As the holidays approach it’s a great time to prepare your e-commerce store for the season. The holiday rush is the most profitable time of the year with 57% of shoppers doing their shopping online, while only 43% will be heading into stores. In the age of e-commerce it’s essential to have your brand stand out from the crowd by preparing, so your customers can shop with ease and enjoy their holiday shopping experience to the fullest! Here are some ways your customers can make the most out of your site this holiday.
1. Update Your Website!
The most important tip you want to keep in mind is to make sure your website is fully updated with your content! Ensure all product information is updated and photos are recent and added to all products. The Square app found that only 11% of retail items were sold without an image, while 88% of items were sold after an image was added. If shipping and return policies will be changing for the holidays keep that in mind and ensure your customers shopping experience will be smooth by updating your policies on your website.
Another great way you can help your customer’s shop with ease is by having updated product reviews. The majority of consumers will base their purchases on reviews of what other people think of your products. So encourage your customers to leave some great reviews on your website to push sales this holiday season! And lastly, don't be afraid to update the aesthetic of your website! Add some holiday cheer to your website to get visitors in the shopping mood. Or just give your website a refresh this year if it’s been a while since you’ve changed things around, since styles and website trends are always changing.
2. Surge Testing
Before the holiday season begins you may have a rush of visitors to your website. The first thing you want to do before the rush, is ensure your website is ready for the traffic. Did you know 70% of consumers said page speed affects their decision to buy from an online retailer? You can do this by testing the speed of your website periodically to make sure your customers are having the best experience while shopping, or else they may choose to go elsewhere if your website is too slow! You can do this on multiple websites that offer speed tests.
Check out this link on how you can run a speed test on your website! Running a Website Speed Test: Best Practices
Another feature you can test is your payment gateways. Make sure all payment methods are functioning as they should to make the checkout process smooth. If possible, consider even adding more methods to pay such as Apple Pay, Paypal, Google Pay, Cash App and more. Adding a buy now, pay later option has become increasingly popular as well. Also, offering ways to pay in installments can help increase your chances of making a sale. All of these can make purchasing your products easier for your consumers!
Check all internal and external links, phone numbers, and spelling.
Test form validation. What is required vs. optional? Can you enter anything in the email address or zip code field?
Click through all navigation, including breadcrumbs
Keep visual consistency in mind as you’re testing. For example, look at how buttons and links are styled, compare from page to page or tool to tool.
Test atypical scenarios and for error checking. For example, what happens if you don’t enter a search term and click Go?
Based on your testing, document these bugs and make the changes needed. Work with your team to identify necessary adjustments to your website. Make time for one more round of testing to catch any last minute bugs before the holidays. This will make your customer’s shopping experience smooth and easy!
The best way to take advantage of the holiday season is to market your products in the months leading up to it. One great idea would be to launch a new product! Something limited edition for the holiday season, or entice your customers with a special holiday promotion they can take advantage of. Getting your customers excited to shop with your brand is the key to creating loyal customers. Adding personalization, gift wrapping, or gift cards is another great feature to add to your website to really embrace the holiday season with your customers!
Another way to create loyal customers is by implementing a loyalty program for them before the season starts. This will bring customers back even when the holidays are over.
Customers can create accounts to…
Track their orders
View order history
Quickly reorder their favourite items
Get unique product recommendations based on their order history
The last tip to preparing for the holidays is, once customers add items to their cart and happen to abandon their items, a great way to bring them back would be to set up abandoned cart emails. This is an excellent marketing tool to help re-engage customers and encourage them to return to your website and complete their purchases!
This holiday season, create a shopping experience that entices your customers and offers an easy purchase (and post-purchase). This will give your customers a reason to choose your store over others. Make it easy and quick to shop with your brand however they choose to do it! Wishing everyone luck with this upcoming holiday season!