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Fall has barely fallen, but already online retailers are preparing for the holiday rush. Black Friday, the day after US Thanksgiving, Green Monday, typically 10 days before Christmas, the Saturday before Christmas, and Cyber Monday are among the most important days to retailers, helping them bring in about half (or more) of their year’s revenue.  More and more shoppers are heading online for their yule-tide deals and are willing to spend. What can you do to maximise this opportunity?

  • Email your customers directly. Nearly half (46%) find out about sales and specials via these emails.
  • Announce sales prominently on your landing pages. Another large chunk of customers find out about your deals via your website.
  • Know how mobile shoppers behave. Tablet shoppers are more like desktop shoppers, while those with mobile phones tend to check/compare prices primarily; they are not as likely to purchase on the site – but they are likely to use your site as an information source for a later purchase.
  • Optimise your navigation. Make it clear and easy, particularly for those mobile users.
  • Have a Christmas (or whatever your target date) countdown. It never hurts to create a sense of urgency!
  • Consider free shipping. About half of shoppers expect to get free shipping on all orders around the holidays. They do not just want it; they expect it. Many businesses have a shipping threshold; that is, if you spend, say, £20, you get free shipping. A higher threshold tends to lower conversion rates but increase the average order total; conversely, a lower threshold will increase your conversion rates but decrease the average order total. You have to weigh these and see which is a better option for your business.
  • Plan content for your blog, website, YouTube channel, or social media profiles around your holiday strategy. “Best Gifts for 2012,” “How to Find the Perfect Gift for Him/Her/Them/Boys/Girls, etc.,” “Planning the Perfect Holiday Party,” and other topics are heavily searched for, offer value to your visitors, and can give you opportunity to link to products or simply engage.

It’s not too early – or too late! – to start your holiday shopping strategy.

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