Recommendations for E-Retailers to Make the Most of the Holiday Season

Rachel Bennett | September 13, 2016 Comments
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The holiday season will be upon us sooner than you think, and as the optimum time for many retailers to increase their revenue draws nearer, we’re here to guide you on how best to prepare for the season of good will.

In a recent post, my colleague Joe suggested 5 key steps to holiday success, including the need to build content and create a content calendar, work on SEO, and to audit hosting and user experience. Below you will find a few more tips for ecommerce merchants to consider.

How can I increase my holiday revenue?

 1. A/B Testing

A/B Testing is the simple, scientific way to ensure you’re adapting your site towards proven results. Comparing simple changes to your site – the change in size or color of a conversion button or call to action, a variation on a banner or holiday offer - can give you clear results that demonstrate a preference for one simple change over another.

We advise you to start your A/B testing in early fall, so everything can be in place ready for your first holiday shoppers. Our in-house A/B testing expert Corte Swearingen can help you get started if you’re new to this process.

2. Email marketing & segmentation

Email marketing can have a huge impact on your holiday sales, and segmentation can lead to further success. 

Today’s customers expect a lot from digital marketers – they demand personalized content that fulfils their needs. Segmentation can help you tailor your email marketing to your customers: consider the location of the email recipient and last year’s purchasing behavior, use wish list items, and market to customers who saved their shopping carts.

3. Advanced Search

Site search is a necessity you can’t afford to do without; the statistics show that search accounts for over 30% of all website activity, while 80% of customers will abandon a site after a poor search experience.

Start by ensuring your customers can find your search tool by making it clearly visible, and available on every page throughout the site. 

You can further advance your search functionality by setting up filters, or you could choose to personalize your search functionality based on gender, location or browser.

Remember: be sure to use search analytics to learn from your users’ behavior.

4. Promotions

Holiday promotions can incentivize customers to shop with you (percentage off discount codes, free shipping) or increase their spend per order (10% off $50 codes, 20% off $100 codes.)

Ensure your promotional offers will work to their optimal strength by planning ahead – create a promotional calendar choosing key dates to start and end your offers based on sales figures and behavioral data from previous years, test which codes work best with your customers in the fall, and plan email campaigns and social media to promote your offers.

Capture savvy shoppers by creating a ‘deal of the day’, to encourage revisits, and run your first promotion early, offering a secret sale to all existing customers – this way you’ll be able to spread out some of the site traffic and fulfillment process, start profiting from holiday sales earlier on and encourage customer loyalty.

5. Performance

Top performance is essential during the holidays. Here are a couple more points to consider to make sure you’re giving your customers a great experience that represents your brand:

  • If you haven’t already, make sure your website is responsive ASAP
  • Never keep your visitors waiting for more than 2 seconds
  • Consider moving to the cloud to help you scale up or down dependent on traffic
  • Ensure your site can manage high traffic

If you’re looking for further guidance on any of the topics mentioned above, our team is here to help.

For additional resources download our latest whitepaper titled 6 tips to prepare your website for the holidays.

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