The holiday season is fast approaching, and it’s never too early to start optimizing your website for the holiday season. This year, Trinity rounded up six areas of focus with questions to consider when implementing so your customers have the best possible experience on your e-commerce site.
Are you embracing the upcoming holiday season?
Updating your hero banner for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas is such a small thing that goes a long way. Showing your holiday spirit shows the human side of your brand. In addition, greeting customers with environmentally relevant images and messages increases the consumer’s confidence that the brand is engaging and responsive.
Do you offer seasonal specials?
Consider offering gift wrapping services or different shipping options where appropriate or possible. These options present you as a one-stop shop with complete convenience for the festive season.
Do you have gift guides curated?
Curated categories and/or recommendations for gift giving (under $50, seasonal items, ideas for family members, personalized items, etc.) and an additional discovery tool, such as a gift guide or product finder, can help solve that consumer pain point. need Curated guides are also a fantastic way to boost your eCommerce SEO performance.
Do you have timely offers available?
Do you offer special one-day concierges? BOGO offers? Make sure your offer is popular.
- Are the instructions for receiving/qualifying any offers clear?
- Are offers displayed in high-traffic and relevant areas?
- If you’re offering a deal on women’s shoes, don’t just advertise globally, but specifically on the women’s shoes category page.
- Reduce or remove less timely offers that may be distracting.
- More specifically, offers that are always running on the site may not be as enticing to customers during this time. Use your best judgment as to whether each promotion is appropriate or if it becomes noise against other offers.
You create urgency.
By building urgency, you can also educate your customers about when your sales are or how much time is left in the shopping season.
- Create a countdown for sales that are short-lived opportunities (Black Friday / Cyber Monday)
- Let them know when their last chance to get a gift is in time.
Do you have clear delivery expectations listed?
Customers are concerned about when their purchases will arrive, including the deadline by which they can order to receive it before Christmas.
Is customer service easily accessible at all stages of the purchasing process?
Shopping for others can lead to more questions about size, functionality, and compatibility. Along with accurately describing your products, make sure your customers have access to customer service at all stages of the buying process.
In addition, provide easy access to general store policies.
- Is your return/exchange policy clear and easy to access?
- How is the product shipped? Does it arrive in an unmarked box or product box?
Do you display clear stock messages on each product?
Be upfront and honest with customers about product inventory. Alert them when they are out of stock or when something will be delivered later than expected. This helps build your relationship with the customer beyond the holiday season.
Do you use promotional codes?
Make sure the process of entering the code is simple. Consider automatically applying the code to users when they meet the criteria, or add the code to your ad with the click of a button.
Use merchandising products that promote a one-stop shopping experience
Do certain products benefit from purchasing accessories available on your site? Be sure to let your customers know and create an easy way for them to add a second item to their order. This can be done directly on the product page as well as on the shopping cart page.
Promote sales of relevant merchandise that will appeal to gift buyers.
Create product lists for “Best Sellers,” “Just in Time for Christmas,” and more to help direct customers to areas of interest.
Promote gift cards to undecided shoppers.
Not only is this a great option for those who don’t have the perfect gift in mind, it’s also a great opportunity for specialty stores based on need. For example, a manufacturer of spare parts. you might not buy a carburetor for a Christmas present…but a gift card will be nice to have on hand for when something happens down the road.
Is it easy and intuitive to use a different shipping address than the one used for billing?
Now more than ever, it’s important to recognize that customers can spend the season on their own, so make sure it’s simple and intuitive to ship their gifts to a different address.
Also, do you have a multi-ship option? Make sure it is advertised as this can be a major selling point for customers.
How is your Google site speed?
The speed of your site can be the deciding factor for someone deciding to shop with you or your competitor. Holiday shoppers are ready to move fast, so make sure your website is ready to go. Consider areas of lesser effort / greater impact highlighted by Google Page Insights before the season begins. Something as simple as compressing your images can be a game changer.
Does your checkout allow guest checkout or login?
The requirement to create an account can be a major deterrent for some customers as it seems to kill their momentum to buy. Consider providing a guest payment option with the ability to create an account later at checkout. We understand that this is not always possible for every store. If you need to request an account, be sure to use the information you just collected to fill out the same fields at checkout. Filling in the same information twice is not ideal.
Review your payment options
Do you accept modern payment methods that offer faster, one-step payment options? (ie Paypal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.) More and more customers are using these services to speed up their payment process, especially on mobile. If you have time before the holiday season, consider these options.