The holidays are here, people! You probably have your business ready with a cool website, easy checkout, and social media ads flying around all over the place. But online shoppers are about to spend 64 billion dollars between now and the new year. How do you get a bigger slice of the pie? Let me help you out.Make your potential costumers love you. If you do this, people will not only be more likely to buy from you this season, but there is a bigger chance of them coming back to you after the holidays are over. Here are some tips on making that happen.
Show off your personalityMore than good sales and free shipping, people actually want suggestions on what they should be buying. Online reviews and ratings are key things you should focus on, but so is your personal point of view, says Jen Handley. She is the COO of Fizziology. They monitor consumer trends on social media sites. Make sure to provide interesting gift guides and ideas, unexpected finds, even guest bloggers who can make recommendations beyond the ordinary. Jen says “Consumers don’t know what’s hot this holiday season until someone tells them.”
You should also be sure to offer advice on how to best use the products you are selling. Online bag retailer eBags.com boosts their sales with 1,000 videos on their site. Designers make videos talking their inspiration and show product features and materials. One video featured designer Bernard Majeau speaking on a wheeled duffel, which turned the bag into a top seller. Actually, more than half the people who viewed that video watched for more than three minutes of it.
“He has a bit of a geeky charm, which makes him believable, likeable, and trustworthy,” says eBags cofounder Peter Cobb. “There’s no doubt that people who watch the videos are far more likely to buy.”
Get ideas from social media
Think further ahead than Tweeting and Facebook likes. Use your social media knowledge to get into people’s heads and figure out what people want this holiday season. Use your findings to push your products during the holidays! “If you see argyle sweaters trending for your brand on Pinterest, Tumblr or Instagram, then feature those argyle sweaters more prominently online and in-store,” says Apu Gupta, CEO of Curalate, a social analytics firm.
Feed your fan base by posting consumer photos on your website and in your social media sites. Services like Pongr, Pixlee and Stipple help businesses use images for marketing online.
Put real people behind your site
Most businesses will line up the technology to handle the huge holiday rush, but many fail when it comes to costumer service, says Jordy Leiser, CEO of StellaService, who rates customer service of online stores. Make it your goal to thrive when it comes to that kind of word-of-mouth success that Zappos built with their service. Show your toll free number on every single page. Encourage people to come to you. Make sure you are fully staffed to handle the volume and expand your costumer service hours! There is no room for slacking in this area. “Great customer service is the best marketing there is,” Leiser says.
Let them find you anywhere
Three quarters of all smartphone owners will be browsing on their phones this season, according to a Google survey. So it is vital to make sure your site looks good and works well on mobile, and also that access to shopping carts is seamless between desktop and phones.
Cobb expects a quarter of eBag’s traffic to be coming from smartphones this next month, so the company actually spent 11 months make absolutely sure its site looked and worked well on every single device. eBags re-sized images, changed the spacing, improved their navigation and made their links more obvious for mobile users. They also added the ability for costumers to save their cart or email it to themselves for later checkout! What a cool idea right? “You need for it to be as easy as possible because otherwise people will bolt,” Cobb says.
Follow some of this advice and watch your business boom during this holiday season. Best of luck!