Dress Your eCommerce Website for Holiday Success With These Tips

By Grace Fisher, Persado Global Solutions Consultant

 

The holiday season is upon us! And if you’re like many retailers, you’ve been planning for the most wonderful time of the year since January. Persado typically offers tons of tips on language and emotions — you can find some for US campaigns here and UK campaigns here. But in the spirit of the season of surprises, we thought we’d offer some new, festive-flavored eCommerce web page holiday tips that will put you on your customers’ nice lists. 
 

Big things come in small packages

According to a report by Salesforce, holiday sales in 2018 are set to grow 13%, with 68% of sales coming from e-commerce website visits and 46% of orders coming from mobile devices. And the mobile device patterns are changing. Last year, 60% of consumers used smartphones in-store, according to iVend Retail’s 2018 Global Path to Purchase survey. What are people doing on their phones? Searching, price comparing and product research. This year, it’s more important than ever to check your mobile experience search functionality is running smoothly. This will make it easy as apple pie for holiday shoppers to find what they need. Geo-targeting your customers if they’re in or near your store or keeping your search functionality easily accessible in a sticky mobile menu are great ways to engage with your mobile customers and help them find the perfect gift for that special someone (or themselves!).


Be clear

During the holiday season, people are inundated with ads, emails and special offers — and that’s just the online experience. Throw in everything else they have to do (school, holiday parties, invasion of the in-laws) and it’s not a sweet recipe.  To be a friendly force in their lives, be clear about shipping deadlines and return policies, especially as time creeps towards those important gift-giving days. Research has shown that 75% of customers checked the returns policy before purchase during the holiday season, so don’t hide these key decision factors (NRF). Incorporating the returns policy into the product and checkout pages or using countdown timers to tick down to the deadline for shipping by Christmas are effective strategies for retailers during this time. Not only do these timers instill a sense of urgency in the customer, but they also clearly communicate these sometimes forgotten features of the holiday gift-giving season. Don’t forget to promote your gift cards for last-minute shoppers once the deadline has passed. Hopefully, this will help avoid any 11th-hour customer service complaints about items not arriving on time (and will save those procrastinating Christmas Eve shoppers in a pinch!)! 


Keep them coming back

The OpenX and The Harris Poll 2018 Holiday Survey found that less than half of consumers think Black Friday is the best day to get deals. Give customers a reason to believe it’s necessary to come back to your site outside of these peak days. This is not to say that Cyber Week and Black Friday are dead. But why not pair your daily deals or special offers with a festive experience? Advent calendars are an excellent way to play on a customer’s Curiosity (“the suspense is killing us”), their sense of Exclusivity (“you’re approved for” or “don’t tell anyone”) and even Anxiety (“official announcement” Or “this. is. major”) - some of our top performing emotions during this time. The Advent calendar keeps customers hooked throughout this critical period. Try to leverage it across your entire marketing strategy. 


Make it fun

Holidays can bring stress to people but come on, they’re fun too, and your marketing programs, including your website, can shine a light on the joy of the season. In October and even earlier, more than 50% of consumers begin researching their holiday shopping, according to the National Research Federation. This doesn’t mean that these shoppers are ready to buy in October, but gift guides or quizzes can be a great way to capitalize on this traffic and get them to start making their wish lists and checking them twice. By offering recommendations for certain price points, personalities, occasions or people, gift guides and quizzes engage hesitant shoppers and make finding that special something easy, according to Digital Commerce 360. Plus they’re fun! 

And let’s not forget about bringing the festive spirit to your site. Get creative with your brand and think about ways to incorporate the holiday spirit in your marketing. We’ve seen retailers hide Santas with special promotions, organize product battles where users vote on design features or campaigns where you can turn the lights off of a site as a part of Black Friday. The holidays are a great time to create fun customer experiences across channels to really drive success — so go big!