While the ever-lengthening holiday season is certainly an advantage to e-commerce retailers everywhere, typically generating up to 40% of a seller’s annual revenue, the winter months that follow can be a little bleak by comparison.
This year’s holiday season will be especially hard to beat, with a record $3.07 billion in online sales on Cyber Monday (according to the Adobe Digital Index) and a 20% increase in total online sales between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, compared to sales in 2014, according to data from MasterCard Advisors.
In the spirit of keeping those revenue streams steady and even producing some healthy growth during the traditional post-holiday doldrums, maybe it’s time to consider a few creative tweaks to your site and your services.
Turn on the video spotlight
We keep hearing that video is the future of the entire Internet, and maybe that’s not a huge stretch, especially as it becomes a major component of social media and mobile applications. As you’ve probably noticed from many of your competitors and even on the giants in the industry, video product reviews are a simple but wildly effective tool for clearly illustrating the look, feel and functionality of an inventory item.
The technology required to produce a succinct and professional-looking video has also become imminently affordable and easy to use, even for those with only basic home video-style experience.
Catchy and consistent electronic titles, a little music and some simple editing tricks can transform a rudimentary product demonstration into a valuable tool for demonstrating the real appeal of an item and encouraging a buyer to dig in and make the purchase.
Focus on customization
Consumers love the idea that the item that they’re purchasing is truly one-of-a-kind. And while that’s not always possible with high-inventory, mass-produced material, any opportunity to provide a buyer with an item specially customized for them is certainly a strategy for driving a sale.
Companies large and small have successfully integrated consumer-customizable options into their repertoire. Dell Computers revolutionized the concept on a major scale; smaller retailers such as customized courier bag-maker Timbuk2 allow thousands of variations of color and style on their products, though they’ve worked hard to create manufacturing infrastructure to fulfill those orders in a timely fashion.
Are there ways you can provide a customer with a truly unique and personalized item? By engaging a consumer and providing a variety of choices and options in their purchase, you’ll have a stronger opportunity to produce a happy (and hopefully repeat) customer.
Include some well-balanced product reviews
As the universe of online shopping choices grows larger and larger, customers may find themselves overwhelmed by the options available – and searching for some community to help steer their choices.
Product recommendations that offer honest information provided by other online consumers allow buyers a better sense of the value and the real-world fit, finish and functionality of the products they seek.
Integrating a system to provide real reviews – and also allow customers the opportunity to share their feelings on a recent purchase – can add weight to the positives of a desired item.
Emphasize the email recommendations
Even the most sophisticated and engaging e-commerce website may struggle as a potential buyer finds themselves drew in but not entirely ready to commit to a transaction – often abandoning the shopping cart in the process.
By adopting email product recommendations, you have another venue to give a consumer a second chance to think about their missed opportunity.
This is true for everything from clothing and apparel choices to electronics. Recommendation emails, which can be fully customized to match a customer’s tastes, price point, and previous transactions, can be a fundamental tool in driving conversions.
In this case, automated personalization applications such as Strands Retail can take all of the pertinent and unique information connected to a potential customer and create a compelling and absolutely one-of-a-kind message to help turn a “maybe” into a “proceed to check-out.”
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