HOHOHO!!!!! It’s Christmas time. The time of the year when people seek three things: presents, forgiveness, and the open bar at their office Christmas party.
But as you dress up your office for the jolly season, don’t forget to decorate your webshop as well, as it is the go-to gift factory for 60% of Americans. It is estimated they will spend half of their Christmas budget on items they planned on buying, allowing for 50% of their budgets and carts to be filled with goodies from your webshop.
So how do you get the folks not only to check stuff out but to proceed to checkout?
Supposing you’ve already taken care of the advertising that will bring traffic to your webshop, Neuralab presents you with the touch-ups and tweaks you can make to your webshop right away to ensure Santa does all his shopping in your webshop.
ADDING USEFUL CONTENT WILL MAKE VISITORS MORE CONTENT
First things first: content is the backbone of any quality webshop. Whether you’re selling beauty products, auto parts or language courses, invest as many resources as needed into building your product descriptions. These are the stories that will be there all year round.
The same applies to product images. Use only good quality and large images, and preferably use more than one image for a single product.
The product descriptions and images will be the building bricks for creating a gift guide. If you’re thinking “Why on Earth would Santa need a gift guide if he checks his list twice”, you have no idea how many kids forget to post their letters.
No need to get as specific with the categories as these folks did. Gender roles might be a dirty word these days, but there are still many universally male and female products out there so even a simple For her & For him guide might help clueless shoppers. (Headphones and cutlery can be used by women, too.)
An even more product-generic yet very helpful gift guide can be organizing the webshop products into price ranges.
Also, depending on the products your webshop offers, it might be a good idea to group gifts according to shoppers’ interests. For example, nature lovers, baking nerds, and tech junkies are legitimate categories for a general webshop.
On the other hand, a beauty shop or a clothing store might divide their products according to the occasion when the products are worn, and another great content idea for this type of shop is featuring the Buy the Look option, where all the products needed to create one look are linked below and can easily be added to the cart.
Another bit of advice for clothing stores (that can help minimize post-holiday store returns avalanche) is to include the model size and fit for reference or even to add an interactive size guide to help shoppers pick sizes more easily.
However, be aware that some shoppers wouldn’t know a gift idea if it hit them in the face. Therefore, stock up on appealing gift cards because everybody wins with them: it’s a get-out-of-jail-free card for shoppers who are out of time and ideas, and money in hand for webshop owners.
FESTIVE BY DESIGN
When it comes to the visual design of your webshop, it’s a good idea to dress up the website in Santa’s suit as well.
Tweak your usual theme to make it more festive, use banners and Christmas visuals. But remember not to overdo the makeover, as not everyone who visits your webshop will be a fan of Christmas.
Here are also 5 layout tips that could improve the UX of your webshop and make the purchase flow more intuitive.
- Use a sticky menu so the focus never escapes your customer’s eyes
- Make search suggestions and results appear as customers type in the search bar
- Use category breadcrumbs such as Outdoors -> Camping -> Grill so the shoppers could easily go back to the broader category
- Hook the shoppers with infinite scrolling, or
- Give the customers control and the possibility to browse products at their own pace with pagination and the Load More option
BRING OUT YOUR ALL-TIME-STARS
Got Bestsellers and Favorites the folks keep coming back for to your store? Tell the world.
A 2017 BrightLocal review revealed 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so showcase the bestselling products that get the highest praise from customers.
And don’t forget to stock up on the crowd’s favorites!
If, however, you’re trying to eliminate the inventory pileup, try bundling up the less-sold products with the customer favorites.
Another way to shine the spotlight on your less popular products is to launch a Deal of the Hour/day incentive and limit the stock on these products. No need to give a big discount (few people will know how much the product usually costs) – just big enough to awaken the competitive spirit in the shoppers. Gotta grab the deal before someone else does!
A FLAWLESS DELIVERY
By the time some of the Christmas shoppers visit your webshop, it will have already been too late for some of them to place their order because it wouldn’t be possible to deliver the product on time.
That’s ok. You win some, lose some.
What’s not ok is false advertising. Giving the shoppers an estimated delivery time range means you have to deliver the product by that date. There will always be unpredictable circumstances, but you have to take into account all the possible pitfalls of a happy delivery.
One way to minimize the risk is to make the last order date prominent, and a pro tip is to do it by installing a ‘Want it by’ countdown. It just feels a lot more Christmassy than ‘Order by’!
Other than the obvious ‘Will it arrive on time?’ dilemma, a major factor when deciding whether to purchase a product seems to be the free shipping offer, surpassed only by discounts.
If you want to provide next-level service without next-level spending, offer to Send orders as gifts and save the time of the people who do not know the joy of gift wrapping. Personalize them for extra credit.
And while getting the packages delivered on time is expected, don’t miss out on the opportunity to be total webshop heroes (if you can afford it): providing Last days before Christmas shipping to the 11% of shoppers who postpone their gift hunt.
It doesn’t even have to be free, as last-minute shoppers are ready to spend extra to redeem for their tardiness!
SHOPPERS ARE COUNTING ON DISCOUNTS
As visible in the graph above, the biggest motivational factor for shopping online is a hefty discount. Nothing inspires shoppers to spend more than paying less!
And while slashing the prices is great for your customers, it might not be that awesome for your business.
Here are a few extra incentives you can use to simplify shoppers’ purchase decisions without costing you an arm and a leg.
- Optimize pricing and make it visible. Give a discount, cross out the old price, add a You save label, and remind the shoppers how much they are saving by shopping in your webshop.
- Show your love for the customers and invite them back to your webshop by sending out vouchers redeemable after the holidays.
- If your webshop has a loyalty program, give double points for the purchases made during the holidays. It will cost you barely anything, and it will make your loyal customers feel two times as appreciated. If you’re especially sneaky, give double points only for the purchase of selected products. Maybe the less sold ones…? 🙂
- And if you don’t (yet) have a points reward system in place, set a free shipping minimum. Look at your customers’ average spending and set a limit 15-20% above.
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
According to Deloitte, 76% of shoppers will be using a desktop computer to buy online and 68% will use a smartphone or a tablet, so we assume that you made sure your site is mobile and tablet ready long before you ever came across this article. (If you’re a client of ours, it will work like a charm).
We also recommend you do load testing to check site stability and performance under Christmas-time load conditions because a crashed webshop doesn’t feel like a safe place to shop.
Now your customer has browsed the webshop, added a couple of items to the wish list, and moved a few of them to the shopping cart, it’s showtime – checkout time.
One thing that helps move shoppers from the cart to the credit card smoothly is constant reassurance.
It’s very important that you:
- make payment terms visible
- make returns and exchanges policy clear
- make it easy for customers to contact you
- make the customer support team pleasant
Having easy access to information puts the power in your customers’ hands and money in your virtual pockets.
WHAT TO CHECK OUT AT THE CHECKOUT
Speaking of the customer, you’re going to want to make the purchase process as simple as possible. Don’t make visitors register, or if you do, award them for completing the registration with a discount or free shipping.
- Keep the registration box simple. Use a single-column structure, collect only the necessary data, and separate it into semantic groups like Personal information for name, surname, and address, and Payment details for the credit card details.
- Validate entered data immediately after filling in each field to avoid the shopper getting frustrated when they have to insert their data all over again because of a small mistake.
- Keep a Checkout progress bar at the top of your checkout page, informing the buyer of the next step and making it clear at which stage of the process their credit card will be charged.
But don’t force customers to register if you don’t have to, and you don’t have to. Make the purchase possible with a guest account, and then offer to save the data for next time after successful checkout. Two birds, one stone.
KEEP IN MIND – AND OUT OF THE CART
You’d never do that to your customer, but sometimes some very unexpected fees pop out of nowhere at the very last minute. Some retailers think it’s well played because at that point, the customer is already hooked and it’s very unlikely they’ll give up.
Perhaps so, but they are very unlikely to come back either.
And while there should be no unexpected expenses at checkout, nothing is stopping you from trying to upsell right inside the cart by automatically suggesting products that match well and making it super simple to add them to the cart as well.
AT THE END OF THE CHRISTMAS FUNNEL
Once you’ve decorated your webshop for the holiday season and shipped all the orders and gifts to your customers, don’t forget to give thanks to those who helped the Christmas miracle in your webshop happen.
When December finishes, don’t forget to take down the Christmas ‘ornaments’ through your webshop – but let’s not ruin the moment while it lasts.
For now, all that’s left to do is to place the cookies and milk next to the fireplace. Don’t be shy when contacting us though. We’re always here for a fireside chat 🙂