Are you ready for an increase in online holiday sales? The Census Bureau report for the second quarter of 2011, illustrates that the online buying trend is steadily growing. With more consumers making buying decisions and purchases online, it can be prognosticated that holiday e-commerce sales will be strong.
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Traditionally, Black Friday signals the beginning of the holiday shopping season, with Cyber Monday jump starting online sales. E-tailers should anticipate a spike in website traffic and be prepared for online shoppers.
Optimize Your Website
Now is the time to make sure your website is functioning optimally. The site should load quickly. According to the web performance monitoring service, Akamai Technologies Inc., 47% of consumers expect a page to load within two seconds, and 40% will leave the site after three seconds. Make sure your product images are compressed properly for the web and consider eliminating any unnecessary use of flash.
Send E-mail Newsletter
You should also review your e-mail marketing strategies. Forrester Research, a technology and market research company, found that 51% of the Cyber Monday online shoppers learned about sales and offers from an email broadcast. You should carefully plan your email campaign ahead of the holiday shopping season. Let your customers know about your products and specials. Remind them why they should shop with you.
Make Special Offers
Online shoppers are looking for deals. Consider offering Free Shipping on Cyber Monday as an incentive to your customers. Or, extend the offer through the holiday season. Forrester Research reports that 55% of consumers expect free shipping for online purchases. Analyze your product offerings and see if you can factor free shipping into your bottom line. You shouldn’t have to lose money on the transaction, so before making a site-wide decision to include free shipping, determine which products afford you the most profit. Perhaps set a specific dollar amount before shipping is included, or only offer it on select products.
Get Ready for Your Online Holiday Sales
Make sure you are not missing any online sales opportunities. Fine tune your website so that pages load quickly and product information is prominently displayed. Contact your customers by email and remind them why they should buy from you during the holiday season. And finally, offer incentives, such as free shipping, to holiday online shoppers.