How to Run Your Ecommerce Holiday Sales
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How to Run Your Ecommerce Holiday Sales


Hey, it’s Nikki Purvy here, your host of
the Ecommerce Success Show, where we talk tips, tricks and news to help you and your
ecommerce business grow and today we are recording episode 11, and on this episode we are going
to talk about how to get you through this holiday season. Right now we’re in between
Thanksgiving and Christmas, and how we’re going to keep your energy level high and keep
those wheels turning to get you through this season in a nice, even, successful, money
filled fashion. We’re also going to talk about – I have a Google Cheat sheet, like
a real life cheat sheet from Google. Real life cheat sheet, there’s no…nothing.
Directly from Google and it’s going to help you build a better website and build a better
digital media strategy to help you get more traffic from Google because that’s ultimately
what we want and we’re also going to talk about how many words your page needs to even
be considered being ranked on Google’s first page. There’s a number count – there’s
a wordcount that you need to have before you’re even considered. You have to do other things
to get on that first page but you definitely have to take care of this one thing and that’s
number count. 1:28
So, let’s hop into it. The first thing we’re going to talk about are our ecommerce tips.
Our ecommerce tips – so that’s going to be our – we’re going to talk about your
Ecommerce Holiday Sales Guide – how to get you through this holiday season. So, we’re
in – we just had Black Friday and I know that you ran a Black Friday sale and you gotta
keep it going all the way until Christmas, which is a couple of weeks away. And, how
are you going to keep it going? You had your big Black Friday sale. I’m sure you’re
running some sale right now, you may have a couple things planned, but we’re going
to help you strategize your holiday 2015, and if you’re listening to this in 2016,
2017, and beyond, and this will always be useful. And unless they change Black Friday,
unless they change Christmas, unless they change ecommerce, then this will be useful. So, what type of sale can you run to help
you make it – help your business make it through the holiday season. We’re gonna talk about
a couple different types of sales, the first one is a flash sale. A flash sale is a short
sale, maybe a couple hours window, with a very short notice to notify people that you
are running a sale. So, let’s say, hey, I just notified people “We’re gonna run
a sale in a couple hours, from 11 to 3, we’re going to be able to get x amount of stuff
off – x amount of dollars off, or x percentage off. These are really, really great sales
because the larger companies don’t really do them, so you can take advantage of this
cool way to get your customer base to save and something the larger competitors aren’t
necessarily doing. The other great thing about flash sales is that, once you run them, and
your subscribers or your followers or you customer base take advantage of them, they’ll
want to share that, and once they share it on social media, email, give their girlfriends
or their friends a call, then this is gonna make their friends want to get on your email
list, or follow you so they can find out when you’re going to be running these types of
sales, if this is something that you’re going to do. 3:52
So, this is a great way to get word of mouth marketing and get your customers to do the
work for you. The next type of sale is a run of the mill,
discounted products. If you’re running a percentage off, a dollar off, something that
you should definitely do. A sale has to give some sort of incentive to actually buy, so
you’re going to do percentage or dollar amount off. Free shipping or free returns: These are perfect
for the holiday season because people are impulse buying and they have a little bit
of extra cash, they’re in the buying spirit, so don’t leave any sort of road block in
their way to actually make that impulse buy. So, once you give them that security that
they’ll be able to get free shipping or free returns, that takes some of the trepidation
away and that takes the roadblock away of like, “Okay, I don’t have to worry about
that, I’m going to buy from this new ecommerce business that I’ve never purchased from
before and I’m going to buy this product that I’m not sure if it fits, I’m not
sure if it’s going to fit my home, I’m not sure if it’s going to go with everything.
I just need to feel like if I don’t want it, I’m not going to lose out on anything.”
5:06 So, that may be something that you want to
offer people is free shipping and free returns. A Buy One, Get One, also called a BOGO. These
are great because it gets people to stock up. If you can’t run a buy one get one and
still stay in the black, because it’s very, very important you don’t want to lose money
on your sales, try buy two get one, maybe buy three get one. It’s a great idea and
that’s another way to kind of clear out some inventory of things that you really want
to get out of – to clear out. The next one is give-aways, freebies, or samples.
These are really, really great for the holidays, because what you do is, you’re giving something
away if someone buys a certain type of product but you’re also giving them a sample of
something that, of course you want to make sure you pair two products that someone likes
a product, they’ll like this freebie as well. They’re very likely to like this freebie
as well. So, if they buy this one product that we already
know they’re gonna want, that they need, because they’re buying it and you give them
something else that they’ve never tried before. Hopefully, you’ve got a good product,
and they’re gonna like it and then they’ll become a customer for that particular product
as well. 6:19 So, you wanna do things that keep people coming
back. Not something that’s like, y’know disposable or that just goes away and you’ll
never be able to sell it again. Let’s say that you have a clothing line and you’re
giving a freebie – you don’t want to give a freebie away of something that they can’t
come back for. So, we have something that’s in your Fall 2015 line and you don’t want
to get a freebie that’s not gonna come back again. You wanna give them like, if you have
a staple t-shirt that you know is really, really nice quality t-shirt, you give that
free item away and then “Oh, this is a great t-shirt.” People always need more t-shirts.
They’ll come back and then they’ll buy it. Now they’re gonna spend their money. The next type of sale is a price-match. Many
larger retailers offer price match but so few small businesses take advantage of the
opportunity. If a potential customer comes to you with a product that another business
offers at a lower price, offering a price match is a great way to take advantage of
the opportunity. Why? If the customer is bringing this to your attention, although they may
want to purchase the lower priced item, you can prove to them that the difference in price
is worth your brand and – is worth your brand and is in some other way better, even if the
product is exactly the same. You may end up winning a loyal customer by lowering your
price a little. So, lower your price a little, you’ve got a better product, and this way
you can communicate to the customer why your product is superior. So, hey, we’ll match
it, just this time, you don’t even know why it’s superior, you haven’t experienced
it yet. So, go ahead and buy this item and then once they buy it, then they’ll see,
“Oh, this is a really great item, I don’t mind spending this premium.” Hopefully,
it is a better product and your premium can justify that or your quality can justify the
premium. (8:17) So, now that you’ve got your sales, you’ve
got these great ideas from us, you’ve got it planned out, how are you going to promote
them? Couple of really tried and true methods: email marketing. You know I always talk to
you guys about how email marketing is so much more effective than social media marketing.
So, be sure to tell people, your customer base, people who already bought/purchased
from you, who already opted in to get your communications. Be sure to tell them, via
email, about your sales. Do not forget email marketing. Email them a couple of weeks prior
to the sale, days prior to the sale, the day before, and the day that the sale starts.
Do not forget, do not feel bad about emailing them, they opted in. They were already customers,
they already purchased. Be sure to let them know you don’t want them to miss out of
this – miss out on this. You want them to take advantage of this sale. (9:12)
Social Media Marketing. Obviously, you have to market on social media that you’re having
your sale. Be sure to produce really high quality images that you can share on Instagram,
or Twitter, or Facebook, to let – to engage people, to let people know about your sales
and be sure to write really engaging captions to let people know about your sales. And why
not do it right on your site? Show the holiday spirit. During the holiday season, updating
your website with some holiday decorations is a great way to let your customers know
that you are in the holiday spirit too. So add some yellow – not yellow, that doesn’t
make any sense. Add some green and red to your site. Add some wreaths, be sure to put
some holiday looking text. Ask your webmaster and your graphic designer to work together,
hopefully they’re the same person, so you’re not spending a whole bunch of money, or the
same company, like Lidyr Creative is, to create some really awesome holiday graphics, to dress
your site with. 10:16 So, now you got your sales planned out. Now
you’re promoting your sales, you need to support your sales. How are you going to support
these sales because just putting them in place can mean some other issues on the backend.
So, the first thing is you want to be sure that you have your policies listed clearly
on your website. Your privacy policy, your return policy, your shipping policy, and your
terms and conditions. They need to be stated directly on your website because people are
buying impulsively they are gonna wanna know what are the terms and conditions surrounding
around this purchase I’m about to buy. They might be buying from you for the first time,
they don’t know what your rules are. So, you want to be sure that you let people know.
So, when we design our websites for our clients, we typically put the privacy – or the return
policy and the shipping policy in the footer and then also when they go to check out they
have to check off a box that says “I have read the terms and conditions.” They probably
haven’t but it just lets people know there are terms and conditions for buying this.
There are rules. Don’t think you can buy this shirt and then wear it and then return
it. We do have some rules about doing that. You also may want to do like a size chart,
if it runs true to size, something like that that’s right on the product page if it’s
an article of clothing or any other warnings that you may want to have for any other type
of product that you are selling on your website. 11:51) You want to have customer service hours readily
available, you want to have them clearly defined. People may pick up the phone, they want to
call, they may want to ask you questions. So, on your website, be sure to have your
customer service hours listed in the footer of the website somewhere on the page, the
about or whatever. But also be prepared to manage those customer service hours. Be prepared
to take that phone call, be prepared to answer that email, if you have a livechat on your
website, have someone there if that’s what you’re stating you’re going to do.
(12:33) So, now you should be all prepared for the
remainder of the holiday season, and a little bit after because you’re gonna run some
sales after Christmas as well, right? Right. So, now you got your types of sales. You’ve
got marketing your sales and supporting your sales. Be sure to think all these things through
while you are enjoying this holiday season and while you’re making a whole bunch of
money. So, the next section of the show we’re going
to move into are the Ecommerce Tricks. The Ecommerce Tricks come from our Instagram page
where we post our digital media tips, tricks, we’ve been having a conversation about what
they are: they’re tricks. We decided that. They’re Ecommerce Tricks of the Day. We
were formerly calling them tricks but they are Tricks of the Day. And the first trick
is turn your old blog posts into guides. Assemble multiple blogs you’ve written on a topic
and turn them into a guide with multiple aspects. We do this all the time. It’s called repurposing
your content. This was a big hit for us on social media, people were commenting saying
“This is a really, really great idea.” Just because you wrote content, people shared
it, people liked it, doesn’t mean you can’t take that content and repurpose it. Turn it
into a guide, turn it into a downloadable PDF, that is called a Lead Capture. You can
put it on Leadpages. I’m sorry, it’s called a Lead Magnet. You can put it on Leadpages
and get people’s contact information, data collect with it, that’s a whole other topic
for a whole other show, but be sure to repurpose your content. Just because you’ve created
it doesn’t mean it’s gonna get shared and liked and read and then go into the blackhole
of content on your website. You can always repurpose it. The next trick is the average
content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results on Google has at least
2000 words. 2000 words. So, what does that mean for you? On your product pages of your
ecommerce you don’t have to write 2000 words. No one’s gonna read all that but if you’re
explaining something or if you have some other information to offer be sure to write knowledgeable
lengthy – you’re not gonna stuff it with content and words just because you want to
write lengthy posts, write really good quality articles on your page, relating to – or on
other pages relating to the types of products that you sell. (15:26)
The next trick is put subscribe forms at the bottom of your post or content because visitors
are more likely to subscribe after reading really great content. So, if you’re sharing
content on your ecommerce website, outside of your products, which you should be as well.
Educating customers, potential customers as well as establishing yourself as an authority.
Be sure to put a subscribe form at the bottom. You can always put a subscribe button on the
footer because if people are on your website, looking at products, if they like something
they may not buy something immediately, they may not have the money, they may kind of like
things like, “Oh, I’m not really in the market for a new leather jacket and you’ve
got nothing but leather jackets, but I love leather jackets, it’s summer time, I love
them, I’d love to buy them in the winter time.” It’s actually winter time here,
I’m just using that as an example, but they may subscribe to your website. So, don’t
let people forget to subscribe by not putting a subscribe option. (16:30)
So, those are the 3 Digital Media Tricks – Ecommerce Tricks for you, for today and we’re gonna
move onto my favorite section of the show, most favorite section of the show, which is
the ecommerce news. Typically on the ecommerce news section as you guys know, I will talk
about the most pertinent ecommerce news that has happened throughout the week that will
help you grow your business. But this time, I’m gonna focus on one big piece of news. 17:03)
So, on November – I’m sorry, actually in October – so, actually let me back up, I need
to explain a couple things. Google does this thing where they do these quality checks,
so they have an algorithm and they have a whole bunch of things in the algorithm that
effectively control how people see content when they do a search, and they have these
quality raters that rate the quality of their search results that they get when they search.
So, they’re basically rating Google’s algorithm. And they’re rating them, basically,
on the search results they do get. So, Google released the full version of search quality
rating guidelines. So, these are the guidelines that they give to the search quality raters,
and they released it. A couple of times they’ve been leaked, in the past, but this time they
released it, a full hundred and sixty page document. So, I went over to the SEMpost.com
and they kind of pulled out some pertinent information. I did not read all one hundred
and sixty pages, I read a whole lot of pages, a whole lot of information, a whole lot of
commentary about it, so what I did was, the best commentary I saw was on SEMpost.com,
which shout out to them for like really sifting through this all and really pulling out the
meat and potatoes and I’m gonna read off some really pertinent sections that I feel
like you guys should know. So, I just printed out a whole bunch of stuff, I’m just gonna
read it off and kind of discuss it and give my commentary and explain how this can help
you as an ecommerce business, each of these items can help you as an ecommerce business.
(19:05) So, let me start by saying Google has said
that the ratings by evaluators do not determine individual site rankings, at all, but they
are used to help Google understand their experiments. The evaluators base their ratings on guidelines,
we, Google, give them. The guidelines reflect what Google thinks search users want. So,
they have these people and they sit at their desk and just, I don’t know. I guess it’s
just overtime throughout their life, for a chunk of time. They have to rate when they’re
actually googling something. Which, to me, kind of poses a whole bunch of issues because
if you’re searching just because you’re searching, you may behave a little differently
if you’re searching and you have to report every search that you’ve done or certain
amount of searches that you’ve done within a certain amount of time. I don’t know how
Google combats that but that’s a whole other question, a whole other topic for here and
there. So, let’s start getting into the meat and potatoes of the report of the guidelines.
One of the major things that was noticed in the guidelines, if you were in front of me,
I would ask you to guess. I’m gonna give you a couple of seconds to guess, what is
the major theme that was in this guideline, that was in previous leaked guidelines. Remember,
it’s 2015, what are people using to search the internet? So, I’m gonna give you one,
two, three seconds. Mobile. These guidelines talked a lot about
mobile and I’ve been beating in your heads, for a very long time, that your site needs
to be mobile optimized. So, let’s try and get through some of this information. And
there’s a new section about mobile. Google details multiple issues that tend to cause
issues on websites when viewed from a mobile device. While we have often heard of these
issues and some are flagged in the Google mobile-friendly test, here are some of the
issues Google wants the raters to consider when viewing a site from a mobile device.
Entering data may be cumbersome. This isn’t much of a surprise and why Google Chrome and
other browsers offer auto complete forms. So, if you like to put a whole bunch of forms
on your website, think about them. Think about them, not saying that you shouldn’t but
you should think about and pick and choose when the forms are most important because
Google users find them to be very, very cumbersome and why they have these autocomplete. So,
if you have a lot of forms, with a lot of fields, they can give users a very poor experience,
so this kind of lets you think in the mind of Google, so Google may be giving you a lower
ranking if you’ve got a lot of forms on your website. Small screen sizes, some websites
just aren’t that perfect on mobile, even if they are mobile friendly sites. They want
raters to be aware of how the site conducts on small screens – on small screen devices,
which means those who haven’t ensured their mobile site works well could run into problems
here. I’ve been telling you this forever. So, I’m not even going to go into this.
(22:35) Some webpages are difficult to use on mobile
phones. Google mentions many of the usual pitfalls we see when trying to use a mobile
site, such as side scrolling, menus and navigation menus that are either too small or don’t
work. Images that don’t resize for mobile, and sites that use Flash or other elements
that can not be viewed on a mobile device. Let me talk to you a little bit about this.
Sometimes when clients come to us to design their website, they come up with – they want
it to be different. We all want it to be different. We all want to be unique and I have to kind
of tell clients getting too different can hurt you. So, if you have a menu that gave
this – this example of menus and navigation that are either too small or don’t work
or if your pages are side scrolling. People’s minds don’t really process that. They don’t
process it properly. They – If they can’t understand it, because most sites scroll up
and down, they can’t understand it then they won’t stick around. You’ve only got
a few seconds to keep their attention. They won’t stick around. So, Google realizes
this and they’re dinging sites for their craziness on it. So stick to the basic formula.
If you’ve got a great product, if you’ve got great marketing if you communicate well,
if you have great customer service, you will win. 24:04
Internet Connectivity can be slow and inconsistent, while page speed is not part of the mobile
friendly algorithm, although Google has hinted on multiple occasions that it will be. Google
talks about things like switching networks at openings and swapping voice commands and
web page load times that can cause issues for mobile users. Yes. So be aware of that
on your website. 24:33
Let’s move to the next section, Google talks about the importance of placing on apps that
do things on smart things – smart phones since users on Android device are technically searching
in doing any of these device action queries. So, let’s go back a little bit and talk
about device action queries. Device action queries are the ones where we expect our phones
to do something like dial a number or send a text or open an app. So, be sure that if
you have this on your website, be sure that it works. So, if you have a phone number,
I try – We, when we put a phone number on a client’s website we always make sure that
we put the number, that it’s not a picture, or anything like that, because your phone
will automatically make it a phone number that people can tap. So, be sure that when
you’re putting a phone number that it actually taps to call, because if it’s not intuitive
that way, that can hurt you and hurt your user experience. So, let’s talk about the
actual ratings that Google assigns or allows these raters to assign, the first one is fully
meets. That’s the highest rating, like if someone’s searching for something and they
get a result, they rate it as either any of these things. So, Fully Meets, Highly Meets,
Moderately Meets, Slightly Meets, and Fails to Meet. I’m not going to go into detail
on these but just know that Fully Meets is like tippy, tippy, tippy top and is very,
very difficult to get. Google have – Google’s said to raters that if you’re not sure if
something is between two ratings, so like between Fully Meets and Highly Meets, or between
Highly Meets and Moderately Meets, divert to the lower one, because if you’re not
sure, then it’s probably the lower one. Like you need to be really, really confident
about your answer. (26:42)
Google considers Fully Meets as ratings that should be reserved for results that are the
complete perfect response or answers that no other results are necessary for all or
almost all users to be fully satisfied with. I want to talk about this with you because
if a lot of times our clients, when designing websites, they will – well, not a lot of times
but sometimes – they will try to design this whole experience, so they think “Okay,”
when users come to this site, they’re gonna come to this page, then I want them to click
here and then I want them to click there, because in their mind, they think this is
this great experience but we try and get them to understand that it may be better for them
to put all of the information on one page because, 1) People don’t click through every
single click that you want them to. They don’t take this path, this exact path that you want
them to. So, it’s a very small percentage of people who click from page to page to page
to page. Just because someone lands on one page that doesn’t mean they’re gonna go
to the fourth page and that you want them to actually go to. The other thing is Google
is ranking based on “If I click here, is it giving me all the information that I need,
so if you think that someone’s coming to a page and they have a specific set of parameters
that need to be met in order to feel fulfilled, put it all on the one page. So, if they have
a question like “Okay, how do I dye my hair,” you might want to put it all on one page.
One, we remember that Google likes 2000 words, so you might want to put the whole steps on
dyeing your hair on one page rather than saying “Okay, wash your hair, here, Wash your hair,
or maybe you won’t wash your hair, but don’t wash your hair, and then you put the steps
for not washing your hair here, and then click here to learn to go to step 2.” You probably
don’t want to do that. 28:45)
The next thing in the report is Google has been concerned in the past about how much
value Google or there has been concern in the past about how much value Google places
in product pages but Google provides many examples of search results for products that
do garner “Highly Meets” rating, provide the search result delivers that product. They
use several examples such as kid’s backpacks leading to a section of kid’s backpacks
on a retailer’s site and Broadway tickets query leading to the Ticketmaster page for
Broadway shows. So, what does this mean to you? This means, to you, that if you have
a very widely used product, be sure to build a page, a categories page, that lists all
of these items, because if somebody is searching for skinny jeans and they don’t indicate
the size, you may wanna be thinking “Make sure I have a category page that I’m trying
to get traffic for skinny jeans, that people can have a variety of options that you can
choose from.” Because think about when you are searching for an item or an item like
jeans or red make up or red lipstick or something like that, you want to see a variety. Very
rarely, it depends on how the item. Do you specifically want one specific type of item.
But if you know that it’s something that people want a variety for? Be sure to build
out your categories pages. (30:26)
This next one is for you affiliate marketers. So, they talk about sneaky redirects and affiliate
links. While not new, it is worth pointing out that Google still classifies being redirected
through affiliate links as a sneaky redirect. Pages with these should be classified as lowest.
What does that mean? Just kind of, for those of you that don’t know anything about affiliate
marketing or whatever, if I have a website where I sell black tams, hats, and I want
to get a team of sales people out there to sell them for me, I can open up affiliate
sales, for my site. So, Sally from down the street can sell my products, have her own
link, and get a commission off of that. And then, on the backend, I can run a whole bunch
of reports who’s selling what based on their links. So, if you are – if you are an affiliate
marketer and you have affiliate links for a whole bunch of different sites, a lot of
times people will build their own site and build this whole conglomerate of affiliate
– their affiliate sales and make it seem like it’s their own store and then they’ll
take links on their page and redirect them to the external site. Don’t do that, that’s
basically what this is saying. Just link it directly to this other site. Don’t mask,
don’t do your redirects, cause Google’s frowning upon that. Got it? Got it. 32:00
Heavy monetization. This is for you bloggers and you magazine website people, people who
have online magazines. Google makes specific mentions to sites with monetization that distracts
from the main content as being deserving of a low rating, particularly for certain topics.
They also continue to stress that sites shouldn’t be disguising ads as the main part of the
content on the page. As they are designed to look like main content should be considered
deceptive. That means it’s a big no-no. Don’t do it. It’s deceptive, it’s not
even cool anyway. So don’t do it, that’s pretty straight forward. 32:52)
And the last piece of information that I’m going to give you from this report is aggregate
data. If you are still publishing aggregate data and still believe it works well, or huge
lists of items that lead to different pages, you should take note. Google considers aggregate
style landing pages as less valuable for example, a recipe for fried chicken is better than
a page showing a listing of 25 different chicken recipes. So, don’t get lazy, list it out,
don’t just put links that say “Click here, click here, click here, click here,” list
it out. Write it out. Bottom line. 33:30
So, that concludes the 11th episode of The E-Commerce Success Show, and means be sure
to like us on Youtube, subscribe to our channel, like the video, be sure to subscribe to our
podcast and rate and review us. We would greatly appreciate it. And I really do wish you all
the success for this holiday season and thank you for listening. Have a great week.

One Comment

  • Double R Imports

    Nice video. I've gotting into e-commerce since October. I noticed one of your videos on Instagram and clicked the link to YouTube. I'm going to catch up on all the videos. I'm still very new to e-commerce and hope to get a little help from them.

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