By Andreas Kopatz, Manager Product Marketing, Intershop
Christmas is a busy time, especially for the retail sector. Here are some ideas to attract shoppers and boost sales:
1. Run Promotions
Promotions are the wheel that keeps Christmas shopping going. You may want to make sure you run them consistently across all channels, as you don’t want shoppers to be frustrated because the in-store offer does not align to the e-commerce promotion. The message is, no matter where they buy, the deal is the same.
However, if you want to encourage people to use new channels, say because you have just launched your mobile channel, then use a different approach. Vary promotions between channels to entice shoppers to visit your new mobile store so they get familiar with it. You can push customers to the most cost effective channel to maximize margins, or enable them to shop through the channel that they like best – and then cross promote to other channels from time to time.
2. Introduce A/B Testing
Implement A/B Testing into your website. A/B Testing compares the effectiveness of two versions of a web page, promotion or similar, in order to find out which version has the better response or higher sales conversion rate. It provides an evidence-based means of tweaking marketing strategies until they are as effective as they can be, and is the magic bullet that will help you maximise the success of seasonal promotions.
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3. The ‘Advent Calendar’
Try offering a specific product each day for a special price. Make this advent calendar prominent on your e-commerce site and send a daily ‘open the door’ email.
4. Promotion Combinability
On any given day an e-commerce site can easily have a handful of promotions underway, such as free shipping, 20% off discounts, half price items, and discounts on specific categories. However, most e-commerce systems will only allow one effective promotion to be applied. This is a short cut for not wanting to analyse how different promotions combine, but it can be a deterrent to sales since most people want to get half price and free shipping. And if they have to make a choice, it might be to go elsewhere. So, give yourself a useful Christmas gift – the ability to combine multiple promotions at the same time.
5. Daily Shopping Period
This is one simple way to help the very busy shoppers. Start a daily shopping period at a set time, lunch time or evenings for example, where people will get the most popular items on your e-commerce site together with a special Christmas gift and/or promotion.
6. Collect Data
Think ahead. Help prepare for Christmas 2013 by collecting as much analytical data as possible now. You’ll be glad you did when planning next year’s promotional campaigns.
7. Think CSR
Consumers get savvier about where their purchases originated and how they were made, so consider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Sometimes this is more powerful than another special offer.
8. Hold Events
If you are a bricks and mortar retailer, try inviting your customers to a Christmas event at your local store. Celebrate a Christmas party combined with an offer or promotion. Use your e-commerce site to drive attendance by offering special deals to be had at the event.
9. Santa is Coming to Your House!
Let shoppers place orders to be hand-delivered by Santa, gift wrapped to their home. This is a very special delivery method and it might only work in your local area so be mindful not to over promise.