Between time with their families, festive errands, and the hypnotizing distraction of perpetual holiday music, trying to capture the attention of holiday shoppers can be daunting for independent retailers. With 42% of consumers planning on shopping with Amazon, you may be wondering how you can stand out against the competition.
Our partners at Episerver just released their Online Shopping Trends of 2019 Report, and we took an in depth look to find easy-to-implement solutions that will help you stay ahead of the herd.
Trend #1: Searching for Deals
As the days tick down to Christmas, customers switch into goal-oriented shopping mode. It becomes a subconscious game, and completing the mission is the main objective. Shoppers adamantly search for the best deals online, scouring the web in hopes of finding something special.
Solution: Boost SEO & Implement On-Site Search Tools
Paid search strategies offer the highest conversion rate of all traffic sources: 2.9 percent. Consulting an SEO or AdWords Certified specialist can help you capture new customers as they are on their mission for last minute deals. Implementing an on-site search tool like Episerver Find allows customers to receive personalized recommendations based on AI technology as they search. Customers utilizing on-site search tools are over 200% more likely to make a purchase.
Trend #2: Procrastination
Quick shipping options available year-round offer customers the convenience of waiting until the last minute to knock out their holiday shopping. According to the Episerver report, 48% of customers wait until mid-to-late November to start shopping—some of whom even waiting until the week before Christmas to shop! The longer customers procrastinate, the more their focus turns to finding not just the best deals, but the fastest shipping.
Solution: Offer Free Shipping
Sixty-seven percent of online shoppers expect free shipping year-round. Look no further than Amazon’s 2-day Prime shipping as your customers’ plan B. Offering free shipping during the holidays will help you level-up to the competition.
Trend #3: Skipping the Fine Print
In the rush to order everything on time, chances are customers won’t be reading the fine print. If you’re using free shipping or arrival-by-Christmas guarantees as a marketing tactic, clearly publish the conditions of your guarantee. Customers are likely to assume their purchases will be immediately packaged and sent out by within minutes of submitting their payment, forgetting that it takes time for their order to processed before being shipped out.
Solution: Make Promises You Can Keep
The holiday season is not time to break promises. A guarantee of two-day or three-day shipping needs clear language and noticeable cut off dates for shipping. Including order tracking is equally important, with 67% of online shoppers expecting online retailers to offer shipment tracking, according to Episerver’s findings.
Trend #4: Seeking Inspiration
As customers shop, they might find themselves stumped on what to get a particular friend or family member. In search of inspiration, they may bounce off your site and seek out search engines or social media to find the perfect gift. Your goal is to hold the attention of your customer so they find everything they need on your site.
Solution: Product Recommendations
Episerver Perform provides product recommendations using AI technology, tailored to each visitor. By using their previous behaviors, Perform creates a personalized experience every for visitor. While searching for the perfect gift, customers will find customized suggestions for products to solve their gifting dilemma.
Trend #5: Mobile Shopping
What sounds more convenient: allocating time to sit at a desktop and knock out your gift list, or shopping on your phone during a lunch break, while sitting on the couch after work, and everywhere in between? Mobile is the answer, yet statistics show mobile conversion rates tend to be lower than desktop due to poor site performance.
Solution: Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Complex navigation and slow loading times prevent prospective customers from converting on mobile devices. Consider hiring an expert team to improve your site performance on mobile to increase sales and encourage return customers. Some options to explore are evaluating page load performance or adding alternate payment methods like PayPal or Apple Pay.
Time to Celebrate
Just like everyone’s favorite red-nosed reindeer, you’re ready to lead the herd toward smarter solutions this holiday season, with new insight into the mind of the shopper lighting the way.
Having trouble getting started? Our team is ready to help optimize your e-commerce site so you can have a happy holiday, reach your end-of-year revenue goals, and get off to a strong start in 2020.