Hurry Now and Button-Up Your Ecommerce Site for the Holidays

Posted by Cheryl Amaya on December 16th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

There are only a few more weeks before the holidays are over and your ecommerce strategy will be in your rear-view mirror. You’ve probably worked on it for months, and it might be close to perfect, but there’s always last minute maintenance that can critically enhance the customer experience and your overall holiday goals. After all, it is the most important season of the year.

Customers Love Promotions – You Should Too!
As the season wraps up, make sure you take advantage of at least a few of these promotional strategies. They are proven to satisfy customers and will help you match up to and even exceed the competition.

  • Online and Digital Ads. These are one of the most proven tactics for the holiday season. Banner ads and retargeting campaigns can be easily implemented with a third party, are extremely cost effective and you get a satisfactory return.
  • Reward Your Customers. If you offer a free gift with purchase, you will incentivize shoppers to buy from you over the competition.
  • Shipping Offers and Differentiation. All of your competitors have some form of shipping discounts or offers – how can you be different? For one, you could combine and match offers to a promotion, such as "free shipping with a ‘Like,’ ‘Share,’ or ‘Tweet, " to enhance your social media presence while sweetening the deal for shoppers.
  • Cart Abandonment Program. If you optimize cart abandonment emails to send an initial email within the first two hours of abandonment, and then another one a day or two later, customers are more likely to return, especially if you build in a promotion incentive. The modal popup is also helpful with this scenario.
  • Cross- and Up-Sell. Increase your average order value by taking advantage of cross-sells, up-sells, price breaks on multiple purchases, and buy one get one half off. You can also play in your shipping offers here as well – i.e. “purchase more and get free shipping.”

Boost Your Email Marketing Efforts
While on the topic of promotions, email is one of the biggest strategies for pushing those promotional campaigns during the holiday season. But there are a few ways to ensure that email campaign is successful and effective to keep in mind in the remaining weeks of the season:

  • Leverage the Power of Copy. Using strong and influential copy will intrigue users to increase open rates and clearly displaying promotions and offers (including a powerful call to action) will greatly impact your click through rates.
  • Maximize the ROI. Optimize your email marketing ROI by using mobile optimized or responsive graphics and a quick path to checkout from the email click through.

Maintain and Enhance SEO
This season, don’t forget about SEO. Think like the customer and imitate how they would search for gifts on the web when determining your SEO strategy. Some tactics to maintain success, and even kick it up a notch over the holidays, include:

  • New Content. By continuing to add fresh content and targeted keywords, your top category and product pages will be successful, especially if that content lives on the upper half of the page.
  • Don’t Hide Promotions. Similarly, make sure your seasonal offers can actually be found on your site, and consider this when further optimizing other strategies, including PPC, social media, and homepage content.
  • Search Engine Copy Refresh. Optimize the content and language included in targeted offers into all landing and product pages – and especially ensure your meta descriptions, page titles and ALT and header tags are included in that optimization.
  • Include Relevant Links. Update all referral and inbound links from marketing campaigns so they are completely relevant to the ad, email or search result – evaluate the success of these links to-date and make adjustments for the last few weeks of the season.
  • Internal Linking. All top selling products must have direct links on your home page. No excuses!
  • Embrace Micro Data. Your schemas can reveal micro data – be sure to take advantage of this by optimizing it to feed in all appropriate data, such as rankings, reviews, pricing, category names, etc.

Why wait until next year to make these changes to your site for holiday shopping season? There are a plenty of last minute shoppers out there so take advantage of their schedule and update your site now based on results to-date. Will you make any last minute changes to your site?

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