’Tis the season to be jolly! Once again the busiest retail times of the year -Black Friday and Christmas – is upon us.

It’s the holiday season, Michael Bublé is currently defrosting in the North Pole and over half of all eCommerce transactions will take place during this festive period with Black Friday and Cyber Monday grabbing the greatest share. However, did you know that this year, 57% of seasonal shopping is expected to come from online purchases?

With just one week to go until Black Friday 2019, retailers need to ensure their websites are ready for the spikes in traffic and influx in sales. This time of year can be stressful for all retail store merchants and by the end most of you might be feeling more Bah Humbug! than Arthur Christmas but fear not!  We’ve pulled together some handy last minute marketing tips to help retailers rejoice and boost sales this season.

Read on to start your journey and get your websites ready to excite and delight new and current customers over this Christmas period.

Black Friday – The Facts

  • eCommerce sales are predicted to reach an estimated £176 billion by the end of 2019
  • Total online retail sales reached £1.49 billion on Black Friday 2018, a 7.3% increase from the previous year
  • Total UK holiday sales increased by 4.7% to reach £98.06 billion in 2018, and is predicted to further increase in 2019 

Do you want a sales slice of this Christmas mince pie? We thought so! Here are some super simple but effective last minute marketing tips to ensure you don’t miss out this year;

Tip 1: Start before Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Most shoppers start searching for Black Friday deals before the day

Increase your number of personalised emails to your customer database and increase social post push-outs across all of your active social media channels.Promote your newsletter to drive subscriptions so you have a larger client base to advertise to over the next few weeks.Send out sneak peaks of deals to customers to attract shoppers attention before Black FridayUpdate your live chat greeting with an exclusive discount code to be used within a timeframe.

Tip 2: Avoid slow page load!

Pages that take 3 seconds or longer to load leads to a 56% increased cart abandonment.

Major causes of slow web pages usually results from too many graphic components or videos embedded on the page. Take out unnecessary image overload and tidy up those pages.

Tip 3: Update copy on landing pages

Add some Christmas sparkle to your web pages. Keep the content and your product descriptions as detailed as possible to help boost organic search.

Tip 4: Make the most of Amazon and Google Shopping marketplaces

According to a 2019 BigCommerce report, each month more than 197 million people around the world get on their devices and visit amazon.com – that’s more than Russia’s population put together entirely!2018 Black Friday, Amazon took more than 50% of all of the Black Friday transactions alone and Google saw a 60% search increase in total holiday sales so well worth setting up a store in these marketplaces if you don’t have one already.

Tip 5: Increase conversions with your paid search

Light up your advertising and create a sense of urgency in ads using temporary sales and shopping codes for your buyers.If you can afford to do so, temporarily increase your paid search budget in your PPC and /or social paid ads. BUT be audience specific with who you target products at to ensure you gain the most ROI on spend.

Tip 6: Target abandoned carts with automated emails

Make the most of your marketing automation tools. If your CRM has the function – set up email sequences to target shoppers who have abandoned carts with a reminder to complete checkout or a discount code to entice purchase behaviour.

Tip 7: 55% of shoppers abandon carts due to shipping costs!

Free shipping is becoming a major staple of the online sales process and increases purchase behaviour. Look at your product price points ahead of pushing our deals and factor free shipping into your discounts to avoid financial losses.

Tip 8: Increase your cyber security

Don’t let the Grinchy bots ruin your festive holiday season and invest in adequate cyber security solutions to keep malicious attackers at bay. DDoS protection and Web Application Firewalls will help reduce risks of your site being taken down.

Tip 9: Your service doesn’t end after payment

This goes without saying really but now the customer has paid they want their stocking fillers on time. Seamless service from check-out all the way through to on-time delivery is imperative. Make sure you have your courier elves lined up and ready to get the parcels out on-time.

Want to hear more from the experts? Watch free our 30 minute on-demand webinar which is jam-packed full of helpful tips to make sure you make the most of your festive retail season! 

Time to go and sleigh those seasonal sales!

Merchants, the 2019 holiday season is truly underway but you can still create a fantastic experience for online shoppers and stay off their naughty lists by providing super quick site speeds, cybercrime defences, compelling content and making the most of automated interaction tools. Adopt these best practices and you’ll be sure to sleigh your e-commerce holiday sales! 

Happy Holidays from the Harper James team! 

P.S. If you want to discuss your website and Ecommerce platform for 2020, contact Harper James on 0845 45 88 444 and a member of our team would be delighted to speak to you. Alternatively you can start a live chat with us via our website. 

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