3 Tips to Drive E-Commerce Sales This Holiday SeasonDecember 10, 2012 By Jeremy Sokolic
It's no secret that the holiday season is a bustling time for brick-and-mortar retailers. Times are quickly changing, however, as a recent survey conducted by LivePerson shows that more than half of consumers are planning to do the majority of their holiday shopping online this year. Forget long lines and over-eager doorbusters, today's holiday shopper is browsing for deals from the comfort of their couch and looking to interact with their favorite brands digitally.
During this busy season, how can retailers engage consumers the moment they hit their website, increase conversion rates and provide a better overall shopping experience online? Here are three essential steps retailers need to take in order to drive a new level of success this holiday season:
1. Plan timely campaigns around peak shopping days. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are important shopping days for consumers, survey findings show that consumers are, in fact, doing a majority of their gift buying before Thanksgiving. In order to drive more conversions during these peak periods, consider offering "order by date" promotions tied to free shipping offers or other discounts in order to incentivize purchase completion. Retailers who have access to customer analytics or other behavioral targeting tools should leverage customer purchase history, geolocation, click behavior and other information to deploy customized offers. Doing so creates a more personalized experience as well as helps reduce cart abandonment rates.
It's also important to prep your website for holiday shoppers and make popular gift items easy to find. Highlight the most sought after seasonal products and services on your homepage and throughout your site to ensure visibility and one-click access to products. You can also display related items and services on product pages to help boost average order value. Finally, since shipping is a key factor for holiday purchases, make sure your shipping fees and timetables are prominent and easy to find.
2. Offer live assistance to your holiday shoppers. The quality of your customer service can make or break the shopping experience for many consumers, especially during the stressful holiday rush. Make it easy for your customers to get help by making customer service information easily accessible. Consider offering real-time assistance online via live chat so visitors can speak immediately with a live agent without having to switch communication channels.