Holiday shopping season is here! So now’s the time to make those final fixes to your online store to crush your sales targets.
There’s a clear desire to make this year’s holiday season extra special. For many of us, it’ll be a chance to reunite with family after months apart. This anticipation is showing in the realm of retail – over half of UK consumers started their Christmas shopping already in September. Shoppers are also proving hesitant to return en masse to physical stores, with 57% planning to do most of their shopping from home.
1. Make sure your site’s set for heavy traffic
Yeah, this may sound like a no-brainer but the importance of site speed can’t be emphasized enough. A recent survey found over half of UK consumers claim slow loading websites are the main reason they abandon a purchase.
Run a performance test before the busiest holiday shopping days; this also means allowing some time for correcting and assessing your infrastructure.
2. Don’t forget to optimize for mobile
Speaking of your website’s speed, make sure you optimize your pages for mobile. Speed is just as crucial here – smartphone users will leave a site if it hasn’t loaded within five seconds. And this is no joke, with an estimated 49% of consumers using mobile devices to shop online.
E-commerce, smartphones and holiday season can be a match made in heaven. Take a look at your website design and think about eliminating any elements that may cause friction on mobiles.
3. Get product videos front and center
Product videos may be your most powerful tool in transforming holiday season browsers into buyers. After all, 73% more visitors who watch product videos will go ahead and make a purchase. And 71% of consumers would rather learn about a product by watching a video (as compared to other marketing content).
With many consumers staying home, video offers the best way to see a product in action – how it looks or moves. Watching a video can be like a scaled down in-store visit, giving consumers the chance to find out exactly how a product works without delving into tons of written material. This amount of detail also helps reduce return rates.
Make sure your videos are easy for the customer to find – at the top of the page, near the add-to-cart button. This is where purchase decisions happen. Major electronics retailer Power.fi saw add-to-cart conversions increase by up to 20% after adding product videos.
4. Find the perfect checkout flow
It’s the holidays: your online shoppers are busy. So make sure your checkout process is as frictionless as possible. Offer the possibility to avoid setting up an account by having guest checkout options or the chance to use social sign-ins like Facebook. Add as many payment options as possible – options that already have the customer’s details and password make checkout even easier.
The entire UX from copy to design should work to make checkout as easy as possible for your customer. How about following Amazon’s example and using a progress indicator to signal to the user how close they are to completing the purchase?
5. Follow up on cart abandonment
Cart abandonment is a real factor in peak shopping seasons. For example in 2020, the global shopping cart abandonment occurrence over the Black Friday weekend stood at 77.79%. So it’s clear, more work needs to be done by e-commercers to convince consumers to put their money where their clicking finger is.
Send upbeat, friendly cart abandonment emails, reminding potential consumers not to leave the deal they almost snapped up laying in the cart too long. Imaginative email marketing is also a great way to build connections with your customer base.
6. Feel the festive FOMO
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is an undeniable part of holiday season marketing. Let your customers see what you’re offering well before the peak of the season, and build anticipation and create a sense of urgency through emails and social media teasers.
Nothing says urgency or exclusivity like a time-limited deal. This doesn’t require a hefty social media campaign to succeed: a small teaser on your website could do the trick.
7. Don’t underestimate user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is all about harnessing the power of social proof to create trust and credibility. Authentic customer videos, such as unboxings, reviews, or how-tos can help your store stand out from the crowd. Especially for millennial audiences, UGC is considered more trustworthy than branded content. Video content is super important here too – 54% of people have purchased an item after viewing visual UGC related to it.
How about placing UGC videos or reviews on your product pages to improve the shopping experience and the product information available? Or using hashtags connected to your bestsellers and asking consumers to share UGC under the tag?
The best way to get ready for the holiday season 2021?
Automatically connecting product videos to your online store and placing them in prime position on your page is the quickest and easiest thing you can do to give your customers a stress-free holiday shopping experience…all from the comfort of their own homes.