07.14.201610 min read

10 Ways to Drive E-Commerce Sales During Slow Online Shopping Months

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere has arrived, which means consumers are more prone to be traveling, spending time outdoors, and taking part in activities that divert their attention from all of the online shopping they should be doing. It’s no surprise that the summer months are the slowest when it comes to e-commerce sales, dipping by as much as 30 percent from top sales months like December.

So what does this mean for you? It’s time to get a bit creative and find different ways to drive sales during these slow months. Below, I’ve outlined 10 different ways that you can drive more engagement and sales revenue despite the lower level of demand during slow periods.

1. Get seasonal

Website design and seasonality matter when it comes to consumer behavior. Shoppers are much more inclined to engage with brands and retailers who consistently update their site to match seasons and holidays. This can be with design elements, imagery, promotions, and also with what products you showcase.

Ninety-three percent of consumers consider visual appearance to be the key deciding factor in a purchasing decision. Like it or not, shoppers are making purchasing decisions, at least partially, based on design, so you have no excuses to keep up with the seasonal trends.

Don’t want to do a complete overhaul of your website for every holiday or season? You don’t need to. It’s super simple to implement seasonal pop-ups to your site in just a few minutes. This will help you match the holiday or season, drive shopper engagement, and convert more sales without the dreaded development time you’d normally have to go through.

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Summer themed promotion from Polar Pro Filters

2. Update product images and descriptions

Want something that is going to help you in the short run and the long run? Use this down time to update product images and descriptions. Freshening up your product pages with optimized product images and new product descriptions will better provide shoppers with the information they need to make a purchasing decision. The clearer your products are described and represented, the better they are going to sell.

Also, updating content will help you on the SEO front. Perform some e-commerce keyword research to identify what your ideal customers are searching for, then get to writing. Take advantage of the downtime and take this project seriously. You’ll see a significant impact. Here are some helpful tips on upgrading e-commerce product pages.

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Great product imagery and description from Tenkara Rod Co.

3. Run a contest giveaway

There is no better way to increase traffic engagement and conversion than a contest. This is your opportunity to create excitement and use something enticing to drive traffic to your site. Offer visitors a chance to win a big ticket item or bundle by simply entering their email address. This item could be one of your products or something that your ideal customer would be interested in.

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Attractive contest giveaway from Evo

Shoppers are very likely to enter for a chance to win something of high value which means that you can better convert that traffic and rapidly build your email list. A simple contest can increase email capture by as much as 660 percent. In addition to generating traffic, a contest will provide you with plenty of new leads to market to during busy sales months where shoppers are more likely to buy.

4. Create product collections

To make is easier for shoppers to find what they are looking for, or even just give certain shoppers a place to start, create specific product collections. You’re essentially telling shoppers where to go on your site and making decisions on what to shop for easier. Some potential product collections are seasonal collections, a collection of similar items, buying guides, or a clearance section.

Draw attention to your product collections with emails and call-to-action (CTA) pop-ups in order to drive traffic directly to these specific pages. The entire purpose of this strategy is to provide an easier pathway for shoppers to make decisions and ultimately make a purchase.

5. Have a sale

When sales are slow, have a sale. While many retailers are consistently running some sort of promotion on their site, this is more of a year-round conversion rate optimization strategy. Running a sale requires lead time, promotion through various sales channels, and a discounting strategy.

Set some parameters for your sale. Length, discount amount, what items are sale eligible, and the goal at hand are a few things to consider. Here are a few key dates to focus your promotional sales strategy around. Other ideas are flash sales, back to school sales, and clearance sales.

6. Implement a loyalty program

I’m no loyalty program expert but I do know that they can be incredibly powerful in driving sales from current customers. This puts less stress on obtaining new customers during slow months and still allows you to drive sales. Our knowledgeable friends over at Sweet Tooth Rewards help retailers set up simple and effective loyalty programs so pay them a visit if you’d like to implement this sales tactic.

7. Clear out excess inventory

I’ve mentioned is a couple of times already but this can be a serious sales driver for your business. Consumers are always looking for a deal and clearance sections are a hot spot. It’s also a great thing for your business. You need to move inventory. If you don’t, it takes up valuable inventory space that could be better utilized for popular and fast moving products. Here are some ideas on how to clear excess inventory.

8. Create new content

As an online retailer, content marketing can help you separate yourself from the competition by adding value to the shopping experience. Content provides more information to shoppers which can help them make a purchasing decision. Here are a few forms of content that will help you sell more:

  • Newsletters
  • How it works videos
  • Design and style guides
  • Beginner’s guides
  • Recipe books
  • Buying guides

e-commerce_content_marketing.png

Joybird’s Life and Design blog provides helpful guides on designing and decorating the perfect modern living space.

Focus on providing value that a big box store or competitor isn’t currently offering. Shoppers are much more likely to identify with your brand and purchase from you when you go the extra mile to provide a better shopping experience. You can also gate content to drive email sign-ups on your site.

9. Focus on email capture

I’ve already mentioned a couple of tactics that can help you build your email list, but I can’t stress the importance of email capture enough. Email is the lifeblood of your business, and here are several reasons why.

Of all the new traffic that comes to your site, 98 percent of that traffic will leave without converting. Aside from getting a sale, capturing a visitor’s email is the most important goal in traffic conversion. Email is far more effective in converting sales than any other traffic source and is the most direct form of communicating to leads and customers.

Your email list can also be used to create custom audience Facebook ad campaigns, which allows you to target current leads with your Facebook ads. By focusing on email capture, you can better convert traffic, drive more sales, and increase ROI from your paid traffic campaigns. Here are several conversion tools to help build your email list.

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10. Combat cart abandonment

Cart abandonment is the giant, 800-pound gorilla that stands in the way of converting more sales. On average, 68 percent of shopping carts are abandoned, which means there’s a lot of money left on the table. If you can slightly reduce cart abandonment, you can drastically increase monthly revenue. In order to take on the beast of a problem, we need to look at the causes.

Looking at the numbers, the main causes are unexpected costs (shipping, service fees, etc.), window shopping, and price shopping. Today’s shoppers are savvy and looking for the best deal possible. It’s this reason that you need to meet their needs and give them a reason to purchase. Discounts, free shipping, and other promotions keep shoppers on site and drive purchases.

To actively combat shopping cart abandonment, go directly to the source: cart and checkout pages. Engage shoppers who are about to abandon their cart with an exit pop up containing an enticing offer like the one shown below. Since these shoppers are so close to purchasing, don’t ask for anything in return, just give them the discount or free shipping. Your goal here is a sale. This simple tactic has helped brands reduce cart abandonment by as much as 30 percent.

exit_intent_ecommerce_promotion.jpg

There you have it. Ten actionable tactics to help you drive more sales, even when it’s slow. It’s important to look at both the short and long term benefits of each of these tactics. By incorporating some or all items on this list, you’ll begin to create consistent demand for your products and a more stable revenue stream.

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This article originally appeared in Justuno Blog.

This article was written by Grant Thomas from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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