Every year, online shopping figures soar for Christmas, and with so many options available, shoppers can be picky about the websites that they spend their time and money on. Even small glitches such as a slow-loading website or a disorganised layout can make the shopper divert to another site. Thus, we encourage business owners to make small changes to their websites so that they’re up to speed for the festive period.
Here are some tips to revamp your online retail store:
Build your store front
Your website needs to look fantastic when shopping online. It’s all about the visual appeal of the website and the products. Your homepage is your storefront and that’s the first thing your visitors will see and remember. Don’t make any drastic changes to your website as it might cause disruptions to customers’ shopping flow. Give your online store a facelift with festive inspired graphics, but keep it simple as possible so that your visitors successfully make it to checkout and purchase. Add a wintery feel to banners, images or background, regardless of whether you sell festive products or not. Don’t cram your homepage to display all your products, but do display your best products and the most popular ones so that they showcase a snapshot of what you have to offer immediately and give the customers a good impression.
Sorting and categories
We recommend creating a Christmas gifts page within the website where you can offer special bundles or gifts set. That way you can make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for. Add a link to it on your top navigation bar and on your homepage. Add subcategories to let your customers know the different types of festive products or gifts that you sell such as ‘Gifts for Her’, ‘Gifts for Him’, ‘Gifts for Children’, etc.
Consider offering free shipping for the festive period, as it’s an important factor when shopping online. If you can’t afford to do it on all purchases, set a threshold, i.e. spend over £20 and receive free delivery. Make your delivery details clear so that customers are sure of approximately when their product will be delivered. In addition, customer service is likely to go up during the festive period so make sure you are prepared.
Use email marketing
Everyone wants to bag the best deals over the festive season. Offering promotions in bundles such as buy three for two, mix and match or small product discounts are a great way to pull customers in and encourage them to buy their presents all in one place. Once the promotions are on the website, it’s important to communicate them to the customers via social media and email marketing. Once you have customers contact information, you can send them your newsletters using Wix ShoutOut. With social media posts, ensure to hashtag appropriately to get the best visibility and traffic; while in email marketing, don’t hesitate to send your offers up to twice a month to customers so that they’re up to date. Rather than keeping set promotions, you can also trickle out offers as you get closer to Christmas.
Commit for a blog
A blog is a great tool to get your name out there and boost your reputation. You can create relevant content for the holidays and update your visitors on what’s going on in the industry. This way you can position yourself as a professional and your visitors will appreciate the knowledge you are sharing with them. A blog will help you engage with your customers and drive new traffic to your site. You can also share your blog on social media that can help you recruit future clients.
Make your page mobile-friendly
Every year online sales via mobile devices and tablets increase; in fact, even people who use a desktop for the purchasing process often use smartphones for inspiration and research. Thus, it’s important that your e-commerce store looks as good on mobile as it does on desktop. Ensure that your site is up to speed as visitors generally abandon a page that takes too long to load; this generally is the case if your pages are graphics-heavy or include videos.
Check stock levels
There’s nothing worse than an online store with out-of-stock products. Be prepared and make sure you have enough of your most popular items on stock. Make sure you refresh the website as often as you can for products that are no longer available, discounted or out-of-stock. Keeping sufficient stock levels and ensuring that delivery is on time is key to building a successful relationship with customers. Nobody likes a late delivery – especially during the festive season!
By David Schwartz, VP of e-commerce at Wix.com