The most important time for a retail business to achieve their targeted sales is the holiday season. A series of festivals and holidays, starting from Thanksgiving and Black Friday, continuing all the way to Christmas and New Year, sets the mood for purchasing amongst the people. So, it is the time of year retail businesses sell the most.
According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast holiday retail sales are likely to increase between 7% and 9% in 2021. Overall, Deloitte’s retail and distribution practice projects that holiday sales will total $1.28 to $1.3 trillion during the November to January timeframe.
While the pandemic made shopping difficult, eCommerce filled the gap left by the traditional retail stores. According to a study by emarketer, the eCommerce sales growth rate during the holiday season, which ranged between 11% and 16.2% from 2014 to 2019, spiked to a whopping 32% in 2020! While the growth rate is not expected to be that high in 2021, the average growth rate that eCommerce retail has enjoyed in the last few years is expected to continue.
So, it is extremely crucial for eCommerce businesses to prepare for the rise in demand in coming days. Unlike a traditional retail store that has limited space for accommodating and serving more people and managing higher demand, an eCommerce store has a much better scope for meeting a sudden surge in the demand without causing bottlenecks and inconvenience to the user. This in turn makes it possible for an eCommerce store to have a better conversion rate and overall sales. However, the opportunity presented by the holiday season can be seized only if there is proper site optimization.
The ultimate purpose of an eCommerce site is to achieve sales. When users visit your eCommerce store, anything that creates a bad user experience can deter them from buying from you. eCommerce site optimization is the process of identifying those factors and addressing them. Steps involved in purchasing something from an eCommerce store starts with being found by the customer and extends all the way to payment, invoicing, shipping, tracking the order, returns and refund. Bottlenecks and poor user experience can occur in any of these steps. Site optimization involves identifying and addressing these issues.
Site optimization can be classified into:
Following are some of the measures you can take to tweak and tune your online store and achieve on site optimization.
1. Make it easy for customers to find your business
In a crucial period like the holiday season, getting noticed and found by the customers can determine how successful you are. Online space provides a lot of choice to the customers, and businesses need to place themselves on the top of the search engine page to drive traffic to get noticed. So, the first step to site optimization is improving SEO. SEO helps you to increase the exposure and makes it easy for customers to find you when they search for a product they need and that you have. Mobile site optimization also determines your search page ranking; the higher your page is ranked and displayed on the search page greater is the chance of driving traffic to your site.
2. Enable customers to find products easily on your site
Once you can draw the customers to the site, they should be able to find the product they are looking for immediately. Improving the product search is one of the core elements of site optimization. Even if you already have a good search tool in your eCommerce site, companies launch a plethora of new products aimed at the holiday season. So, updating the product search to display these new products on top go a long way in making customers’ favorite products findable.
There are site optimization tools that enable you to classify the products clearly into different categories and make them easily findable using a vast array of filters. Search filters help customers narrow down their search and easily find the products they are looking for in a few easy steps. This vastly improves the user experience and hence the conversion rate. You can also identify which products don’t get found on your site search, using site optimization tools that provide detailed insights and adjusting product listings accordingly.
3. Improve speed with site speed optimization
The holiday season drives a lot more traffic than in other days. If the site is overwhelmed by the sudden increase in the number of visitors using the site, it will make shopping experience slow and laggy for the customers. This can force the customers leave the site and look elsewhere to buy what they want. So, it is important to do site speed optimization and prepare for the increased traffic by increasing the available bandwidth, using a more responsive design theme and template and reducing the loading times of the site by simplifying the code. You can also include a caching plugin to load content quicker.
4. Make site mobile friendly with mobile site optimization
The eCommerce traffic from mobile is significantly higher than the traffic from other devices. 72.9% of the site traffic that eCommerce sites generated in 2021 was from mobile devices. So, even if your eCommerce site is fully speed optimized for desktop devices, it will not prove fruitful if it is not optimized for mobile devices. In order to do mobile site optimization, you may need to:
If you are looking to do a site audit for you eCommerce store and undertake performance improvement measures check out https://arizon.digital/consulting
5. Optimize product page
Users are spoilt for choice with the sheer number of products that are usually available on an eCommerce store. It is essential to have a product page optimized in terms of code, layout and content. The product page should be well laid out with a clear description, features and specifications for customers to see whether the product has everything they look for. The pages should contain clear, high quality images that accurately depict the product. The product image can be accompanied by ALT text and tags for search engines to easily find the page. You can also integrate product comparison feature for the customers to compare the product with competing products and decide better.
6. Enable quick and easy checkout
A lengthy and complicated checkout process provides users with a poor shopping experience. It is one of the main reasons for increase in shopping cart abandonment. To help users with a clean and quick checkout process, you may need to –
7. Personalize offers, discounts and introduce flash sale
Offers and discounts are a part of the Holiday season. You can celebrate the festival season with a theme that instantly conveys to the customers that offers, discounts and sale are on. While you can highlight the discount coupons and the percentage of discount available on specific products, it is equally important to personalize them by displaying offers from the product categories that specific user has previously searched for or browsed on the site. This can help you increase conversion. There are site optimization tools that can help you automate this and display personalized offers for every user. Flash sales are a great tool for keeping customers engaged, as these are time bound, and the customers have to be on the site to make use of them.
8. Follow up with cart abandonment reminders
You can use site optimization tools to automatically identify cart abandonment and remind the users that the items are waiting for checkout, after a specified period of time. This will remind users in case they have forgotten it and push them to revisit the cart. You can also offer a discount for the items in cart and motivate the customers to buy items in the cart at a more attractive price.
Following are some of the off-site optimizations that you can carry out to drive more traffic and achieve conversion.
Arizon Digital is a company with in-depth knowledge and experience in providing eCommerce solutions across industries. We have deep expertise in building and delivering technology-based business solutions; and have successfully supported the eCommerce business of more than 250 customers. With exceptional client satisfaction, we have a proven track record of exceeding expectations and enabling businesses to achieve their full potential.
If you are looking to optimize your site do explore our Site Audit & Discovery Services. We will help you compare your eCommerce business performance against key metrics, provide data on website technical performance, and delivers insights on what changes need to be implemented.