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The Shipwire Blog/Top holiday e-commerce & shipping tips: Part 2

Top holiday e-commerce & shipping tips: Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our holiday e-commerce and shipping tips. In Part 1, we talked about Free Shipping Day, catering to your global customers, and smart ways to lower your shipping costs. This time, we give you five more must-do tips for selling this holiday season.

If your brand doesn’t have an e-commerce strategy for the holidays, these tips serve as a crash course. They are vital for growing your sales and getting a piece of the $586 billion e-commerce pie this season. Read on for the second half of our holiday must-do e-commerce tips:

6. Fine-tune your website.
You can improve your site by doing such things as search-optimizing your products (here’s a crash course on SEO) and making sure your pricing is consistent throughout your site and other marketplaces where you may have them listed. Pay attention to details: make sure the product photography on your site is top-notch, product reviews are available, and the copy is consistent, relevant, and convincing. Depending on your e-commerce software, plugins are available that help you improve the look, feel, and more importantly the conversion of your site.

7. Improve upselling and cross-selling.
When customers come to your site and click on a particular product, offer them related products as well. The products can be in a related category (i.e. offering a t-shirt when a customer orders a jacket) or in the same category but more expensive. For a customer browsing a pair of headphones for $75, showing a related pair for $100 that has better features and benefits can be eye-catching and may convince them to buy the more expensive pair.

8. Use marketing inserts to increase stickiness after the holidays.
Shipping a product to customers is an amazing opportunity to get something physical and tangible into their hands. People react better to a physical card than they do to something on their screen, so include a small catalogue, thank you card, or promotional item to make your customers feel appreciated. You can also ship additional gifts to your customers that show off your great service. Do you sell scented candles? Throw in a branded matchbox. Shoes? Include a shoehorn with your name. But remember: good design matters.

9. Nurture your existing customers.
You have customers year-round, and you work hard to build a great relationship with them. Chances are you also had holiday sales last year. Nurture those relationships and send a follow-up e-mail campaign, or a loyalty discount. Why not send a very special offer to all of last year’s holiday buyers to remind them that they should shop with you this year as well? Offering an advance, private promotion to your loyal customers will make them feel appreciated. Ask them to pass it along to a friend and this can be a very inexpensive way to get word-of-mouth for your brand.

10. Plan your e-mail campaigns (not just one-off sale e-mails).
E-mail is consistently one of the top digital marketing tools, so make sure to use it. Planning an e-mail campaign can be done for very little and the payoff can be great. Make sure you hit the most important days (Black Friday & Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day, etc.), with reminder and follow-up e-mails. Or build anticipation by sending notices one week, then one day in advance of a sale. Just remember, moderation is key; ensure that your e-mails are useful to your customers.

Make sure to read Part 1 as well. Cover these basics and you’ll see how your holiday selling in 2012 will be better than ever!

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