It might be only November but if you take a walk on a high street you’ll already see shops decorated for Christmas. Retailers are using elaborate window decorations, holiday songs, scents, and Christmas merchandise to stretch the period of gift shopping a few weeks longer to make profits while shoppers are in the holiday mood. How do you replicate the magic of holiday shopping online, where you don’t have the smell of holiday spices, the cheers of Christmas songs, or even Santa to set shoppers in the mood to indulge and spend ? Here’s what ecommerce retailers can do to get ready for online holiday sales season.
Why Ecommerce Retailers Need Special Strategy for Online Holiday Sales
Not all consumers will buy their presents in department stores or malls this year.
76% of UK consumers are planning to do their holiday shopping online.
24% are planning to skip the trip to the stores altogether and do all of their holiday shopping online.
45% will place at least some of their Christmas orders from their mobile phones.
Online holiday sales in the US are expected to reach $117 billion this year.
Online retailers will need smart strategies to not only attract shoppers to their online stores, but also engage and convert them.
We looked at the examples of how top ecommerce retailers and brands use videos to bring the holiday spirit onto their pages. Here are some examples and tactics you can copy on your store to boost online holiday sales.
1. Help Parents Shop for Christmas Gifts with Videos
There’s hardly anyone who anticipates holidays with greater excitement than children! Parents are already receiving lengthy lists for this year’s most coveted presents. Most retailers have released charts with top Christmas toys for 2016 to help shoppers navigate through the latest games and toys.
But once parents finally sit down and start browsing online holiday sales, questions such as “What on earth is a Nerf Mega Mastodon or Pie Face?!” are sure to pop up.
This is where having videos on your ecommerce store comes in handy. Videos can help shoppers see exactly what a toy or a game does and what kind of features it has.
Take this product page for “Pie Face”, for example. It’s not that difficult to figure out what the game is about just by looking at the picture. But it’s the videos that show just how much fun the game is. Videos like these help parents figure out what their children see in the toy. This gives them more confidence and brings them closer to the decision to add it to the basket.
Consider adding videos to the product pages of highly-sought items on your store. The same strategy works for those hard-to-find and pricier products that need a bit more convincing before shoppers decide to buy.
2. Show Awesome Novelty Items with the Help of Demo Videos
Online holiday sales are a prime time for many brands to release limited-edition, exclusive, and innovative products. While careful marketing will help you bring curious shoppers to your site, you’ll need rich and engaging content to actually convince shoppers to buy.
Videos can be of great help here. Take this example from M&S with their new holiday line of augmented reality tops. The words like “wearable tech” and “augmented reality” certainly sound cool. The photos are helpful, but they show t-shirts that look pretty much like any regular t-shirts available out there. Where’s the catch? This is where demo videos are of great help. They show how wearable tech works and what’s its appeal. Consumers can watch the product in action and understand the novelty better. This helps tackle any initial skepticism and helps shoppers make a decision to purchase.
Novelties are sometimes hard to describe with just words and pictures. Use how-to videos to show the genius behind the product to help shoppers feel more at easy to place an order. This could really help convert even the most skeptical online holiday sales shoppers.
3. Increase Online Holiday Sales with Video Reviews
Clothing and toys are traditionally the most popular products during online holiday sales season. This year, they’re expected to be chosen as gifts by 51% of shoppers. However, these are not the only product categories that will enjoy a surge in sales. Beauty (20.6%), gadgets and electronics (32%), jewelry (23.2%), and home goods and appliances (23%) are also popular options with holiday shoppers.
While most shoppers might feel comfortable ordering clothing or toys online, they might feel more reluctant to order online gadgets or home appliances. To save help shoppers save some time, include videos on your online store that explain the intricacies of each product and how it works.
For example, knowing that coffee machines are highly sought present, AO.com included product review videos on the pages of more complex, high-end models. Videos show what makes each model unique, how its features stand out, and how it can be used to prepare different types of coffee. They cover everything a shopper would typically ask a salesperson when visiting a store, but with the added benefit of staying online where the “add-to-basket” button is just a click away.
Notice in this example how shoppers have multiple opportunities to discover videos on the page. There’s prominent video placement next to product specs, a video thumbnail in the image gallery, and “see it in action” icon right next to the image zoom function. This makes it easy to spot videos in the sections shoppers commonly click on.
On this retailer’s site, product review section also features video reviews inside customer testimonials. Shoppers have the chance to see for themselves whether the coffee machine is “a little bit noisy” as the reviews suggest. This makes shopping online less ambiguous and gives consumers more confidence to place an order.
If you’re selling complex products such as electronics, gadgets, or appliances, add product review videos to tackle shopping anxiety, which is especially high during online holiday sales season.
4. Engage the Senses and Set the Mood with Videos
If you’re selling perishable products online such as biscuits, drinks, soaps or cosmetics, then product videos can be extra helpful. These kind of stocking stuffers are popular around Christmas time, so the competition to get people to buy your product is tough.
Give shoppers a reason to click on the “add-to-basket” button. Engage their senses with videos that show products in use and inspire craving. Lush UK does this very well on their ecommerce store.
Each product page features a large loop video where shoppers can see the products in use. You can almost smell the festive bath bombs through the screen! A seemingly boring piece of soap becomes the must-have item in your visitor’s basket. Good for the shoppers who seek gift inspiration, good for you online holiday sales too!
5. Make Gift Guides More Entertaining by Adding Videos
Everyone in ecommerce knows that one of the most effective methods to push inventory during busy online holiday sales season is through gift guides. It’s a smart and a very effective way to remind shoppers of the less popular but equally good products or to push limited edition items.
Most ecommerce stores typically create a special product category on the store with curated gift items. Some create listicles and editorials to promote the most coveted items of the season. However, gift guides don’t always have to be “flat”. Breathe life into them with videos that show ideas for holiday presents and highlight each product’s uniqueness.
Beauty brand and retailer Sephora knows the power of videos to convert online shoppers. For Christmas shopping 2016, they created videos introducing the holiday editions of popular products. The videos also features product bundle ideas, which further facilitate sales during the busy holiday period.
6. Give a Sneak Peak with Unboxing Videos
Unwrapping Christmas gifts is a big part of the holiday experience. The demand for unboxing videos typically spikes towards the end of the year. In fact, 34% of the views for unboxing videos related to food, electronics, toys, and beauty happen in October-December. This is 1.5x higher than the average video views during the rest of the year. Shoppers want to know how the products are packaged and what they can expect from their orders. A good unboxing video can help move their cursors to click on the “add-to-cart” button.
Take a cue from Arcade Block, a subscription box service for video games. Knowing how popular unboxing videos are among their customers, they feature them prominently on the home page. This not only shows appreciation for customers who create the unboxing videos but also helps engage new shoppers on the site. Unboxing videos show that others have purchased and like the products, assuring new visitors they’re making the right decision.
If you want to create the excitement on your pages to boost online holiday sales, try adding unboxing videos to your site.
Winter holidays are a busy time for online retailers. The competition to win a share of the consumer wallet is high. Ecommerce stores need smart and effective tactics to engage and convert shoppers. Videos can help boost online holiday sales. Add product review, how-to, demo, tutorial, and unboxing videos to your site to tackle any questions or uncertainties shoppers might have about ordering a product. If you don’t have the time or resources to produce your own videos, curate videos from social media. Sites like YouTube have the abundance of expert, consumer and brand videos for just about any product out there on the market.