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7 tips to boost your holiday sales with Jigoshop this Christmas

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Online shopping is always boosted by the Christmas period. A recent U.S study reported 87% of people will be buying at least as much online as they did in 2011, if not more. And the UK is in a similar situation, so how could you boost your sales this Winter?

Christmas shopping

Your online store could be this busy for Christmas (Image by PeterHilton, CC Licence)

1. Highlight holiday deadlines, and use a countdown timer:

Encourage customers to act now, rather than waiting and missing the opportunity, by highlighting how long is left for them to place their order in time for Christmas. Make sure your shipping times are included in the deadline to ensure you’re able to get your products to the customer in time, and use email newsletters and social media to also offer a timely reminder or two.

2. Update and optimise buying guides:

Now’s the time to be creating content which helps guide people to your best products – gift guides and tips should be relevant, useful and deliver the right sort of traffic to your website to help you sell more stock.

And you can segment your products in all kinds of ways, from stocking fillers by size, colours, or price points.

3. Customise calls to action:

One of the few times you might be able to use some creativity is at Christmas, when changing from ‘Buy Now’ to something Santa related could spark that additional interest and tip someone into a purchase.

4. Highlight shipping options:

83% of online shoppers surveyed said that free shipping is the biggest reason for them to buy a product from a particular retailer, so even if you don’t offer to send your stock for nothing during the rest of the year, it could well be worth biting the bullet over Christmas. And 73% said that ease of shipping is one of the main reasons why they shop online, so make it nice and clear for them. We have a table rate shipping plugin to help with that.

5. Highlight stock levels:

The scarcity factor is important if you only have a few of a product line in stock and someone knows it would make the perfect present for their mum/dad/son/daughter etc. So alert your customers when supplies of a popular product are running low due to demand.

6. Gift cards and gift wrapping:

Have you considered offering a gift card or gift wrapping service? As the deadlines for holiday post and shipping come nearer and nearer, customers will be under increasing pressure to get their gifts delivered on time, and a gift card/wrapping option is not only a useful service, but could either be upsold, or offered for free as a marketing tool.

7. Holiday emails for existing customers:

You’re likely to have customers who may have signed up for your email newsletter but haven’t made a purchase in a while, so why not send out something with a holiday theme to put your shop back at the front of their mind while they’re sorting their present buying?

Need email options? How about Custom HTML Emails, Campaign Monitor, or Mailchimp?

Share your holiday eCommerce tips:

What tips and advice do you have for eCommerce over the Christmas period? Post a comment to share or ask for further advice, whether it’s promotionas, search engine optimisation or social media.

5 offline eCommerce marketing tips

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So you’ve got a great eCommerce website set up with Jigoshop, and you’re making the most of the search and social media marketing opportunities, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about promoting your business offline as well, particularly when you can use cheap or free methods to get print coverage, raise awareness, keep customers and ultimately sell more products:

Promotion included with every product:

The Sticker Door
Getting new customers costs you time and money as you convince them to buy

your products for the first time. By contrast, happy repeat customers are the best way to build your business and increase your profits, so why not include promotion with every product that you ship?

If can be as simple as a handwritten note, a flyer, or something more imag

inative. For years, many companies have included stickers and other ways for customers to share the fact that they like your products.

And by using a specific url on your stickers, for example, you can still track how many people visit your website and make a purchase.

Use QR Codes to allow mobile users to purchase:

The QR Code should take you to www.jigoshop.com

Jigoshop already utilises responsive themes which means that anyone visiting your website via their smart-phone or tablet device. So given that mobile internet use has rocketed, and it is highest at times when computer use is lowest (Mobile traffic spikes in the evenings and weekends), you’ll want to make the most of this relatively new opportunity.

So why not make sure you have a QR Code available wherever your customers might see it?

Anyone with a suitable phone or application can take a picture of the above QR Code and be taken straight to a website or page. That means your customers won’t have to spend time trying to type an address on their screen or keyboard and instead get straight into browsing and buying your products. And it’s free to generate a QR Code for any url via various services.

Attend and get the most from events:

Crowds 2 There are a huge number of events being organised every month, whether they are free local meet-ups or big national events. Some will allow you to meet others in your industry, or other WordPress users, for example, whilst others allow you to speak directly to potential customers. And meeting in person is a great way to quickly build trust and demonstrate who is behind your brand.

So before you go, make sure you’re prepared with plenty of business cards and flyers, a pen and notepad, and any product samples that will fit in your bag!

And don’t be shy once you’re there. Make an effort to chat and get to know as many people as you can, because everyone else will be feeling the same nerves as being in a room full of people, and will be glad of someone to talk to. Ask questions, listen to them, and wait for the right time to mention what you do.

Use your own real estate:

The tea round is an integral part of Jigoshop development cycles

Quite often advertising space on a website or in print is referred to as real estate, but you might have quite a lot available for free that you haven’t thought about.

Some companies have started to sell ad space on your house or car, but you don’t have to go quite that far. Instead of spending money to advertise the logos of clothing companies, why not create shirts and other clothing with your own logos and wear them instead?

Various companies offer a range of self-designed shirts,hats, laptop bags and other merchandise which you can use to promote your company. And if your brand takes off, you might find your customers start to buy them and help to market your company for you!

Get your (business) name in print:

Help A Reporter Out and NewsBasis, which both try to match journalists looking for contacts with suitable people for articles.
Newspapers
Mentions and links from other websites is great, but don’t forget that print newspapers and magazines still reach a large, and in some cases, hugely relevant audience. Besides following journalists and magazine writers online, you could also register with services such as

And in terms of local media, don’t be afraid to send out emails and press releases. The worst case scenario is that you’ll be ignored, but as long as you don’t start spamming or harassing reporters, you could find yourself getting decent local coverage pretty quickly.

What offline marketing do you recommend?

Have you got a great experience of marketing your store offline, or a new idea for a way to promote your business? We’d love to hear your stories and tips on how you’ve gained more customers, so why not post a comment?

Why it’s worth writing unique product descriptions with Jigoshop

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For a long time, there’s been a recognised benefit to writing great quality content. If you start by writing brilliant articles aimed at humans, and then take into account some SEO best practice, you’re off to a good start.

But when it comes to eCommerce product listings, there’s a temptation to duplicate content, particularly manufacturer information. That’s not surprising when you might have 100s of products (or if you’re a large retailer, potentially millions), but does it harm your chance of ranking highly in search engines for those products?

Proof unique product content ranks well:

Unique In addition to my own experiences with a range of eCommerce sites, a recent article on SEOMoz recently corroborated the value of unique content by looking at a range of examples from the biggest eCommerce retailers.

And those that ranked highly all included unique content in addition or instead of the manufacturer product information, even if it was just a few lines.

Add the fact that WordPress and Jigoshop are both optimised for discovery via search engines, and you could find some really good results even in fairly competitive areas just by adding some of your own flavour to product listings.

Just remember that a unique description doesn’t work if you then copy and paste it onto another 20 similar products.

Can you still use some syndicated content?

169 At the news standIt’s still possible to add manufacturer information and other syndicated content in your product descriptions, but it should be below your own unique creations, and mark it with a heading such as ‘Manufacturers Description’.

And be careful with user reviews. Encourage reviews from your customers by contacting them after their purchase, and if you’re using third-party review applications etc.

If you’ve got a lot of products but limited time, don’t panic – just concentrate on the most important products first e.g. your biggest sellers, or those with the highest margins.

Using social media to promote your Jigoshop store

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If you’re looking to promote your Jigoshop store on a small or non-existent budget, social media can be a huge help as it allows you to achieve a lot by investing your time rather than money. Social Media refers to everything from blogs and forums to Facebook, Twitter and now Google +, and the good news is that we often make purchases based on the advice of our friends online, or more often, the fact that our friends online have already bought something similar. The bad news is that to be effective, you might need to do a little more than just bunging a Like button on your shop and auto-feeding your content to Twitter. Continue reading