Volusion Releases 101 Tips to Boost Holiday Sales for Online Merchants

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2010 Ecommerce Sales Predicted to be Best in Online History; Social Media and Mobile Marketing Tactics Increasingly Important in Crowded Market

Creating pre-wrapped holiday gift packages that can be personalized with greeting cards gave us a competitive advantage in recent seasons

Volusion, a leading ecommerce provider for entrepreneurs selling online, today released “101 Tips to Boost Holiday Sales” as part of a free Webinar held at 2:00 EDT to help its customers and other online merchants optimize revenues with the uptick in holiday traffic. The 101 tips were garnered from Volusion’s customers who’ve executed successful holiday promotions in recent seasons, along with the company’s 10 years of industry experience, and intended to help online merchants compete in a more crowded online retail market this year. As a valuable addition to the 101 tips, Volusion’s ecommerce design team also released free holiday web graphics to make it easier for e-retailers to update websites for their busy, gift-giving season.

Industry Stats

  •     The NRF predicts that online sales will increase 15 percent this November and December and 2.3% overall, which analysts say will be the best year for retail since the recession began. (source: Internet Retailer)
  •     In a recent survey, the NRF found that 27 percent of U.S. smartphone owners will use their mobile device to research or purchase gifts this holiday season. (source: Internet Retailer)
  •     According to eMarketer, 27 percent of holiday shoppers last year used social networks to help determine which gifts friends and family might like.

Top 10 Tips

Volusion’s tips range from logistical improvements in shipping and inventory to more innovative marketing tactics, such as how to utilize the latest technologies in social media to optimize your campaigns. Following are ten sample tips:
1.    Ensure the mobile-optimized version of your online store has its logo and the categories are arranged properly.
2.    Share your holiday discounts and highlight featured products daily via social media – this creates a sense of urgency and helps extend your online reach.
3.    Enable social sharing features like Add This™ and the Facebook “Like” button on your product pages. This allows your site visitors to plant the idea for the perfect gift directly on various social media pages.
4.    Update your homepage graphic or slideshow to be completely holiday focused, pointing customers to holiday-related categories or your top-selling products. Volusion released free holiday web graphics to help get customers in the mood for shopping.
5.    Never, ever let holiday shoppers be surprised by shipping charges once they reach the checkout page. Explicitly state the shipping cost before they push the final “Checkout” button. Surprise shipping charges are the #1 reason for abandoned shopping carts.
6.    Don’t skimp on the time spent analyzing orders for fraud. With an influx of orders, it becomes easy to quickly process them without looking for the tell-tale signs of fraudulent activity.
7.    Create bundles or gift baskets of your products and create a specific category for them. You can also place these bundles in other categories you already have. Talk about cross-selling!
8.    Offer exclusive discounts for Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) and Cyber Monday (first Monday after Thanksgiving). These are both huge days for online sales.
9.    Resubmit your site map sooner than later with your new holiday products and categories so search engines can index and rank them before the selling season takes off.
10.    Submit your products to Comparison Shopping Engines. If you’re new to the game, get started by listing products on free engines like Google Product Search, Bing Shopping and TheFind. Once you do some testing to see which perform the best, consider moving to paid CSEs or hiring a CSE management service. While not as many use CSEs as typical search engines, those who do use this type of product search are more likely to buy.

To view the complete list of 101 Tips, click here.

Customer Quotes
“Creating pre-wrapped holiday gift packages that can be personalized with greeting cards gave us a competitive advantage in recent seasons,” said Jim Richardson, owner of teddy bear store CuddleWorks. “Using a similar campaign and incorporating some of Volusion’s tips this year, we expect a 75 percent increase in traffic.”

“Reducing the cost of and extending the cut-off time for express shipping ensures we accommodate last minute shoppers,” said Blair Rhodes, co-owner of The Pashmina Store. “Changing our normal 30-day return policy to January 15th proves to capture early October holiday sales. This year we look forward to experiencing a 17% increase in sales.”

Supporting Quotes
“Leveraging social and mobile commerce will be critical to pulling in more shoppers this season, and the 101 tips can help online merchants take full advantage of these and other tools at their disposal,” said Clay Olivier, CMO/COO of Volusion. “Our mobile commerce solution and AddThis features are simple and effective ways to catch potential shoppers in the gift research mode and capitalize on these growing shopping trends.”

About Volusion
Volusion is the leader in ecommerce solutions for online businesses. Over the last ten years, thousands of companies have used Volusion to succeed online, including market leaders such as Disney, Motorola, Chicago Tribune, Michigan State University and Crutchfield. For more information about Volusion, please visit volusion.com.

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Olga Kazakova
Volusion
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