How to Break Through the Clutter, Competition, and Customer Resistance
The holiday season offers many businesses their best chance of the year to surpass annual revenue goals. But to do so, they must first be noticed by potential customers, who are likely overwhelmed by ads, emails, and discounts.
Some like to call the holiday marketing season the time of least resistance for consumers. They are willing to buy things they wouldn’t normally buy during this time of year, in part because they’re shopping for gifts.
But they also increase their resistance to buying anything that doesn’t appear to be steeply discounted – hence the craziness of Black Friday. While you should try to capitalize on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there is much more to a successful holiday season.
If everyone is offering the same kind of sales – 10% off everything, 20% off select items, up to 30% off, 25% off in-store purchases – do you think you’ll get attention with another discount by itself? You’ll probably just blend in with the noise.
What follows are nine ways to get your business noticed and increase your holiday revenue, without having to discount all your products. You’ll learn how to draw people in without sacrificing your bottom line.
1. Offer a Higher-Priced, New Product or Bundle
A product doesn’t need to be discounted if customers understand its value. The secret to maintaining, or even raising, prices and still drawing a crowd is creating excitement about the novelty of the product itself. Make the higher price part of the reason to buy it, “This product is so special that it’s more expensive but I have to have it!”
This is much easier to implement if you introduce a unique, new product. But you don’t have to create the next iPhone to add value that customers will happily pay more for. For example, you could create an upgraded version of an existing product that:
- Is longer lasting or more durable
- Uses less energy
- Has more and better nutrients
- Is made from eco-friendly materials
- Is available only in a limited supply
Or, consider creating a product bundle, or group of related products. For example, if you sell bicycles, you could offer a product bundle that includes the bike, a tire pump, a helmet, a lock, and a horn. This is perfect for a holiday gift because it includes everything needed to start riding! It provides added value and encourages a larger purchase.
WooCommerce Product Bundles simplifies the bundling process, and even allows customers to mix and match products to meet their specific needs. Add bundles as upsells to individual products for an even more effective marketing strategy.
2. Run a Contest People Actually Want to Win
Contests often have great results, but the prize has to be valuable enough that people are willing to put in the effort to enter. Offer a high-priced item from your store, or even a high-value gift card. For more attention, share your contest on social media and give extra entries to fans who do the same.
You can also write a press release if the contest starts to gain enough traction to be newsworthy. If you raise money for a local nonprofit as part of the contest, you’ll increase your chances of news media interest. A free feature in a nightly news story or local paper and a contribution to a worthy nonprofit? That’s how you strike gold. No discount required.
3. Offer Small Upsells as Stocking Stuffers
Small, low-priced products often have high margins. Just like with checkout displays at retail stores, people don’t mind adding on a few dollars worth of items they can use as stocking stuffers or fun gifts.
Suggest several of these products on your checkout page as simple upsells during the holiday season.
While there are several ways to do this, you can use our Product Recommendations extension to offer related and suggested products to your customers before they pay. Specify which products you want to recommend based on categories, tags, or customer actions. You can even create conditions for displaying your recommendations, such as the contents of your customer’s cart.
This allows you to personalize upsells in a way that makes it more likely for your customer to purchase them.
Learn more upselling and cross-selling strategies.
4. Use Segmented Emails to Offer Exclusive Deals
Take every opportunity to reinforce your successful relationships with existing customers. Getting a flow of new business is essential, of course. But the easiest sales come from customers who have already purchased from you and enjoyed their experience.
Send them exclusive deals that only they will see. Include a link to a customized landing page that only they can access. This will go a long way in making them feel special and encouraging customer loyalty.
For an extra punch, make your offers time-saving or stress-relieving in some way, to make their lives easier. For example, you might offer a bundle of small toys at a great price. You can promote these with something like, “All their stockings stuffed, with one click!” The details, of course, depend on your business.
5. Appeal to the Not-So-Merry Crowd
Believe it or not, some people aren’t fans of all the red, green, glitter, and holiday spice.
But this is a market segment you can pursue that many people ignore. Come up with a promotion or product idea for them. In your marketing, hold nothing back in empathizing with their dislike of all things related to the holiday season.
This works not just for Christmas, but for Valentine’s Day and many other holidays. You can have fun with this one! Humor breaks down buyer resistance.
6. Consider Using Traditional Media
Breaking through the clutter means reaching your customers in a unique or memorable way. While advertising on social media has its benefits, it can be hard to stand out.
Email breaks through the clutter because it’s delivered as an individual message to a specific person. But it still has to compete against all the other emails in their inbox.
Traditional advertising opportunities, such as direct mail, have been neglected by many companies who have turned their focus online. That means that, in some cases, traditional media is a better way to capture attention.
Did you know that nearly half of millennials ignore online advertising, but only 15% say they ignore direct mail?
Being noticed is the first step to being remembered. Direct mail is physical. It activates different parts of the brain, is harder to quickly scan and dismiss, and often has higher response rates.
This is true for many kinds of traditional media. Although it can be more expensive, response rates might make up the difference.
And by directing your prospects who see these ads to a customized landing page on your WooCommerce store, you can measure the impact of your offline campaign on your online sales.
The Mailchimp for WooCommerce extension is one way to make the most of direct mail. Mailchimp can send postcards on your behalf, which can be scheduled at regular intervals or around a specific holiday sale. This is a great way to connect your online and offline marketing channels and sync customer data.
7. Add Live Chat to Your Site
Service sells. Service builds loyalty. A great product combined with a terrible buying experience equals a customer who will never be back.
Invest in training your team and adding personnel so that you can provide first-class customer service during the holiday season. The added expense will pay off as shoppers will remember a rare, excellent customer service experience.
In the holiday season, great service can also include offering additional communication options and extended hours, along with highlighting these clearly on your site. These may seem like small things, but they matter a lot to customers.
One option to consider is adding a live chat feature to your website. If customers have a question about a product or an order, they should be able to reach you in the easiest way possible. And many people don’t want to take the time to pick up the phone!
Our LiveChat for WooCommerce extension allows you to quickly add this feature to your online store. It even integrates with Facebook, MailChimp, and CRMs to make your customer service process seamless.
Learn more about how live chat can increase conversions during the holidays.
8. Use a Daily Countdown on Social Media and Email
You might count down to a big announcement about a new product, the end of a limited-time offer, or important holiday dates – the last shopping day before Christmas, for example.
This countdown can lead users to a landing page with content that is useful, valuable, interesting, or funny. You could share tips for holiday cooking or strategies for inviting people to a party. In other words, provide practical and valuable information that helps make people’s lives easier.
Throughout the duration of this countdown, offer sales and special deals. Each day, release new content until it concludes in some sort of grand finale, such as the announcement of a contest winner.
9. Offer a Holiday-Exclusive Special Service
The holidays are stressful. People are busy. Traffic is heavier. Your customers will appreciate special services they don’t have to pay for.
To be clear, we’re not talking about customer service. This is about product service.
For instance, a clothing retailer could offer a fashion consultant for people who need help with gift ideas. Buying clothes for someone else is hard. You could even target specific types of buyers, like parents buying clothes for their teenager.
Or, a fitness site could offer holiday meal planning ideas for people who don’t want to gain 15 pounds in December.
If you can’t deliver a service like this, look for another company you could partner with.
For instance, the clothing dealer could partner with a beauty business, and they could refer business to one another. The fitness site could partner with a meal or fresh produce delivery service.
Another way to approach this is by offering perks that will help your customers during the busy holidays. Offer gift wrapping services, so they don’t have to worry about wrapping paper and bows. Or include the option for handwritten cards, so your customers can ship gifts directly to their loved ones.
You can use the WooCommerce Checkout Add-Ons extension to include additional options, like gift wrapping, at checkout. Add dropdowns, text fields, radio buttons, and more to help your customers easily take advantage of the perks that you offer.
Get creative; the options are limitless!
There’s an Extension for That
Standing out from your competition can help you make the most of the holiday shopping season and, ultimately, create loyal, lifelong customers. WooCommerce is here to help!
View our full extension library for ways to implement many of the strategies discussed above. Or, visit our blog for more holiday marketing ideas.