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Holiday 2011 Run-Up: Website Tuning and Customer Retention

We have two last topics to cover today that will complete our week long of Holiday Run-Up Google AdWords directions.

The first topic is fine tuning your AdWords landing pages for those gift givers. As we previously explained, the gift giver has a predetermined budget, and they will spend that budget even if the gift recipient would never have spent that much on themselves. You should fine tune your website to help those gift givers.

First, let's add a bunch of new links inside your product catalog. You need specific links that say:
"Gifts for Under $100"
"Gifts for Under $200"
"Gifts for Under $300"
"Gifts for Under $500"

These links don't have to be real pages; in fact they could be fancy URLs that lead the user into a special search page for your website. You're going to need your web programmer's help on this. Naturally, you should change those gift levels to whatever is appropriate for your store or your target market. Unless you carry a bead line or some other alternative material jewelry you might not have items under $100 in your store right now.

Some e-commerce websites have built in search boxes and the ability to sort items by diamond, type, and price. Don't rely on these search boxes to facilitate the "Gifts for Under ..." link functionality. Links will be faster to find and faster to use whereas search boxes usually need a slight learning curve and may actually provide too many choices.

Here are a few other quick links that will aid the gift giver in their holiday buying quest:
"Gifts for Him"
"Gifts for Her"
"Gifts for Mom"
"Gifts for Dad"
"Gifts for Grandmothers"
"Gifts for Grandfathers"

Naturally each of these navigation links should bring someone to a page specifically arranged with gifts belonging to that product set. The website setup will probably be tricky, and perhaps even a bit manual through your CMS unless you have a really dynamic product catalog system.

One last possibility for a quick sales link is your list of best sellers. One of the prominent pages on your site for the holiday season should be your "Best Sellers." You could use this to show your actual best sellers, to show items you have good quantity stock on. If you don't want to show your best sellers, you could also show your highest rated items, assuming you have a rating system in your product catalog.

Now let's switch gears a little and give you a rather unusual idea that will help you turn that gift buyer into a salesman for you without them even knowing it.

Product education is necessary for a well rounded jewelry website. Educational information is a link magnet for Facebook users, those over sharing on Twitter, and for organic listing in search. However, let's take a totally different spin for the holiday season and provide something entertaining and worthy of sharing in person.

Imagine this link in your main navigation:
"Jewelry talk during your holiday meal"

Imagine a page where you've compiled an entertaining set of historical jewelry related stories that took place during the holiday season. Perhaps ancient engagement traditions, or the origin of the reason we wear the wedding ring on the right ring finger. What's the largest diamond ring ever given as a gift? What's the origin of pierced ears?

These are the things people might actually talk about during their holiday meal. Why would they? Because you provided the story to the gift giver and they bought jewelry from you. Assuming the gift of jewelry has a sentimental reason behind it that reason, and the quest to search for the right jewelry, will be a shared story amongst everyone. Hopefully your jewelry store's name will be mentioned a few times.

Now let's complete the cycle of Holiday AdWords adverting and talk about the gift recipient.

The gift giver saw your ad, clicked, visited your site, and either bought online or walked in your store. It's likely that after the sale you will never see that person again. They were not, and probably will never be, a long term customer because they were shopping with a predefined budget that lead them to you.

Your target customer is actually the gift recipient, but it's also likely that you will never meet them, learn their name, or get their email address, so you need to add some extra creativity to your sale.

Yesterday we suggested that you bundle a free appraisal with a large jewelry gift purchase. This idea might scare you to death considering that you might not have time to create a quality proposal during the busy holidays, and certainly the gift buyer is not willing to wait or come back. Instead you should provide a gift card, or a special invitation card which offers a special appraisal to the gift recipient.

Don't simply provide a card that says "Free Appraisal," and certainly do not casually say "tell so and so to bring this back for their free appraisal." Instead, you need to take the showmanship approach and create a big deal about this.

You could pre-print a holiday card that both congratulates the gift recipient on their new jewelry and explain that "a full appraisal, which is usable for insurance purposes, was also purchased along with this jewelry." To redeem, simply present this card at Jones Jewelers. The gift buyer will appear to be a hero because they were thoughtful enough to spent extra money on the appraisal; after all, it's important for the insurance company. The gift buyer will appreciate that you are making them look like a hero without needing to spend another penny.

The magic in this strategy is that the gift recipient must come back to your store so their name can be officially attached to the appraisal, and at that point you now have a new sales lead.

On the other hand you could also provide some extra service as an insert in the jewelry bundle instead of the appraisal. You could include directions for using the jewelry cleaner or perhaps a special offer for 50% savings on their birthday if they register on your website.

Even if Google AdWords wasn't the original source for the sales lead, every sale during the holiday season could use the customer retention strategies explained above.

That's it for this week; have a great weekend and perhaps some of us will bump into you at the JA Special Delivery show in NYC this weekend.
AT: 10/21/2011 12:19:53 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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