The Holidays are great! Good food, friends and family, and gift giving. However, with all of its positive attributes, the holiday season certainly has its downfalls as well. Mostly I dread going to the mall. It begins with the hunt for a parking spot – any spot – followed by cheerfully angry and sweaty shoppers blowing through the mall with their bags and coats in tow while Mariah Carey (love you girl!) belts out some serious tunes. However, a couple of years ago I decided to make some of my gifting purchases online. With the growth of e-commerce, retailers are making it even easier for shoppers like myself to completely avoid brick-and-mortar shopping in 2013.
With US Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, US online retailers are releasing never before seen price cuts and online deals for those who are looking to complete their purchases online. Fortunately for us, Canadian e-retailers are following suit as well.
Customers on the other hand are now hyper-connected, and they know exactly what they are looking for, where they should look for it and what they expect YOU, the retailer, to do for them. These 10 Online Branding and Marketing tips will assist you in activating your buyers:
1. Make sure your site is Mobile friendly. There is a strong possibility your customers will access you on the go. If you have not done it yet, move to a Responsive Site that will make your website easy to navigate on mobile devices as well. Big buttons and carefully laid out information is key!
2. Re-arrange or re-build your site with your customers in mind. Too often sites are built based on what information is available, or how an insider views it would work best. Put yourself in your customers shoes and develop your website architecture and strategy with their use in mind.
3. Offer Gift Cards. While having an actual gift to wrap is nice, sometimes giving the gift of choice is what people are looking for. Allow your customers to purchase Gift Cards instead of actual products or services and see your bottom line rise!
4. Take advantage of your SEO! Re-write your title tags and meta tags to harvest even more holiday juice from your search engine and holiday type keywords!
5. If you can, add a holiday touch to your website. Some bedazzling might put your shoppers in even more of a holiday spirit.
6. Reward your existing Brand Community. Take advantage of existing customers and databases by rewarding their loyalty with exclusive sales and offers. Who doesn’t love to feel special?
7. Extend the cheer to your Social Media Platforms too. Having a coordinated holiday message strategy will make it easy to deliver the same message across all platforms, touching as many customers as possible.
8. Activate all the mobile users by sending them mobile coupons. It’s a very neat way of tracking how many of your sales come in through mobile channels. And you can also bring some of those customers in store if you want to up-sell them.
9. Free shipping! Most online retailers are already on it, so why charge your customers? But consider making return shipping easy on them as well. A Google survey found that over 67% of people would be more likely to shop online if return shipping would also be covered by the retailer.
10. Don’t forget about Post-Holiday sales. It is a great opportunity to clear out left over stock!
Most of these e-commerce tips are fairly easy to apply, and hopefully we were able to help you increase your bottom line this holiday season. Many Canadian retailers have made it more attractive for people to complete their holiday shopping online.
What are some of your favourite sites to shop from? Tell us in the comment section.