Countdown to Christmas: 12 Days of eCommerce Tips

By Alison Carrico, AVB Marketing

AVB Marketing is providing a new eCommerce tip for each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas, as the holidays are still the No. 1 seasonal spending event of the year. You can find the daily insights on AVB Marketing’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram pages, with updates posted right here at YourSourceNews.com. Here’s the list:

Day 12: Set Up Product Flags and Rebates

You should always be adding custom callouts on your product images to guide the consumer in the right direction. Flag when a rebate is available, if you have a particular model on the floor, or even if there is a special warranty offered. You should be calling out anything that will quickly and easily give the customer the info that they need in a split second. The customer should have to think as little as possible when shopping your website, and these flags make the shopping process easier for everyone.

Day 11: Display Eye-Grabbing Promotions

No one is going to turn down a discount. Do you have a holiday promotion that would help the consumer save a little bit of dough? Can they get a killer rebate on the kitchen suite or living room set of their dreams? Let them know right away on your homepage. Don’t make them dig for the deal they are searching for, put your best promotions front and center on your homepage. Make it splashy so they can’t miss it, and don’t forget to link it to a landing page that has shoppable featured products!

Day 10: Add Featured Models to Your Homepage and Landing Pages

Adding featured products and models to your homepage or landing page is the perfect opportunity to put your best sellers front and center. You know your customers and what they want, so set up your website so they don’t have to filter through a bunch of irrelevant product to get there. Let them know you’re thinking about what they might be interested in, and that you want to make their shopping experience as seamless as possible.

Day 9: Sort Your Categories, Brands and Products

If your website merchandising tool gives you the option, you should absolutely be taking advantage of the ability to sort your categories online. Typically, websites will default to an alphabetical display of categories and brands, but that’s not how your customers shop. AVB Marketing’s tools allow you to sort your brands and categories in whatever order you think is best. Would you rather place your top-selling dishwashers ahead of garbage disposals, or position Whirlpool and Ashley ahead of Amana? You can and you should!

Day 8: Curate Multiple Special Catalogs

Do you sell scratch-and-dent products? How about buy-one-get-one-free pieces or clearance items? Your customers are hunting for the best prices, and you need the most efficient way to highlight off-price products. Instead of hiding these offers in your regular catalog, you should be curating special catalogs and including easy-to-navigate buttons in your website navigation. Put these offers front and center to make it as simple as possible for your customers to find!

Day 7: Set Up Automatic Price Rules

If you’re using a merchandising program for your website, like AVB’s LINQ, setting up automatic price rules will make your life easier and save you the stress of manually changing hundreds of prices regularly. One option to save you time and bring more customers through your doors is competitor price scraping. If you want to always be ahead of the big box competitors, you can set up a rule to price scrape their products and meet or beat them. You should also be setting up automatic discounts, or round up prices to the nearest 99 cents or dollar. In LINQ, price rules can be set up days or even months in advance for a particular time period so you don’t forget.

Day 6: Incentivize with Coupon Codes

Every customer loves a deal, and coupon codes can benefit the retailer as well! Codes can be used to gather valuable data about where consumers are seeing specific promotions, or even how they shop your website. On top of the data, it’s also just a good way to build trust with your customer base by offering discounts and a reason to shop with you.

Day 5: Upsell Add-ons, Warranties and Services

Your shopper might only be focused on the shiny new fridge they’ve got their eye on, so it’s your job (or your website’s) to remind them that they’ll also need hoses, installation and an extended warranty. These upsell opportunities should live on the website, right alongside the products and in the checkout process for an easy add-on.

Day 4: Let the Consumer Choose the Best Delivery Option for Them

Does your customer want to pick up their new item directly from your store, do they want it dropped off outside their home, or would they prefer someone bring it inside and make sure it’s all hooked up and ready to use? Again, all consumers are different, so you need to make sure you’re offering a wide variety of delivery options to meet them where they need you. These can also include another incentive to purchase: same- or next-day delivery for those who need the product sooner.

Day 3: Offer Multiple Payment Choices at Checkout

Offering a handful of payment options at checkout gives the customer flexibility to shop the way they want. It also reduces purchase abandonment because they will know what they purchase is being captured immediately. You can tie your finance options to the checkout process by offering those same credit cards or finance options as the mode of purchase.

Day 2: Offer Payment Plans

Not all consumers shop the same way or have all the money right away to pay for a pricey item. Your website should offer at least two or three finance options to make the consumer comfortable with the purchase. No-interest credit cards make the purchase seem less scary, and they incentivize the customer to come back for more when the first item is paid off.

Day 1: Activate a Payment Gateway

You’ve heard it a million times: you need a payment gateway. And we’ve heard all of the reasons why you’re scared, but this is hands down the most important part of the whole eCommerce setup process. A payment gateway will not only make it easier for the consumer to make a purchase, but your website will become an additional salesperson for your store. You’ll be able to capture valuable shopper insights and data, and in turn, you’ll be able to strategize ways to capture even more online sales in the future.

Alison Caricco is Brand Manager at AVB Marketing, a unit of YourSourceNews publisher AVB Inc.