There are exactly six weeks to go before Black Friday and Cyber Monday rock your retail-sales-loving world for 2017. The first thing that you need to know is that there’s still time. Making a few changes here, adding a handful of affordable apps there can make a huge difference – not only in increasing holiday sales, but that carry business-building benefits forward for the rest of the year. Let’s get right to it because there's no time to waste.
Five Small Task Projects in Shopify That You Can Do Now for Holiday Success
Build Urgency With Countdown Timers
If you are a regular reader of our content, you already know that communicating urgency and scarcity is one of the most powerful methods to drive conversions. It’s simple. “Shopping” is not the same thing and “buying.” Customers will be on your Shopify eCommerce website shopping for gifts this season. They are – at some point – going to BUY actually gifts. Your job is to help them buy now on YOUR site before they do more shopping.
If the customer thinks that they can come back at any time to make their gift purchases, they are more likely to keep shopping. But hey … you’ve got great merchandise and you are going to deliver, so let’s get them to commit right now. If they can see that a sale or promotional price is ending soon, it can be the perfect bump to get them into the buying mood. And during the holidays, one of the most effective things you can do is give a visual indication of shipping deadlines. This is where countdown timers come in.
There are a lot of ways to implement countdown timers. One of our favorites on the Shopify platform is the Countdown Sales Timer by Pixel Union. Not only is it professionally built and supported, but there is a free version so that you can test it out for yourself with no risk. The free version works great, but some of the fancier options and design templates are only available in the paid version. Fortunately, if you want to upgrade it’s only $5.99 per month.
We’ve helped hundreds of customers install and configure countdown timers. If you have any questions, just let us know.
Use the Holiday Season to Super-charge Your Email List
Seriously … traffic will never be higher on your eCommerce website. This is a great time to capture more customers and build that email database of contacts for future marketing. Building your email list was one of the top recommendations in our 2017 Holiday Marketing Guide. But what’s the best way to implement a solution now?
The best way to get site visitors to sign up for your emails is to use special offers and discount codes. We’ve all done it. We’ll visit a site and find something we like. Then, that pop-up appears and offers us a promo code to save 20% via email. It works on us, and it works on your customers too. That means implementing pop-ups on your site.
But pop-ups don’t have to be clunky, ugly boxes of annoyance. You can use well-designed apps like PixelPop to make your subscription message sing and perfectly match your theme design. PixelPop also integrates nicely with MailChimp – the leader in email marketing – which brings a level of automation to make sure that adding more email addresses does not add to your workload.
Again, if you have any questions on implementing this solution, just shoot us a note.
“Back in Stock” Means Back in the Black
So, that customer has found your site and they have found the PERFECT gift for Uncle Joe … only to discover that you are out of stock. But what they don’t know is that you have another shipment on the way. This can happen a lot during the holidays as your product suppliers get their orders out to retails as fast as they can.
Fortunately, the Shopify community has responded and built apps to help you get those customers back to your online store the minute that the next shipment hits your dock. Our current favorite app to help with this holiday-critical task is Back in Stock by app developers Yellow Robot.
Not only will it help you salvage sales by emailing your interested customers as soon as the products are checked back into inventory, but it can give you a real-time indicator of pent-up demand. You can access the top products that your real customers are following in the Back in Stock dashboard. So you get more sales and customer insight as well.
Sounds like a win-win to us.
Hang On to Potential Sales with eCommerce Retargeting
Just like we said in out 2017 Holiday Marketing Success Guide, no matter how your customers got to your Shopify eCommerce website, it cost you something to get then there and you can’t afford to lose them. Fortunately, you just don’t have to.
Now is the perfect time to implement retargeting. Retargeting is especially powerful during the holidays because it reminds customers of the cool products they saw on your site … while they are searching on other sites. And in most cases, you only pay when those customers click to come back to your site.
There are a lot of retargeting companies out there – internet advertising is big business! But on Shopify our personal favorite is AdRoll. It's easy to implement on the Shopify eCommerce platform and the rates are fair. You need to set up tracking pixels and do a little configuration, etc. But if you don’t want to take the time or hassle, we can set it up for you – we do dozens of Shopify AdRoll set-ups each week. But the point is that retargeting ads like these have some of the best conversion rates of any online ads. It’s stronger than search, stronger than social, and stronger than Adwords because they target customers that have already been on your site and looked at your products.
Sweet Referrals Taste Like Candy
Everyone knows that referral business has a lower sales resistance. These days, you need a referral program.
I honestly don’t understand why more Shopify eCommerce sites don’t implement a referral program of some sort. I do so much of my shopping online it’s crazy! It’s convenient and I like it. I refer products and services to friends and family all the time. Sometimes I get an extra discount on my next purchase, sometimes the discount is payed forward to the person I am referring. But really, most of the time I just want to do it. A lot of my friends have similar interests – wine, cooking, Jazz music, technology stuff, etc. I know that if I like a product, they might like it too.
I can personally tell you that sites that make it easy for me to refer products get more referrals out of me. If I have to copy the page link and then paste it into an email, most of the time I just can’t be bothered. You CAN make it easy for all those holiday shoppers to refer your products and services this year by using a service that helps them out.
Somewhat ironically, we’ve been referring Referral Candy to our customers for a while. And I’ve had a chance to meet some of their team. They are great to work with. So if you are looking to implement a referral program out for the holidays – and we think that you should – the give them a try. The good folks at Referral Candy will even give you a discount off your first few months if you use this link. And if you need any help getting it installed and set up, just let us know.
Time to Have Your Best eCommerce Holiday Season Ever
Remember folks … there are only six weeks left before things get gloriously crazy. But six weeks is still plenty of time to implement these five small tasks that will boost your holiday sales. As always, thanks for reading and let us know if you need any help. And share this post with your eCommerce friends so they can celebrate a successful holiday season right along with you.