How to Use the 2018 Holiday Season to Drive Sales

How to Use the 2018 Holiday Season to Drive Sales

Consumers are willing and able to spend money during the holidays. When people buy gifts, they don’t know whether the recipient will like what they get. Furthermore, 80% of consumers expect free returns. Free shipping was cited by consumers as the most important option when buying online: The reason why businesses don’t offer free shipping is because they don’t want the cost to come out of their pockets, which is understandable. Offer rewards for customer loyalty The holiday season shouldn’t be a time for you to start focusing on customer acquisition. Research indicates 82% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands offering loyalty programs. And 50% of consumers plan to use those rewards to buy more gifts than they normally would. You should send shipping notifications and tracking numbers to your customers. As you can see from these numbers, ecommerce brands with mobile apps will have a competitive advantage here. Run your best deals on the most popular shopping days of the year.

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With the holiday season quickly approaching, your business needs to take steps to prepare for a potential surge in sales.

But you can’t assume people will buy from your brand during the holidays if you sit back and do nothing. The brands able to recognize the latest marketing trends will have success in the coming months.

Consumers are willing and able to spend money during the holidays. It’s a fact.

How you prepare and position yourself will determine how much of the market share your company will control.

Even though the ecommerce industry is a competitive space, there is plenty of money to go around.

In fact, experts predict ecommerce sales to increase by 17-22% during the 2018 holiday season. November 1st to January 31st is considered the holiday season.

I know what some of you are thinking. There are holidays throughout the entire year. What makes the ones during those dates so special?

Research shows consumers say they will spend nearly $800 during the winter holidays:

winter

On average, they spend more money during the winter holidays than during all the other top-spending holidays combined.

It’s the season of giving, and it’s usually a happy time of year. People are feeling generous when buying gifts for their friends and family.

However, the holiday season can be stressful. The weather starts to get colder. Stores get busier. Consumers feel overwhelmed with the length of their to-do lists.

As a marketer, you need to make the buying process as easy as possible for the customer.

With your ecommerce platform, there is no reason for people to fight the crowds at their local shopping malls. They can buy holiday gifts from the comfort of their homes.

I’ll explain how you can use this situation to your advantage and benefit from a major boost in ecommerce sales during the 2018 holiday season.

Don’t wait to start your promotions

When is it appropriate to start running holiday ads?

Right now.

You need to learn how to build hype for the holiday season as an ecommerce brand.

This is your chance to let people know what to expect. Tell them what type of sales you’ll be running or whether you’re planning to release a new product around that time.

They may not necessarily buy something the first time they see your holiday ad, but be persistent. Continue running promotions on all your distribution channels.

When consumers are ready to buy, your business will be on their minds.

All too often I see ecommerce brands hesitant to start these promotions early. They think it’s a waste of money because people don’t start shopping until late November at the earliest.

But that’s not the case. Research shows that only 27% of consumers don’t purchase any gifts before Thanksgiving:

before thanksgiving

This means that more than 70% of people have done at least some holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.

It’s not unreasonable for a customer to buy gifts during the first week of November.

The earlier you can start your holiday promotions, the greater chance you’ll have of driving more ecommerce sales.

Recognize the most popular shopping days

As you can see, there is a surge in ecommerce sales between November and January. But some days are more popular than others during that time.

Over the past five years, Cyber Monday and Black Friday have consistently been the most popular days for holiday shoppers:

popular days

We’ve all seen those crazy Black Friday videos every year. Hundreds of customers running into stores, trampling on anything and anyone who gets in their way.

Six people fist-fighting over the last TV in the store. It’s madness.

Why does this happen? It’s because everyone loves to get a deal.

As an ecommerce brand, you need to run ads promoting ways customers can save money by shopping online. They don’t need to deal with that mayhem to get a bargain.

Here’s another strategy you can consider. There’s no need for you to wait till Cyber Monday to slash your prices.

Since so many people are shopping during those two days, your brand could get lost in the shuffle.

To stand out, create your own brand holiday that same week.

Send out email reminders, post on social media, and update your website. Then your customers will know they can get great deals on the Tuesday or Wednesday before or after Cyber Monday.

If you implement this strategy, you should still continue to run deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The last thing you want to do is let your competitors steal your customers during the two most popular shopping days of the year.

Put emphasis on your return policy

Obviously, you don’t want to deal with returns. However, your return policy is important to your customers.

This is especially true during the holiday season. When people buy gifts, they don’t know whether the recipient will like what they get.

What if they already have one? What if the size is wrong?

That’s probably why holiday ecommerce return rates are so high.

return rates

Customers are more than three times as likely to return a holiday ecommerce purchase than a standard brick and mortar purchase.

Ecommerce return rates are 10% higher during the holidays than the rest of the year.

Furthermore, 80% of consumers expect free returns. However, only 25% of retailers have a free return policy.

This is your chance to differentiate yourself from the competition. Offer free returns.

We know that 83% of customers read return policies before buying…

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