Are You Ready For The Christmas E-Shopping Season?

It's a most wonderful time of the year, and one of the most hectic periods as well, online and offline. Econsultancy reports that just 7% of people are still doing all their Christmas shopping in physical retail stores. You could be missing out on Santa's e-gift of sales and customer growth if you're not prepared. Here's a few tips to help you get ready.

Make sure you're found

While Australians don't get a white Christmas we still enjoy lots of "pressies" given and received (though it is said it is more blessed to give than to receive). In any case, before that present is obtained, a customer has to search for it. Marketing Land suggests bidding upwards for increased conversion and taking advantage of holiday-specific terms like "gift ideas".

They also recommend that your website is search-engine friendly. With all the new products and content added to your website, be sure to check that the ALT text, file names, title tags, sitemap and article wordings are not overlooked. You'll need to do repeated Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) audits leading up to the big day because of all the changes you'll likely be making.

Grease the shopping cart wheels

First, ensure that your website is safe and secure. Thwate, a website security certificate provider, highlights the first potential e-shopping roadblock for customers. The University Of California, together with Google, found that between 77% and 91% of customers will not click through a malware or phishing warning. If a customer's browser pops up a warning, you've most likely lost them. Use different browsers on different operating systems to make sure all your website security certificates are up to par.

Next, do as many dry runs as possible through your shopping cart including coupon code testing. Make sure the customer can go from start to finish without any unexpected delays or worse, errors. Try and get non-technical staff to test the shopping cart on both mobile and desktop platforms... they'll often find issues the technical team never expects.

Finally, Thwate recommends that you place the trust logo (often called a "site seal") next to the most critical or sensitive fields in a form. It's something you can start implementing today, if you haven't already. They also recommend A/B or split testing to see if placing the site seal at different positions affects conversions.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

While here in the "lucky country" we don't have to worry about waist-deep snow or blizzards during the Christmas period, it's essential that your business is as prepared as possible... regardless if you're a bricks-and-mortar store, online retailer, or a mix of both.

PowerRetail says to be ready for the worst - "Delivery delays, stock issues and an increase in orders can all create problems". Sometimes, too much of a good thing can turn out to be a bad thing. They recommend contingencies such as notifying customers immediately of any issues and offer alternative solutions such as a temporary IOU. 

Call in the elves

Here at Team Wired we understand the stress of pulling off a successful Christmas e-shopping season - at a time when you'd like to be with family and friends. Contact us today about how we can assist during this busy period.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Qi Wei Fong