ecommerce during the holidays

How to Compete with Big eCommerce Brands this Holiday Season!

According to the Department of Commerce, consumers have spent nearly $212 billion on eCommerce between April and June 2020. That means there has been a 32% growth in the industry during this pandemic.

In these difficult times where maintaining social distance is imperative, businesses concerning groceries, office necessities, electronics, home goods, OTT, online retail, essential goods are some that have grown the most.

61% of retailers are expecting more engagement and sales through social media and online promotion.

Even though in many countries, the restrictions are being eased with the expectation of people taking required precautions and many small businesses and stores opening up, the chances of the eCommerce sales exploding during the holiday season still seem very bright. 

According to Forrester, online retail will see an 18.5% growth with health&beauty, electronics, fashion, and home furnishings experiencing the growth of 23%, 20%, 19%, and 16% respectively.

Amazon doubled its net profit year over year to $5.2 billion compared to $2.6 billion at around this time in 2019. During the pandemic, large eCommerce companies like Amazon, eBay, Walmart have seen a huge rise in sales.

People flock to these major sites and shop a bunch. To ensure a huge success for your business, leveraging the holiday season is important. During the festive time, people tend to be more generous with their expenditure and consider shopping with the best deals possible. It’s time for you to provide the customers with what they are looking for. It’s not just the big companies that consumers consider for their shopping needs this time around. With proper marketing and promotion, you can too convince and convert your consumers.

Here are a few ways to soar your business sales just like the big players:

  • Study marketing and promotional strategies of the successful eCommerce companies
  • Go through their pros and cons
  • Have a pre-planned holiday marketing strategy
  • Offer new deals, discounts, and rewards
  • Flexible payment plans and shipping services
  • Active social media presence
  • Active support service
  • Analyze your performance

Study marketing and promotional strategies of the major companies

It’s important to observe and notice what the major companies do to lure in their audiences.  

You can go over the analytics and read marketing guides, but the most rewarding would be to experience being a customer yourself. Going through their sales funnel, noticing what they have that you lack. Things you should look for:

Website Comparisons/ User experience

  • What do they offer that you don’t? 
  • What’s the navigation like?
  • How is the Site Speed, design, and infrastructure?
  • As a customer what changes do you think would improve the user experience?

Marketing and promotions

  • What are their special holiday offers and deals?
  • What are their email marketing strategies?
  • Do they consider Product rating and reviews and how?
  • Membership advantages? Coupons and discount codes?
  • Compelling wishlists to become orders.
  • Convert empty carts with more recommendations.
  • Active online presence and social media ads.

User convenience

  • What are their payment options?
  • What are the return policies?
  • What are the shipping rates?
  • Do they have more than one sales channel?
  • Do they respond to queries and reviews?
  • What’s the support service like?

There are many more questions that can pop up during this process but they will give you amazing insight as to how they function.

Go through their Pros and Cons

Every large organization falls short somewhere and it’s a great opportunity for you to learn from their mistakes. Do what they are not doing.

For example, 

Pros and cons of amazon

Pros and cons of amazon

cons of ebay

Keep in mind that some reviews can be fake too. So go with your own experience and instinct.

Have a pre-planned holiday marketing strategy

You need to make your own unique holiday marketing strategies. Suitable for your business and customers. This process sure is hectic but very important. 

Especially this year, with certain industries tanking in their sales while others gaining a major boost, consumers might be extremely picky with what they spend their money on.

Thankfully around the festive season, customers would definitely want to bring in some goodies to celebrate the end of the year festivities.

Here are some ways to make sure you fully prepared for the frenzy holiday sales:

  • Plan early on with a few backups
  • Strategize every single holiday individually
  • Keep your strategies simple but effective
  • Be flexible with last-minute changes
  • Consider competitors stats and challenges
  • Market the most with Social Media and influencers
  • Provide customers with a personalized shopping environment
  • Put the customers first. Provide 24/7 support line, open interactive outlets

Some Marketing strategies:

  • Targeted content-driven shopping options
  • Offering customized gift options and a gift guide to help them through their shopping journey
  • Compel customers to fill their empty carts with informal, relatable, and humorous empty cart page and a view of their “you would like” items.
  • Persuade customers to become members/subscribers with discount deals
  • Use email marketing effectively, also as daily reminders for your shopping events and sales
  • Propel customers to buy their wishlist products at a reduced rate or on sale
  • Leverage Customer reviews and testimonials to impress new customers

Offer new deals, discounts, and rewards

Create fun activities for your customers. Contests and giveaways during the festive season is an ideal way to satisfy and gain trust while also increasing sales. Using your social media outlets prove to the best in engaging customers and retaining their attention.

Use social media tools and functions to bring in customers during the holidays. By doing this, you can expand your audience by promoting holiday based items that are in demand during the festive season.

Get your customers excited and waiting for their giveaways and rewards.

Come up with innovative surveys or quizzes or even contests related to each holiday. Make use of what’s trending to get more people to consider participating in your contests.  

Reward your customers after they have shopped a certain amount and been loyal to you by making an investment in their purchases and adding extra consumer incentives to your business. A good reward program will make customers stick with you for a long time. 

Amazon deals

amazon giveaway

Flexible payment plans and shipping services

Offering various options for payment makes it convenient for your customers to choose their easiest payment method without much hassle. Every individual will have their own “go-to” payment option depending on their financial status. 

It’s your job to make the payment process easier for them. It helps create a lasting impression on your customer making you the first shopping destination on their list.

These options can include using credit or debit cards, online payments, checks, money orders, cashier checks, automatic withdrawals, or western. This process must be handled with the utmost focus and attention to detail as important information is being used. 

To set up payment plans here are some tools you can refer to. For a deeper understanding read up here

Make sure your shipping plans function smoothly. If you are working with shipping companies, it’s important for you to know if they are good with what they do and are trustworthy. 

Though taking help from a third-party shipping company would definitely ease your tasks during the busy holiday season. Your customers will receive their products earlier and if any queries arise they contact the company itself. 

Making sure that you have a clear return policy, will strengthen your customer loyalty. Return requests need to be executed smoothly and simply keeping your customer’s convenience in mind. 

Active social media presence

Take advantage of the various features that social media offers. Instagram Reels, stories, hashtags, tweets, Facebook posts, surveys, polls are all methods to expand your reach. Impress your visitors with slogans, relatable posts, humorous taglines regarding your business. 

Make attractive new logos or use infographics to relay information. Making use of graphics and coming up with unique ideas would help the business tremendously. Compel your customers to tag your account in their posts and gain more exposure. Leverage all the features that a Social Media Platform offers to promote yourself.

Advertising on Social Media also helps draw in a huge amount of traffic during the festive season. People search for all kind of holiday-related products on social media to get an idea of what they would want for themselves. Advertising can help them make a decision.

Facebook and Instagram ads will prove beneficial this time of the year. Sites like Pinterest will also hold plenty of opportunities. Marketing through influencers also is a great way to increase traffic and boost sales. 

Dominos xmas offers

 

Active support service

You have to offer 24/7 support. If customers face any problems regarding a crashed site or purchasing problems, Offers and deals FAQs, and more, you must be ready with the solutions. During the busy festive period getting a customer frustrated would be a nightmare. You might lose many possible customers because of bad service or unclear directions. 

Every detail or information must be readily available. Support could be through customer service, chat messengers, social media, emails. If you ship internationally, global support must be ready as well. 

Analyze your performance 

Ecommerce analytics is important is to fix your problems. It points you to the direction where help is needed. Which areas need improvement and which are doing well and bringing in more profits. All of this can help you create a better marketing and sales plan along the way.

Measuring key Performance Indicators will help you analyze your overall performance. Observe the graph when it comes to the sales, conversion rate, traffic sources, mobile traffic, product affinity, bounce rate, cart abandonment, busiest hours of the day, etc.

Note down customer reviews, interactions, responses, engagement. You can measure your marketing performance by PPC, CTR, Membership growth, subscriptions, social media followers, sales, email open rate, email responses, increase traffic.

Evaluate the data and identify areas of improvement accordingly.

Conclusion

The festive season is the most important time for your business to grow. Even though the competition is fierce this time of year, the right planning will get you the needed results.

Make sure to keep your customer and their convenience in mind. It’s not just about the now but the customers you gain this season will return the next one too. Keep them engaged with your service and shopping reminders.

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