2020 has been a year like no other, and it’s finally coming to a close. This is the time to get our most incredible promotions out there, looking forward to a great time with pumpkin spice lattes, great Black Friday deals, frosty mornings and Christmas gifts. All of the above is still true, but COVID-19 restrictions have made us all rethink our ways to do business, and that applies to the Christmas season.
To help you unwrap your digital presence this season, check out our seven eCommerce Christmas tips below.
1 – Boost your online presence to catch up with shopper’s demands: This pandemic has forced customers to seek online solutions to absolutely all of their daily life needs. The increasing dependence on technology to work, play, and stay connected have shaped new digital habits that will stay with us well into the future. According to Google/Deloitte, searches for “live chat service”, “virtual try-on”, “next day delivery” and “apps” have risen sharply as people try to enhance their online shopping experiences. Boost your website with some of these services and be ready to offer next-day delivery — this could be the difference between a good or a great Christmas season.
2 – Count on support from Irish customers: For years, when Irish eCommerce spending increased, most of the extra cash went to international retailers, but this trend has reversed during the pandemic. The .IE Tipping Point report found that since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, 53% of Irish online purchases were made through domestic companies, compared with 40% before.
The same report showed that 67% of consumers who had done most of their online shopping with Irish businesses explicitly said they wanted to help Irish SMEs through the crisis. These customers also said Irish SMEs are faster and more reliable than international companies, and more trustworthy. Use this momentum to boost your eCommerce site and promote sales through email marketing and social media. Let people know how your warehouse works, the extra efforts you’re putting in place for the season and how your products are all locally sourced. You can always count on a little help from your friends here at Matrix.
3 – Get ready now! Your customers are already looking for deals: It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas at a much earlier time this year, as Google/Ipsos reported a huge surge of Christmas-related product searches in September.
Searches for “Christmas tree” increased by 32% compared with the same four-week period last year, while searches for “Christmas stocking” (+26%) and “Christmas decoration” (+32%) also spiked, as consumers get ready for a festive season that’ll mostly take place at home.
Right now, home gifting categories such as bedding, cushions, pyjamas and tableware are on the rise, but even if you’re not in these industries, you should still be ready. Shoppers also want ways to send some festive spirit to friends and loved ones even if they can’t meet up, with search interest in “hampers” up 91%. Use this information to prepare special gift kits, hampers and other seasonal bundles to capture these customers’ attention.
4- The biggest Black Friday and Cyber Monday in history: Considering the worldwide move to eCommerce in 2020, this is the most crucial online shopping season in history. Black Friday is on November 27 and Cyber Monday is on November 30 — so if you don’t have your campaigns lined up, you’re probably late. According to Google/Ipsos, 8% of Christmas shoppers do most of their shopping on Black Friday and expect that to jump this year. Price drops and promotions are the decision-makers here, so spread the word through promotional banners, social media, Google Ads (PPC) campaigns and your website.
5- Make your content work for you: Now is the time to pour all your creative flair into appealing content for your website and social channels. If you get the message right, you can attract new visits and win more conversions. Start the buzz early with a countdown, a blog post about wrapping gifts or traditional foods and beverages for the season. You can also use your business expertise to write tips on how to increase eCommerce Christmas sales (see what we are doing here, right?) Choose your keywords wisely and share your blog posts on social media. You’ll soon have new visitors hooked and navigating your pages looking for the perfect gift.
6- Offer Special delivery options: A new study by IE Domain Register in partnership with Digital Business Ireland found that 74% of shoppers were turned off by shopping in physical stores because of COVID-19 restrictions. And 30% said they’d choose an Irish company over an international store if it had a better delivery service.
Try to offer free delivery and click and collect options this Christmas where possible, and follow HSE recommendations on social distancing and masks etc. Cater to both early-birds and the last-minute dashers and make sure your team is committed to taking care of dispatching the items on the go and during the whole season. If your customers have a seamless shopping experience, they’ll remember you next year!
7- Last but not least – St Stephen’s Day! After getting great stuff for loved ones, it is officially treat yourself day! Google/Ipsos reveals that 87% of shoppers search for gifts right after Christmas, and St Stephen’s Day is also the start of the post-Christmas sales. There’s also a jump in people buying gifts for themselves in the week after Christmas — it’s time to get creative by encouraging customers to treat themselves, by adding an extra discount, a sales deal, or a fast delivery option.
We’re about to have a very different Christmas season, but it’ll still be a special one for millions of people buying gifts and connecting with loved ones. Here at Matrix Internet, we have a sack full of digital services that’ll steer your business like Rudolph raring to go. If you want to be under the digital mistletoe with us, contact us today and have a happy holiday season!
By Rakky Curvelo
By Conor McCaffrey