If you want to attract and keep more online customers, you have to be more strategic than the competition. When building your business, you have to target your efforts in the best possible way.
The most important time, of course, to get everything working perfectly on your eCommerce website is during the holidays. This is the best time of the year to spruce up your website, improving the navigation elements, graphics, copywriting, and pricing.
However, most savvy website owners will also be doing these things, so you need to do a little more to get take advantage of this rise in traffic all over the web.
With that in mind, here are 7 strategies to help you increase your business during the holiday season:
- Make it easier for customers to search through your website.
Here’s a brief description of predictive search so that you know why you should use it on your website to improve your customer’s search experience:
Predictive search started when a Google launched an algorithm called Google Suggest that made it much easier to search faster. (The name was later changed to Google Instant.) Before this algorithm was launched, it took from 9 to 90 seconds to get a result. Google has estimated that it has saved search time each day by over 3 billion seconds.
Here’s how it works: when you type in a few words into the search box, a drop-down menu shows you other possible searches. For instance, if you type in a broad keyword like “toys,” you get a drop-down menu that offers the following suggestions: “toys r us,” “toys are us,” “toys for tots,” “toys r us near me,” and “toys for tots drop off.” Naturally, the more targeted your search word, the more relevant the suggestions. By clicking on the suggestion, you will find websites that are a closer match to what you were looking for.
Now you can use a similar functionality to help users find anything on your website. If, for the sake of example, you were also selling toys, then the drop down menu would offer suggestions of toys by age available on your website. Since shoppers get what they want faster, your chances of increasing your revenues go up. Essentially, if consumers can find what they are looking for on your website quickly, they are less likely to browse other websites that won’t offer this convenience.
- Make it easier for consumers to make up their minds.
Often people hesitate buying something because they are inundated with choices at different price points. On one hand, they want it all, but on the other hand, they can only afford one or two. For instance, if you’re a chocolatier, then a consumer may want to try out several different gourmet selections you have but can’t afford to get them all. By bundling a few of your most popular selections into a sample package at a special discounted price, it makes it easier for them to try out everything they’re interested in. They will then be more likely to decide which samples they liked the most and become repeat buyers of that particular type of chocolate.
- Tempt your customer with more choices.
By using upselling and cross-selling, it will be easier to increase your revenues. Here is an excellent description from HubSpot of both these techniques:“Upselling is encouraging the purchase of anything that would make the primary product more expensive. For instance, a camera might come with an offer of batteries. A printer purchase might prompt the suggestion for ink. Cross-selling is the suggestion of any other product to be purchased in conjunction with the primary product—a printer suggestion when a computer is purchased or a conditioner suggestion when shampoo is selected.”
- Educate your customer about a product.
Customers enjoy reading additional information about products. It gets them interested in the product. For instance, if you’re selling gourmet coffee beans, and you have a new selection from Kenya, it pays to have a few lines introducing this coffee. While most gourmet buyers will be familiar with South American coffee because this is more prevalent in the market, they might not know what makes Kenyan coffee different. A brief description of how Kenya is on the equator, the cooler temperature in the highlands, and the rich, red soil will stir interest in this new product offering.
- Reward your customers for shopping with you.
You’ve probably got quite a few membership reward cards to your grocery store and a few restaurants. The reason this idea is so popular is that it works well. By creating a rewards program with your own website, offering a discounted price for reward members, you are going to engage interest.
- Give away free samples.
Again, this is something that grocery stores and health foods have mastered. They often have a demo table with giveaway samples. Try doing the same thing with your products. Offer free samples to get people interested in trying out your products. This technique will work especially well if you sell edible products.
- Take away the risk of buying your product
The more you can do to make it easier to buy, the more you will sell. If you have a high price point, be willing to accept monthly payments. If you have a product that people aren’t sure will work for them, offer a strong guarantee.
Try these 7 steps today to enjoy a profitable holiday season.