While it might be a little early to put up the Christmas tree, it can never be too early to start preparing your online store for the festive period of Q4. With more shoppers than ever avoiding the busy streets and buying online, it’s crucial to get your store converting well and coping with the demand.
With that in mind, have you made sure that your store is avoiding the common, often overlooked mistakes that threaten to hurt your conversion rates? This list will run through the 5 big mistakes that retailers will make this Christmas, with tips on how to avoid them.
5. Your site is too Christmas focused.
This may sound odd, but do consider that 50% of spending at Christmas time is not on gifts. As we all know, there are plenty of scrooges out there who don’t want to see Christmas themed pages and goods, as well as people who simply don’t celebrate Christmas (this could be a significant portion of your international visitors). Consider having a section of your site which is not aimed at festive buyers and which promotes products for those not shopping for Christmas.
Of course, it is highly recommended to keep your site looking festive – but just remember that not all your visitors necessarily want to see it.
4. Your final order days are not clearly visible.
This is a deadly mistake because you not only risk upsetting shoppers who won’t receive their purchases before Christmas, but having your last order dates clearly visible also creates a sense of urgency that will help late shoppers convert.
Make sure the information is clearly viewable on arrival and that shoppers are reminded at the checkout. A pop up reminder can also work well as you edge closer to the final date.
3. Your site forgets that people shop on Christmas day too!
Never forget that Christmas day and Boxing day are also huge shopping days and conversion rates are highest the week after Christmas. Post-Christmas bargains are in hot demand, and with many shoppers off work, it makes for a busy time in e-commerce. Make sure your store is prepared for the vast numbers of visits on these days, and get your post-Christmas promotions out early as possible.
2. Your customer support team aren’t available
Interestingly, it isn’t price that aggravates customers the most in the festive period – it’s not being able to get through to customer support and speak to someone when needed.
Make sure you’re adequately staffed as this is likely to harm your reputation and see shoppers heading elsewhere. If items are out of stock your customers will want to know, in a timely fashion, when they will be available again.
1. You’re not personalising your store enough.
Shoppers typically browse several times before purchasing gifts in the run-up to Christmas. The “perfect gift” is often elusive, and shoppers may abandon carts multiple times before returning.
Make sure your homepage is ready to remind shoppers immediately of what they have left behind, with personalised and relevant recommendations waiting for them on their return. Also consider emailing their cart to them as a reminder – there may be a great gift in there!
Cross-sells are great for stocking fillers, too. Use a data driven tool like Bunting (get a free account here) to make sure recommendations are as accurate as possible.
It’s worth remembering that in amidst the chaos of the festive season, a well-optimised site that caters for all visitors is essential in maximising conversions. Make sure you’re not committing these blunders and you’ll most likely be on the right tracks!