Known as the “golden quarter” within retail, the final three months of the year can represent heaven and hell for those working within the sector. On one hand, increased traffic, boosted balance sheets, and a chance to finish strong, nailing all performance KPIs. On the other hand, high-pressure, high-profile sales, and high customer expectations to meet…
Let’s look at five quick tips to help make the holiday season a time of comfort and joy for your retail operation…
There’s no point dropping huge budgets on marketing campaigns to drive holiday traffic towards your store if your product pages aren’t ready for the rush. Take some time pre-season to put your house in order. This means checking for broken images, outdated copy, missing assets or even completely incorrect attributes.
By providing well-populated and informative product pages, you stand the very best chances of conversion, and perhaps even more importantly, of creating happy, satisfied customers. If you’re looking apprehensively at a list of thousands of product pages and wondering how you’ll manage the task effectively, lean on ECP’s digital content experience platform to automatically scan and score each of your pages for content quality. You’ll then be able to focus on the pages that need attention, bringing everything up to standard with ease.
While some of your holiday traffic will be intentional shoppers who know exactly what they’re looking for, a large percentage will be seeking inspiration from the pages of your online store. Both types of customers can benefit from improved product discovery – the process whereby they are guided to relevant, appealing products as they progress along their purchase journey.
For the intentional shoppers, make sure your on-site search functionality is firing on all cylinders. At the very least, this should be efficient and offer up accurate, helpful results. At best, consider the ability to apply personalization, promoting items likely to appeal to the top of the results.
For shoppers who are seeking that lightning bolt moment, leverage upsells, bundles, personalized recommendations, and more to ensure that additional ideas fall into their path as they explore your store.
A classic tactic but one which should not be overlooked. Gift guides are a great way to inspire your customers and encourage greater dwell time in your digital showroom. Tailor these carefully to your audience, thinking about the likely personas they’ll be shopping for this holiday season.
Gift guides should be visually appealing, and to make sure you’re working with the best graphics or imagery, it can often help to go directly to the brand in question. This ensures you’ve obtained the very latest digital assets, which will have been painstakingly produced to represent the item in its very best light.
If you’re working with ECP, then our dual syndication functionality can pull all assets directly from supplier brand catalogs, guaranteeing you’ll always have access to the latest, and best resources to leverage across your store, product pages, and beyond.
Most people like to decorate for the holidays, and your store should be no exception. When you’re decking the digital halls, pay attention to the complete experience and impression that shoppers obtain from your store.
Visual merchandising goes well beyond swapping out your banner ads for something festive. Optimize your product category pages to boost best-sellers (or conversely, promote inventory you’d like to shift!) You can also assess layout personalization, aiming for something that adapts to match the unique requirements and interests of your shoppers, aiding conversion.
A big influx of holiday traffic typically means a big leap in sales. A big leap in sales means more opportunities to capture valuable user-generated content. Whether coming in the form of product reviews, testimonials, or customer imagery, UGC has been shown to have a positive impact on conversion rates, so capture as much as you can during the holiday season to help fuel your sales long after this busy period has ended.
Put automated email flows in place to trigger at regular intervals post-purchase, and politely request feedback. You could even work the promotion of a loyalty scheme into the campaign to retain some of the new customs the holidays might have sent your way.
From BFCM through to the holiday sales, the last stretch of the year holds endless possibilities and potential for the e-commerce businesses ready to optimize their offering.
Often, it’s the smaller, incremental improvements we make that add up to make the most significant difference to overall performance. If you’ve underestimated the importance of your product content in recent times, ECP’s quality scoring and dual syndication can help action some low effort / high impact improvements, well in advance of the holiday season hitting.