The week before Black Friday sales is traditionally the catalyst for more online shopping sales leading into the festive season. Retailers start to launch promotional campaigns from the start of November. It’s why we’ve seen inflated online sales and online traffic data the week before Black Friday.
For example, SaleCycle data from the 2021 Black Friday Ecommerce Strategy & Stats Report found online traffic increased day on day in the week before the event. We also found there were more online conversions/sales leading up to the event, suggesting online shoppers are more likely to buy around this time of year. Our data found November/December are the busiest shopping months of the year.
Black Friday might be the catalyst for the Christmas shopping period but we can see the week before and the week after Black Friday have higher online sales and traffic than earlier in the year. We also understand that consumers are actively buying gifts for Christmas. With online shoppers being on a time-constraint this increased conversions.
According to a study by Statista more than half of consumers said they would buy most of their presents online, for both young and old demographic.
With more consumers opting for online shopping and with an increase in online traffic what can retailers do to encourage online sales?
5 Ways To Increase Online Conversions
Ecommerce countdown timers can provide customers with that extra push to complete their purchase. For example, adding visible time constraints to promotional periods on your product pages can prompt a user to take an action.
It’s a good idea to use countdown timers tactically around your purchase funnel from homepage through to checkout to maximise your conversions. Use them in secondary remarketing tools such as abandonment emails to catch those on-the-fence buyers.
For example, this could be a countdown for free delivery, fast delivery is a sales driver and combining this with a countdown timer is a great way to get your customers’ attention.
You can also display when a special deal will end, such as a free product, a discount for the next hour or even a countdown to Christmas! Seeing that there are only 10 days left to Christmas can help make the decision to click that purchase button.
Using Live Product Trends on your product pages and around your purchase funnel can add urgency and speed up conversions. When you create ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) online users are influenced to take an action faster.
Showing the number of products left can really encourage people to buy it there and then, instead of waiting in case there’s a better deal elsewhere. Shoppers will try to leave your site but tempt them back. Exit Intent is where a shopper takes the cursor outside the window to close the browser, that’s when a live trends message is triggered.
For example, online travel agents use this strategy very well. you are an Online Travel Agent who is offering a trip to New York for the New Year. Showing that a particular holiday is being viewed by X amount of people or that there are just two rooms left can really encourage a purchase.
Here’s an example of Live Trends from our client TAP Portugal:
Now, there are pros and cons of offering too many discounts, so you’ve got to find the right balance. One potential drawback is that, if you offer a range of discounts and promo codes, seasoned shoppers will notice this. They will purposely abandon your site so they receive that code, meaning a cheaper buy for them – which isn’t the best outcome for retailers.
But, on the other hand, will offering 10% off or free delivery be that final push to get them to buy? Discounts are attractive to customers and a great tactic for boosting short-term sales, but should be used wisely. If you want to know more about promo codes, here are Six Ways to Make Promo Codes Work for You.
Cart Abandonment Emails
Shopping cart abandonment is something that retailers are used to. It happens for many different reasons. However, sending well-optimised and well-timed abandoned cart emails can help retailers recover more online sales.
The email design, marketing tools within the email and how many cycles can all have an impact on the success of the abandonment strategy. The cart abandonment email must show shoppers where they left off, how quick delivery can be, the product they were looking at, and even other recommendations.
Abandonment emails can push the product or other features and promotions you’re able to offer, like fast delivery in time for Christmas.
Cart Abandonment SMS
Around 81% of customers will abandon their baskets. Using an SMS abandonment message can help you reconnect with your customers. For example, SMS are opened within 90 seconds, compared to emails. It’s important to note the increase in mobile traffic and the use of mobile devices for online sales.
Also, SMS has a 98% open rate and 36% CTR, which suggests SMS is a highly effective channel.
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Brad Ward is the SEO & Content Manager at SaleCycle. Brad is a former magazine journalist with over 8 years experience in digital, including SEO, social media and copywriting. Brad has written thousands of articles for a range of different sectors including online gambling, travel, education, sports and ecommerce.