8 Tips to Increase Holiday Online Sales in 2012

The holiday season is fast approaching and the ecommerce sector is gearing up for the largest online shopping splurge in history.

If your ecommerce store is not yet prepared to fully cash in on this big spend, it’s not too late to catch the wave. There is still a lot that you can do to increase holiday shoppers online sales.

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Here are some simple but powerful tips that can be implemented quickly and have a big impact on your overall holiday take.

8 Tips to Increase Holiday Online Sales

1. Boost Your Google Traffic

If you haven’t already started work on boosting your rankings for your main keywords, it’s probably too late to see any benefit this holiday shopping season. But that doesn’t mean that you should set SEO aside. Now is a great time to go after some long-tail, highly-specific keywords linking your products to holiday shopping.

It’s much easier to rank faster for long-tail keywords and, in our experience, they often have a higher conversion rate than broader keywords. For example, “personalized key chains Christmas gift free delivery” has a lot less competition than “personalized key chains.” It also has a lot less search volume, but this is off-set by the fact that the detailed nature of the search query indicates that this Googler is serious about taking out their wallet and buying NOW.

To cash in on Long-Tail search engine traffic, create blog posts, category pages and product pages that use on-page SEO criteria to target keywords that you have determined are potential winners for your store.

2. Update Meta-Tags to Get More Clicks

While where on the subject of Search Engine traffic, it’s a good idea to look at the pages that are currently bringing you traffic from Google. If you can improve the way they look in the SERPs (search engine results page), this can result in you getting more traffic, even without you working to boost your rankings.

For example, this might be my current listing:

holiday shopping salesImagine I changed the listing to this:

By changing the meta-tag info (which is simple to do on many platforms), my Google listing becomes a powerful selling tool. (Note: It may take a little time for Google to register that you’ve updated your meta-tags.)

It’s all about tailoring your listing to get more clicks.

3. Get Serious About Local

Optimize your store of getting found via Google Places and other local search engines. This can be one of the fastest and easiest ways to increase your search engine traffic. Read more on how to do Local SEO for Ecommerce

4. Pin like Crazy

More and more people are using Pinterest as a search engine for gift ideas. So if you are not already using Pinterest, it could be an ideal way to get huge exposure for your products.

If your product has any sort of visual appeal, Pinterest is probably the easiest way to spread it virally. You will be amazed at how your product images will be pinned and re-pinned by random strangers around the world. Be sure to feature your products on the “Gifts” boards. Pinterest traffic has been shown to have the highest conversion rate of any social media traffic source –  so now is the time to boost your Pinterest presence.

5. Get a Mobile Site that Sells

If you do not already have a mobile version of your site, then you are simply leaving money on the table. Mobile ecommerce shopping is growing exponentially and this holiday season will be the “mobile gifting season.”

So now is the time to make sure your store is ready for mobile shopping.

6. Promote Gift Cards

According to this consumer research by Booz & Co., gift card sales are going to rise, as shoppers look for instant ways to buy gifts that are guaranteed to please. So make sure to offer gift cards prominently throughout your store, including on product pages. This will encourage wavering gift-buyer to make a purchase without having to decide on a particular item.

7. Declare War on Shopping Cart Abandonment

One of the easiest ways to increase your sales, even without additional marketing efforts, is to increase your conversion rate. For example, if currently 2% of your site visitors make a purchase, it can be relatively easy to increase that to 4% with a few simple tweaks of your checkout process. That’s a lot more money in your cash register, without spending a penny on ads!

Read this post offering simple tips on how to reduce shopping cart abandonment rate dramatically.

8. Upgrade your Hosting Capacity

Every year we hear of ecommerce store owners who are angry. They are really mad because their web hosts were not able to cope with spikes in traffic during the peak online holiday shopping season. This results in lost sales due to slow page-loading and crashing servers. It’s an ecommerce nightmare that can have a big impact on your overall profitability.

In truth, there is a lot that ecommerce stores can do to avoid this kind of disaster. Now is the time to make sure that your hosting plan is more than enough to cope with any traffic spikes. Losing sales because of server overload is just throwing money down the drain. Do EVERYTHING necessary to avoid this problem.

All these tasks are pretty simple, and you know that you should implement them. But since now is a busy time of year for ecommerce stores, you may feel like you don’t have the time.

Contact us to ask about New Edge Design’s Last-Minute Holiday Online Sales Booster Packages. We’re offer various combinations of the above services (and more) in comprehensive packages starting at just $999.

[highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″]To get started boosting your holidays sales ASAP, click here.[/highlight]

About Shai Atanelov

Shai brings his strong analytical skills and in-depth knowledge of usability methodologies to our team. His performance as a project manager, leader and facilitator for cross-functional teams helped him acquire skills required in the design and development of websites and applications.

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