Tomasz Banas

Holiday E-commerce Optimization Tips

The holiday season is finally here. And so is the time of searching, buying and giving – or chaos – as some people view it. Like every year, customers hunt for the best gift deals, while retailers operate in full swing. The businesses use this opportunity for their e-commerce ideas to shine and impress the customers. The goal is, of course, to optimize sales and beat the competition.

Holiday E-commerce Optimization Tips

E-commerce has been around for a while and has grown in popularity. With its global, Internet-based reach, this selling and buying model has become a very convenient, effective and influential tool for businesses and customers.

“The e-commerce industry is a force that no investor can afford to ignore.”

Cushla Sherlock, Assistant Vice President, Credit-Suisse tweet this quote

So, why is e-commerce optimization so important this year? Recent predictions and studies speak for themselves:

  • Mobile devices, mostly tablets and smartphones, will make up 16% of e-commerce sales this season. This may equal to $41.68 billion, compared to $24.78 billion in 2012.1
  • 69% of clients prefer free or discounted shipping, and 76% consider it an important element at checkout.2
  • More than 47% of clients buy a product from a different place offering free transport, while around 32% of them go to a nearby store, if free shipping is not an option.3
  • Gift cards, tech products, toys, food, apparel, video games, cookware, sporting goods, jewelry, and alcoholic beverages are people’s top choices for this season’s presents.4
  • Retail holiday sales are to grow 3.9%, or $602.1 billion, compared to last year’s 3.5% increase.5
  • Online holiday sales may go up to $82 billion, a 13-15% increase since 2012.6
  • 30% of retailers planned on revealing their promotions before the beginning of October, and 40% of them wanted to start early in November.7

How can you prepare your e-commerce for the holidays?

The following ideas may be helpful:

Plan Ahead

Make sure you plan for all major holidays and design a holiday-specific campaign. Campaign’s effects may benefit you longer after the holidays, so optimizing them is really worth the effort, even if you start a little late.

Promote Early

Try not to wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to present your deals and steals. Offer sneak peek campaigns and email them to your subscribers to create interest.

Optimize Mobility

Ensure your web design is responsive - able to adjust its layout to various devices’ screen sizes. Eliminate pop-ups, ease payment and checkout process, and tailor ads to specific keywords. Also, provide seamless experience for multi-screeners and invest in mobile sites or their app versions.

Prepare Yourself

Learn which items are in demand this season and offer them to your customers. Ensure your products are always in stock to avoid clients’ disappointment and sale losses. Also, have your team trained and ready to tackle any technical or customer service problem if such should arise.

Monitor Functionality

Make sure your server is running properly, without glitches or difficulties. Test your website’s features, loading times, and crashing rates frequently. Fix any problems fast to maintain and optimize your website’s conversions.

Assist Shoppers

Provide live chat or a shopping advisor for anyone who may have questions or need assistance. Offer gift guides and include practical tabs, such as related item search and save to list, to make the shopping experience smoother.

Show Creativity

Use various social networking sites and media forms, such as videos or photo slideshow on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, to promote your campaigns and create buzz.

Build Anticipation

Add a holiday countdown ticker to your website and always include it in your e-mails. Create excitement and increase anticipation for your upcoming offers.

Ensure Clarity

Make all products, services and specials visible on your website. Make sure all shipping options are clear and noticeable upfront on all portable and stationary devices.

Stay Competitive

Offer free shipping, international transport, and overnight delivery guarantee for last-minute shoppers. Give freebies and good prices or discounts on your products. Offer rebates toward next purchases for clients’ subscriptions, expanding your e-mailing list at the same time. Also, allow people to customize and personalize their purchases.

“If you build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”

Jeff Bezos, CEO, tweet this quote

Now, waste no time and star implementing the above tips into your e-commerce optimization strategy. You’ll see that improving your clients’ shopping experience will ultimately help you enlarge your sales. Celebrate your success and enjoy the fruitfulness of this holiday season!

  1. eMarketer 2013 predictions
  2. UPS 2013 Pulse of the Online Shopper™ - A Customer Experience Study
  3. Google 2013 Consumer Survey
  4. Nielsen 2013 Holiday Spending Forecast
  5. NRF 2013 forecast
  6. 2013 forecast
  7. Baynote 2013 Holiday Predictions Survey
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An entrepreneur with an eye for good design and advocate of simplicity. He brings a fresh strategy and approach to every project and plays an integral role in clients’ accomplishments through collaboration and close integration. Through his hands-on experience in technology and marketing, he ensures user experiences and technology are on the leading edge.