The Christmas season is in full flow, and it’s a time of year when eCommerce stores can capitalise on the influx of customers. There’s also the January sales to consider, which increases demand from shoppers even more. December and January offer a golden opportunity for eCommerstores. So with that in mind, this guide features top tips to help your store thrive this Christmas and New Year.
Don’t worry if you haven’t planned early
While some retailers prepare for the Christmas season 12 months in advance, you can still take advantage of the increased demand during this busy period. It's worth performing checks on your website to ensure it can handle the increased demand, especially during the January sales when people shop around for a bargain. You can also make a festive marketing plan and stock up on popular items to avoid unsatisfied customers shopping for last-minute gifts.
Sneak a peek at other businesses
Don’t be afraid to look at what your competitors are doing, especially if they’re known for successful Christmas marketing. They can offer inspiration and give you food for thought when it comes to your own festive campaigns. It will also give you an idea of what your customer base likes and the type of products they’re buying this Christmas and New Year.
Offer special deals and promotions
Customers love a good deal, and the festive season is the ideal time to catch their attention with special discounts and promotions. Consider offering free postage, discounted prices on selected items or bundle deals for customers who purchase multiple items. These promotions can serve two purposes: they help drive sales and attract new customers.
Personalise the shopping experience
Personalisation is the key to winning more business from customers, and Christmas provides the perfect opportunity to add a personal touch. Today, around 80% of customers expect a personalised experience from retailers, be it targeted suggestions or tailored offers. Make Christmas feel special for shoppers with gifts, decorations and other items based on previous shopping data. They’ll appreciate the extra effort, with 77% of shoppers saying they recommended stores that offered a personal experience.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
With an increasing number of people using their smartphones to shop online, making sure your eCommerce website is mobile-friendly is essential. This means ensuring that it's easy to navigate on a smaller screen and that the checkout process is quick and seamless. In 2021, UK shoppers spent around £25 billion on Christmas gifts. You should aim to be available to those shoppers in every format, including desktop and mobile.
Provide excellent customer service
The Christmas season is busy, and customers may have questions or concerns about their purchases. Provide excellent customer service by responding to enquiries quickly and efficiently across multiple platforms, such as email and social media. It's also worth implementing a live chat feature if you haven't already, so shoppers can get instant responses to their queries. Other options include adding an FAQ to the website with answers to the most common questions your store receives. Focusing on customer service helps build trust and improves your customer's overall experience when shopping with you.
The January sales
The Christmas rush is barely over before the January sales begin. Shoppers usually look for deals online as soon as Boxing Day, hoping to snag a cut-price item. Consider offering clearance prices on some products that didn't sell as well during the festive period and use this opportunity to promote new products for the upcoming year. While most shoppers hope to take advantage of sale prices, others will be drawn in by new items.
Offer finance options
The stakes are even higher for eCommerce stores at Christmas, as your website sees an increase in visitors looking for the perfect gift. You don't want to miss out and experience checkout drop-offs, which happens to around 50% of customers who can't pay with their preferred payment options, according to research from the European Payment Council. Traditional credit and debit cards alone aren't enough, and you should consider offering flexible payment options, like buy now, pay later.
Christmas is an expensive period, with this year's cost of living crisis placing more burden on shoppers. Giving them more payment options so they can spread the cost is one way to empower your customers and sell more products.
With interest-free options and other payment types, consumers can choose a payment schedule suited to their budget. Even better, finance is easy to set up when you partner with the right provider, and you can be up and running within just 24 hours if you choose wisely. Flexible finance removes friction at checkout while giving your shoppers more confidence to buy the items they want.
‘Tis the season to be jolly
The festive season is a fantastic opportunity for eCommerce stores to increase sales and attract new customers. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your online store has a successful Christmas and New Year and is ready for 2023.