August 22nd, 2018

A Retailer’s Guide to The Holiday Season: 5 Tips for Digital Survival

The summer season is beginning to wind down, back to school sales have hit the stores, fall fashion is lining the shelves and that means one thing – the holiday season is right around the corner. Is your website ready?

In 2017 alone, an NRF report revealed that from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday 63% of smartphone users used their phones to shop, while 29% used their devices to make a purchase. It’s no secret that shoppers continue to embrace the digital shopping experience, browsing their mobile devices for convenient on-the-go shopping or to look up product details and offerings. So, when it comes to the holiday season, it’s important that retailers maintain a laser focus on their digital experience to capitalize on their busiest time of year.

Don’t put yourself in a holiday panic just yet. Our team of digital commerce experts have put together a holiday preparedness checklist to ensure your site is ready for eager holiday shoppers:

  1. Site Search

    Did you know that on-site search is traditionally one of the top visited areas of any website? That’s because no one has time to sit and browse through your site for an entire day in hopes of finding what they’re looking for, especially during the two-month span of holiday shopping. The first thing shoppers do when they are checking items off their list is bypass all the noise and head straight to the search bar – in fact, according to a recent survey by Adeptmind 82% only search online to buy a specific item. It’s important you ensure your site search is optimized for those consumers that come knowing exactly what they’re looking for.

  2. Frictionless Checkout

    The last place you want to lose your shopper is when they’re closest to completing their transaction. To ensure an effortless checkout experience, remember that less is more. Start by minimizing the number of steps needed for your customer to complete their purchase and finish by offering the consumer multiple payment options to ensure the highest chance of finalizing the transaction.

  3. Optimize for fast shopping experiences

    When your website is faced with a massive rush of browsing sessions and sales transactions, you need an optimized platform that doesn’t crack under pressure. During the holiday season shoppers have lots of people and gifts to check off their list in a short amount of time, the last thing any shopper wants is to waste time with a slow browsing experience. Page load times should be as instantaneous as possible to ensure minimal drop off due to slowly loading product or catalog pages.

  4. Enable AI-powered chatbots

    It’s imperative that customers have quick and easy access to customer service representatives during a time of such hustle and bustle. Customers should not need or want to take their sales elsewhere because they didn’t get answers to their questions fast enough. Through AI-enabled chatbots you ensure your site has a personalized shopping experience backed by an airtight customer support experience when any questions or issues may arise.

  5. Fine tune your marketing and promotion strategy

    Prepare your holiday sales as early as possible. It’s said that nearly 40% of avid shoppers are researching deals and getting a head start on their holiday shopping as soon as October. The key is to create a comprehensive and targeted marketing strategy to get the most out of the year’s biggest shopping season. Begin by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are your plans for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
  • How will you capture additional sales after those big shopping days?

When preparing for the holiday season, the time to act is now. By following this checklist, you can put your business on track to have a very Happy New Year, today.

Elisabeth Bradley
VP of Business Development, Global Digital Commerce

Tags: digital commerce holidays mobile retail Omni-channel Commerce retail

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