Whilst hordes of shoppers dashing for that last bottle of Chanel No.5 on Christmas Eve has become a rare sight, the peak season frenzy is very much alive and kicking. But what has changed? It’s simple: last-minute shopping has become an online affair where nobody gets hurt, but competition is rife.
Unlike bricks and mortar stores, eCommerce retailers’ Christmas delivery cut-off dates vary from business to business. Product types, fulfilment operations and courier partners often determine the last Christmas order date to guarantee festive order fulfilment for your customers.
In the final golden days and weeks of the year, some retailers will make a large proportion of their annual revenue. But converting sales in a crowded market during peak season can be challenging. In fact, online shopping cart abandonment is at its highest in December. As shoppers browse for Christmas gift ideas and scour Black Friday sales, retailers are more prone to ‘online window shoppers’ than any other time of year.
That’s why peak season sales conversion tactics need to be taken seriously. By leveraging your Christmas delivery cut-off dates to convert sales, you can drive peak season profitability and smash the end-of-year shopping season. Here’s how:
Start the countdown early…
If you want your sales to convert, you need your customers to know the countdown is on. Publishing your Christmas delivery cut-off dates on your website and featuring them in your marketing campaigns will encourage indecisive shoppers to take action and place their orders in time for gifting.
Keep the message clear on your website and highlight the last order date and time throughout your shopping journey. Adding a countdown-style timer to crucial web pages will visually stimulate your customers to complete their orders as they see the clock ticking down.
If you’re running email marketing campaigns over the peak season, incorporate the Christmas delivery cut-off date alongside your promotions. This will reinforce the message regularly, whilst being supported by the allure of a hot deal to entice readers to click through to your website and fill their baskets.
Hook customers with Christmas delivery promos
These days, online shoppers are increasingly taken aback by delivery costs (especially premium next-day delivery charges) and often go in search of a competitor offering the best value package rate for their desired product, including shipping.
Offer short-term free delivery promotions in the run-up to your delivery cut-off dates. This will hook customers at the checkout and close sales quicker and easier than usual. But that’s not all – low-cost shipping offers will encourage your customers to buy more – increasing your average order volume (AOV) and driving your peak season profits.
Don’t worry if your business isn’t able to offer free shipping with every purchase. To stay profitable as you approach your delivery cut-off date, try offering free shipping with a minimum order value or on key product promotions. This will help sweeten the deal and convert those significant eleventh-hour sales.
Get gift cards at the ready
Some customers will always slip through the net, no matter how hard you try to get the Christmas delivery cut-off message out there. When last-minute shoppers fail to place their orders on time, they’re likely left with nowhere else to go. That’s why you should always try to offer something to your customers. Cue the gift card.
Gift cards are compact and easier to post than large parcels, so the last date for a gift card delivery could potentially the extended to reach your customers on time. Another option for late customers is printable gift cards. Break the mould with a clever or attractive printable design to pleasantly surprise your customers with a memorable brand experience.
Christmas delivery cut-offs: Take on Peak Season with Selazar
Getting products from your store to your customer’s door isn’t easy. We know how tough peak season can be for online retailers – from stock storage and forecasting to picking, packing and shipping. Partnering with Selazar means you sell your products, and we take care of everything else.
Want to bring your brand closer to your customer? Get in touch with one of our 3PL experts. They will show you how we guarantee peak season satisfaction for online businesses.