A great way to push the bar and take your ecommerce strategy one step further is seasonal sales! These can be about regional festivals like the current harvest festivals we just celebrated or it can be about specific days such as the fast approaching Republic Day.
According to Kunal Khullar, in his article, “Understanding Ecommerce Seasonality and Identifying Niche Based Seasonal Events” “to achieve a steady ROI, a business needs to consistently predict the “when” and “how much” of customer demand to deliver a phenomenal experience.”
We certainly know the “when”, now it comes to the “how much”. According to IBEF’s Indian Ecommerce industry Analysis, India e-commerce sector will reach US$99 billion by 2024 from US$30 billion in 2019, expanding at a 27% CAGR, with grocery and fashion/apparel likely to be the key drivers of incremental growth. Additionally, a report by U.S.-based firm Payoneer observed that India is amongst the top 10 countries in cross-border e-commerce growth. All indicators of the fact that Indian ecommerce is booming and the how much simply comes down to how much can your brand deliver.
So, without much ado, let’s get into how your brand too can harness the power of seasonal sales!
The whole purpose of these tips is to help create a seamless experience for customers that will keep them loyal. For this purpose, let’s divide these tips into two type, frequently utilized tips and lesser utilized tips!
Frequently utilized tips:
Anyone owning an ecommerce store knows that there are some changes or tips that are sacrosanct to the success of a sale season.
To mention a few:
- Building brand awareness by maximizing on social media channels
- Promoting sales through dedicated email marketing
- Implementing relevant UI/UX changes to cater to the nature of the sale (includes banner, images, icons etc)
- Offering additional limited time period discounts
- Offering upselling on products
- Chat bots to improve the customer's experience
- Optimizing product pages in terms of visuals, speed, load time etc
- Optimizing platform for mobile view
- Refreshing visuals in the product catalogues
- Creating seasonal collections
- Rewarding loyal customers
Now let’s come to the meatier section of our blog, the lesser utilized tips:
We’re not saying that these tips have not been used ever. They have and they will continue to be, however, these require time, effort and and patience and are usually put off since running an ecommerce store is by itself time consuming. Experimenting with newer techniques sets one apart and when it comes to seasonal sales, it’s the cherry on top of the cake!
To mention a few:
Create An Engaging Theme
Far from simply changing the banners or a few elements on your website, think of an entirely new enticing theme. The first experience a customer has will always stick by them. Think about the motivation of the customer for buying on that specific day.
- What would they be looking for?
- What would be enticing to them?
- Would that require a complete fresh look for the website?
Ask yourself these questions at least a week before the sale starts to ensure you get all the changes in place before the D-Day.
Evaluate the overall store experience
Agreed, every website has diagnostics running to rule out problems but there’s no harm in trying to make better the already existing good parameters!
- Test the infrastructure by doing a round of load testing to ensure the website can handle a surge in traffic and transactions.
- Recheck your site speed to ensure it’s under three seconds. If not, experiment with optimizations including on image sizes or on plugins to increase speed.
- Take a closer look at your third-party integrations to ensure they’re up-to-date and can handle the load.
Use data analysis to improve your website’s strategy
According to Ryan McKenzie, CMO, My Passion Media, in Matt Pompa article, “53 Experts Share Their 10 Quickest Ways to Increase Ecommerce Sales” working on increasing AOV and lifetime value of your existing customers, is the way to move forward! Conducting a real-time, dynamic analysis of products, user interests etc can automatically help one understand where changes are needed. For example, once a user visits your site, you can track all of the pages they visit, the products they click, and understand the journey this user is taking.
A few ways data analysis can help is by:
- Optimizing the uptake of order bump.
- Optimizing the conversion of upsell sequences.
- Creating and selling continuity programs to your customers, like “subscribe and save” offers.
- Consistently sending bonding/storytelling emails with soft sells.
Let’s face it, carts will be abandoned and this challenge will be faced by all but thankfully, there are strategies one can implement to try and reduce that percentage.
So, what can you do?
Hit the hammer at the right time:
According to Erik Christiansen, CEO, Justuno, “Combat cart abandonment in the moment it occurs. Rather than waiting to engage a shopper until after they abandon their cart, engage them with an exit offer right at the moment of abandonment”
Play the price game:
In a world of deals and free shipping, 79% of total carts are still abandoned. Cart abandonment almost always has to do with price or shipping. Clearly, the shopper’s needs are not being met and you can reduce this disparity by offering an exit offer with a promo code or clearly showing your shipping charges or even better, offering free delivery.
Get a little personal:
Use personalized messages with popups or send personalized emails through dedicated email marketing platforms to help the user feel like their opinion, presence and purchasing power is valued.
Leverage user-generated content
According to Salesforce, 54% of consumers trust information from online reviews and recommendations from their peers, compared to the 20% who trust the brand itself. So why not maximize on this? Using UGC goes a long way to foster trust in your brand. It acts as a social proof. When prospective customers see that people just like them are regularly purchasing your products, they’ll feel more confident in doing the same.
Optimise for conversions with AI
AI is the solution of the future! Increased online sales, conversion rates, personalisation and improved efficiency, these are just some benefits. AI-powered targeting helps convert website visitors, from browser to buyer by identifying shoppers, prioritising them and triggering custom actions to meet their specific requirements. By using machine learning and the data collected from your site, AI can predict the buying probability of every visitor. This information can be used to convert them using a discount coupon code, or a proactive sales chat, or a reminder of an existing offer or free shipping.
With ecommerce being in the limelight today, everyone is trying and testing different ideas to maximize sales. Seasonal sale seasons are a sweet spot. One can implement the changes today for a particular sale but the long term effects of those will be seen throughout the year. And what better time to start off with a better practice than at the start of the year?
There are “N” number of tips available but what you need to try depends on the type of users you want to attract and the speed at which your brand wants to grow!