E-commerce is a major factor for most businesses, but never more so than during the holiday season. Online sales figures continue to climb – increasing by a whopping 15 percent in 2014 to reach more than $53 billion. Here are a few simple ways to help ensure that the people who visit your website during the holidays leave your site as customers.
- Make the experience convenient and navigating your website easy
If you’re marketing specific seasonal products or services, make it easy for potential customers to find those particular products. Don’t make visitors hunt down your special promotion items. If consumers have to work too hard to locate what they’re seeking, they’ll abandon your site for one that is more user-friendly. On that note, it’s critical that your website is also mobile user-friendly. More and more consumers are using their smart phones and tablets to buy things online. Run the mobile-friendly test provided by Google on your website and make any modifications needed as quickly as possible. If consumers can’t access your website easily and quickly via their mobile devices, they’ll turn to someone who can provide them with a smoother experience.
- Pick up the pace of your sales cycle during the holiday season
Make sure your holiday offers are time-sensitive and come with a sense of urgency. Encourage consumers to respond quickly to offers by establishing expiration dates and including compelling call-to-action incentives. If you use follow-up tactics (direct promotional offers to visitors who abandon their shopping carts or to those who peruse but don’t buy) to attract visitors to return to your website, recognize that you can follow up sooner and a little more aggressively during the holiday season. Your potential customers are actively buying products like yours during this period – and time is short. Get special incentives like free shipping and special discounts out post haste to entice them back. Re-marketing programs are also a very useful tool during the holidays. These allow you to follow your website visitors once they depart your site with targeted pop-up ads showing the items they just viewed on your website. Keeping the products they viewed visible as they surf the Internet is a good tactic to woo consumers back.
- Add more customer service features to your website during major shopping days
If you don’t offer live chat on your website, consider adding this feature during the peak shopping days of the season. And if you do offer this feature, consider expanding the hours your service is available. Answering queries promptly can help maximize sales. Also consider targeting visitors exiting without completing their purchases with a simple message asking if they need help or have questions.
Christmas comes but once a year. Smart businesses adapt their marketing and sales tactics accordingly to reap as much benefit as possible from the buying season.