Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner, which means that holiday shopping is just around the corner as well. Whether you own an online store or not, you understand how critical it is to have your marketing strategies ready to go on the busiest shopping days of the year.
We want to make sure you’re ready, so we’ve created this 10-point checklist to help you prepare your online store for Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year!
1. Update All Category Pages on your online store
In order to ensure that you have a prominent role in the holiday shopping season, it is essential to keep all of your category pages updated with high-quality product photos. It’s also a good idea to include a product description as well as a bullet list of important information such as shipping information, returns policies, and customer service contact details.
If you have an online store, consider creating custom SKUs or special labels for these products so that they are easier to identify when shoppers look through them in search of gifts. Custom SKUs will also help boost repeat business by making it easier for returning customers to find their favorite products.
2. Include Cross-Sells in Product Descriptions
Cross-selling is a popular way to make additional sales. You can offer additional items or services at attractive prices. However, it’s not enough to include these offers only in cart pages or product landing pages.
People don’t want to open another page after they’ve made a purchase decision—they want to check out as quickly as possible. That’s why you should include cross-selling offers in product descriptions—people are more likely to see them there, especially if you place them above the fold.
3. Make sure Customers Can Checkout Without Registering
It may seem like a small detail, but making sure customers can check out without creating an account is an easy way to increase sales on online stores. That’s because some customers who might be willing to make a purchase will choose to exit rather than go through creating an account.
To avoid losing customers you’d like to acquire, make sure there’s a continue as the guest option that allows customers to bypass account creation when checking out on your store. Also, consider offering free shipping or other incentives in order to further encourage them to proceed with their purchase.
4. Send Personalized Emails Before and After Black Friday/Cyber Monday
Remember, you want to create a personal connection with each customer who visits your store. Before Black Friday/Cyber Monday, send out a personalized email. After these big shopping days, send out another message thanking shoppers for visiting.
You can also offer a follow-up discount or promotion to those who made purchases during that time period. Personalizing emails will put a face on your business and allow customers to feel more connected to you as a business owner—which is ideal if you’re trying to increase repeat customers down the road.
5. Add Call To Action Buttons on Product Pages on your Online Store
Call to action buttons are imperative on product pages because they help inform customers on what they should do next. CTAs with copies like Buy Now or Learn More are common, but they can certainly be more personalized.
For example, if you’re selling a premium product, try something like Buy Now with Special Pricing. If it’s related to an event that’s coming up soon, change it to something more timely.
Think of the call to action in terms of how your customer will interpret it. Will they understand exactly what they’ll get if they click through? If not, refine your wording so there’s no confusion.
Or simply remove the CTA completely if it doesn’t make sense at all! Every store is different, which means every store requires customized call-to-action buttons on their product pages. Make sure yours reflect exactly who you are as a brand.
6. Send Invoices via Email Immediately after Orders Are Placed
Email invoices are quickly becoming a preferred option among many e-commerce merchants. And why not? Who doesn’t like getting an email with their order attached or seeing a pending invoice in their inbox?
You can even set it up so that customers pay directly from their email account, thus saving you time by bypassing PayPal. The best part is, if they don’t have an account, they’ll be prompted to make one on the spot.
All of these changes will help to ensure that your orders are processed promptly, reducing any chance of customer disappointment.
7. Add Size Guides to Product Pages
One of the most common shopper questions about apparel products is how big are these things? It’s something you have to pay attention to. You don’t want customers accidentally ordering products that are too small or large, so it’s important to offer to-size info on product pages. One way to do it is by adding size guides next to each product image.
That way, customers can easily spot what size fits them best—and if they don’t see their size, they know exactly how much space is left. This feature also helps customers find popular sizes quickly.
8. Include Discount Codes on all Promotional Materials
Many customers are looking forward to doing some early Christmas shopping, so you have to encourage them to place an order quickly. Make sure that all promotional materials include discount codes that are set to expire on any specific date.
That way, if people want to take advantage of these exclusive offers, they will have to do it soon. The best way is to put a countdown timer on your promo banners so customers can see how much time they have left before their discount expires.
You can also ask influencers or bloggers for help with content marketing by sharing promo banners with their followers; you’ll reach a whole new audience that way.
9. Offer Shipping Discounts Throughout Holiday Season
Some online stores offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount, others offer free shipping year-round. If you can’t afford to completely eliminate shipping costs or don’t want to turn away business from potential shoppers, give customers a discount when they add multiple items to their cart.
Discounts could be in different tiers: from 10% off three items in one order, 20% off when five items are added to one order, all the way up to 50% off if the entire order is filled with a single product line. Amazon utilizes a similar system that rewards shoppers who purchase more products within a specific time frame by offering additional discounts on their orders.
You could use these same strategies during the peak season to encourage shoppers to place larger orders. Either way, it’s worth testing out these incentives during holiday sales to see what impacts they have on your profits.
10. Run Promotions Regularly Throughout Holiday Season
According to a recent report by AdRoll, nearly half of holiday shoppers say they shop from online store more than they did last year. Many will online store throughout November and December, giving online retailers plenty of opportunities to attract new customers.
To keep them coming back, focus on getting repeat visits. Running consistent promotions will help you keep traffic on your site high throughout November and December. So you can continue to drive sales even after Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed.
If your store already has an email list, consider creating coupons that are delivered automatically to past customers when they visit or encouraging them to share deals with their friends via social media platforms. Always track how successful each campaign is with Google Analytics in order to learn what content drives higher conversion rates in terms of generating sales.
The holidays are busy for any online store. If you’re not prepared, things can slip through the cracks, which can result in dissatisfied customers (and lost revenue). If you want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you, be sure to follow the above 10-points. You’ll thank yourself later!
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