How to Optimize Your Online Store for the Holidays

Santa and his elves may be busy putting the finishing touches on toys for girls and boys but is your online store optimized and ready for the holiday rush?

Holiday shopping can be an incredibly stressful activity for some so you want to make sure your customers can find what they need quickly and easily—while inspiring them to purchase unexpected gifts for themselves.

As the holidays approach, we’ve put together tips from reducing bounce to sending cart abandonment emails that will increase your conversion and sales over the holiday season.

1) Reduce Bounce Rate

Did you know?
It takes about 3 seconds for users to form an opinion about your online store that determines whether they’ll stay or leave.

best-sellerThe holiday season can reward you with many first time visitors who might not necessarily be familiar with your brand and the various products your store has to offer. Make sure you display your best selling products across the major categories on your homepage to inspire your visitors as soon as they arrive as best selling products usually tend to convert best.

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How to inspire your visitors with wisdom of the crowd

Add automated best seller lists on your homepage by displaying the top selling products in your ecommerce store across the major categories based on the timeframe you determine (e.g. last week, last 15 days, etc.)

2) Increase Average Order Value at Checkout

Did you know?
4 out of 5 European consumers are willing to meet a minimum purchase amount for free shipping.

The shopping cart is the last chance to help customers find great products alternative and complementary products. When customers reach checkout you can encourage them to buy a little more to complete the set or pick up some last-minute stocking stuffers. Try showing them accessories related to what’s in their cart along with personalized recommendations, or offer free shipping after a certain purchase amount threshold.

How to boost your Average Order Value

Add upsell / cross-sell recommendations on your shopping cart page to make sure your visitors find everything they needed and more. You can also incentivize customers to make additional purchases by offering free shipping based on their cart value.

3) Optimize For Mobile

Did you know?
Shoppers are going mobile—so much so that mobile ecommerce drove $12.65 billion in holiday season spending in 2015.

Christmas Mobile Optimization

Mobile ecommerce is perfect for shoppers who want to make a quick purchase in this stressful time of year, but if your store isn’t mobile friendly you’ll turn them away. Remember to take into consideration the small screens your customers will be browsing your site through.

How to create a mobile-friendly shopping experience

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Less is definitely more on a mobile-friendly online store, try to simplify your content and make sure you add space between buttons and links to avoid missclicks on touch screens. With less time spent on mobile sites, it is also important to be showing the most relevant recommendations as early on as possible.

 4) Enhance Your Onsite Search

Did you know?
Onsite search is the second most visited area of any given website.

Some shoppers have specific gifts in mind, ensure your onsite search is dynamic and doesn’t require shoppers to type in exact product names. You don’t want customers to leave the shop with an empty cart just because they misspelled what they were looking for!

Search related recommendations are also a great way to help customers explore more relevant products you have to offer. 

How to turn search into conversions

Add search related recommendations to your onsite search page and recommend the most relevant products according to the browsing and buying behavior of customers who previously used the same search term.

5) Send Cart Abandonment Emails

Did you know?
The current average cart abandonment rate is a staggering 65%. Sending a cart abandonment email uplifts sales by an average of 8.1% and makes on average £21.29.

There’s little more frustrating than guiding a customer through the buying journey, right up to the checkout, and then losing them at the last moment. And unlike with face-to-face sales, you’re not there to ask them why, or to have another stab at closing them down. But the good news is that an abandoned cart doesn’t have to be the end of the story.

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How to reconnect with a customer who hasn’t checked out

Automatically send out a cart abandonment email to customers who’ve added items in their shopping cart and left without completing their purchase. As well as reminding the customer about their original choices, you can also try and catch their eye with other products that might encourage them to complete, and even increase, the sale. If you need help with this, our Recommendation Solution can identify what these eye-catching products might be, based on each individual shopper’s browsing habits.

To wrap it all up, here are five 5 second suggestions for you to consider:
  • Consider displaying best selling products across your entire ecommerce store on your homepage.
  • Optimize your shopping cart page with personalized recommendations and free shipping offers based on cart value.
  • Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices.
  • Remind your visitors of items they have left behind with cart abandonment emails.
  • Encourage new customers to sign up from their order confirmation page or receipt to receive exclusive email deals. By building your list, you can reach shoppers well after the holiday season and into the next year.