12 Days of Christmas to Increase Your Online Store’s Sales

Due to the amazing deals on sites like Black Friday Deals, Amazon and many other retailers, the stats show that more and more people are doing their holiday shopping online each year.  In 2010, Black Friday online shopping was up 15.9% from last year.  I know that I did mine online as I got what I wanted without having to stand in any lines.  This makes Internet marketing that much more important.  Though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us that don’t mean the holiday shopping season is done.  There is still time to cash in on increasing your holiday says in just 12 days of tips you can implement immediately.

For online store owners what could be better than the 12 Days of Christmas then the 12 Days to Increase Online Revenue?

Day 1: Make Sure Your Site Works

You may think this is obvious though my mom called me so frustrated as the site she was attempting to buy presents for her grandchildren became more of a hassle than it was worth to get the deal.
You want to first see how fast your website loads not just in Internet Explorer (the blue E you click to go online) but the other browsers too including Firefox (what I use), Chrome, and Safari.  You will also find that your website may look different and one set of customers may miss your promotion as one browser doesn’t display it right.

Day 2: Is Your Content Stolen

Most online stores send product feeds to shopping portals to display their products.  This can be a highly advantages way to drive more targeted traffic to your store.  The problem lies that some shopping portals are using your unique product content to increase their own Google web traffic.  You want to look for any instant drops in your traffic over the last 12 months and correlate that to any new shopping portals you belong to.  You can also copy and paste short snippets of your product descriptions into to Google and see the results.  If other websites you using your unique content to out rank you it is time to take action.

Day 3: Get Your Promotion into Google

If you put out a special today on your website, Google doesn’t have enough time to index which allows people to find your promotion in the search engines.  For online retailers it is so important to get your promotions out as soon as possible to allow the search engines to index your new pages or products plus do any link building if the promotion uses a competitive term.  Even if you are not ready to put the products on sale you can build the landing page or category page that the promotion with be using.

Day 4: Create a Clearance Page

People love deals which is one of the reasons the idea of huge savings makes Black Friday such a huge shopping day.  Don’t miss out in this huge opportunity to sale more items by creating a clearance or bargain page on your website.  Many online shoppers will go instantly to sale pages or clearance pages on websites to see if they like any of the deals.

Day 5: Make Your Website Alive

Most of us are not Bestbuy.com or Walmart.com which have their brand names already established.  Even for websites that have been around for years, many people can be skeptical about buying online especially for the holidays where time of delivery is important.  You can overcome these fears by adding holiday updates to your site including your header and your logo.  Updating the look and feel of your site shows people that you are a real company and you are update to date on what is happening.

Day 6: Make Your PPC Count

I know it would be great to rank for “gifts for dad” though that keyword can drive people looking for anything and instead of increasing sales just increasing the expense.  Your will find greater success spending the time picking keywords for PPC campaigns like in Adwords that are specific.  Pick keywords around your products specifically since people that search those have usually already decided that item is what they want to buy.

Day 7: Change Your Merchandise

An important stat in your analytics is bounce rate.  Bounce rate means a person landed on a web page in your site and didn’t find what they are looking for so they left.  You want to check the bounce rate of individual pages and see if you are getting a lot of traffic to a certain category page and then people are leaving.  You can bring different products to the top that may entice people to buy since the current top products are not selling.

Day 8: No Distractions

Yes, up sells and cross promotions work on websites.  Showcasing other items of a set or people who purchased this also purchased work great.  They don’t work great in the checkout process.  Once a customer clicks checkout remove all distractions.  You want the checkout process to uninterrupted and as easy as possible.  One distraction that does work is highlighting your shopping cart is secure.  Most people don’t how to look in their browser to make sure so make it obvious for them that they can trust checking out on your site.

Day 9: When Will My Product Arrive

I know most eCommerce websites have our standard shipping and returns policies.  For the holidays though add extra information that highlights when items will ship and arrive, plus the last day to place an order and still have it in time for Christmas.

Day 10: Reviews Work

Online shoppers love reading reviews before they buy whether the review is of your store or a certain product.  Send out emails with special offers to recent or returning customers to write reviews of your products.  You can also send them to write reviews of your store in key places like your Google local page or shopping portals like Nextag.

Day 11: New Return Policy for Christmas

I know you don’t like returns.  You have to think about the sales you are missing since people don’t trust that if their gift isn’t right that people can’t return it.  Make a special return policy for the holiday season and watch how you will get more sales than the few returns you have to handle.

Day 12: Plan the First Quarter Now

I know this whole article is about how to money now though for most Internet retailers the first quarter of year is the biggest, even bigger than the holidays.  This is unless your products are very specific to gift giving or the holidays.  For many online stores that sell personal items, people don’t buy for themselves during the holidays so come January you want to be ready with a plan that structures all of your online marketing efforts.