The holidays are fast approaching, and if you’re a retail merchant, it’s more important than ever to be as prepared as possible. Much has changed this year, but online holiday shopping is expected to be busier than ever as more shoppers are looking to avoid crowds and explore contactless gifting options. That means more customers will be taking advantage of online sales days like Cyber Monday, as well as online Black Friday promotions.
Making sure you’re equipped with the right resources to provide a seamless transition to online shopping is necessary to keeping your business competitive right now. In a study conducted by Moneris, we found that 70% of shoppers were planning to complete their holiday purchases online, with 16% reporting that they were planning to start their holiday shopping early this year1.
Here’s how you can make sure your business is ready for the holiday shopping season, from Cyber Monday through Boxing Day.
Build a website quickly with Bookmark’s AI
First things first: you need a website. Not to overstate the obvious, but you won’t be able to participate in Cyber Monday, or any online holiday shopping for that matter, without an online presence that’s easy to find, navigate, and shop.
Bookmark is a web service that lets you build your own website in minutes, using AiDA, a powerful artificial intelligence design assistant. No coding or design experience is required on your end—AiDA will take care of it for you. Within minutes, you can create a stunning website that reflects your brand and informs customers.
Sell eGift Cards for quick, contactless gifting
Convenience is the name of the game this holiday gifting season, and eGift offers a quick, contactless, and flexible way for shoppers to purchase electronic gift cards directly from your website. Don’t have an online store? Not to worry—eGift is a complete shopping cart that is easily integrated to allow customers to purchase directly from your website.
Not only can eGift Cards be purchased quickly online, but they can also be sent to recipients through email or text for a contactless last-minute gift. eGift Cards are also compatible with Apple Wallet, allowing customers to carry eGift cards wherever they go with their mobile device.
As for merchant features, eGift comes with access to our Gift Web Portal, which includes enhanced reporting so that you can track your online orders, and administrative features so that you can resend eGift Cards, resend receipts, investigate orders, and more.
And just in time for the holiday shopping season, we’ve launched promotions for eGift. Using the Web Portal, merchants can apply a time-bound promotion to help incentivize customers to buy eGift Cards. For example: Buy a $100 eGift Card and receive a $10 Promo Card. This is a great incentive to get customers to buy more!
Once you've created a website and added eGift (and perhaps an online store), it's time to amplify your promotions and grow your website traffic with Google Ads.
If you're a Visa cardholder, there's a special offer you can take advantage of right now: Buy one (1) month of Google Ads and get up to $150 off of your second month. Use Google Ads to get in front of customers when they're searching for businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps. You can build your campaign in as little as 10 minutes, and only pay for leads such as clicks to your website or calls to your business. (You can learn more about the offer and get started here).
Ramp up excitement through your own digital channels
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of your own resources to reach out to your customer base. If you have a database of email contacts, use that to send out any communications about upcoming holiday promotions (or to let them know about all the shopping they can do from your website).
Another great channel to use is Instagram—especially in the time of COVID-19, more customers than ever are turning to social media to get information about their favourite retailers and brands, including updated hours of operation, new product drops, and of course, upcoming promotions.
Strengthening your online presence is a great overall strategy
While the four tips we mentioned above are great for ramping up your online presence prior to Cyber Monday, they’ll also help your business thrive year-round. The more you can use your online resources to provide shopping alternatives for customers and get the word out about your business, the better you will fare in a world that’s increasingly online.
The information in this article is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, business or other professional advice or an endorsement of any of the websites or services listed.
1An online study conducted by Leger on behalf of Moneris surveyed over 1,500 Canadians between September 25 – 27, 2020.