The holiday season is coming fast, and you need to bring a surge of sales with it. The later months of the year naturally brings in an influx of shoppers, but don’t just rely on that. If you’re not capitalizing on customers’ increased budgets, you’re making a mistake. A few optimizations can drive a lot of interest.

Last year, Black Friday hit a record $6.2 billion online sales. Ecommerce just keeps getting bigger. And it doesn’t end after that date; Cyber Monday, Christmas, Hanukkah, and the rest of the year’s holidays are going to make these your highest-selling months. But only if you take the steps to create holiday promotions and market them well.

We’ve got some great tips to majorly increase sales this holiday season. Don’t just sit around and wait for customers to come to you. Take action to optimize your website and your marketing plan, and you’ll see a lot more traffic.

1. Utilize Promotions, Discounts, and Gift Cards

The holidays are the most competitive time of the year for online retailers, so you need to make a promotion strategy.

A promotion is simply a limited-time incentive to buy your products, like a discount, which you can spice up with a special theme that takes into account your target audience. For instance, a sale on children’s toys during December would be effective if you know you have a lot of parent shoppers. Tailor your promotions to your customers.

Here are some examples of the basic types of promotions you could run.

  • Sales, discounts, and product markdowns: The simplest but most effective way to convince people to buy.
  • Last-minute sales: A good incentive to get people to snap up your products at a great price.
  • Flash/hourly sales: No one likes missing out. Offer a massive discount on a short-lived sale and people will be quick to buy before it’s too late.
  • Free shipping: Drives 55% of customers. Don’t underestimate how many customers free shipping can convince.
  • Coupons and gift cards: A free coupon is a great marketing point to draw in new customers, and a way to say thank you to past shoppers while encouraging them to return.
  • Product bundling: Bundle multiple items together with a discount and people will flock in to buy them.
  • Quantity discount: Offer a discount to buy in bulk and watch your product sales shoot up.
  • Small gift: A free gift included with any purchase, or one of a certain threshold, is a great buying incentive.
  • Charity donations: People may be more likely to buy from you rather than competitors if part of the proceeds go to charity.
  • Giveaways: Not for every store, but an occasional freebie can bring attention to your brand and drive sales.

Create a promotion that customers will love, and tailor it towards the wants of your target audience with a memorable campaign, and you’ll find great success during the holidays.

Not sure where to start? Check out these WooCommerce promotions extensions and these sales-boosting WooCommerce plugins that can get your store set up properly.

2. Optimize On-Site Marketing

Promoting off-site is very important, but a large part of your focus should be on making your actual website easy to navigate and advertising sales there. It should be easy for customers to learn about currently running promotions and get to product pages with no hassle.

To start, if your web design hasn’t had a spring cleaning this year, it’s not too late to start. Make your homepage, product/category pages, and checkout as simple and efficient as you can. Run A/B tests before the holiday season kicks in full force, and make sure important navigational elements are displayed prominently. Use popups responsibly to generate leads and prevent lost sales.

Also ensure that checkout is as painless as possible, especially for your returning users. Ensure their info autofills, checkout isn’t a multi-step process, and consider adding a Buy Now button.

When you’re running a promotion, it should be immediately obvious on your home and product pages. Create banners to display on your homepage and feature on-sale items front and center. Include a top bar advertising discounts with a direct link to the promotion page, and create categories segmented by price so visitors can quickly choose a product that matches their budget.

Remember to make and advertise product bundles and apply dynamic discounts. You can also create a popup when products sell with plugins like Holler Box or WooCommerce Notifications. This will drive people to the products others are purchasing.

3. Take Advantage of Your Newsletter

Your ecommerce site has a newsletter — or if it doesn’t, you should set one up right now. Email marketing is very effective, and it’s the best way to keep customers coming back. Make use of your email list to send out well-timed promotion alerts and rake in those repeat sales.

Here are some ideas for promotional holiday emails.

  • Exclusive offers and discounts just for subscribers
  • Early/preview sales
  • Countdown to holiday promotion (with a discount code or goodie in each email)
  • Flash sale announcement
  • Curated/personalized product suggestions and bundles
  • Last-minute sales for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and December holidays
  • Extended sales for those who didn’t engage
  • Free gift card/other goodie
  • Gift guide for the holidays
  • Announcing new products
  • Festive themed holiday sales to get people in the mood to buy

And don’t neglect cart abandonment recovery. On Black Friday 2018, 73.78% of carts were abandoned globally. That’s a staggering statistic, but plugins like Abandoned Cart Lite or YITH Recover Cart can re-capture some of those lost sales.

4. Market on Social Media

Increasing your outreach requires expanding to social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest — choose a platform that suits your business and get to work making a social media schedule and drafting up campaign posts.

Don’t just post the saem advertisement over and over again. Make a special coupon code or gifts for social media and use it as a marketing tool to capture interest. Create variety by posting other types of content, such as links to your blog posts or videos/pictures of your special holiday products in action. Make polls, ask questions, offer advice and tips for the shopping season, and ensure interacting with your brand is a fun and positive experience.

Also consider trying an influencer marketing campaign to reach a whole new audience. But don’t just focus on influencers; offer your users a discount for sharing your products on social media, and get your affiliates to post links with a big discount. Incentivize sharing so as many people see your brand as possible.

Final Thoughts

Too many store owners just sit around and wait for customers to come to them. If you want to get some real traffic this holiday season, you’ll need to reach out. Create memorable promotions, optimize your website, and run a great social media and email campaign and you’ll find your sales are higher than ever.

The holidays are an intense season, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Remember to capitalize on FOMO (fear of missing out) by highlighting last-minute offers, creating sales that expire quickly, and using social media to show off what others are buying. FOMO can be a big influence on whether a sale goes through, so add a little pressure and time-sensitivity to all your marketing efforts.

Is your store ready for the rush of customers? At Scale Dynamix, we offer managed WooCommerce hosting to take the pressure off you. Our servers are secure and automatically scale to handle large influxes of traffic, so you know your store will be up and running smoothly even during the worst traffic spikes. And we put all our effort into site performance and fast load times, which is integral for those impatient seasonal shoppers. Never lose a customer to site slowdowns again.