Holiday shopping season is here, and if you plan to use your website to bring in new business, now’s the time to get serious.
In 2016, ecommerce is expected to break new ground. According to PwC’s 2016 Holiday Outlook report, while overall holiday spending may increase by 10% compared to 2015, online buying in particular is expected to increase by 25%. These predictions present a unique opportunity if you are an online business owner interested in boosting sales.
To help you and your business prepare to earn a larger piece of the multibillion-dollar pie, take a look at the tips below.
Polish Your Website
Offering consumers a successful user experience on your website is critical to online sales. As this holiday season kicks off, now is the time to fix any bugs you discover on your site to make sure it’s in optimal condition. This is more than simply making sure everything is spelled correctly (although that’s certainly important too, of course).
Test Your Pages and Limit Distractions: Spend some time testing your links, coupon codes and shopping cart functions to make sure they are working properly. It’s also important to limit pop-ups, according to Kyla Roma, a business coach and digital strategist who specializes in brand growth and profitability.
“Visit your website with a private mobile browser to see what customers see,” Roma said. “Pop-ups and social sharing tools are often set to show for first-time visitors, and unfortunately, they sometimes take up so much of the screen or are [so] hard to close that they block purchases.”
Optimize for Multiple Devices: Think about how you and your friends do your online shopping—you may prefer to use your laptop, while your sister may opt for her cellphone and your best friend does everything from her tablet. No matter which platform you’re on, it’s important they all work smoothly.
In fact, according to a GfK study commissioned by Facebook IQ, customers who use a combination of computer, tablet and mobile devices expect a seamless experience across all platforms. In fact, 54% of those surveyed say that they are more likely to shop with retailers who pay attention to omni-channel usability. So, get your friends to try out your site on different platforms, using different browsers, to see if you discover any problems. If so, remedy them before the holiday shopping kicks off so you don’t lose potential business.
Contact Your Web Host: Without the proper support, high-volume traffic can lead to delayed page loading and website crashes. And according to Moz, an SEO consulting company, slow load times can have a detrimental effect on conversion rates. Review your hosting plan to ensure your site can withstand an influx of attention, and contact customer support if you have questions before launching your holiday promotions.
Create a Holiday-Specific Landing Page: Instead of having to click around to find your seasonal deals, holiday shoppers want instant access to the best deals you have on your site. Usher them in by creating an easy-to-navigate landing page that provides all the important details. This is a great tool to use when advertising, whether online or in another form of media, as it will send potential customers right where you want them to go.
Automate Forms when Possible: At publishing time, the average rate of online cart abandonment was 78% according to Listrak, a retail and email marketing firm. Online customers crave fast and easy checkout, and you might consider storing user information and allowing new customers to auto-fill their forms with information saved on their devices.
Offer Guest Checkout: Not everyone is crazy about joining an email list before checkout, or even creating a new username and password. Having…