Retailers enjoyed explosive sales and spikes in revenue during 2017’s holiday shopping frenzy, with U.S. shoppers spending $5 billion online on Black Friday alone. But now that the biggest shopping season has passed, these same retailers are facing the post-holiday sales slump and are wondering how to keep the momentum going.
Although it’s inevitable for online merchants to experience a dip in sales after the holidays, some retailers may be willing to take drastic steps to prevent it, going so far as to process questionable transactions that could result in chargebacks or fraud. But if they just implement a few smart sales-boosting tactics, they can alleviate the post-Christmas decline without sacrificing security.
5 Can’t-Miss Ways to Boost First-Quarter Sales
In first-quarter 2016, U.S. e-commerce sales reached nearly $93 billion — a significant improvement from 2009’s level of $34 billion. This number proves shoppers are still out in force in the first quarter; merchants just need a solid strategy in place to capture their attention and dollars. Here are five revenue-boosting ideas e-commerce retailers should consider implementing in the new year.
1. Offer Wish Lists
Shoppers usually find products for themselves while they’re doing their holiday shopping, but their holiday shopping budgets don’t always allow for the extra indulgence. Retailers should consider an option that lets customers add the item to a wish list, using their email address as an identifier. Then sometime after the new year, email customers reminders of their wish lists, along with a direct link to make the purchase. Not only will this technique keep merchants on the forefronts of customers’ minds, but the reminders can also boost January sales.
2. Launch New Products
While sales and site traffic are highest, tempt customers (and browsers) with soon-to-be-launched products. A well-prepared and optimally timed product launch can add a significant boost to first-quarter revenue and can set a high sales pace for the rest of the year.
3. Consider New Shopping Platforms
Merchants who sell their products only through their websites might be missing a profitable opportunity to reach new customers. Consider launching storefronts on platforms like eBay, Amazon and Facebook to develop new revenue streams.
4. Offer Sales Incentives
Cash-strapped customers may still be interested in making purchases in the new year, but they’re looking for post-holiday deals. Offer them in the form of free or discounted shipping, gifts with purchase, or discounts off total purchases.
5. Encourage User-Generated Content
Happy customers posting pictures of their purchases on social media is free publicity for an online retailer. Not only is it great advertising, but it encourages additional sales — who hasn’t bought a product based on a rave review from family and friends?
Encourage customers to post their holiday gift pictures with a specific hashtag and offer them a discount on their next purchase. Customers will enjoy the savings, and retailers benefit from the positive reviews and social credibility.
January Sales: Making It the Best Month Yet
It’s easy for online retailers to be so focused on fourth-quarter sales that they fail to look ahead to how to improve the first quarter. Instead of making smart choices to boost sales in January, some merchants become so desperate to complete a transaction that fraud protection falls by the wayside. And that can be an expensive mistake.
Don’t let dollar signs divert your attention away from security as you build your January sales. Although not every transaction is a legitimate one, not every customer is trying to defraud you. Stop fraudsters in their tracks by implementing a solution that provides comprehensive support for identifying and preventing fraudulent purchases. Learn more about safely growing your online sales by downloading our free ebook, “Online Credit Card Fraud Risk: The Ultimate Guide to Growing e-Commerce Sales Safely.” It outlines everything you need to know about how to defend yourself against the devastating impact fraud can have on your business.