Last minute online sales improvement ideas for Christmas
If you’re an online retailer in the B2C space, now’s the time to make hay. The sun will be shining brightly as we approach Christmas this year.
Conversion rates always improve from about now through to around December 20 without you having to do anything. I call it “conversion pressure”. At this time of year, people change their online shopping habits from a “browsing mindset” to an “intent mindset”. They’re under more pressure to get a pressie and they don’t have much time. Now’s a great time to further improve the performance of your website.
I’ve mentioned in the past that there are just three things you can influence to make more money from your online sales. It’s worth repeating:
- Get more traffic.
- Improve AOV (Average Order Value).
- Improve the website’s conversion rate.
Let’s start with how you can get more traffic. The easiest way to get more traffic from typical consumers is to buy it using AdWords and Facebook Ads. Up the bids and budgets, but keep one eye firmly fixed on your ROI. It’s probably too late for SEO at this point, any links you build won’t kick in until early next year. However, you can still tweak your on page SEO efforts and they should get noticed pretty quickly and might help your organic rankings.
Don’t forget your email marketing either. You can afford to send out emails with offers far more regularly than normal at this time of year. If you’ve been sending emails once a month, you can look to ramp that up to once a week until just before Christmas. Back off if the unsubscribes become unsustainable.
The second item on our list is how to improve Average Order Value. One example I’ve seen work wonders is if you offer free shipping on orders over say, $50, and your Average Order Value is $40, then remind people if they spend over $50 they’ll get the free shipping, especially on your product pages. You might also show them product options to help them get over the threshold.
The advantage to this approach is that very rarely will people be able to add something to the cart to take their order value to exactly $50, they usually end up spending $60, $70 or more and still feel like they’re getting value. Nice little win/win.
The final thing on our list of to-do’s is conversion improvements. Split testing is always a favourite – check out www.whichtestwon.com for inspiration (and sign up for their daily newsletter while you’re there). For example, tests have shown the bigger your “add to cart buttons” are the better, so don’t be shy.
If you offer free shipping, talk about it everywhere. Offering free shipping has a proven uplift in conversion rates.
I really like the idea on the new Bonds eCommerce website where if you like a product and share it on Facebook, you get 10% off.
That’s so clever – I wish I’d thought of it myself.
Finally, conversions can be improved by contacting people who have abandoned your checkout. The fantastic eCommerce blog; Get Elastic has a great article about that very topic here. A key takeaway from the article is that over 20% of people who receive email reminders about their abandoned carts end up converting. Now that has to be worth doing.
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Chris Thomas heads up Reseo, a search engine optimisation company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.