yourself if you do not have a in-house designer using design platforms like Canva.

Use holiday theme for websites to attract attention

3. Improve your social media marketing

In the post-Covid world, constant digital interactions with your customer base is very important to create a loyal brand following and keep the engagement going. User-generated content is ruling the digital world now, be it videos or images. Hence pushing your followers to post content on your pages and drive conversations around it is the best way to market your brand.

Out there many popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter have the max potential to reach your target audience. Once you create them, you can post about your products integrating your holiday theme.

For example, running holiday season contests or giveaways on social media channels can come in handy to generate a buzz. You can also make it easy for customers to buy on your social channels with the help of Instagram stories. Keep finding relevant content, plan, and schedule your social media posts in advance so that there are no surprises left waiting in the end.

How to create a social media content calendar

4. Faster Checkouts & Minimal Cart Abandonment

One of the biggest pain-points for any e-tailer is cart abandonment issues and smoother checkout processes. Although every audience segment's needs differ, when it comes to making a purchase, the patterns are similar.

As per a report from Statista, globally close to 80% of the users abandon their online shopping orders.

Reasons for high cart abandonment rates during checkout

These numbers are a clear indication of what the consumers want and how to make them get through a purchase.

    A few points to keep in mind to reduce your abandonment rate:
  • 1. Strategically place your CTAs
  • 2. Make sure is cart is visible at all times
  • 3. Make the checkout process as smooth as possible
  • 4. Show testimonials and reviews
  • 5. Free shipping
  • 6. Various payment methods
  • 7. Exit pop-ups offering some sort of discount to complete the purchase

5. Improve Your Supply Chain/Logistics

The holiday season means planning for the sudden rush in orders and a proper inventory supply of goods so that you do not run out of products.

Brands must ensure their e-commerce is flexible enough to render superior business and supply chain agility. It is also important to keep in mind a faster delivery process, as those orders are for the holiday season, hence the requirement or urgency of the orders might be quite high. If your deliveries and packaging of the product are not on point, then you can say goodbye to your customer forever.

6. Customize Your Packaging

Now that it's the holiday season, it is important to keep in mind the occasion or event and try and incorporate that in your packaging.

Maybe adding a small handwritten note wishing them or a Thank You note can make a huge difference. Especially if you are a small business owner, then will show you care for your customers and have put in thought and effort in delivering something valuable to you as well. Adding a personal touch to your packaging efforts can help you win over your customers.

Customized holiday packaging to evoke emotions

Conclusion

The best part about the holiday season is that it offers precious opportunities for customer-brand interaction. A large number of shoppers have already started making online purchases, checking out the best deals, searching for gifting ideas, etc.

Businesses still have some ambiguity over the consumer’s current buying behavior, preferences, and patterns to make a robust business decision. But if you are missing out on the action and doing enough to be right in front of your customers, then you might miss the bus.

Take the help of technology and automation and create an increased online presence. Digital automated advertising with a touch of personalization is what you need to get ahead and beat your competitors.