Deloitte forecasts that this holiday season, U.S. consumers will spend $134 billion online with 60 percent of shoppers looking to do at least some of their seasonal shopping with e-tailers, even if the majority of their spending will take place in store.
However, the web is also the first destination for gift shopping inspiration, research and comparison. Data from Bazaarvoice shows that American retailers experienced a 203 percent lift in average online traffic and 116 percent lift in conversion rates on Black Friday alone.
This Thanksgiving is also expected to be the single busiest day for mobile search, mobile retail site traffic and mobile sales as consumers squeeze in research and shopping between family visits and bites of turkey.
So how do you make sure your web storefront is ready to cope with the influx of interest that’s coming in the following weeks? Here are our top holiday eCommerce tips:
Look at your site from your user’s perspective and ensure all links are working and all images and graphics load. Make certain that the transaction flow is in working order and any third-party bolt-ons are up to speed to minimize cart abandonment.
Make sure your online content resonates with the holiday season so it also resonates with Google searches. And don’t forget mobile and voice. Any information that will make your physical store easier to find must be front and center – over half of mobile searches contain a local request element. As voice search is set to come into its own this year, optimize for long tail keywords that flow like questions and answers so they’re optimized for smart-speaker systems.
With an influx of traffic comes an influx of customer questions. Make sure all self-care content, such as FAQs, is up to date. If you have a forum, make sure it’s well publicized on the homepage. Likewise, put product reviews in a prominent place. Customers won’t buy from a new retailer until they’ve read at least two reviews.
Stress test internal servers and make sure they can cope with expected traffic levels. If they can’t, make sure you have additional servers on standby to take the strain.
According to Forrester, 53 percent of consumers will abandon a mobile site that fails to start loading in three seconds. There are a host of tools available to test your mobile site for speed and efficiency. But as well as loading and rendering fast, your mobile site must be easy to navigate and the important information should be easy to find – otherwise you’re going to lose potential customers.
From social media management and chatbot deployment to omnichannel strategy, enhanced customer experience and data gathering and analytics, Sitel Group has the capabilities to help your brand achieve more.