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4 tips to get your winter sales just right

Expert Advice
For Ecommerce Success
Our team of Ecommerce experts outline effective strategies for increasing and optimising your sales!
 
This year, website visits surged by 26% during the first three weeks of the sales (as compared with 2014) with visits reaching their peak on day 1, with a massive increase 97% increase (see Content Square figures, 7th January 2015). Winter sales are upon us! Post Christmas is bargain-hunting time, so it's important that you remain on your toes and ready to share your magic by keeping your e-Commerce site completely operational.

And to help you do just that, our Actinic Marketing experts have come up with 4 tips: 4 essential E-Commerce practices that will help you boost your sales come January.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
1. A 97% increase in traffic on the 1st day of the sales (2015 - Content Square)
2. Preview: time for dedicated catalogues, and upping the ante re discounts
3. Take advantage of marketplace-visibility with some of your offers
4. Use Facebook to encourage engagement and boost traffic

4 tips to get your winter sales just right

01 Fluid sales' dates means you have to keep on your toes
Over 62% of conversions happen during the sales (ContentSquare). In the good old days when winter efforts were focused on January, you could get away with dropping the strategic hat during the Christmas break. But with some stores starting their sales as early as the first week of December - cheers, John Lewis - and with the increasing popularity of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday duo, it is a good idea to adopt a creative approach, and remain forever prepared.

  • Stay as prepared as you were for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Although many will have already started before, Boxing day is still kick off time for most. Start building up expectation straight away. A Webloyalty survey showed that the first day of the winter sales is in the top 3 most dynamic days in the year, when it comes to volume of transactions. Your challenge will be to keep selling consistently from Boxing day to mid-January by always shifting and adding to your discount-offer. For example, start with -20% then move gradually down to -30%, -50%, etc. towards the end of the sale period.

  • Increase your traffic over time.

Launch teaser campaigns, conduct by-product-category sales, create the desire to return. With Actinic, create sales' dedicated product categories in order to sweeten the customer's browsing experience. For example, create a 'Sales' category, coupled with more specific sub-categories pertaining to certain products. Once the sales come to an end, hide the category, without deactivating it (so as to still enjoy the natural referencing gains).

  • Promote your new collection.

Always invite users to browse non-discounted products and use the opportunity to showcase our new collection. Consider using Actinic's “suggestive sales” feature, and highlight similar or complimentary products. Think cross-selling!
02 Generate ‘Sneak-preview’ sales revenue
  • Test private sales in order to generate more sales' revenue.

Private sales are about you giving your loyal customers access to sales before everyone else. They happen to be a formidable source of sales' revenue! Household names favour these operations as they entail a higher yield than the sales themselves. Make the most of your clients' loyalty, start early!

  • Make an exclusive offer to a targeted selection drawn from your client-database:

dedicated catalogues, an extra 10% off, free delivery... Differentiate between your clients, and send a 'sneak-preview' newsletter to all your subscribers/ loyal customers, stressing the exclusive nature of the offer you are making them.

  • Be creative, inject a fun, festive element into the event.

Last year, the Galleries Lafayettes - Paris' answer to Harrods - teamed up with AirBnb to offer some clients the possibility of sleeping in the Galleries the night before the sales were due to start, as well as the opportunity to make discounted purchases before everyone else. Find something equally inspiring to do, on a scale adapted to your operation!
03 Increase your sales by testing marketplaces
  • Seize the opportunity represented by these sales' channels.

16 million unique visitors a month for Amazon, 9.8 million on Cdiscount, 8,6 million on eBay (2014 figures) ; use them to dispose of your stock. But make sure you make your most exclusive offers via your e-Commerce website!

  • Optimise your profitability by broadcasting a selection of your catalogue on marketplaces.

A Royal mail study conducted early this year stated that 63% of online SME retailers in the UK were planning to start selling on these platforms. Amazon has predicted record marketplace-sales in the UK come Boxing day. Take advantage of the swelling number that visit these sites to promote your end of stock at unbeatable value. Bear in mind that you only pay a commission on what you sell.

  • Benchmark your competition and adjust your prices accordingly.

Adjust your sales prices by updating your flow. Do not hesitate to do so in response to the competition. Once your products have been well positioned, contact the marketplaces' commercial teams, and negotiate favourable online showcasing to enjoy prime visibility.
04 Focus on using Facebook as a hook
  • Ensure you sell more during the sales by capitalising on social media.

Facebook's new advertising format, allows you to have every publication containing a link appear with 5 images comprising a title and a link. A fabulous way of boosting product-visibility in a trusted environment.

  • Focus on your bestsellers...

...by analysing purchase history. Promote your well-established products; users will be glad to find a preferred product on sale. After the first few weeks, increase discounts on unsold stock.

  • Optimise interest.

Flirt with Facebook campaigns, target qualified traffic and extend your client base. User-interest will mirror the quality of your promotion visuals and discount percentages. Be creative with showcasing your brand, and reap the rewards that come with being different!


Enjoying seasonal sales' success hinges on being alert and responsive, social media savvy, and maintaining a presence on third-party platforms such as the increasingly popular marketplaces. Other channels of communication also need to be favoured during this period: don't neglect e-mailing, the ultimate customer acquisition and retention tool. With Christmas already within view, it's time to craft those jaw-dropping visuals!