Christmas may seem like light years away. However recently, eBay predicted that shopping for the holiday season will begin this month (yes, this month)! No, we’re not going mad. August 2013 saw 2.7m searches for the word “Christmas”, which matched the number of searches for “Christmas” during the final week before Christmas day.
During a season where retailers are competing for every last customer, can you really afford to wave goodbye to the consumers who choose to start their Christmas shopping really, really early?
No. Don’t lose out to the businesses who DO target these consumers!
If you haven’t already, you should start thinking about your seasonal marketing strategy now. Your strategy will depend entirely on your industry and your product offering, but try to put some plans in place sooner rather than later.
There’s more to think about than just your marketing strategy. As an ecommerce business, you need to ensure that your website is running like clockwork in the run-up to the festive period. Now is the perfect time to assess your site, in order to get any little niggles fixed before they start to cause problems.
Here’s our top five things to keep an eye on:
It’s no secret that mobile usage is growing rapidly. Particularly before Christmas, customers will be out and about, probably using a variety of devices. If you already have a responsive or mobile optimised site, great! If not, make sure that your checkout process on a mobile device is as simple as possible, so as not to deter mobile shoppers.
A fast-loading site is important all year round, as it will lead to happier customers and help to improve your organic ranking. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, your site may experience spikes in traffic – this is when site speed will become doubly important. Discuss scalability with your hosting provider. You might even find it’s possible to scale up and down depending on levels of traffic.
Gift buyers are likely to use the search function on your website to find exactly what they’re looking for. First of all, make sure your search box is easy to find. ‘Autocomplete’ functionality will also be helpful, and of course, make sure that your search results return relevant products!
Ecommerce platforms such as Magento make it easy to implement cross-sells, upsells and related products. Those searching for Christmas-related merchandise are likely to be interested in other festive products, whilst those searching for gifts are likely to be interested in complementary items. If you haven’t already, take advantage of these handy tools.
Make delivery options and charges transparent on your website. Hidden delivery details and through-the-roof delivery charges are major barriers to conversion. When possible, offer your customers a flexible variety of delivery options. In the run-up to Christmas, consumers are often happier to pay more to secure a particular delivery date, but if possible, try to offer a free delivery option too.
There you have it. Five quick fixes to get your site ready for the festive season. Without a doubt, a solid marketing strategy is vital in the run-up to Christmas, but if your site deters visitors you simply won’t get anywhere.
Need ecommerce advice in the run-up to Christmas? Get in touch with Fluid Digital today!