The holiday season is right around the corner! The second those Halloween decorations come down, you can guarantee that consumers will switch over to “holiday mode”. If your brand has an e-commerce store, you’ve likely been doing your holiday prep for weeks now. But, if you’re a little late to the game (not pointing any fingers!) there are still a few tweaks you can make to your website without having to do a complete redesign. Each year we’re seeing consumers start their holiday shopping earlier and earlier, so there’s no time to delay. Let’s dive in…
- Create a section on your site to highlight sales and specials
When it comes to the holidays, it’s all about finding the hottest deals. And if you’re not offering any, your competitors probably are. Make your sales and specials easy for consumers to find and identify. Consider creating a single page or section on your website dedicated to showcasing and defining your holiday promotions. As an added bonus, this type of page becomes an easy resource for users to share across social media and can often provide a nice SEO boost, which means more exposure for your brand.
- Make your search bar prominent…and make sure it works
My holiday shopping list usually looks something like this:
- Mom: Gold stud earring from Sundance
- Sister: Under Armour sweatpants
- Brother: Carry-on size roller bag
- Dad: NO IDEA!
We’ll address those that fall within the “NO IDEA” category in #3, but first let’s address your customers who know exactly what they want to purchase.
When a user comes to your site looking for something specific, make it easy for them to find it quickly. A search bar that returns highly quality results is the easiest way to do this without clogging up your home page or navigation.
- Create themed pages and gift guides
Now let’s address the dad in the room (i.e. those on the shopping list that fall within the “no idea” gift giving category). Trying to find the perfect gift for those “hard to buy for” people on your customers’ list is overwhelming. Make it easier for shoppers by creating gift collection segments, or gift guides, by age, gender, hobby, price point, or whatever segments make sense for your product line. This helps the shopper easily find a gift for everyone on their list (maybe even dad!), and helps boost sales for your brand. Everybody wins!Make sure you’re sharing these guides EVERYWHERE. In your email blasts, on social media, as part of your ad campaigns. Everywhere. If nobody sees them, they won’t do you any good. Get as many eyes on them as possible to really reap the benefits.
- Fine Tune Your Checkout Process
Abandoned carts are killer! If you do everything else right but don’t nail your checkout process, it’s all for nothing. A high cart abandonment rate is a a sign that there are flaws in your checkout process. Pull in some outsiders (friends, family, co-workers, people off the street) and have them run through your checkout process from start to finish and record their honest feedback. Are there too many required form fields? Does your cart page look untrustworthy? Were there fees added in the end that surprised them? All of these things can cause shoppers to change their mind about a purchase.
- Get Analytics in Place
Hopefully you already have some type of web analytics on your site. If that’s the case, it never hurts to make sure it’s working properly. Check to make sure that all pages and sales are being recorded accurately. The easiest way to do this is to run several test sales, then follow up by checking your web analytics to be sure those sales and visits were recorded. If you don’t’ see them, you’ve got issues.
Your website analytics becomes increasingly more valuable the longer you’ve had it in place. It’s essential that you know exactly what is and isn’t working on your e-commerce site, so you can adjust your strategies for next season, building upon successes, and fixing any mistakes.
If you’re not sure where to start here, check out a white paper I put together on the 5 Ways to Make Your Google Analytics Data More Powerful!
- Boost Your Site Speed
Site speed is everything. Google offers a great site speed tool that provides insight on how fast your website is loading, along with suggestions for improvement. According to Google:
Often times a few minor tweaks to your site can significantly improve your load speed, which will in-turn improve user experience and thus sales. Work with you developer to fix as many of the issues as possible before the holiday traffic starts pouring in.
- BONUS TIP: Provide a Shipping Calendar
Don’t let shoppers stress over whether or not their gifts will arrive in time for the holidays. Include a shipping calendar or chart somewhere on your website so shoppers know when they need to place orders by or if they need to upgrade their shipping method for expedited delivery.
eMarketer expects 2017 e-commerce to climb 15.8% from 2016. If you want your brand to have a piece of that pie, it’s absolutely critical that you create a positive e-commerce shopping experience. Now get to work!
Looking for even more tips on how to get your site ready for the holidays? We have the perfect guide for you!