If there was a worldwide consensus on just one topic, it would probably be that holiday sales begin earlier and earlier each year. Christmas decorations grace the shelves in September, Black Friday sales begin in October and we’re left scratching our heads wondering when the holidays begin and end.
For businesses, the holiday season begins even earlier than the average person’s. That quote about a bird and a worm really rings true here. It’s essential that your online business is prepared and ready for success as the world shifts into gifting season earlier and earlier.
In 2020, online sales in America alone are expected to increase by 33% to $189 billion, with 42% of those sales ($79.3 billion) being purchased on mobile phones, according to the Adobe Analytics holiday forecast. That’s nothing to joke about! Online retail sales continue to climb and explode in growth.
We begin preparing our clients’ sites in the summer because we know how crucial it is for their eCommerce stores to weather the storm. The holiday season storm, that is! Below are a few tried and true ways to prepare and improve your online store for the holidays.
Speed Up Your Site
Did you know that if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, almost 50% of users leave? That’s too drastic of a drop-off to ignore. Site speed should be your top priority if you want higher conversion rates, lower bounce rates and stronger customer retention.
In this day and age, blurry images and unpolished graphics just don’t cut it anymore. Customers not only expect high quality product images, but quick loading times. Otherwise, statistics show that they exit and search for the next best “quick-loading” item. As businesses increasingly focus their attention on online sales, the competition only tightens. If your site is behind the times, it will get left behind.
To combat this, check your image sizes. If they are large in size, that could be an indication to why your site is slow. There are several reasons why sites could load slow, which is why we have developed a unique Speed Audit test that analyzes the agility of each site in detail. Our specialized tools highlight which areas desperately need improvement, and indicate what fixes are essential to improve your online store. Our experienced developers then convert this knowledge into action and get sites up to speed, literally!
Email marketing is a great way to entice and keep customers coming back to your site. Special offers and discounts unique to email subscribers attract visitors to your site. Consider introducing emails into your marketing campaigns for the holidays if you aren’t already doing so! In fact, according to OptinMonster, email marketing was responsible for 24% of holiday sales during the 2018 holiday eCommerce season. Improve your online store with this brilliant holiday campaign!
Upselling is a simple and great way to increase customers’ basket sizes. Showcasing additional products customers may like or find useful is a tried and true method in increasing sales. We have developed several customizations to showcase companies’ best products during the checkout process that have dramatically increased the sizes of customer baskets!
Special holiday discounts have been around since, well, forever. Special promos for the holidays are a great way to join in on the fun and attract new customers to your site! Offer enticing incentives with promos and ads to customers, highlighting your best deals and steals for the season. This will help your store see an increase in traffic.
Fulfillment centers and inventory warehouses have been swamped since the beginning of the pandemic. With rushed panic-buying and an increase in online purchases, companies like Amazon and UPS have been playing catch-up since early days of Corona. With the holiday season right around the corner, the chaos will only grow!
Ensure your inventory management is up to speed and able to fulfill an influx of orders without hassle or stress. Devise a plan so that your products will be delivered on time and make the purchase deadline for on-time deliverables known to your customers.
For example, one of our clients wanted a specialized app that allowed him to establish the exact day the inventory is validated by Bold Subscriptions orders. He wanted full control of his inventory management system, so in response, we created our WS Inventory App. This app establishes full control over the backend of Shopify for the User. He wanted the capability to define the desired shipment day for the orders placed on a specific date and time. Our App gives him the ability to do so.
Ensure your inventory management system is up to par with your desired capabilities and specialized needs for your business!
It’s predicted that 42% of purchases will be made on smartphones. The game has changed, with more and more people turning to their phones to score a few deals. As space is more precious on a phone screen, be sure to have the best content front and center. Avoid making the customers scroll too long to find what they are looking for.
Mobile optimization should be a major focal point of every business at this point. If not, it’s probably time to start thinking about tailoring your site for mobile traffic to improve your online store! This is a fairly easy and highly profitable way to drive sales.
- Clearly display shipping information, sales and discounts to customers in easy to read fonts
- Focus the attention on call-to-action buttons with large and bright colors that attract the eyes
- Find tune SEO to make sure customers find exactly what they are searching for quickly and easily
Not only is mobile optimization necessary to compete with online growth, but web design is key to converting visitors to customers. According to big commerce, “Consumers give just 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about a site and 38% of them will stop engaging if the content or the design is unattractive.”
A well formatted website with clear graphics and pathways is essential in keeping customers on your site. Intuitive navigation so your site flows together without anything blocking the information current is instrumental for any site to attract visitors and convert them to customers.
Graphics and design cannot be compromised. Images need to be clear, polished and relevant to the content. The web design needs to be tailored to each company’s brand, values and presence that they want to convey to the world.
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday come to a close, it’s imperative that the holiday season is what you focus your attention on next. With these 5 simple ways to improve your store, holiday stress can turn into holiday cheer!
If you would like consultation or development on any of these above mentioned ways to improve your online store, give us a call today! We can discuss your project together, and how we can optimize your site for the holiday season.