When it comes to WooCommerce optimisation, there is no better time to optimise your site than during discounted sale promotions. Post-Christmas January sales are a fantastic time for retail businesses. They are an excellent opportunity to clear out your warehouse full of old stock, while bringing high spikes of traffic from bargain hunters.
If you use WooCommerce as the platform to sell your products, you’ll be pleased to know there are many WooCommerce tools and extensions enabling you to offer sales, discounts and promotions. We recommend the following WooCommerce extensions to optimise sale promotions:
- Smart Coupons – This extension allows you to add discount codes, gift certificates and store credits to your shop.
- WooCommerce Memberships – This extension allows you to restrict the items members or non-members can view, which help you offer member-only sales and offer pre-sale discounts to loyal customers.
Ensure your WooCommerce website is up and running throughout your sales promotion period
Before you start your sales promotions, you’ll need to check you have a secure, fast and scalable hosting environment in case the likes of Stephen Fry retweets your sales promotion. To make sure you avoid those dreaded 404s in one of retail’s busiest times, we recommend reviewing your hosting package and checking correct redirects are set up for expired products.
- Look at past sale promotion spikes and try to predict what your traffic numbers are likely to be this year. Check with your hosting provider to see if you need to go up a hosting package, or if you’ll be automatically upgraded if you meet the threshold.
- Don’t delete sold out product pages, just hide them in your site’s product listings. Your older, popular product pages may well be bringing in traffic from around the web, so when you sell out of an item, make sure you do not delete the page. Instead, just hide the product in listings or category pages, make sure you have a sold out message and include related product links.
Prepare the technical aspects of your WooCommerce website
Now you have your hosting package sorted, you’ll need to make sure the following technical aspects of your WooCommerce site are set up before starting your sales promotions:
- Ensure your website is fully responsive across all devices. People are increasingly shopping from eCommerce sites with on-the-go devices. Many people get new mobile phones or tablets for Christmas, and they’ll probably be using these new devices to access your website. Make sure your site doesn’t let you down by ensuring your site is fully responsive.
- Display low stock numbers. This is so you can add a sense of urgency to your customer’s shopping experience. In your Inventory Options have the Stock Display Format as Only show stock when low. This will show “only 2 left in stock” instead of “In stock” on product pages.
- Offer support on your website to immediately answer any questions your customer might have. Customers expect a response within 5 minutes when contacting an online retailer about an enquiry or issue, so offering a service such as in-built chat will help you respond to customers as soon as their enquiries come in. We’ve made a custom plugin that allows you to do this called Chatlio for WordPress.
Push your sale promotion within your website
During your sale promotion period, you will need to target your sales items and promote them within your WooCommerce store. To do so, make sure you follow the tips below to optimise and advertise your sale promotion within your website.
- Target your copy to sale promotion shoppers. Whereas your pre-Christmas shoppers would have been shopping for gifts, your post-Christmas sale shoppers will be buying for themselves. Make sure you target your product titles and descriptions accordingly. Try split testing product titles to get the best results.
- Make sure your customers can find what they’re looking for, fast. A few days into your sale promotion, look at your analytics and view your top 10 searches that customers are searching for. The top 5 items they search for should be the most apparent on your homepage.
- Reduce cart abandonment. Be as transparent as you can throughout the shopping process to avoid cart abandonment. Most customers that abandon their cart do so if there are unexpected costs such as a higher than expected shipping cost. Offering services such as free shipping and hassle-free returns will encourage more customers to buy.
- Categorise your sale promotion items. Put all your sale items into a sale category on your website. If you have lots of items (50+) try categorising your sale items into categories such as women’s sale shoes, men’s sale shirts, etc.
- Make the sale promotion category stand out. Link to your sales promotion category on the homepage and ensure the category link is in a bright, bold colour, such as red, which is always associated with discounts online.
- Upload sale promotion stickers on your product imagery. This is so visitors are instantly aware if a product is reduced.
- Update your website graphics to get in the festive mood. Add graphics of snowflakes, use red colours to grab attention.
Establish a sale promotion strategy
- Stagger your discounts throughout the sale promotion period. Start with 20% off around Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and drop to 30%, 50% and 70% later in the month.
- Offer product category sale promotions. For example, you could provide a discount on all women’s coats one day, and then a discount on all men’s shoes the next. Make it a surprise what category you will discount next so that you give customers something to return for.
- Cross sell your sale promotion products. By cross promoting your sale promotion items with full price items you can increase your overall sales and profits. This also advertises your new collection to shoppers who may come back and buy.
Publicise your sale promotions externally
- Be active on social media, sharing links to your sale promotion pages and products. Try to mention the percentage of discount and if the stock is low to add a sense of urgency. We would recommend promoting your sale promotions on social media once a day, and promoting individual items 5-10 times a day, depending on the size of your inventory.
- Reward sale promotion customers with vouchers. In your order confirmation email, include coupons that customers can redeem in the future. This will turn one-off bargain shoppers into returning customers.
- Invest in blogger outreach. Ask bloggers to feature your sale promotion items in their upcoming blog posts.