The year-end holiday season of 2016 is coming with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on various product items. Have you finished the preparation for sale boosting yet? Are there any difficulties with finding a great WooCommerce themes or plugins for this high peak timing of the year? In this article, I will introduce you some useful tips to get the most of your WooCommerce holiday performance.
Why areyear-end holidays great for sale boosting?
In year ending months from October to December, there are more holidays than previous months. In other words, there are more chance for you to promote sales versus beginning months. Moreover, people often spend more money for shopping in thisyear-end holiday. There is30% more revenue in holiday shopping months versus non-holiday ones.
When to run holiday promotions?
There are many holidays in the year that you can choose to include into your marketing plan. Below are some popular holidays in US and Canada from October to December:
- Thanksgiving (Canada): a national holiday celebrated in Canada, the US and some other regions around Carribean Islands and Liberia. It is a chance to say thanks for the harvesting season and the whole year. In 2016, the Thanksgiving Day is on October 10. Many eCommerce sites use this holiday to make “Thanksgiving Week” with many sale-off events. Thanksgiving is also a good head start for the Black Friday
- Halloween: Halloween Day is used to remember the dead, including saints, Martyrs, and all the failthful departed. In 2016, Halloween is on November
- Thanksgiving (US): Thanksgiving in the US follows the same concept as that day in Canada, but it holds on a different day. In 2016, the Thanksgiving Day is on November 24.
- Black Friday: the biggest sale-off event of the year, which is the day following Thanksgiving Day. Black Friday also marks the beginning of Christmas promotion season. In 2016, Black Friday lands on November 15. For more details, you can check its official website
- Cyber Monday: Cyber Monday is the Monday right after the Thanksgiving Day in the US (also the day after Black Friday). While Black Friday deals are often up to 85% and mainly on big online retailers, Cyber Monday deals are primarily for small appliances and often held by smaller retailers. According to Adobe Digital Insights, it is reported that Cyber Monday 2016 hit a new record with $3.45 billion spent online, which increases 12.1% over 2015.
- Christmas: Christmas is the day that Jesus Christ was born. It is also the heart of year-end promotion season. In Christmas, many eCommerce sites offer sale-off, gift sets, and valuable packaged for customers. Sometimes they also reward loyal customers for the whole year of shopping. The worldwide well-known gift retailer – John Lewis, has already launched its promotion for Christmas season 2016.
- Boxing Day: Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated after Christmas Day. In the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, Boxing Day is often considered shopping day, just like the Black Friday in the US. It is the time of the year with many mega sale-offs even up to 90%. 2016, Boxing Day is on December 26.
- New Year’s Eve: New Year’s Eve, which is 6 days after Christmas Day, is the last night of the year. Although the promotions are not as big as other holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, some online retailer still opens till the last minute of New Year’s Eve. Since there are not many retailers open in this holiday, this can be a golden chance for you to boost sales without too much competition. In 2016. New Year’s Eve is on Saturday, December 31.
- New Year’s Day: As the new year brings freshness and prosperity, there are becoming more and more online retailers offer promotions as a way to bring good lucks in revenue for the whole year. Some eCommerce sites offer free shipping or releasing new products or services.
Besides official holidays, there are many other unofficial holidays that you can use to make holiday promotion more interesting:
- Free Shipping Day: Free shipping is always sweet even if the shipping fee is not too much to mention. For more details on this holiday, you can visit its official website
You can also explore more funny holidays here.
How to prepare for WooCommerce holiday sale boosting?
In order to get high performance in holiday season, you should have a proper preparation for promotion.
We recommend you to start preparing for the holiday season from the beginning of September. Since the year-end holiday season starts from October, you will have more than one month for the arrangement. Remember that the sooner you get started, the more time you will have for planning.
Step 1: Pick up one or several holidays
You can pick up one or several holidays for promotion. The number of holidays is based on your marketing budget, timing, and human resources. You can check our list for a clear overview of all important year-end holidays.
Step 2: Brainstorm promotion message
Each holiday has a single promotion message, which is used in all public channels of the holiday. The message must be clear and consistent.
Step 3: Choose items for the holiday
Not all items on your shops are matched for holiday promotions. In order to make the most of item promotion in holiday seasons, you should make a list of what to include in each single holiday.
Holiday items can be regular ones as on your eCommerce site, or gift sets/valued sets that are suitable for gifts. A gift card (also called gift certificate in North America, or gift voucher or gift token in the UK) is also a good alternative for those who are looking for gifts for their friends and family but have no idea which one is the best.
Below is the report of Statistia about how people in the US spend their money on holiday seasons
Spending expectations the US customers for holiday season 2016 (Source: Statistia.com)
Step 4: Create a promotion plan
The free Google Analytics plugin by MonsterInsights brings convenience for you while working on WooCommerce
After having statistics about sale potential positions, it’s time to display information about your holiday deals on those positions.
Amazon – the worldwide popular eCommerce store, did a good tip when putting a banner for Cyber Monday on the top bar. Every customer who browsing Amazon will always see this banner, no matter which page he is on.
Amazon utilizes the top bar for the Cyber Monday deals
Remember to check your WooCommerce site’s performance on mobile devices. Why? Because it is becoming easier to convert sales on mobiles. In a recent report on Think with Google, the conversion rate on mobile standalone raises up by 30% on Black Friday and by 50% on Cyber Monday when comparing to November 1.
According to research by Google, 76% of customers who seeking for products on smartphone tend to finish their transaction few days after.
To make the most of website optimization, you can also take a look at our list of WooCommerce sale plugins below.
Although there are becoming more new marketing channels, email is still the one that brings high conversion rate (about $38 revenue for each $1 spent).
Mailchimp is a flexible email marketing platform for many eCommerce sites. You can easily integrate Mailchimp into your eCommerce site using Mailchimp plugins for WordPress, no matter which WooCommerce theme you are using.
You can start collecting email subscribers today by using a WordPress email widget on footer which is integrated with Mailchimp.
Not all eCommerce sites have a blog on their own, but if your personnel resource is capable for blogging, let’s do this as soon as possible. Having a blog on your eCommerce site with frequent updates is a great way to get your customers keep up with latest holiday promotions. An SEO-friendly blog brings high performance with a small budget in the long run. For SEO supporting on WooCommerce, you can use the premium Yoast SEO plugin (which is entirely compatible on Nitro).
J.Crew is an eCommerce store which cares about unique blogging content
Running ads brings you traffic and conversion in a short time. You can use Google ads (search ads and display ads), Facebook ads, ad networks, or any kinds of ads that are relevant to your holiday promotion. Remarketing is also an excellent way to save ad budget while bringing higher conversion rate.
Along with website optimization and paid marketing channels, the affiliate is the trending one that also plays a significant role in conversion optimization for holiday seasons. The effectiveness of affiliate is proven by the number of big online retailers which are using affiliates to boost sale. When making the marketing plan for holiday seasons, don’t forget to browse for some potential affiliates, contact them to prepare content and materials for promotion.
ASOS is a great example of using affiliate for sale boosting
After having a great combination of promotion message and channels, you need to make a detailed timeline. The timeline should include detailed tasks, deadline, assignee, and status. Thus it’ll be easier for your whole team to have an overview of campaign’s performance.
Extra WooCommerce holiday tips
Besides the 4 basic steps, we also provide you some extra holiday tips to make the most of boosting sale on WooCommerce. Please follow below tips for more details.
Optimize homepage for product showoff
The homepage is the first glance of any visitor, and also a great start for getting more sales if you know how to make the most of the promotion spaces here. Try to show off product items that are on the promotion campaigns, or display banners which redirect to the campaign’s landing pages.
Besides themain promo banner, RoseGal also shows small secondary banners to boost traffic to each Christmas promotion campaign.
Even small banners like this on a kid fashion storecan bring a remarkable amount of transactions WooCommerce holiday season.
When in double, make it sticky
If you can’t decide where to put holiday promotion message, you can put the message in sticky positions on your eCommerce site. So your customers can always see the message no matter where they are on your site. You can also put promotion code on the top sticky bar, so your customers can easily see and use the promotion code at checkout.
Top promotion bar is an excellent position to put your next holiday message. If you are looking for a WooCommerce holiday theme in 2016, pick up one that goes with promotion bar.
Nitro includes premade WooCommerce holiday promotion bars in every niche demo
Victoria’s Secret is also a real-life example of making the most of the sticky top bar
Menu is not just for product category browsing
Product menu can even be used for holiday promotions. Because customers often check the main menu first to look for product categories, displaying promotion banners or even some hot items on the menu creates a new way of getting to the holiday promotion landing page. This type of menu is quite popular in fashion eCommerce websites.
ASOS puts links to campaign landing pages in product menu
We even give more freedom for you by allowing you to add banners and product items on the mega menu.
Whether text only or image banner, remember to make the promotion information catchy and easy to read, by using a different color for text or make the banner bigger.
The popup is not a new way but still fruitful if you know when to use it. When being used in the right way, at the right time, popup helps you reduce cart abandonment and convert more sales in high peak seasons.
There are many usages of popup in eCommerce. For example:
- Exit-intent: used to keep customers who are about to quit your eCommerce site. This kind of popup often contains promo code or any sale-off that
- Email subscription: used to collect email leads that can be converted to sales via email marketing channel
Venus understands that any shop owner need popup to boost sale in holiday seasons
RoseGal gives every email subscriber 10% OFF coupon to use in next order
Overusing popups can create side effects, such as annoying, so you should carefully consider when applying any popups for holiday campaigns.
Share for discount
Social sharing in sale-off seasons does help shop owners earn more sales without spending too many bucks on ads. You can also get your visitors promoted holiday campaigns for you by giving them a discount coupon each time they share your product item on social channels. The only cost you will have to notice is the amount of discount coupons, which can only be used every time a customer finishes checkout an order.
The built-in “sale for discount” plugin in Nitro WooCommerce theme helps you insert social discount sharing buttons on product details, shopping cart, or any other places on your WooCommerce site.
One landing page per holiday campaign
Many WooCommerce holiday sites set custom product listings as the landing pages for holiday campaigns. This usage is acceptable if you don’t have much time and effort for preparation. But if there is still much time for proper planning, we highly recommend you to have a landing page per campaign. Each landing page is designed to convert sales for a single campaign, while all product lists are using the global shop layout. Therefore, it’ll be easier for you to optimize conversion rate on the landing page rather than depending on the default product listing. Tracking campaign performance on thelanding page is also much easier than on product listing.
It will be perfect if you have a designer to create landing pages for you. But in case you don’t have anyone to handle the design part, you can still do it on your own using some landing page maker apps like Instapage or Unbounce. Another solution for WooCommerce users is to get a WooCommerce theme with ready-made sale landing pages. Instead of creating a new page but still not sure about its look, you can instantly use sample data and make some small modifications to make the landing page ready to use.
A WooCommerce theme with ready-made sale landing pages will save your time on high peak promotion seasons
Optimize your shipping and payment process
Some shop owners focus only on getting sales without noticing about the 2 last (and also the most important) steps: shipping and payment. There is 68.81% shopping cart abandonment (based on a report by Baymard Institute), and mainly dues to bad payment processing and shipping calculation. In holiday seasons with a huge amount of orders, an automatic shipping calculation and payment flow without any error is a golden key to high revenue.
Some well-known shipping and payment methods that should be available on your eCommerce store this holiday season:
- Stripe (new but popular now in the US)
- American Express
Below are some WooCommerce shipping and payment plugins that can help you reduce unwanted problems
(Note: If you want to use these above shipping and payment plugins, don’t forget to check if your current WooCommerce theme is compatible with them.)
There is another small but significant place that many shop owners neglect: footer. If you notice enough, all big eCommerce stores have payment methods in the footer. So in this holiday season, you should include all payment methods in icons in the footer area of your eCommerce site. Any customers who are going to buy items will notice about the payment methods, and check if he can be able to finish payment on your site.
In Nitro, we make adding payment method icons easy for you
Use WooCommerce holiday sale plugins
To make the most of this holiday season, you can also explore some below WooCommerce plugins.
- WR Currency: display product price in multiple currencies with unlimited currencies. You can also show the currency converter on the header using Header Builder. This plugin is free included when purchasing Nitro.
- YITH WooCommerce Order Tracking (from $59): helps you easily track an order from the starting point (add to cart) until finishing payment. This plugin is compatible with Nitro
- WR Mapper: create pins on a single image. This plugin can be used for “shop the look” on fashion eCommerce websites. It is free included when purchasing Nitro.
In sum, the above guideline just contains some typical WooCommerce holiday sale tips that are applicable for your eCommerce website. If you have any proven advices on how to boost sale in holiday seasons, please share with us in the below comment section.