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6 tips for holiday business

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To the German article

With the holidays just around the corner, now is the time to spruce up your online shop so that it offers the ideal shopping experience. Here PayPal introduces six tips that can help you boost your end-of-year sales:

1. Focus on high turnover days

Every consumer wants a good deal, and, during the holidays, are already in the mindset of purchasing presents for their loved ones. Lean into this behavior in your marketing strategy. Here you can appeal to customers who prefer shopping online by offering promotions that are exclusive to your website. Create a sense of urgency by focusing on specific dates for your campaign. The following dates can be used as a guide:

  • The Friday after Thanksgiving - 29 November 2019
  • Cyber Monday - 2 December 2019
  • Cyber Week - the week starting 29 November 2019

2. Personalization sells

It’s no secret that personalization improves the in-store shopping experience; for example, when the salesperson remembers your name and gives you individual advice. This can also be done online.

Personalized experiences online are based on data. Therefore, make sure that your platform is prepared for this. Start by collecting the names and addresses of your customers. Create incentives so that visitors to your website are willing to share their personal information with you. This can be done through introductory offers, free shipping, or a 10% discount on their first order.

With the help of the data collected, you can personalize the individual steps of the shopping experience. Be sure to welcome customers when they visit your website. Remind them that they still have items in their shopping cart. After they complete a purchase, send a personalized thank you by email and ask if they are satisfied with their purchase.

3. Sell more through social media

According to the GlobalWebIndex, around one third of all online purchases worldwide are made through social media. With Shopware 6, you can control every sales channels centrally from your administration and easily customize your offerings across various social media platforms. Customers can complete a purchase directly from Instagram, Facebook, etc., without having to visit your website. An additional positive outcome: offers on social media have the power to create a viral sensation. Customers are eager to share what they have just discovered or purchased – an undeniable advantage for any online retailer.

Important: Be sure to build a refined social media strategy. Don't just offer your products on every social media platform. Find out which target group has the highest customer retention for you and concentrate on them. Create a shopping experience that is perfectly tailored to the respective platform. Instagram is a good choice if you have great product photos and a growing number of Instagram followers. If customer service is an important aspect of your business, Facebook is a good choice. For example, you can use Messenger to deliver superior customer service.

4. Optimize mobile shopping

The potential offered by mobile commerce is continuously on the rise. The resulting advantages should not be ignored. According to Mastercard's European Mobile Commerce Study, in the fourth quarter of 2018, around 84 percent of Germans (80 percent across Europe) purchased from their mobile devices, and 48 percent of Germans do so often or always. Almost three quarters (72 percent) of Germans planned to use their mobile devices for a holiday purchase last year. The majority intended to do this from the sofa (84 percent).

Since the mobile portion is so large, it is advisable to design your offer to be "Mobile first" and prioritize it for these devices. Every detail counts during the checkout process. Payment should be as simple and convenient as possible. Focus on convenience: the customer shouldn’t have to enter their payment information and shipping address every time they want to make a purchase. Express buttons, for example the PayPal Express button, help you expedite the payment process. Customers can use it to make and pay for purchases directly from a product page.

5. Offer a fast and free shipping service

Shipping can tip the scales when it comes to deciding whether to purchase or cancel an order. The figures speak for themselves: 26 percent of German online shoppers stop shopping if the delivery costs are too high. For 16 percent, long delivery times are a reason for abandonment. So, it's no wonder that many retailers offer free and fast shipping.

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6. Think of virtual assistants and voice-controlled searches

Inspire your tech-savvy customers by thinking of search engine optimization (SEO) keywords for language assistants. Approach a potential search from various perspectives, because customers often express themselves differently when searching via text input. Rather than thinking in terms, concentrate on answering questions, for example: "Where are the best smart TV offers on Cyber Monday?" instead of "best Cyber Monday offers for smart TVs".

What questions are your customers most likely to ask? Use these to create your content and metadata. By including this information in the backend of your website, you help search engines (and consumers) find your pages easily and quickly.

And just remember: Any marketing strategies and technology upgrades you implement before the 2019 holiday season could give you a head start next year as well. Just see these investments as a holiday gift for your company's growth!