8 tips for a more effective online store during the festive season

- December 19, 2018 4 MIN READ

It’s that time of the year again; the Christmas rush is on and shoppers are about to hit the ground running. But, of course, in this busy life, not everyone can be super organised when it comes to striking off that Christmas shopping list. No doubt, thousands of online shoppers this year will be in search of an efficient retail experience to help them out of a last-minute jam.

To take advantage of all this Christmas shopping season has to offer, here are some tips to help ensure your online store can cope with the crowds and amplify sales – right up until the eleventh hour.

Create individual product pages

It might seem simpler and more efficient to list all your products on one page, but there are a few good reasons to go the extra mile. Creating individual product pages for each item gives scope to include more valuable information and quality images. Remember, in the digital world, detailed product specifications, compelling descriptions, detailed benefits and impressive visuals is what can help interest potential buyers.

What’s more, separate pages can help to boost your products’ visibility on search engines while these individual URLs can more easily be shared among prospective customers and promoted on social media.

Show off as much as possible

Online, customers don’t have the privilege of physically handling your products so, try to make them feel like they have – virtually. With the human brain able to process visuals at an incredibly rapid rate, it’s wise to include as many professional looking product images as possible, with enhanced functions such as rotate and zoom.

Situational images (that means placing products in a relatable setting, and not just against a white background) are also an effective way to drive sales by allowing customers to imagine where your products can fit in their own lives.

Use product recommendations

Product recommendations can be a great way to upsell your products online, as well as actually helping your customers. After all, your customers are probably shopping around on other related websites with similar products online.

Use links to direct customers to other similar or related products you have available that they might be interested in purchasing. For example, perhaps they’re looking at some stylish beachwear so, why not provide links to some similar styles or related items such as footwear, hats and towels.

Always provide contact information

While it’s important to ensure your website (as much as possible) is a one-stop-shop for all the information required to make a purchase decision, never leave customers hanging if there’s something missing in their mind. By providing a telephone number, email address or even live chat, customers can quickly seek clarification or information that might influence their purchase decision, such as expected dispatch and delivery timeframes or real clothing sizes.

Include customer testimonials 

There are some compelling statistics when it comes to the value of online reviews. For example, one source reveals that 88 per cent of consumers trust online reviews as much as their peers, while customers are likely to spend 31 per cent more with a business that has excellent reviews.

Embrace this authentic and efficient form of marketing. Posting customer reviews about your products online could make your retail store stand out above its competitors when it comes to helping customers make that last-minute snap decision.

Make visitors feel like it’s the festive season!

You don’t have to go as far as Christmas carols and pop music, after all, less is sometimes more, right? But, a few subtle tweaks to your website could stir those warm and fuzzy emotions among prospective customers while making your store look relevant, fresh and fun during the season. These could include seasonally themed content (such as blogs and videos), images, graphics and warm “Happy Holidays” messages. A refreshed festive look could also offer a great excuse to promote your website and some topical content across social media too.

Offer as many delivery options as possible

Research suggests the range of delivery options available through an online store is one of the most important factors when it comes to influencing a purchase decision. In fact, as many as two-thirds of shoppers will choose their store based on delivery options!

Offering delivery options that cater for a variety of types of shoppers this season could help make your store more appealing to a wider pool of prospective customers. For example, you could help customers during a busy time of the year by offering those last-minute gifts arrive in time through same-day or next-day delivery options.

Offer customers peace of mind with up-to-date security measures

In this digital age, customers are growing increasingly savvy around their online security. So, the busiest shopping season of the year is a great time to ensure your security protections are up-to-date and in check with your website.

Making sure your system software is up-to-date is essential when it comes to helping to ensure you’re protected from hackers. It’s also possible to make your website more secure for payments and personal details by offering password protection or even multi-factor authentication to customers. What’s more, equipping your site with a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate could immediately demonstrate to seasonal shoppers that your website offers advanced payment security through encryption for the transmission of customer data.

These are a few tips you can use to help drive a bumper silly season in 2018. Whether it’s offering a range of delivery options or adding customer reviews, or further protecting your website with an SSL Certificate, there’s plenty of scope to tweak and craft a website that attracts the crowds and sends products flying off the shelf.