With the cost of living crisis forcing consumers to tighten their purse strings, Christmas 2022 promises to be a challenging time for online stores, with spending forecast to drop by 3% compared to last year. So, what can you do to maximise sales when there’s less money going spare at what is traditionally the most lucrative time of the year for retail? Here are some suggestions to help your website fend off the competition and encourage more visitors to buy your products.
- Give visitors helpful suggestions
Buying things for Christmas isn’t always easy. Whether it’s gifts, decorations or food and drink, people don’t always know exactly what they are looking for. And with so much choice available, shoppers can go around in circles trying to find the right thing.
A good website will make Christmas shopping easier by helping its customers find what they are looking for quickly. You can do this by installing a product recommendation tool that will display related products based on the customer’s searches and on what items have been popular on your store. Showing customers recommendations related to their searches can vastly increase the chance of a sale.
- Offer gift vouchers
While gift vouchers aren’t presents that people are going to treasure, they do have several benefits. Perhaps most importantly, it gives the recipient the freedom to choose their own present and, in doing so, removes the disappointment of seeing someone’s face drop when they open a naff present or find something is the wrong size. Gift vouchers also give people more time to choose their present and enable them to combine different cards to make a bigger purchase. For the buyer, they make Christmas shopping quicker, they help them keep within budget and reduce the wrapping burden.
You can easily offer gift vouchers on your website using a plugin. Vouchers can then be emailed to the recipient or the giver and can be stored on phones, tablets and PCs until they are redeemed.
- Make use of scarcity and urgency
Two things that customers need to be aware of in the run-up to Christmas are that popular products sell out quickly and if they leave things too late, items may not arrive for the big day. You can boost sales simply by informing customers about these things. If stock levels for particular items are running low, you can advertise this on the listing and the product page using terms like ‘Selling out quickly’ or ‘Only 20 left in stock’. Similarly, you can advertise how many days are left before things are guaranteed to arrive before Christmas. You can install plugins that calculate the number of items or days left and which will display them for you. The more a product is scarce or a delivery urgent, the greater chance that someone will buy.
- Christmas offers and discounts
Most people will be looking to make their budgets stretch that little bit further this Christmas and online stores that have offers and discounts are likely to be very appealing. While you’ll need to do the maths carefully to make sure you can afford to make these offers, by helping people buy things a little bit less expensively, you are more likely to get their custom now and in the future.
- Offer staged payments
Many payment providers now enable customers to pay for items over several months rather than all in one go – some even do it without charging the customer interest. This is great news for consumers who need to spread their payments to afford Christmas. However, in order to offer this, you’ll need to sign-up with a provider, like PayPal Credit or Klarna, that offers the service.
The good news from a sales point of view is that by offering staged payments, your website can make something affordable that otherwise would have been beyond the shopper’s budget.
- Offer free delivery
Every penny matters during a cost of living crisis and unexpected add-ons like delivery charges can quickly make your customers abandon their shopping carts. While free delivery might be unaffordable for your business, you can include the delivery cost in the price to make it look like a free delivery. Psychologically, this is more appealing to customers than seeing a cheaper product get bumped up in price at the end. Alternatively, you can encourage more sales by offering free delivery for purchases over a certain value.
- Gift wrapping and sending service
A gift wrapping and sending service can help overcome issues with delivery charges. Traditionally, when sending presents to friends and family living further away, people will buy, wrap and post them. Essentially, this means they are paying for delivery twice and for the wrapping paper. With a wrapping and sending service, your company will wrap the present and send it straight to the recipient, meaning the item is only shipped once. This can work out cheaper for the customer and save them the hassle of wrapping the item.
While Christmas 2022 might not be as lucrative as last year, shoppers will still be wanting to buy gifts, decorate their homes and enjoy their celebrations. Hopefully, the suggestions given here will help your online store attract more customers and boost your sales. Looking for fast, secure and affordable website hosting? Visit our cPanel Hosting page.