The weather's getting colder and the hot cocoa is flowing. There’s an energy in the air that only happens this time of year (is it excitement about the holidays or panic about our mounting to-do lists? Probably both). And as people hang decorations and send out cards, they're also thinking about what gifts to get for their loved ones - and where they’re going to find them. And while a few of the better-prepared among us might be done with their holiday shopping already, 53% of consumers wait until the Saturday before Christmas (recently dubbed Super Saturday) to finish their shopping. All that is to say that if you're an ecommerce store, there's still plenty of time to create a great customer experience for gifters and drive more sales during the holiday season. Here's how:
Holiday gift guides
During the holidays, shoppers can become easily overwhelmed with all the choices, which leads to stress and indecision - and ultimately fewer sales and a poor customer experience. If you want your company to stick out amid a sea of options, a good way to create customer confidence (and give your SEO a boost) is to create gift guides. These are groupings of products listed under specific categories, such as “Gifts Under $20” or “Perfect Holiday Gifts for Mom,” along with some unique content about why these gifts are so great. PRO TIP: Use demographic and product data to figure out what groups of customers and products will be most effective to cover as gift guides (for example, look into things like your highest-performing customer groups, your hottest products, your most bundled products, your top-selling products during October-December last year, etc.). You can do this with a combination of Google Analytics and Glew, if you're a Glew user. (Not a Glew user? Start your free trial today).
Popular gift guide categories
- Price: Guides for different price points are helpful for people with budget constraints. Using specific dollar amounts is helpful, and having several levels will help direct shoppers to the products that match their criteria more easily, like $10 and under, $25 and under, $50 and under, or budget-friendly and luxury. You can even create gift guides based on price point for different product categories (i.e., Best Beauty Gifts Under $20, or Home and Kitchen Accessories Under $50).
- Interests: Holiday gift guides based on interests are basically unlimited, and depending on what products you sell, they can be tailored directly to your customer base. Some examples include Holiday Gifts for Foodies, The Perfect Gifts for Fashion Savvy Friends, Stocking Stuffers for Sports Fans, or this Holiday Beauty Gift Guide from Ulta.
- Age/family member: These guides are especially helpful for those shopping for a range of people in the family, from children to grandparents. Different family roles create a need to diversify your shopping. Some categories you could use? Cool Gifts for Kids, like this one from Martha Stewart Living, Cozy Winter Gifts for Grandma, or 20 Gifts for Dads Who Love to Grill.
- Product segments: Gift guides can also be categorized by product popularity, niche appeal, or newness on the market. Bonus points if you use your internal data to arrive at these conclusions (if you're a Glew user, this information is easy to access via product segments in the app). Using compelling copy here is helpful here to draw people’s attention. Think things like the Top 10 Trending Holiday Gifts for 2018, Most Gifted Items of the Year, and Hottest New Gift Ideas this Season.
Customize your experience for gifters
While gift guides help your customers navigate through the gift selection process, there are other small details you can provide that will make holiday shopping with you even more enjoyable (and hopefully help you create customers for life). Two popular additions to the process are offering customized notes at checkout and gift-wrapping. These add a thoughtful personal touch - and save your customers some extra time during the busy holiday season. Something else that can make a difference? We all know (or might be) one of those frenzied shoppers who waits until the last minute to finishing their holiday shopping. Offering expedited shipping during the holidays is a no-brainer (even better if it's free or offered at a discount). Your customers will be relieved to know that their gifts will arrive in time - even if they were scrambling. Read this from WWD for other tips on creating a great gifting experience.
Gifting software extensions
There are a number of ecommerce software extensions available that can help you easily handle the gifting options that customers need during the holidays. Whatever ecommerce platform your store is built on, there are tons of options available to customize your store. Some easy options? If your ecommerce store has a subscription item, you can allow your customers to easily gift their loved ones with subscriptions of your products or services. Gift card plugins can also help you offer e-gift cards as an easy (and last-minute) gift for people who aren't sure what to get their loved ones. Some holiday-specific apps we love:
- GiftWizard helps you sell gift cards and add a "Send as Gift" button to all of your products
- Gift Checkout helps you upsell gift purchases and offer gift wrapping
- Guidelines helps you easily create product and gift guides
Turn holiday shoppers into regular customers
By using these tips, you can create a truly great gift shopping experience for your customers - and help them stay calm, focused and happy with their holiday purchases. And during a busy season like the holidays, that effort won't go unnoticed - it may even turn your holiday gift shoppers into regular customers. Curious about the Glew functionality we mentioned in this article? Sign up for a free trial today - we'd love to help you see what Glew could do for your business.
Learn more: holiday reporting
We're looking forward to holiday shopping, but you might still be analyzing your Black Friday and Cyber Monday performance to see what worked, what didn’t and how you can use that information to strategize for next year. Want more holiday analytics tips? Don't miss our guide to Black Friday and Cyber Monday reporting, with insights on important metrics like conversion rate, product analytics, coupon analytics and more: