Ecommerce businesses are not immune to the dreaded offseason. Whether you run an online winter gear shop or a website that sells summertime goods and accessories, there likely comes a time each year when business slows down considerably.
Fewer customers means fewer orders processed, which then means you have more time on your hands. Use it as an opportunity to shift your focus to marketing your ecommerce business.
In this post, we highlight three ways you can market your e-commerce business during the offseason.
Attract more potential customers
The offseason is your chance to grow your potential customer base. If you want to gather the maximum number of prospects, then email marketing is your best bet. Use the extra time in your offseason to optimise your email subscription forms and landing pages.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can improve your subscription forms and landing pages.
Simplify the subscription process
The first thing you need to do is to make it easy for potential customers to subscribe to your mailing list. If you’re not getting enough signups, your forms may contain too many fields.
Avoid asking unnecessary questions and just focus on crucial pieces of information such as the person’s name, email address, and one or two questions that help with your segmentation.
For website visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter, you need to show what they will gain from doing so. The copy on your signup forms and landing pages should showcase the benefits of joining your email list.
Here’s a great example from Starbucks for some inspiration:
Leverage social media
Once you’ve updated your landing pages and email subscription forms, you can promote them on your social media pages. On Facebook and Twitter, you can post the links to your subscription forms and include a catchy tagline. On Instagram, you can post a photo with a caption that directs followers to your subscription form via the link in your Instagram bio.
Encourage customers to provide feedback
According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 86% of consumers read reviews. Further, 91% of consumers aged 18 to 34 trust online reviews and treat them the same way as personal recommendations.
The takeaway here is that online reviews are important in e-commerce. Since there is no face-to-face interaction between you and customers, potential customers base their purchasing decisions on reviews.
During your peak months, make it a point to collect reviews from your customers, especially the loyal ones who’ve purchased from you time and time again. A few days after a customer receives an order, send them a feedback email and ask them to provide an honest review of their purchase.
Allow customers to give your product a rating, and ask them what they liked about the product as well as what they didn’t like. Inquire about the purchasing experience as a whole—Was the checkout process smooth? Did the order arrive on time? What can your business do to improve?
Entice customers to give you feedback by offering them an incentive. It can increase your response rates by 30%.
Gathering these reviews allows you to achieve two things:
- You can post positive reviews on your website and social media pages during the offseason. This keeps your business top of mind with potential buyers and reminds them that your business is popular with tons of happy customers.
- You can use average and negative reviews to determine how you can improve specific aspects of your business. This can include product quality, product choices, website speed, your checkout process, and even your return and exchange policies.
Continue publishing content
The best way to drive traffic to your website in the offseason is to continue creating content. Publish blog posts with a goal to address your audience’s pain points or problems. Your content should focus on helping readers, not overselling specific products or services.
Creating this type of helpful and valuable content is key to making potential customers return to your website even during the offseason. When the next peak season comes, they’ll already be extremely familiar with your brand and offerings, which will make them more inclined to purchase from your website.
Your offseason is also the perfect opportunity to review your old content and update it as necessary. You can add keywords to certain blog posts (provided they fit), update obsolete data and statistics, and add high-quality images to posts that are mostly text-based.
You should also check if all the information on your website is accurate and updated, especially when it comes to your contact information, buying guidelines, and the prices of your products.
Your e-commerce business doesn’t have to suffer just because it’s the offseason. While it’s true that you may experience a decrease in revenue, the offseason also presents you with a host of advantages.
There’s no need to view the offseason in a negative light. Instead, take advantage of it and try out the strategies mentioned. When you follow the advice outlined in this post, you’ll gather more potential customers, improve customer experience, and keep your business top of mind with consumers year-round.