It may only be September, but now is the time to create a business plan to maximise e-commerce sales over the Christmas period.
The Christmas holiday period accounts for 40% of annual retail sales and research suggests that it is essential to prepare e-commerce sites early for the hordes of customers scouring the market for Christmas gifts.
So, what’s the rush? To discover why it’s time to act fast, we just need to take a look back at last year’s e-commerce revenue trends. Reports from Conscore Inc. and ShopperTrak show that ecommerce stores are now the real money-makers over the festive period. Last year, there was a 26% increase in online sales during Black Friday, whilst in-store Black Friday sales declined by 2%.
A recent Google Consumer Survey suggests that, aside from the senior generation, every demographic planned to carry out more of their shopping online. This is as opposed to actually visiting retails outlets and stores.
Whilst this does not necessarily surprise us, we should be aware that it is how we manage this trend that maximises our sales during one of the most profitable times of the year.
Although we tend not to mull over our Christmas shopping list in September, believe it or not, Google Consumer Surveys suggests that a third of consumers carry out their Christmas shopping before Halloween, with more and more consumers having a brand in mind before they begin their shopping.
This trend is appearing across every popular shopping period, with this year’s ‘back to school’ promotion phase also beginning earlier.
These trends highlight the importance of retailers reaching out to potential customers in the early stages, gaining visibility whilst consumers search for brands, products and reputable sites.
Although it may seem a little premature, it’s essential to make your brand visible to customers to plant the initial seeds.
So with customers bouncing around the web looking for suitable gifts and reliable e-commerce stores, it’s important to get noticed from day one.
Google Consumer Survey shows that a quarter of present buyers used a retailer that they had never shopped with before. As you might expect, as well as a wide selection of products, price is the main customer draw.
Consumers are seeking knowledge and influence, so advisory blog posts such as ‘Top Ten Gifts for Dad’, will give potential customers gift knowledge, as well as suggesting your product range for consumers looking for specific gifts – a win-win situation for both retailer and consumer.
As well as offering gift buying advice and suggestions, don’t forget those essential promotional offers, such as free shipping and minimum spend money off.
An increasing amount of people are turning to mobile when it comes to buying online. Whether using our smart phones for an in-store comparison search, or carrying out last minute Christmas shopping whilst on the move, e-commerce mobile sites are now more important than ever – and an essential element for picking up the extra sales over the holiday period.
The Google Shopper Marketing Council show that, whilst shopping, a third of shoppers who use smartphones in-store would rather turn to their phone than ask an employee for assistance.
Retailers can jump on this trend by offering a mobile presence, offering good service, whilst also being present during price comparisons and coupons hunts.
Yes, it’s only September – but if you wish to enjoy your best Christmas sales profits to date, it’s time to get ready for months of increasing promotions and more online marketing.
To see how 9xb can assist you to boost sales, get in touch today on 01423 814 555.