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Expert Advice
For Success in Ecommerce
Our team of Ecommerce experts outline an effective strategy for increasing and optimising your sales!
 
Winter is coming.

And sales are coming with it!
You’re probably preoccupied thinking about Christmas, one of the most profitable E-Commerce periods of the year.
But you don’t get so caught up in the Christmas fervour that you forget what happens right after Christmas: Boxing Day and the January sales!
Do you know how to make the best use of this important sales period? The goal of this Actinic Expert Advice is to give you the keys you need to use Boxing Day and the winter sales to boost your turnover.

On the road to sales!
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
1. Sales are an opportunity to acquire new customers and build loyalty: be creative and think about your discounts in terms of your sales goals.
2. Don’t forget that the European Directive means that your customers have 14 days to withdraw from a purchase.
3. November: prepare your stock and write your email campaigns.
4. Christmas Day: Give a preview of what kind of sales you’re going to offer on your site.
5. Early on Boxing Day: send your customers a text message letting them know the sale has started.
6. Boost your qualified traffic with an AdWords campaign.
7. Activate RFM to better target your customers.
8. Think about using all of the marketing tools you have at your disposal: price comparison sites, marketplaces, SMS, loyalty programs, banners, etc.

3 expert tips to use Boxing Day sales to your advantage

01 Sales basics: everything you need to know
A month of intense activity
Boxing Day sales start on December 26th or 27th and generally last until the middle or end of January. These few weeks offer you an excellent opportunity to unload stock no longer in style or that hasn’t sold very well and win back old customers with great deals. Sales don’t just mean price slashing, they also mean significant increases in traffic and an opportunity to increase your turnover!
Sales: more than just strike-through prices
The days of one discount on all items are over. You should offer a variety of discounts to encourage your customers to come back often and see what’s new. Why not, for example, offer different kinds of discounts depending on the type of purchase? Offering your customers free shipping fees or a special discount if they order a certain number of products on sale is an effective way to build customer loyalty. You can choose between discounts according to number of products bought or by amount spent. Be creative and get your visitors to join in the game of finding the best bargain possible, even if it means spending a little more than they planned to…
Don’t forget the European Directive:

THE RIGHT OF WITHDRAWAL
6.1.
Calculation of the right of withdrawal period
6.1.1.
Introduction
Article 9
1. Save where the exceptions provided for in Article 16 apply, the consumer shall have a period of 14 days to withdraw from a distance or off-premises contract, without giving any reason, and without incurring any costs other than those provided for in Article 13(2) and Article 14.
02 Be ready at the right time: anticipate and get your timing right
Managing this sales period well is key for your business, and being prepared will help you succeed. Luckily our Actinic Ecommerce experts have taken a look at what works best for our 10,500 e-tailers and are ready to share their secrets with you!
The ideal schedule leading up to your sales…

In November: you should already be anticipating which items will sell well. Take advantage of this information and stock up on your flagship items! During this period start to work on what emails you’ll send leading up to, and during, the Boxing Day sales.

  • To help the maximum number of our clients benefit from the power of email marketing, at Actinic we’ve lowered our prices by 50%. Take a look at the new prices in your Actinic back office by clicking on Account and A La Carte Services then Prepayment.


In December (3 weeks before Christmas) the holidays are close (and we’re waiting for our spike in sales) and it’s the start of the shipping rush so you should have set all of your Christmas marketing in motion. If you’ve followed your schedule carefully you should have time to finish your Boxing Day sales campaigns and manage your Ecommerce website smoothly during this period.

Christmas DayGive a preview of what kind of sales you’re going to offer on your site and let them know at exactly what time the big sale will begin. This will put the pressure on.
"We sent out an email promotion during the 2014 winter sales. The result was immediate: in the two days following the email our sales increased by 82%. " Beatrice DUGAST – Deco Cuir
Boxing Day Send out an SMS letting customers know the sale has begun early in the morning, as bargain hunters are early risers! Display real-time stock for items to give shoppers a sense of urgency, and use cross-selling to get them to buy even more. Watch your site closely and be strategic with a couple of key products. This is one of the biggest shopping days of the year: having smooth shipping and logistics is especially important.

  • At Actinic we’ve also lowered our prices for SMS marketing! Take advantage of prices 30% lower than previously. Take a look at the new prices in your Actinic back office by clicking on strong>Account and A La Carte Services then Prepayment.


Throughout the rest of your sales period continue to send out emails and keep your customer informed. Is that green jacket they really liked but weren’t willing to buy at 20% off gone to 50% off? Show them that the discounts keep dropping as you unload stock, and that they might be able to get a really good deal!

The last sales day it’s not over yet and it’s not time to rest! Take advantage of these last few moments to unload some last items and convince some latecomers. Huge sales, big discounts, exceptional offers: don’t be afraid to be dramatic when letting your customers know how much they stand to save.
Clean out your catalogue and make it as user-friendly as possible
For your big sale to big successful, your site has to be well-organised and clear. This is why we recommend creating a special sales menu. With Actinic, by default, your site will only display your products that are in stock. This will limit customer frustration as they won’t need to click on products to see if they’re out of stock, they’ll only see what you can offer them!

Work on your email marketing strategy
Just because you have a big sale on doesn’t mean that all of your emails have to be discount quality. Remember the basics to good email marketing strategy and optimise your messages, subject lines, call to action buttons, reassuring elements etc. You can refresh your memory by rereading this expert advice!
Take your destiny into your own hands with Google AdWords campaigns
During big sales periods traffic to all sites increases. But it would be a shame to count on organic and email traffic ALONE. It’s time to shift into the next gear and take advantage of this strategic time to create even more visits to your site.
AdWords, Google’s advertising network, is one of the most effective tools for this purpose. Select for example a few key products and configure your campaigns by following our expert advice on the subject.
The Actinic experts have made it their special mission to support and help you optimise your AdWords campaigns. And now is the perfect time to get started: take £200 off your first campaign!
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03 Pro tips to take full advantage: become the king of Boxing Day sales
You already have your schedule ready and have everything set for a successful sales period? Great!
Now it’s time to go pro.

Use “RFM” to better target your marketing strategies
Online shoppers are highly solicited during this period of the year, and to increase your open rate, click through rate and conversion rate you’ll need to customise your messages. Take advantage of RFM customer rating RFM customer rating rates all of your customer database with regard to the recency, frequency and monetary value of their purchases. This will allow you to target your customers and prospects more specifically and send them customised, relevant messages and offers. The more customised your messages are, the faster your customers will come back to your site.

Looks matter
Boxing Day sales is a big deal, make your site reflect this! Don’t hesitate to use Actinic’s special “Sale” banner (it’s simple to activate and completely free! In your Actinic back office click on Galleries>Images>Our Collection>Category “Discounts-UK” . Your customers need to be guided and supported throughout their visit of your site, so don’t hesitate to use zones such as “Bestsellers” a customised selection of products with Actinic’s marketing blocks (in your back office (Site>Marketing Blocs) or with the new “Items” widget.
And why not play with your home page’s look? It’s simple using drag and drop. This will give your customers a new perspective to online shopping, it will be simpler and more intuitive. All of these features are available in the Actinic solution and will help boost your sales.

Increase your reactivity and vary your communication: send SMS!
Are you looking for a direct, simple, original way to communicate with your customers? SMS is the way to go! In 160 characters (with of course the option of including a link) they offer several advantages: reception and almost instant reading, high customer reactivity (essential during sales periods) and a higher open rate than email campaigns.

Even during sales period, think about building loyalty
You should continue to take good care of your loyal customers during sales periods. You have a range of possibilities to reward them for their loyalty: additional discounts, private sales, priority access to items with low stock, free shipping…You can even double their loyalty points, for example, to make an impact! Offering your customers a loyalty program is made easy with Actinic.

Use price comparison sites and marketplaces
If you use Actinic’s price comparison site feature , your promotions and discounts will be updated regularly. This will help get your best offers seen! Don’t forget that marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay will help you increase your sales by multiplying your channels.

Now it’s your turn!