How do you find running from shop to shop, pushing your way between other shoppers only to get Christmas gifts on time?
Sure you hate it, nearly everyone does.
That’s the former reality of the holidays season though. Until ecommerce came along and allowed you to shop from the comfort and warmth of your home. You can now buy presents for all family from your couch, during the ad break in your favorite TV show. Or on the bus, going back from work. Or, well, you get the idea.
But does that mean that the shopping madness is now over?
Far from it. In fact, even though so much of the market moved online, it’s even worse.
In the old days you had a limited number of shops you could visit. Quite often it could have been done in a day. Today there are practically thousands to choose from, each stocked with a countless selection of products, different prices, product bundles and who knows what else.
Then there are delivery problems around the holidays time, the stress of having to intercept the delivery before your loved ones spot their Christmas gifts. And that’s only the top of the list.
All in all, Christmas shopping is equally if not even more stressful than before. It’s just that you don’t have to step on people anymore to get what you want.
Why I say all this? None of this is a surprise to you, I am sure.
Yet, this knowledge though can be a great insight into some of the most common problems your customers face around this time of the year. And, an opportunity to take action and make it easy to buy from you.
Here are some ideas:
Everyone wants to get their gifts on time. Yet, if there is one time in the year when your delivery time simply cannot be 100% guaranteed, it’s Christmas. Post and delivery companies are just overburdened with work. And that’s why they usually announce the last date for shipping products if you want them delivered before Christmas.
Yet, not every store makes this date clear to their customers. This can lead to confusion and later on, disappointment when Christmas gifts don’t arrive on time. To avoid that, install a simple countdown timer to show your customers how many days are left for that order to be placed. It will not only make your customers more aware of the deadline but also, create a sense of urgency to buy.
You would be surprised how often your customers don’t want to buy the actual product. They want to gift it to someone, true but at the same time fear the responsibility of making a choice, in case they make a wrong one (this is especially true if you sell different versions of the same product). Solve this problem for them by offering gift cards they can purchase and present to someone instead of having to pick the actual product from your list.
Chances are that just like many stores these days you reward orders over a certain purchase price with a free shipping. However, for the next few weeks consider lowering that benchmark or even offering free shipping for everyone. Many people will be rushing from store to store looking for presents to their kith and kin. With often minuscule differences in price or value provided, offering free shipping is the least you can do to differentiate yourself from competitors.
Time is scarce for online shoppers. How often do you browse online stores during your lunch or better yet, at work, when no one looks? Sure, you might be making the purchase from home but quite often the research is done some time throughout the day. Make it easy for your customers to research quicker by creating dedicated gifts ideas pages. List and suggest products you feel would make up for great Christmas gifts. Additional benefit of creating gifts ideas pages is that you can push some slow selling items this way too by including them in the list.
Creating product bundles is a very effective way to speed up a selection process. Create special, Christmas only bundles that would appeal to your target base around this time of the year and promote them prominently on the site.
Last but not least, make it easy to navigate around your site. Consider promoting gift ideas pages instead of categories during that time or find another vehicle to make them more prominent on the site.
Gift cards, countdown timer, landing pages or product bundles don’t seem like a big deal to make a difference to your Christmas shoppers. But those few things alone can actually provide your customers with a much nicer shopping experience. Something they desperately need during a holiday season.
Is there anything I missed? Are there any other techniques that could make it easier for holiday shoppers to buy over the Christmas season? Let us know in the comments.