Christmas is coming and yet again everyone is gearing up for an online seasonal spending splurge. Budgets are busted and billions are spent in December. Your business wants a piece of this, but how can you increase e-commerce sales in 2021?
According to the Bank of England, “a typical UK household spends over £700 more in December compared to other months”. The average spend per adult is £476.05 and the UK spends around £25 billion on Christmas gifts. Irish consumers were expected to spend £1.2 billion over the 2020 season.
These are exceptional times, and Christmas spending figures for 2020 were down for many reasons. But 2021 could be better, with life returning to a new kind of normal. It’s important, therefore, that businesses don’t miss out on customers’ plans to end this difficult year with some joy.
Christmas is a massive opportunity for e-commerce
Online shopping has become a part of life for everyone, but especially at Christmas. Some people love the buzz and atmosphere of shopping in stores for Christmas gifts. It’s all part of the magical build-up.
But for others, shopping online is the only way to go. No crowds, no closing hours, great choice and a whole world of stores to choose from. Plus the little matter of it being risk-free when it comes to health.
There are plenty of ways for businesses with an online presence to increase e-commerce sales and attract new customers. In this day and age, there really is no excuse not to give your regular and potential customers the best online shopping experience. Here are a few ideas to increase your Christmas sales in 2021.
1. Be early and be prepared
Don’t be like last-minute shoppers desperately looking for gifts at 4pm on Christmas Eve. Plan your e-commerce strategy months ahead. December online sales continue to grow but to optimise sales, be ready for the surge months ahead. Make sure you have the goods in stock and ready for that sleigh. You don’t want to run out when demand is potentially much higher.
It’s not just stock you need to have on the shelves. Ensure you have all the systems – and extra hands – in place to guarantee orders are processed and delivered on time.
2. Christmas gift guides
Customers will appreciate any opportunity to streamline their shopping experience. A Christmas gift guide will help narrow choices but also show a wide range of products across the price spectrum.
Be imaginative – yes, we all need gift guides for dad, girlfriends or brothers. But what about the gym bunny, the film fan, the knitter or the craft beer connoisseur? Look at your products and think about how they could attract different buyers. Review the previous year’s sales data to ensure you present the popular product ideas.
3. Free gifts for bigger purchases
Everyone loves a freebie, so entice a higher spend with a free gift. Not only does this encourage customers to buy but it may introduce customers to your other products.
By offering a free gift with a higher-priced item you encourage buyers to spend more, which in turn increases your e-commerce Christmas sales. Getting a free gift for shopping increases customer satisfaction and can promote loyalty to your business.
4. Customer service with tinsel on top
When it comes to customer service, go above and beyond. It doesn’t take much to turn a customer away, but good service keeps them coming back. Be polite, call back or email as soon as possible and listen to the customer. Find out how you can help the customer by making them feel they are at the centre of your business.
Provide a feedback form or options to review products bought through e-commerce. Customers happy with the service are often happy to share the joy. Genuine reviews are easy to spot and appreciated, so build on positive customer feedback. After all, without customers, you don’t have a business.
5. Make e-commerce sites mobile-friendly
It may seem obvious after all these years of e-commerce, but let the customer see you at your best. A website that’s designed only for a laptop is not going to be effective in a mobile format. People shop via their phones anytime and anywhere. An e-commerce site that doesn’t fit on the screen is going to be abandoned instantly.
Review your site’s performance and visibility and make any necessary changes well ahead of the Christmas season. An e-commerce store that is simple and easy to use, with a quick checkout, will win – and retain – fans.
Make sure your site has the quickest and secure mobile checkout routes by including quick or one-click payment options. This can speed up checkout and provide reassurance for consumers.
6. Giveaways with a heart
Show your caring side in an age of greater awareness for charitable causes. Invite customers to like and share for a ‘giveaway’ prize. Then donate an amount to, for example, the local food bank, for a certain number of shares. Or show you’re donating a certain percentage of each sale to charity.
The chance to win some great prizes is always tempting. The sharing aspect can bring more customers to your site, increasing e-commerce Christmas sales.
Customers have become very aware of how businesses have behaved during the pandemic. Companies that have let staff go, or used the situation to change contracts, are badly thought of. Show you care about key workers or people affected by the pandemic via local or national charity support, particularly at Christmas.
7. Countdown timers to suggest FOMO
Introducing a countdown, or a ‘when it’s gone it’s gone’ element to e-commerce, can be a winner. Fear of missing out can be triggered and encourage faster sales. This tactic can create a sense of excitement and urgency. Also, if the product appears to be in high demand, our brains respond to the scarcity factor.
A countdown can be shown on certain products on the website, making the necessity to checkout more urgent. Or countdowns can be shared directly by email. Customers are made to feel that as valued customers they are being given special preference to better prices or limited stock.
8. Highlight online security
Secure purchasing should be a top priority for e-commerce. Everyone spends more at Christmas, often on higher-priced goods and luxury items. Customers want to know their cards are safe to use at your store.
Quick pay options through trusted means can instil a sense of security and reassurance. Options to verify payment by a quick bank redirection can also reduce security concerns.
Customers may also value seeing logos associated with extra security, such as fraud protection, association membership or virus scanning.
9. Free or special delivery
Reassurance about delivery is crucial to secure and increase e-commerce Christmas sales. Customers must trust you to get their Christmas gifts home in time for the big day. Any insecurity around this can lose business.
Partnering with a trusted national delivery firm can promote confidence in the business. Working with the big names suggests professionalism and trust, even if your e-commerce is run from the kitchen table.
Be clear about delivery dates. This ties in nicely with early ordering or offering discounts on goods bought before a certain date. If you can guarantee delivery for orders made before, for example, 10 December, customers can click with confidence.
10. Partner with LumiPay, of course!
LumiPay is the perfect solution for online businesses and e-commerce operations in the UK and Ireland. It’s a payment gateway for high-risk businesses and the system offers multiple benefits.
LumiPay can take payments from any device anywhere. It also provides flawless and fast integration, performance reports and fraud protection. It is suitable for online and telephone sales. Furthermore, LumiPay has achieved Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS Level 1) status. This means businesses can have complete trust in the payment process.
With some advance preparation and easy to apply solutions, it’s easy to increase e-commerce Christmas sales. And there are plenty more ways to add value to your online presence – these 10 tips are just a suggestion.
For instance, simple creative tools can turn your social media platform or website into a winter wonderland for the season. How about linking with influencers who can try out your products? Try offering discounts to returning customers after their first purchase. You are already running a great business, but some Christmas creativity can make it sparkle and shine.
To take the worry out of online sales, consider partnering with LumiPay. Their systems are designed to boost your business and guarantee safety and security at all times. The LumiPay team can help at every step of the purchasing process, so get in touch for advice and information. You can then tick ‘increase e-commerce Christmas sales 2021’ off your wish list and enjoy the holiday.