This is a guest post by Aljaz Fajmut. Aljaz is a digital marketer, internet entrepreneur, and the founder of Nightwatch – a search visibility tool of the next generation. He understands what businesses must put in place for their e-commerce store to shine bright like a diamond during the holidays. Check out the Nightwatch blog for SEO and marketing tips and follow him on Twitter: @aljasfajmut.shipp
The holidays are upon us, and ‘tis the season to be jolly!’ That is, if you manage your online store properly for the occasion. If, instead, you go through the whole holiday season without increasing your conversion rate, you don’t deserve a visit from Santa!
Shoppers are in a buying frenzy right now. If you can’t catch their interest with great deals and offers, you may as well give up the Ghost of Christmas Future and go get a 9-to-5.
Fortunately, we’re here to make this a whole lot easier for you! We’ve brought you an early present, wrapped it up all pretty, and here it is:
Try These 7 Easy Strategies to Increase Online Conversions this Holiday Season
Use Paid Search
According to statistics, paid search was the #1 driver of site visits during the 2017 holiday season, and there’s no reason why it would be any different for 2018 and beyond.
Paid search — otherwise known as Pay Per Clicks (or PPC) — is a digital marketing strategy that puts you at the top of Google search results for a specific keyword. When someone clicks on your ad, you pay Google a set fee.
To excel with paid search during the holiday season, you need to go into it with a fairly big budget, as searches for services and products are more frequent at this time of year. You also need to tweak the way you write your headlines, title tags and meta descriptions so that potential customers know for sure that this is a seasonal campaign filled with great offers. This means adding keywords to your campaigns that draw attention, such as “holiday,” “Christmas” and “Black Friday.”
Send Out Reminders
Shipping is often a stumbling block for online shoppers, during the holidays and otherwise. Normally, a customer will abandon a cart if shipping fees seem too high. Holiday season, however, means that people abandon online carts because of shipment timing (i.e. a product won’t reach them in time).
To make those sales, it’s a good idea to keep prospective customers in the loop about your shipping cut-off dates for major gift occasions. You don’t want them to miss out, so make sure to send email reminders and run social media ads that make it absolutely clear when they need to place their orders by.
As well as acting as a helpful reminder, this update also can benefit you by creating a sense of urgency. Use well-chosen images that tap into people’s emotions and compel them to get in their orders.
And how about including a special offer — who doesn’t like a discount? — with the reminder, too?
Make Customer Service Amazing With Digital Assistants
According to research, customer service is going to overtake both price and product by 2020 as the key factor that compels a consumer to stay loyal to a brand.
To stay on top of this shift, you need to implement a rapid-fire customer service that answers your consumers’ queries as quickly as possible. If you don’t, they’ll take their money elsewhere this holiday season.
Because Generation Z wants hyper-personalization, entertainment and near-instant responses, it’s a great idea to install Artificial Intelligence-driven digital assistants that are always on-hand to respond to your customers with quick, direct and informative answers. Make sure that your digital assistants represent your brand well, and that their answers are entertaining (GIFs are amazing for engagement), brief and helpful, resolving your customers’ queries while pushing them in the right direction.
Sometimes, it’s also a good idea to use your bot to get a conversation started — like MongoDB does:
Use Heat Maps To Remove Distractions From Your High-Converting Pages
During the holiday season, your customers are on the hunt for great deals.
They also move rapidly and have no time for distractions.
To catch that fleeting attention and convert it into sales, try using heat map visualization. This intuitive, color-coded analysis shows which areas of your page are boosting conversions, and which are only distracting your customers. Use this data to eliminate all nonsense and needless links before doubling down on those aspects of your page that ultimately boost conversions.
Create a Buzz With Popups
Popups are a dicey business because not everyone likes them and you risk turning someone off. However, when done right, popups can really boost conversions — especially during the mad rush of the holidays.
At this time of the year, it’s a smart idea to target customers on product pages with offers that are tailored to their needs. Perhaps you can offer discounts, or even free shipping (which is the second most-important factor that influences online purchase decisions). This will help to create buzz and excitement, and can be just what they needed to take action and hit “buy.”
To make the most of popups, you be sure that you don’t display them too quickly. Take a look at your data from last year’s holiday to find the average time visitors spent on your website, and divide it in half. Then set your popup so that it appears after about that long.
Optimize Your Landing Page
During the holiday season, customers who land on your page looking for a great deal need to know that you’ve got something good in store for them. This is especially important if you’ve already tweaked and optimized your meta descriptions (see above) for the holidays. When new shoppers arrive on your landing page, it needs to be very clear that you’ve got some discounts on offer for them.
To that end, you need to put that key information at the top of the page. Make sure your calls to action are compelling and powerful, your headlines are relevant to the season and that the journey to conversion is easy and clear.
Consider changing your front page images to give your shop an especially festive feel, too, as John Lewis did:
Bring Customers Back Into The Game With Retargeting
Finally, it’s well worth remembering that during the shopping frenzy, customers can be all over the place. They might have filled up their cart on your website before abandoning it and searching elsewhere or just carrying on their busy life.
Retargeting helps to bring window shoppers back into the game as customers. With dynamic retargeting, you can use a visitor’s browsing history to display your products as ads on other websites they visit or searches they perform. This helps remind them of what they’re missing out on, and you could even entice them further by offering free shipping or a discount.
Retargeting works, too, with major retargeter Criteo claiming that click-through rates average 0.07% for display ads and 0.7% for retargets — 10 times more!
Our Gift to You!
We hope you like it — our 7 favorite ways to boost your online store conversion rate during the holiday season. You’re welcome! Don’t worry, you didn’t have to get us anything — your success is more than enough to make us feel the love.