How To Increase Your Sales Of Christmas Gifts
With the Christmas period just around the corner, now is a good time to consider your Christmas strategy. To help you we have created a simple checklist of things to do and consider. These points should help you create a plan that optimises your potential sales revenue on selling Christmas gifts.
- Select the Christmas gift products
- Create collections of Christmas gifts for specific target audiences
- Put Christmas context into product descriptions and images
- Change related items feature to similar Christmas gift ideas
- Advertise your Christmas products and collections on your homepage
- Revise filters and menus for easy Christmas gift shopping
- Test Christmas branding and promotions on mobile devices
- Plan direct marketing strategy (e-mail, telephone, post)
- Plan social media strategy
- Consider delivery options for last minute shoppers (such as next day delivery)
- Consider deliver offers (such as free delivery)
- Consider holiday closure periods and how these affect delivery dates
- Offer gift wrapping and gift receipts
- Make Christmas shipping information clear and accessible
Things To Consider
We are now settling into October; therefore if you haven’t started to plan your Christmas tactics yet then it’s time you start doing so. For many Ecommerce sites, Christmas is the most lucrative time of the year. However it is also the most competitive. Therefore starting early and getting ready is the best thing you can do to prepare.
Use the checklist above to begin planning your strategy or to refine the plan you already have. The points in the checklist are discussed below.
Products and Categories
No matter how good your Christmas strategy is, you won’t increase revenue if your products aren’t relevant. Therefore consider this advice:
Categories and Collections
Think about what particular gifts or Christmas products you offer on your site and who they would make a good present for. For example, if you sell fine wines then these could make a good gift for older relatives. Cluster your products accordingly into collections of products with similar target audiences in terms of gift receiving.
Product Descriptions and Images
Once you have successfully identified and categorised your products, you need to focus on their individual descriptions. Help inspire your customers to ‘see’ the purchase by providing Christmas context in the product description and with the images used.
For example, a customer may not be able to imagine a clock as an ideal present for a home owner until they see a picture of that clock being unwrapped by a happy figure. This particular example can be exaggerated by relevant text such as “a great gift for the home” in the product description.
However consider that whilst you want to target certain audiences, you don’t want to exclude others that may also be interested in the product. You can target specific people, such as mums and dads, by adding these products to relevant categories. The product description needs to fit all the categories you are targeting.
Another way to group products together is by adding and managing the ‘related items’ feature on your product descriptions. This shows the customer which products they might also like and is a good way of increasing sales potential if the particular item on display ‘isn’t quite right’.
Treat these groupings much in the same way as you would organise your categories; group products together based on mutual gift receiver target audiences.
Promotion and Advertising
Considering how you are going to promote your Christmas products out to your audience is an important part of making your Christmas strategy successful. Even if you have the perfect Dad presents, people won’t buy them if they don’t know about them. Therefore these are some promotional tactics to consider:
Branding on your Homepage
Your homepage is the perfect platform to drive sales during the Christmas period, as it will draw the attention of your existing customers to the promoted products and collections. If you advertise ‘the perfect present for Dads’ on your homepage, you maximise the potential for your customers to view (and hopefully purchase) male orientated presents from your site.
Filters and Menus
How easy is it for customers to navigate through your Christmas related products? Consider what filters you are applying to your products. For example, if you add a ‘Christmas Gifts’ filter, then customers can use this to just look at festive presents.
Another navigation point to consider is how you display your categories and collections on you menu. You may want to add a ‘Christmas Gifts for Men’ button on your menu as this will help customers find relevant products. The positioning of these categories may also affect sales, for example adding your ‘Christmas Gifts for Men’ button to the top of the menu will drive more click-throughs than having it in the middle of the menu.
Many people now use mobile devices to shop online and browse. Therefore test your promotional campaigns are working well on all devices, especially mobile.
If you have a database of customer information, you may want to consider advertising your Christmas collections to them; usually this is done by e-mail, telephone or post.
This is a good way to interact with individual customers and drive more people to your site specifically to view your Christmas products.
Social Media Strategy
Christmas is an emotional time and social media is the perfect platform for engaging with people emotionally. As well as broadcasting advertising messages on your social media platforms; take the opportunity to engage in relevant Christmas topics. For example, follow useful conversations like #xmasshopping and reply or like relevant messages. This will drive customers to your site in a positive manner because these views will ‘like your opinion on the topic’.
Shipping and Delivery
Ensuring that your parcels are with your customers before Christmas can be a great way of boosting online sales. Therefore make sure your shipping policy is competitive. These points should help you achieve this:
Next Day Delivery
Next Day Delivery, or at least a quick delivery service, is one of the best ways that you can combat people averse to ‘waiting’ for their products. This is especially important for last minute Christmas shoppers.
Another important and competitive offer for shipping is free delivery. People are averse to hidden costs that appear when purchasing online and this is one of the main reasons that consumers abandon their cart.
If you can hide these charges within your product pricing, yet still offer competitive pricing, then this should reduce the effect of people purchasing the product offline elsewhere.
The dates that you close for the Christmas period may affect your sales. For example, last minute shoppers will go elsewhere if they cannot get products delivered on Christmas Eve.
Gift Wrapping and Receipts
Offering gift wrapping services may encourage more sales as this enables customers to purchase gifts for people who don’t live near them. Your gift wrapping service will essentially prevent the customer from having to wrap and post the product themselves.
To complete this service it is a good idea to offer gift receipts. This allows customers to feel confident that if their gift isn’t what the receiver wants then it can be swapped for something they would like.
Clear Shipping Information
As well as offering an excellent Christmas delivery service, shout about it. Many Ecommerce sites feature their delivery information on their homepage via buttons which mention key statements such as ‘free delivery’ or ‘gift wrapping available’, these buttons usually hyperlink to a separate page specifically for detailing the full delivery policy. Doing this means that your customers can feel confident about what to expect at the checkout and should reduce the number of customers abandoning their cart.
We hope that you have found this information useful in preparation of your Christmas promotion. Whilst there are other points to consider, this is a good overview that should help you focus your strategy on maximising sales over the festive season.