The winter sale season can provide a real boost to brands seeking a strong finish to their year. But with consumer expectations and competition at an all-time high, simply slashing prices isn’t enough. Read on for three quick wins to help get your sales smoking 🔥

These days it can seem like sales are a year-round consideration — but the winter period still reigns supreme on the retail calendar. From BFCM and Cyber Weekend sales through to New Year’s offers and more, competition is sky-high. 

According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail projections, e-commerce sales are expected to hit up to $149 billion during the holiday period, which it defines as November through January. Online sales are set to soar in the range of 14% to 18% in comparison to 2018.

Customers have come to expect great bargains, and often reserve their purchasing power for this time of year. With every online store clamoring to promote their winter sales, here are three ways you can get ahead of the pack.

Decode Your Data 

We tend to be creatures of habit when it comes to our annual shopping patterns, so be sure to learn from historical customer data when you plan your sales strategy. This is an essential step towards making more informed decisions about who to target, when, and with what content or promotions.

A great way of diving into these annual trends is to take a look at the on-site search keywords that your customers typically entered for similar time periods across previous years. This will give a clear picture of where seasonal interest lies. You can then act by promoting, boosting and featuring certain products or categories to place them in a prime position for your bargain-hungry customers.

How to: Use Klevu analytics and Google Analytics to dig into past data, then make maximum use of Klevu’s Rule-based Merchandising option to boost these based on attributes or tags. For example, occasionwear for specific genders and price range ahead of Christmas party season.

Content is King

Content always gets an overhaul during the sales season. It’s important to remember to look closely at the smaller blocks of content that you deliver across your site when it comes to this finetuning, especially in relation to product search results. Ask yourself how can they be leveraged to best promote your sale items beyond the homepage.

Banner management can be a great tool here — specific and eye-catching messaging easily inserted where it counts, getting sales over the line. For extra emphasis, get creative with gif-based banners, as used by Made.com, who use Klevu’s functionality and this technique to emphasize the handmade nature of their sofas.

How to: Experiment with using custom banners in various locations on your site. Klevu allows for them to be displayed on the search results page, on the quick search UI or when specific search terms are entered. If multiple specific terms should be tagged, just use a comma (,) to separate them when listing.

Send a Clear Message

Oversized promotional graphics with sales-specific messaging splashed all across a homepage are a classic head-turner when it comes to attracting attention to your promotions. They work brilliantly when tied into broader social and PPC marketing campaigns.

But it’s also important to consider the many subtle but highly effective instances where microcopy can be leveraged to nudge shoppers towards your sale. The aim is to keep it front of mind once they’ve left the homepage.

One way to achieve this is through a pre-filled search bar term. Instead of leaving the on-site search box as a blank canvas, make the “Search for a bargain in our sale…” messaging follow your customers across every page of your site.

Another smart move is to use Klevu to monitor popular keywords that yield no results. Klevu client O’Neills (whose online stocked brands differ slightly from those in their physical stores) uses this tactic to great effect. These searches can then be redirected back to a similar brand or product that is not only stocked, but included within your sale, with customized messaging — “Sorry, we don’t stock Nike Pro Combat, but Under Armor is on sale today!” 

How To: Conduct a quick copy audit of your site. Where can microcopy be fine-tuned to redirect attention to specific promotions, or add a little seasonal personality into your branding across the holiday season? Don’t underestimate the power of these tiny changes to put a smile on the face of your sales-savvy customers.

Ready, Set, Sell

Winter sales are a great opportunity to drive significant revenue and give a final boost to your bottom line. And it’s never too late to refine your approach to your sales strategy — after all, methods that show impact can be replicated and refined throughout the year.

The three tried and tested tips shared in this article are sure to help give you the edge. Follow them to keep distracted, bargain-hungry shoppers on your site for longer, with sale items at the front of their minds.

Want to know more about how Klevu can provide all of the above functionality? Schedule a demo today.