E-commerce Link: Holiday Countdown
Gift certificates and gift cards are becoming a de facto fallback for the late shopper, with sales jumping 18 percent in 2006 from the previous year. Promote them aggressively throughout your site as a last-minute solution guaranteed to arrive on time. In addition, free gift cards are a great incentive to offer big spenders.
Dec. 26 and beyond: Stretch the season with compelling discounts and messaging.
Two tactics work in concert to keep sales coming in. First, in e-mails and on key site pages, provide prominent links to your “Sale” section. Let shoppers sort through compelling discount categories such as “Post-holiday Clearance,” “New Year’s Specials” or “Winter Sale.” Drive bargain hunters to join your e-mail list with offers of additional discounts if they sign up.
Second, convert visitors who want to return or exchange items with a tailored promotion. After the 2006 holiday season, Wal-Mart ran a campaign encouraging shoppers to “Get the Things You Really Wanted.” Its approach had a broad appeal, promoting product categories rather than individual products.
Lastly, make sure your links to return and exchange policies are prominent and easily accessible.
Holiday shoppers rely on the Web to deliver the right gifts with ease. Just as you change your merchandising messaging to correspond with the traditional seasons of the year, break down the winter holiday season into separate sections and market to your customers’ changing needs.
Ken Burke is founder and CEO of MarketLive, an e-commerce technology services provider based in Petaluma, Calif. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.