Last week, we discussed improving email programs to ensure retailers are ready for the busy holiday season. Today, let’s dive deeper and explore strategies for maximizing eCommerce conversions during this critical time of year.
To achieve goals, retailers must be strategic, customer-centric, and proactive. Below are some key strategies to consider as we aim to maximize holiday eCommerce conversions:
- Incorporate shipping deadlines on the homepage and essential product pages. This is a crucial step to set clear customer expectations and ensure a smooth holiday shopping experience. Clear shipping deadlines set transparent expectations for customers. They know precisely when to place an order to receive it in time for the holidays.
- Emphasize scarcity and urgency. The psychology behind scarcity and urgency is clear: people naturally desire what they can’t have or what might slip away from them. Scarcity and urgency create a sense of immediacy, prompting customers to act quickly rather than delaying their decision.
- Maximize internal site search. While small, internal site search has rather large conversion rates, so optimizing internal site search for merchandise on your website makes sense to help customers find the products they’re looking for more efficiently. It’s also vital that site search has auto-suggestions, cross-sell opportunities, spell check functionality, and is mobile friendly.
- Testing and optimizing website speed is crucial, especially during high-traffic periods. Slow-loading websites can lead to poor user experiences and may result in visitors leaving before converting. Start by analyzing your website traffic data from the prior season.
- Prepare for the Pareto Principle. Also known as the 80/20 rule, merchandising and optimizing the website with this in mind means:
- Place best sellers in key hotspots and above the fold in critical areas: home page, landing pages, gateway, and category pages.
- Optimized on-site search.
- Optimized for SEO.
- Used in product recommendations and cross-selling.
- Create compelling and seamless calls to action (CTAs). These are needed elements because they provide clear direction to users and encourage them to take specific actions. They should be crystal clear and concise. Use action-oriented words like “Buy Now,” “Sign Up,” “Learn More,” or “Get Started,” which leaves no ambiguity about what action you want the user to take.
- Organize your products into categories and subcategories. Holiday behavior is different, which means the user experience should be different. Also, consider relevant filters to help customers find what they want. Don’t make them search through endless pages of products to see what they need. This means straightforward navigation, removing clutter, and prioritizing content.
- Include user-generated reviews and ratings on your product pages. This can make the difference for a new browser in a competitive marketplace. It is an effective strategy for building trust, increasing sales, and providing valuable information to potential buyers. Even better – display star ratings prominently near the product name or image.
- Provide exceptional customer service. Customers want to be in control of their experience and, therefore, be ready to meet their expectations with excellent customer service. Your customers will turn to social media for help with problems, so you must be present on the channels they often use, whether Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram.
- Competing against Amazon. Most online shoppers expect to make at least one-fourth of their holiday purchases on Amazon this season, according to recent research from Astound Commerce. Some 70% of online shoppers surveyed expect to make a quarter or more of their holiday purchases on Amazon; 40% of respondents intend to make half or more of their purchases on Amazon.
- Focus on personal customer experience, which customers still desire. Although Amazon is convenient, it lacks a personal touch. Make your customer feel important and that their business is valued. Things as simple as gift wrapping services and small thank you notes in the outgoing shipment keep customers returning.
- Consumers should not have to give up convenience to shop with your brand. Make the shopping experience simple and quick.
- Focus on your uniqueness, as this is your most powerful advantage. Amazon can offer such a massive variety of products, and while it is convenient, it does not provide a personalized experience. Focus on what makes your business or service unique through social media and online presence.
- Take advantage of the local factor. The fact that your business is local is a point of marketing leverage that Amazon will never be able to take from you. Community outreach, events, and partnerships are great ways to attract the locals and let them know you’re making a big holiday push.
The holiday season is a golden opportunity for us to connect with our audience, drive sales, and significantly impact your business.