Do you hear the bells ringing? Can you feel the cold air brushing softly against your skin? Do you see people decorating their houses with lights and holiday decors? Or, do you sense the hint of joy and excitement from everyone? Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la! Yes, it’s that time of the year again.
As we prepare for the holidays and the end of the year, marketers and entrepreneurs need to brace themselves for yet another unpredictable year’s end and start.
Despite concerns about supplies during the pandemic, the National Federation of Retailers (NRF) projects a robust 8.5% up to 10.5% increase in retail sales for November to December this year. Recent surveys show that seven out of ten shoppers are expected to spend more during the holidays year over year. And about 40% of consumers start their holiday shopping at the end of October. That is why marketers and entrepreneurs need to be prepared for the surge of shoppers and upturn in consumer spending for this holiday season.
The holiday season is the best time to boost your revenue and profit without making drastic changes, but it is also the busiest time of the year. Knowing that consumers shop and browse through physical and online stores way before the winter holidays, you need to know how to capture consumers’ attention, optimize your digital presence, and boost customer satisfaction.
From planning your promotions, choosing which products or services to offer, and updating your website, make sure to do the right thing as your decisions during this time is crucial for your business’ growth and income for the holidays. Otherwise, your competition may enjoy the holiday cheer but you. Anyway, don’t fret. Here are some tried and tested steps and strategies to prime your business for success this holiday season and make your brand appeal to online shoppers.
Top Strategies to Prepare Your Website This Holiday Season
Speed Up Your Website
The holiday season calls for website traffic, especially for e-commerce websites. If your website is slow, most likely, your potential buyer will only become a visitor or, worse, leave your website before it even loads completely. Most people browsing through online sites don’t have the patience to stick around. Approximately 40% of consumers jump to another website after 2-3 seconds of loading. To reduce bounce rates and increase conversions, see to it that your website loads within two to three seconds.
How Do I Know My Website’s Load Time?
Through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, you can quickly check your site’s loading time and learn more on how to optimize your website’s speed. This tool will also offer you suggestions on which factor or metric needs to be optimized according to its core web vitals score, lab data, opportunities, and diagnostics results.
Why Speed Up My Website?
Consumers love to browse through a website smoothly without having to wait for long, which means your website’s load time will not only improve user experience but also conversion rates and sales revenue.
Follow Your Consumer’s Behavior
We mean not in a cryptic way, you guys! You see, because of the pandemic, people tend to buy things way before it is actually needed because they are afraid to end up coming home with nothing. They do this to avoid going to the store and seeing that what they want to buy is already out of stock. In fact, most people nowadays start buying gifts and other stuff for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas before Halloween. This is your chance to boost your digital presence to gain more revenue and conversions.
How to Boost My Digital Presence and Catch the Consumer’s Attention?
Outside influences can impact your consumers’ behaviors. So don’t just settle with some boring, traditional materials because for sure, your consumers have seen the same exact thing from your competition. Be the cream of the crop! Be the trendsetter. Showcase your brand, products, or services and how your consumers can take advantage of your business through creative campaigns. Partner with a professional and proficient design and web development team to ensure that your materials are catchy, trendy, and innovative. Adding personalized information and recommendations are also recommended to help your consumers achieve their holiday goals while benefitting from them at the same time.
What Is the Importance of Product Reviews?
Besides that, reviews have never been this crucial. Approximately 89% of the world’s population own a smartphone, and most of them shop online. With the increasing number of online shoppers, they are also more likely to read reviews before purchasing to make sure that the product works well, is in excellent condition, and matches the seller’s description. And with the upcoming holidays, consumers have become more enthusiastic in reading reviews to get their loved ones the perfect gifts.
By adding reviews to your products page or website, your prospect consumers can learn more about your business and brand, pinpoint their needs, understand the basic features and functions of your product, compare product rates with competitor sites’ similar products, and ascertain the consumer’s experience and feeling about the product.
Consumers are becoming smarter and smarter when it comes to online shopping. They research the product first and search for the rating and reviews of the product. If the product they are interested in has low ratings and negative reviews, they may change their mind about purchasing it, which can impact the income rates and cause cumulative loss of your business.
Optimize Your Search Engine
Search engine optimization is constantly evolving to help marketers and entrepreneurs reach their prospect consumers and enhance their visibility and rank in Google SERPs. It is key in strengthening your digital presence. By optimizing your website for SEO, you can learn more about what your prospect consumers search on the web for this holiday, how much they interact with that search, and what related relevant queries and answers they are looking for. This information can help you understand your prospects better, track their behavior, and optimize your website according to their behavior.
How Can I Optimize My Website’s SEO?
Here are a few important factors that you should focus on is optimizing your website’s SEO:
- Last Year’s Trend
— Understanding previous holiday shopping traffic patterns will help you determine which areas you need to prioritize for optimization.
- Right Target Keywords
— SEO relies on keywords. Keywords change, so make sure to add timely holiday shopping-related keywords. Add high-volume keywords and long-tail keywords to attract your prospects.
- Right Content
— Your keywords are keys to your content. Incorporating your primary keywords into your content will help you rank higher on Google SERPs and gain more click-through rates. With better visibility and accessibility, shoppers can easily see you and visit your website. See to it that your content is relevant to the consumer’s needs and queries. It must be useful to them and must include valuable information for your consumers to peruse.
- Mobile Performance
— Your website must be mobile-friendly so it can be user-friendly. Since a lot of people use smartphones for convenience when they need to search for something or communicate with others, it’s best to optimize your website’s mobile performance so they’ll have an easier time navigating and understanding your brand and everything you have to offer.
Optimize Your Website
Are you familiar with Google’s recently launched Core Web Vitals? If so, be sure to implement the metrics to your website so your website can be more visible and accessible for your consumers. If not, let me tell you more about it.
Google developed the Core Web Vitals and its metrics to improve user’s page experience and help websites rank higher in Google SERPs. It revolves around optimizing your website’s interactivity and responsiveness, page & visual stability, and visual & loading performance.
Your website’s interactivity or responsiveness is measured through FID or First Input Delay. On the other hand, CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift measures your website’s visual stability and disturbances during the user’s interaction. The LCP or Largest Contentful Paint is the one used to measure your website’s loading speed.
How to Know Whether My Website Conforms to These Metrics?
You can always go to Google Search Console to check your website’s core web vitals as a whole. If you’d like to check a certain page on your website, go to Google’s PageSpeed Insights for detailed information. From there, take action.
Make Your Website Feel More Seasonal
Dress your website the way you would dress your physical store (if you have one) when the holiday season comes. You can do this by adding some design to your website and revising the content in your website so it reads more festive, more jolly, more timely, and more relevant to the season. You can add seasonal posts with cool photos to engage your prospects more.
Moreover, adding crafty, relevant content to your site also helps drive traffic to your website. Shoppers will be enticed to view or read more of your content and have a high probability of converting. Don’t forget to add your keywords throughout your articles to be easily discovered by consumers.
Here’s a tip: When writing blog articles, make sure to write a 3000+ word informative yet conversational article to meet MUM’s standards and get more engagement from readers.
You can also decorate your website according to the event. Add some holiday cheer and get your consumers in the holiday spirit, ready to browse through your website and purchases products.
Here are more ways to make your website feel more seasonal:
- Use holiday-themed images and festive graphic elements.
- Change Shop Now buttons to Shop Gifts buttons.
- Highlight sales and discounts throughout your site through pop-ups, smart coupons, sale graphics and thumbnails, and more.
- Use a countdown timer to intensify the thrill and excitement.
- Feature gift bundles and promote gift ideas.
Make Your Consumers Feel More Excited to Shop for the Holidays
What’s the best way to encourage consumers to purchase products from your store than giving them great deals?
Sales! Bundles! Promotions! Vouchers! Yes, these are just some of the things that most shoppers get excited about when shopping for the holidays. You can always make a buzz for your holiday deals even before the holiday comes. Try dropping a hint to your readers through your blogs or social media posts. Another trick is to give them exclusive coupons when they sign up for your newsletter.
You can also try the following:
- Paid Advertising
- Join Online Fairs and Events
- Create Content About Gift Ideas or Gift Guides
- Incentivize Your Subscribers
- Email Marketing Newsletter
- Flash Deals
Identify Your Website’s Resource Weaknesses
Any potential weaknesses that could occur due to an influx of holiday shoppers can negatively turn your ROI. Be sure to identify these weaknesses before you encounter the surge of shoppers this holiday season.
- Hosting. Communicate with your hosting provider to ensure that your hosting account is strong enough to handle a higher level of traffic.
- Payment. Whether you’re using PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, WePay, or others, always notify your account manager to expect a surge of sales for the upcoming holidays to avoid shutting down your consumer’s account during the shopping spree.
- Staff. It is crucial to have enough staff to handle your consumer’s requests, queries, and concerns. Staffing shortage amid the holiday season will give your consumers a hint that you are incompetent. You don’t want that to happen. Right? Be sure to give your consumers the best customer experience possible by hiring the right people ready to help your consumers.
Advance Your Customer Support
It is expected that telephones won’t be silent this November and December. People will be ringing telephone lines of businesses for queries and concerns. And you want to reassure them that you are there to be of assistance anytime. You should be ready for anything and everything. How can you do that? For starters, be sure to include your contact information on all pages of your website. This way, your consumers can easily reach out to you in case they have inquiries or concerns about your product. Having good customer service lets your consumers know that you are valuing their voice.
Why Do I Need to Have Customer Service?
Holiday shoppers want a good customer service experience amid the hustle-bustle during shopping. Giving them that is one way of building your consumer’s trust in your business, brand, and products, boosting consumer conversions and loyalty.
Communicating with your consumers clearly gives them a more positive experience with your business and makes their transaction smoother.
What Is the Best Customer Support Strategy?
- Be sure to learn more about Google Analytics, then implement it to your website. Google Analytics will show you a comprehensive insight into consumers’ behaviors, online content, and real-time data of website traffic, and more.
- Don’t just optimize your website. Be sure to learn where your money is going and how your optimizations can increase your revenue. Identify revenue opportunities and create holiday-related campaign activities that can potentially boost your sales as well as impact your customer support service.
- After gathering all your data, be sure to converse with your consumers clearly to address their expectations and offer them a warm and welcoming shopping experience. You can communicate with your consumers through live chat or chatbots, FAQs page, or by implementing customer service software. By doing so, you are introducing your consumers to your brand’s continuity of service at all times.
- During the holidays, many shoppers are more likely to increase their order size due to promotions and sales. So you must take this to your advantage and leverage your AOV processes by introducing them to other highly purchased products, giving away free shipping vouchers or free gifts when they check out a certain amount of products, and showing them what other benefits they can get from you when they reach the minimum amount of spend.
- Always have a plan and a backup plan to prevent stress due to repetitive tasks. Make sure that all your tools speak the same language, so they can communicate effortlessly and give your consumers a positive shopping experience. Holiday shopping is a serious business. So, as the holiday comes, it’s best to keep your consumer data easily accessible and updatable for the surge of consumers to come.
The holiday cheer is here, and people are starting to buy for the upcoming holidays. It’s time to make your websites ready for the surge of the 2021 holiday shopping spree. Here’s a quick recall of the top strategies to update your website this holiday season.
- Optimize your website’s load speed to two to three seconds.
- Follow your consumer’s behavior to boost your digital presence. Add reviews to your products.
- Optimize your search engine by researching last year’s trends, using the right keywords, constantly creating informative yet conversational content while incorporating the keywords, and improving your website’s mobile responsiveness.
- Apply Google’s Core Web Vitals to your website to increase its visibility and accessibility, as well as rank higher in the search results.
- Revamp your website by adding seasonal graphics, imagery, content, countdown timer, flash sales, subscribers’ incentives, paid advertisements, email marketing newsletters, and more.
- Make sure your hosting account is Strong enough to handle the surge of traffic during the holidays.
- Communicate with your payment services provider to avoid shutting down your consumer’s account during the holiday shopping spree.
- Avoid staffing shortage by hiring a number of people to help consumers and address their concerns immediately for a smoother transaction.
- Always see to it that you have excellent customer service to give your consumers a positive experience and encourage them to convert and become loyal shoppers.
- Of course, enjoy the holidays! We hope these strategies can help you out this holiday season.