Last year, more than 130 million consumers planned to shop on the Saturday before Christmas. Called "Super Saturday" or "Panic Saturday", it drops on December 21 this year, and data trends say that more than 15 percent of shoppers will still be chasing gifts. Only 34 percent reported that they would be ready by December 18.
Although last-minute shoppers account for more than half of all consumers buying gifts, they usually do not follow unique shopping patterns. The reasons for waiting vary, but the need is consistent: find the right gifts in time to wrap and place them under the tree.
Procrastinators prefer to buy multiple gifts in one shopping session. Websites that sell a variety of goods will be better, but stores that cater to a niche market can also achieve great success.
Follow these tips to make sure your business is appealing to the late vacationers.
To appeal to Procrastinators
Fast delivery is a must. In recent days, it's more about speed and reliability. Some customers take time to compare prices with other stores, but a good number accept increased shipping costs as long as they are not too inflated.
Free shipping after Christmas can make you a hero. Why miss a sale because of the cost of ships overnight? Promising fast order processing so that the items will arrive within a few days of Christmas can mitigate blows.
Simple, printable product pages mean you have your back. Sometimes shoppers have to accept that their gifts are not on time. Helping them to bring a nice print of the item on a card is much better than not having something for the gift recipient.
Pay attention to gift guides and popular items. This not only gives shoppers gift ideas, but it can also help them check more gifts from their lists. Include links to stocking fillers (small, light items that ship cheaply and quickly) and gifts by price range.
Be active in the chat. Panic buyers often require guidance. Although live site chat is best, Facebook Messenger and other social apps can also help close sales.
Hype last minute deals. While procrastinators may be willing to pay more, everyone loves a bargain. The last week is a good time to show off top layers and bearings that will lose traction after the new year.
Show the mark "Get it by Christmas" on qualified products. This eliminates customer research and guesswork. Be sure to include notations of necessary delivery methods for timely delivery.
Offer discounts on items that cannot be sent on time, regardless of carrier. Pay attention to products that will not arrive until December 24. A short message, such as "Unfortunately, this item will not ship until December 27. Order today and receive free standard shipping," can inspire immediate purchase to give after a vacation.
Set returns for exchange and exchange until January 31 or later. Knowing the recipient will have a full month to exchange the gift will motivate a reluctant shopper to click the buy button.
Spotlight e-gift cards and certificates. Digital gift cards are the go-to item when pressed to find the right gift. In addition, nearly 60 percent of shoppers, including delays, prefer to get gift cards and certificates so they can choose what they want.
Streamline the checkout process. Take a few moments and turn off all unnecessary elements on the checkout pages. At the last minute shoppers already feel the pressure of being rushed, so don't add to the stress by asking for more information than is important for processing the order.
Respond to requests quickly. Have a plan to respond to emails, social mentions, comments and messages as quickly as possible. Try to respond within 20 minutes.
Dealing with procrastinators can be frustrating. However, their goals are simpler than most. Embrace their situation and you are sure to attract some to return after the holidays.
By the way, there is another group of buyers at the last minute. Some people – by necessity or choice – celebrate after December 25th. It is a good reason to have specific landing pages and content for the Christmas Day in readiness.