The glut of promotions that online retailers carry out during the holiday season means that traffic and clicks go up, and hopefully conversions do as well. How about this year, we don't leave that last bit to hope and take some proactive measures instead? Check out these 5 tips.

1. Make Mobile a Priority

Data from Internet Retailer shows that the holiday season in 2015 saw mobile traffic and sales hit record highs. Mobile devices accounted for 30.4% of all ecommerce sales, compared to 22.6% in 2014.

Admittedly, even with mobile traffic to ecommerce sites in North America going past the 50% mark for the first time in 2015, conversions are still not as high as you'd want them. It may be too late to build a brand new mobile site from scratch just for the holidays, but you can definitely work on making your existing website more mobile friendly.

A quick-fix is creating mobile optimized email campaigns.

  • Use your existing mobile conversion data, if any, to segment your email list.
  • Have your templates ready well in advance.
  • Time them right. Purchases on mobile are made at different times of the day and week than those from desktops.

2. Provide a Seamless Shopper Experience

It's more critical than ever to provide a 1-to-1 shopping experience across the web, social media, mobile, store locations, and more. Have you checked out Salesforce Commerce Cloud yet?

It's enables brands to unite marketing, digital commerce, point of sale, store operations, and order management to power seamless commerce experiences for shoppers. It includes predictive intelligence to personalize customer experiences, as well as industry benchmarks to help marketers make more informed decisions.

3. Build Up the Messaging

Yes, the holiday fervor is all around. However, it's often comprised of generic messaging. Have you taken the effort to tell your users and target audience what to expect this holiday season? Is there something that you want them to specifically look forward to?

Don't wait till the last few weeks to communicate these messages to your users. Revisit your holiday messaging calendar and build up to the holiday season at a consistent tempo. Set expectations and invite users to your site on specific days for specific promotions by promoting these events via social media, email campaigns and website messaging.

4. Amp Up Retargeting

Digital advertising is key to reaching potential customers who are either not aware of your brand or have yet to make a purchase. Advertising makes it easier to find potential customers by letting you use the data you already know about current customers to find similar consumers just like them.

It's called a Lookalike Audience. What is that you ask? It's just as it sounds. By using your own CRM data of your current high-value customers, you can create audience segments on Facebook to target users that look just like those high-value customers.

Take for example Scotch & Soda. The European retailer utilized its own customer data already stored in Salesforce to build bespoke Lookalike Audiences and acquire new customers with similar attributes to existing customers. They targeted Facebook ads to the top 1% of people most similar their existing email subscribers. As a result, the fashion brand reached a 3.95 Euro cost per purchase and achieved a 9x return on ad spend.

5. Offer Deals on Shipping

If there's one thing that makes customers pick one ecommerce site over the other, it's free shipping. A study by Wharton Business School shows that offering free shipping increases Average Order Value (AOV) by 30%. Another study found that 90% of consumers will shop more if free shipping is offered.

Now, free shipping across the board may be great, but it can be too expensive as a year-round strategy. Capitalize on your users' thirst for saving while needing to shop for gifts for the whole family and offer free shipping on purchases during the holiday season only. A good way to achieve this is by signing seasonal deals with your logistics companies to offer lower rates and quicker delivery schedules.

Happy Holiday Marketing

While being prepared months in advance of the holiday shopping is every marketer's goal, it's not too late to give it your all even now. The idea is to win small and quick battles that add up to win you the holiday shopping war. Here's to being the next ecommerce holiday ninja!

About the Author:

Rohan Ayyar fits into dual roles at E2M, a digital marketing agency where he's involved in web analytics and creative content strategy, and Moveo Apps, where he advises app builders on UX design with a focus on conversions. Rohan is an avid business and tech blogger, with opinion pieces featured on publications such as Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Fortune. Follow him on Twitter at @searchrook.