Are you ready for Christmas?

Are you ready for Christmas?

The children may have only just gone back to school after a blissful summer holiday, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the biggest shopping season of the year! Christmas is a time for gift giving which means there is a sharp increase in online purchasing. For e-commerce businesses, failure to prepare for this busy season can mean the difference between an average year and a really great one.

Mobile Growth
Mobile optimisation is no longer a luxury reserved for the big brands – it is a necessity that every e-commerce must have. As smartphones have penetrated the market, the number of people shopping online has steadily increased. A failure to account for this growing number of mobile shoppers will cost vital sales and means your organic search rankings (SEO) won’t be as strong as they could be. Google has confirmed mobile optimisation is a ranking factor, so if your site isn’t streamlined for mobile devices, you’ll need to add this to your to-do list.

Email Marketing
Email campaigns are a great way to shout about your best offers and build up interest in the run up to the main event. A successful campaign requires strategic planning. Use the summer and autumn months to strengthen your mailing list and develop insights about your audience. You can implement AB testing, segment your lists and even use heat maps to fine tune your email design. Develop a schedule too, so you aren’t caught on the hop when December rolls around.

In the last year, online advertising has been thoroughly shaken up. Google has removed the right hand side ads and replaced them with additional ads at the top or bottom. Amazon adverts are quickly evolving and becoming more important than Google in the online shopping process. Re-marketing has become an important player in the advertising world, especially with e-commerce. Try using PPC adverts and banners to target customers who have abandoned their shopping basket. This should increase your conversion rate.

Customer Service Counts
Despite the lack of face-to-face interaction, customer service is still a major selling point online. One report revealed that if an online shopper doesn’t receive the support they need within five minutes they will abandon the purchase. Many e-commerce retailers have found that a live chat function is the easiest and quickest way of providing customer service. They can be easily integrated into a site and are relatively inexpensive to run. Social media is another option but, again, customer expectations for a speedy response remains high so you’ll need a dedicated person in situ to respond in a timely manner.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday
This US tradition has made its way across the Atlantic and are now the busiest shopping days of the year for us Brits too. In 2015, £3.3 billion was spent online across the Black Friday weekend. Online traffic was 60% higher than normal on Cyber Monday and consumers spent an average of £672,000 a minute. Online retailers need to be prepared for this meteoric rise. Website testing needs to be done well in advance because if your site crashes on the day, you will not only lose sales but potentially future orders too.

Have you started your Christmas preparation yet?
Speak to us today on 01373 458501 to find out how we can help.