Let’s play a fun little game of “Guess My Weekend Sales”, shall we?
Ok, open your sales report and check the figures for the previous weekend. I bet your report looks somewhat like that — with the sales sank on Saturday and Sunday.
Am I right? Ok, you owe me a cookie.
Why eCommerce Weekend Sales Fall?
The fact is — weekday sales being larger in volume than end-of-week ones is just the nature of eCommerce. On weekends, people are usually log-off and are more likely to do the bulk of their shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
Depending on your niche/ demographic, you may have a different trading pattern throughout the week. But generally, unless your eСommerce business is not in the hobby or entertainment sector, you are very likely to experience a 20-50% end-of-week sales slow down.
It’s a huge chuck of profit you may be losing every week.
1. Regular Weekend Discounts – the 1st Thing to Avoid!
To attract more customers, eCommerce shop owners usually go the easiest way and offer sweet weekend discounts.
However, despite a positive short-term effect, this type of a discount can make a tough impact on your bottom line. Selling products at a discounted rate can cost your business unnecessarily lost revenue. Worse, customers can stop buying your products during the week and wait for you to discount on the weekend, which can be counter-productive to your business.
So, you should think twice about the “carrots” you offer to your customers, and carefully choose the means to encourage them to purchase on weekends.
The only safe way in this case would be to organize flash sales.
Research into your market to find what day/time would be the best to launch your deal-a-day offer, analyze social media channels to find which ones will be more effective for its promotion.
Include 1-2 products into your special offer and make it valid for a few hours at a time. Urgency and limited validity will motivate customers to act faster.
2. Go Mobile
On weekends, most of people usually spend time away from their computers. But this is also the time when most of us heavily use mobile devices. Hence, an active mobile presence can greatly benefit eCommerce merchants during weekends.
Make sure that your online store has a great view on every mobile device. Get a responsive Web-design or user-friendly mobile theme so that visitors could easily navigate it on every tablet or smartphone.
Also, optimize your landing environment with mobile user experience in mind and create mobile-friendly Facebook and Twitter ads.
And finally, note that changes in working schedule bring changes in the way people use their mobile devices. That’s why you need to consider rescheduling the time for your mobile social and PPC ads to be displayed on Saturday and Sunday.
Analyze your weekend PPC campaigns to identify in which areas you spend a lot with no conversion. Next, you need to either bid less/more during this time or turn your campaign off during these ‘dead’ hours. It’s typically recommended to bid less on Friday and Saturday night as well as on Sunday morning.
3. Provide 24/7 Support
Your helping hand should always be available (even when you are not).
No matter how detailed your product descriptions may be, customers will always have questions. And if answers aren’t found, people are more likely to leave without buying.
Hence, 24/7 live chat or phone support can be a great way to avoid losing weekned sales. In addition, around-the-clock support service can be a great way of building customer loyalty, as the existing customers can easily resolve their issues at the earliest.
But what if you can’t afford to hire extra customer care personnel and don’t have time for doing 24/7 support on your own?
In this case, there’s a time- and cost-effective way to organize it.
That is the so-called DIY Support: knowledgebase, online manuals, video tutorials, FAQs section, etc. As long as your online help content is detailed, accurate and useful, shoppers can resolve their issues without picking up the phone or sending an email.
4. Provide Free Shipping
Providing free shipping will help you entice a bigger amount of weekend shoppers without hurting your profit margins.
Offer free shipping that last only 2 weekend days, promote this deal via your marketing channels, and you will see how quickly your weekend traffic and sales will get a boost.
Also, don’t forget to clearly show your potential customers how much they’re saving if they make a purchase at this time. That will create a sense of urgency and make them act faster.
Some sites get a steady stream traffic throughout the week, and some have a bigger amount of visitors over the weekend.
What you need is just to find these sites and place your ads there.
Remember that relevance is the key! Advertising your new anti mosquito spray on popular hiking portal will probably garner more sales than the same ad placed on a website popular with divers.
6. Sell the Weekend Lifestyle Around Your Product
Imagine it’s a lazy Saturday morning. You are browsing your favorite websites, checking Facebook and Twitter feed and – BOOM! You run into a flashing banner, a pesky Facebook ad or a series of promoted Tweets all trying to sell you something. The chances that you will interact with the ads that interfere with your weekend morning tranquility are close to zero.
On the contrary, if you land on a site that beautifully depicts lifestyle around the products they sell, and those images are closely associated with your favorite weekend pastimes, you are very likely to place an order.
In other words, imagery that shows bright examples of enjoyable weened activities made with the help of your products can trigger a faster purchasing decision.
Poler Stuff, an outdoor gear and sporting goods retailer, did a good job of this. Their imagery inspires prospective customers while promoting the outdoor weekend/vocation lifestyle and their products (in an under the radar way).
7. Encourage the Impulse Purchase
Impulse purchases can account for a significant chunk of your weekend sales.
As the research shows, about one-third of consumers make an impulse purchase every week. So if you manage to quickly convince your customers that they need to have your product RIGHT NOW, you can significantly improve your weekend sales stats.
This can be quite a challenge, though. You need to find a unique attention-getting sales pitch and a unique spin on the product to make it seem absolutely essential for a customer at this very moment.
8. ‘Add to Wish List’ Option
And finally, if for some reason customers can’t make a purchase on the weekend, let them get the desired products at a later date.
‘Add to Wish List’ option can be a magic wand both for store owners and shoppers.
For the former wish lists open up the door to potential sales: online merchants get a channel they can use to interact with potential customers, keep them updated on the products they want to get, spark their interest in purchasing related products and more. While the latter can use the wish list option to keep a track of the wanted products and get notified about special deals on the items added to it.
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That was quite a journey, thanks for your efforts to read it up to the very end!
Some of those suggestions I described in the post are easier to implement than others, but whichever you try, should yield an improvement.
I would love to hear your comments on these tips. Have you already tried any of these ways to improve your weekend sales? How did it work? Do you have your own strategy to increase end-of-week sales?
Please share your feedback in the comments below.