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Category Archives: holiday shopping

Cyber Monday 2018 – Another Record Breaking Year for Ecommerce!

THE RESULTS FOR CYBER MONDAY ARE IN AND IT’S IS ANOTHER RECORD BREAKING YEAR FOR ECOMMERCE!

By: Shelly Lowder

The results are in for Cyber Monday 2018 and they are staggering!  U.S. online shoppers spent a record $7.869 billion on Cyber Monday, Nov. 26, representing a 19.3% year-over-year increase from $6.595 billion in 2017, according to Adobe Analytics. It is an exciting time in ecommerce as it was ANOTHER record-breaking year for cyber monday shopping so we wanted to share some important statistics with you as you consider becoming an ecommerce business owner.

 

Mobile Makes Its Mark

Mobile devices made their mark on Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving. Smartphones alone generated $2.2 billion in online sales, which is a 55.6% increase over Cyber Monday 2017. “Converting mobile traffic to sales has long been a thorn in the side of retailers, but investments in making the experience faster and easier have paid off,” says Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights.
According to  Forbes, “mobile continues to dominate traffic, but still has some work to do to catch up to desktop conversion rates. However, it also continues to grow as a channel for holidays, both in terms of traffic and in terms of sales. One thing to remember, though, is that Thanksgiving weekend represents a particularly concentrated use of mobile, with almost double the predicted share for the whole of the season”.
Here are a few key statistics from Salesforce about how mobile devices impacted Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping:
  • For “Cyber Week,” mobile had 62% of traffic share and 45% of order share. The company predicts that mobile devices will account for 68% of traffic and 46% of orders over the entire holiday season.
  • Mobile devices accounted for 68% of online traffic and 54% of orders on Thanksgiving. Fifteen percent more orders were placed on mobile phones on the holiday.
  • Mobile devices accounted for 67% of all digital traffic on Black Friday, up from 61% on the same day last year, and secured the most orders at 49% order share, beating Salesforce’s prediction of 46% of orders.

Importance of Social Media and Email Marketing

As you probably already know people are using social media to influence their shopping habits. Whether it’s checking out what their friends are posting about their favorite recent purchases, showing interest in product ads or reading the latest reviews – let’s face it social media does have an effect on how we make our purchases these days. It is no different for the holiday season as you can see through the latest statistics:
  • NRF reported a 73% growth in the use of Instagram to find deals, and a 45% increase in the use of Pinterest. Salesforce reported growth in social traffic on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with Cyber Monday’s social traffic growing 16%, and social traffic on Thanksgiving Day up 41%.
  • Salesforce also reported that retailers sent 3.5 billion emails on Black Friday, and another 4.1 billion on Cyber Monday – significant increases over the 3 billion and 3.3 billion, respectively, sent in 2017.
  • Salesforce reported that retailers sent 3.5 billion emails on Black Friday, and another 4.1 billion on Cyber Monday – significant increases over the 3 billion and 3.3 billion, respectively, sent in 2017.

 

Exciting Time To Own An Ecommerce Business

This is exciting news and offers a huge opportunity for those owning ecommerce businesses.  There is a great deal of competition in the online world so you have to create ways to stand out from the crowd.  Your website is a reflection of the brand you are building so you want to make sure that all communications whether your website or your social media strategy showcases who you are and how you are different.  Create a brand that makes customers want to shop with you time and time again. This strategy is something to work on the whole year through and not just during the holidays. On average it takes consumers 7 times to see a new brand before they make a decision to purchase from it – this can be through social media, email marketing, and website visits. You must stay relevant and consistent as you get to know your customers and vice versa.
Already own an ecommerce business? Then you’ll want to capitalize on the holiday shopping spree! Here are a few helpful tips to get you started:
  • Remain active on social media and stay in front of your customers
  • Update your Landing pages with festive banners to make your website feel new and fresh for visitors
  • Develop a promotional strategy and shipping plan
  • Take advantage of email marketing to reach your target market and grow your list
  • Know your product line and update inventory – you don’t want to miss sales because of out of stocks
  • Check product descriptions and add keywords to help customers understand your products as well as Search Engine Optimization purposes
  • Visit your site and make sure the experience is quick and easy – can you navigate easily? Is It 100% responsive? Having a 100% responsive website is imperative to compete in the online world.  Customers shop small business for a reason and that is for the one-on-one personalization and customer service they receive.  When shopping online your customer can only go by the experience they have on your site and when they receive your product. They do not have the luxury of physically shopping in a store. You have to bring the experience to them.
We hope you find these tips helpful as you gear up for a strong finish this holiday season. If you need any assistance updating your website you should check out our a la carte services to enhance your business!
Cyber Monday and the holiday shopping season is a huge opportunity for online sales and it keeps growing leaps and bounds year over year.  There has never been a better time to start your own ready-made internet business and join the exciting and growing ecommerce marketplace! Ready to find out how Pure-Ecommerce can help you get started? Register now for your online account to log in for our current pricing and to see our special offer!

 

Preparing Your Online Business For Holiday Shopping

By: Shelly Lowder

6 Tips & Strategies To Prepare Your Online Business For The Holiday Shopping Season

The weather certainly doesn’t feel like the holidays are approaching and that makes it even harder to think about the countdown to the largest shopping season of the year.  Not to overwhelm you but there are less than 3 months until Christmas, so if you aren’t thinking about your plan and how the holidays will impact your business NOW is the time to start.
Consumers are shopping earlier and earlier so it is important to get your plans in place now to capitalize on those shoppers that are already searching for good deals and the perfect gift.  Consumers spent $108.15 billion online in November and December in 2017, a 14.7% increase over the 2016 holiday season, according to Adobe Digital Insights and the prediction is even better for 2018.
Planning for business is one of the most important things you can do right now.  We know you are wearing many hats in your online business but we suggest taking time to prepare so that you can reap the rewards of a well laid out plan.
We know it can be difficult to think of everything so we have put together six tips and strategies we suggest you do to prepare your online business for holiday shopping to help you make the best of this holiday season!

 

Update Inventory on Your Website

Hopefully, you keep your inventory up to date on your site but we suggest doing an inventory sweep to make sure all products are up to date.  You want to make sure that you have every opportunity to fill all orders when they come in. We also recommend making sure you stay on top of your inventory each week or even daily with your vendors.  This is a busy time for everyone and products quickly sell out so you want to reflect that on your site so that you are managing expectations with your customers and not promising something you can’t fulfill.

 

Set Up Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned cart emails are a great way to get back in front of customers that changed their mind at the last minute.  Maybe the customer was trying to purchase on their phone or became distracted and did not complete the transaction. By sending them a reminder email about the product(s) they forgot in their cart you are not only one step closer to a sale but you also have the opportunity to offer them a discount on their purchase.  This builds credibility with your customers and it also keeps your website top of their mind.

 

Reach Customers Through Social Media

Social media is key to reaching online customers.  It is a great strategy to drive traffic to your website and is a great way to remain relevant to your customers.  Consistency is also key with any social media efforts. A social media plan goes hand in hand with your promotional plan that you are offering.  Promote any new products, sale events, or exciting news through your social media outlets. Not everyone sees every post so it’s ok to post on multiple social media accounts and post often.  You want to stand out from the crowd during this time because customers are bombarded with companies trying to grab their attention. You do not want to just promote your website and products but also include important information and inspirations to show potential customers the validity of what you are offering them. A great way to do this is through video marketing. You can create an information or instructional video on how to use a product or why a certain product(s) will make the perfect gift this holiday season.
Why social media? Well, it will help you reach a vast number of potential customers especially the Gen Xers and millennials. According to Salesforce, 30% of Gen X and 48% of millennial consumers indicated that they will use social to find out about products to purchase. Studies also show that 69% of Facebook users visit to find discounts and share information with friends. Shoppers also love to post about the gifts they receive on social media. Therefore, social media is a great platform to reach customers before and after the holiday season!

 

Create Excitement with Festive Images On your Site

Just as brick-and-mortar stories play holiday music through the speakers to set the mood for holiday shopping you need to set the mood on your online store. Having a holiday theme on your website is a great way to make your online store look and feel different.  Plus, customers will love the festive feel! Create banners and fun elements that will attract customers as they come to your site. One thing to note, don’t over do it and make changes to categories or the navigation.  This will only confuse your customers. You can make subtle changes that are festive and bring in the holiday cheer. If you need a little extra help to enhance your business – check out the ecommerce design services we offer at Pure-Ecommerce.

 

Offer Competitive Pricing with Promotions

Getting your ideas on paper will go along the way as you start to plan your business over the next couple of months.  A promotional calendar is a great way to make the holidays less hectic and put you on the right track to having your best year yet.  For many retailers, the holidays represent as much as 30% of their sales. As you can see it’s important to have a plan and be consistent.  Think about products or categories that you can promote each day or each week. Create a banner that you change out on your website that leads customers to your promoted products and don’t forget to promote on social media. Make plans now for how you want to run your business during this busy time.  It is also important to offer discounts to stay competitive throughout the holiday season. Customers love incentives and a great way to give them savings is through a graduated coupon so the more they spend the more they save!

 

Evaluate Your Shipping and Return Policy
Shipping fees can make or break a sale.  Many customers expect free shipping and wait for companies to offer free shipping before buying from them.  In order to be competitive during the holidays, you need to evaluate your shipping policy and determine what you can afford to do. Choosing a few days to offer free shipping is an option if you have a product line that does not allow you to offer free shipping every day.  It is a good idea to offer free shipping on and around Black Friday and Cyber Monday as they are two very important days during the holiday season. You can promote your shipping policy on your website and also through social media to entice shoppers.
Having a good holiday return policy is also a great idea.  It’s easy to say no returns and leave it at that, however, this may deter shoppers from purchasing from you.  No return policies sometimes make shoppers reluctant to buy from online stores especially when buying gifts. It is best to evaluate your policy and be sure you know the policies of your vendors as well to ensure things run smoothly.
One other suggestion is to know the shipping cut off dates with your vendors. For example, when is the last date a vendor will accept orders and still ship it out in time for the holidays? Shipping times change during the holidays due to the amount of volume each vendor has so be sure and understand this so you can communicate with your customers. Things come up and delays happen but you never want to over promise and under deliver.

 

We hope these tips help you as you plan out your holiday season.   Develop a great plan and then focus on flawlessly executing your strategies.  Be creative with your ideas, be consistent with your efforts and be confident that the time and energy you spent planning will bring in many sales in the coming months.

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