Whether you just wound down your event or only beginning the hard work preparing for this year’s, today is always the day to be thinking about e-commerce. If your event just ended, you might be able to capture extra merchandise sales that help capture the memories. If you’re just ramping up, start thinking strategically about the best time to start selling tickets and this year’s signature items. To jump-start your efforts, we’ve pulled together 5 tips to help you drive more revenue with e-commerce.
1) Create a sense of urgency
Create special bundles of items or a limited-time discounts, so you can tap into your customers’ sense that they may be missing out on something if they don’t take action (e.g., for a limited time, offer free parking with event tickets). Use retail as your guide here. They often have repeated sales, sometimes with a little twist, to keep eyes on their offerings. These don’t just happen. Create an editorial calendar that includes promotions throughout the year.
2) Mobile – If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you are losing sales
Use your smartphone or tablet to purchase something from your website. How was the experience? Would you buy from your site? Make sure you have a touch-friendly user experience. Get rid of the Flash and minimize how much the customer has to type. Consumers must be able to easily interact with your site no matter where they are. If not, consumers will lose patience and you will lose a sale. Picture it this way – we use computers during the day, tablets on the sofa in the evening and we always have our smartphones on us. Internet Retailer reports that M-Commerce sales were up 82% in 2012 and they will rise another 56.5% in 2013. Even though mobile doesn’t represent a huge percentage of sales now, it’s only going UP!
3) Email everyone that bought something last year
Thank them for being your customer in 2012, and highlight anything that is new this year, potentially including a promotion to reward their loyalty (e.g., special pre-sale privileges or discounts). Train your customers to know they will get the latest and best info by signing up for your email. Facebook and Twitter are also obviously important ways to get information out, but don’t spend all your time there at the expense of email, which will create your highest revenue days of the year.
4) Make it social
The audiences you get in your online store are active on social networking sites. (Nearly everyone on the internet is on some social platform.) They use social media to share and recommend things they are currently excited about, including things they buy. And for most, if they are making a purchase, then they’ve gotten excited enough to open their wallets. Consider posting exclusive promotions just for your fans or followers. Encourage them to interact by posing questions to get the conversation started.
5) Give your customers the choice of how to get their tickets
You’ve optimized your website for the best experience, insured that your site works great on mobile, streamlined purchasing to make it as easy as possible, and added social links to encourage sharing.But how do you deliver tickets? Make it just as easy to get tickets as it is to buy from you by allowing your customers to print their tickets at home. Not only do you “Wow!” your customers and give them instant gratification on their purchase, you’ll save money. Fulfilling advanced ticket orders in-house, whether by mail or will call, can be expensive and time consuming. In addition to hardware and paper stock expenses, fulfillment requires your event to devote staff resources to print, sort, and mail tickets to each of your customers. Leary of fraud? With the right application and bar-code scanners (like SaffireScan just introduced from Saffire), you can verify not only the validity of a ticket, but also eliminate counterfeit tickets by including a unique code on each ticket.
Each of these tips can make its own impact, but as you use them together, you’ll have the best chance of increasing online sales.