12 Thoughts That Could Prove Devastating To Your Ecommerce Sales This Holiday
The drum roll, for 2016 holiday season, has begun. So, tell me, is your eCommerce website holiday-ready? I take it you are.
Why? Because this year’s holiday sales won’t be like anything that the world has ever witnessed before, with roughly 160 million potential customers expected to throng eCommerce sites.
And, given that consumers would be spending more, as opposed to non-holiday seasons, almost +17% higher, that is, online businesses have to really battle it out if they don’t want to lose their customers to the competition.
So, wanna stay ahead of your rivals? Simple. Just stay away from these 12 terrible thoughts and you will do just fine. Here are those 12 terrible thoughts that could prove devastating to your eCommerce sales this season.
Terrible Thought #1
“It’s more than enough to doll up the online store to the nines.”
Guess what? The line between online and offline presence has blurred. As Lewish Gersh points out in ’Tis the season to be savvy with your digital marketing:
Shopping is not an either/or proposition. Most consumers now rely on a combination of online and in-store purchasing.
Moreover, some consumers do their window shopping in stores and then buy online, while others do the opposite. And, in many cases, purchase category is the determining factor, not the shopper’s personal preference.
Given that only 50% of customers will opt for online shopping, it makes perfect sense for the business to even get their brick and mortar store a holiday overhaul.
Terrible Thought #2.
“Quadrennial election ads - How does that figure.”
Online advertising during the pre-holiday season is gonna go beyond the budgeted amount for online marketers.
Partly because of the holiday season, but mostly because of the upcoming elections. Political ads would storm the online screens, making it jaw-droppingly difficult for online marketers to find space for their ads in branded platforms.
So be prepared, say some online experts because one may have to shell out substantial amounts to get ads in the right places.
Terrible Thought #3
“Gosh! What if the site crashes.”
Nope! Nope, this thought should never cross your mind, no matter what. Even when you are at the height of holiday frenzy.
But then, how to ensure your site doesn’t slow down or crash during the additional holiday rush? Simple. Get hold of your hosting provider and get a clear picture on your server capacity.
Plus, inquire about the additional resources that could be roped in, such as solid-state drive (SSD) hosting and content delivery networks (CDN), which might prove quite resourceful to reduce the risk of site slowdowns or crashes.
Terrible Thought #4
“Huh! Chucking out images and videos? Forget it!
Good. It only means your site would load slowly. It only means your bounce rate would be abnormally high. It only means you will be forced to shut down your online shop over the course of time.
Glad? Nope, then forget for some time that you are a great lover of images and a die-hard evangelist of videos, at least during October, November and December months, if not all the months.
Because the speed of your site matters, especially during holidays. And if you have heavy images and videos dominating your site, be assured your site would load terribly slow.
According to a recent research, 57% of the visitors abandon a page that takes three seconds or more to load.
Remember: Even a 1 percent increase in page load time means 7 percent reduction in conversion.
Terrible Thought #5
“What’s this ‘Green Padlock’ thingy I keep hearing from people around? Is it worthwhile?”
For the starters, Green Padlock is a symbol of trust. In other words, customers feel safe dealing with websites that have Green Padlock on display.
But then, how to get hold of a Green Padlock for your business. Apply for an EV SSL certificate.
That’s it. This certificate comes attached to the green address bar, green padlock and also the company’s name in the address bar. If not this, eCommerce site should at least opt for SSL/TLS certification.
Terrible Thought #6
“Reorder points - Huh! What’s that, btw.”
Chances of inventory shortage are quite high during the holidays.
If you are running out of stocks, your customers, however loyal he may seem to be, would jump over to your competitors’ site. This is where the reorder points come into picture.
The tool helps replenish stock that’s running below a given threshold, and in turn, ensures your stock never runs short.
Terrible Thought #7
“Staffing up - Nope! It would put a serious strain on my budget.”
Good. But then, remember customers need personal attention, holidays or not.
So, you need to make sure you have all your touch point channels covered, be it the phone, email, chat or for that matter social media.
If not, face the heat. Your business does not exist in spite of customers, but because of customers. So, trust us, when we say, stretch your holiday budget a tad bit when it comes to holidays.
Because who knows, your holiday customers might get impressed with your services and might as well become your lifetime customer?
Terrible Thought #8
“Scaling up & scaling down – OMG! It’s a pain in the neck.”
You have to do it, no matter what you think.
Tablets, Phablets, Smartphones, or whichever device the customer is using, the customer should be able to view your website perfectly, without switching the full version.
So scale up and scale down, if you really wanna keep your customers from running away to your rival sites. Got it?
Also, ensure all functionalities work on your scaled down versions as well.
Terrible Thought #9
“Yes, I am seriously thinking about giving the site a festive look.”
Still thinking? Start executing! Your products should look fab, especially during your holiday season. So optimize all your product images.
A good-looking product image easily drives the customer to make purchases.
If you think, your product images are not up to the mark, leverage services like Bonanza Background Burner to give your images an instant brush-up.
And not just your product pages, even your email graphics, social media sites and advertisements, anything and everything that’s part of promotional stuff, should be given a complete overhaul.
Also, ensure your website as a whole has a holiday look.
Terrible Thought #10
“Free shipping? Mm...no.”
Free shipping may not be your cup of tea. But then again, you need to give a thought to it, at least during the holiday season.
However, you could avoid offering free shipping on all the purchases. Free shipping for items between $50 to $75, would work just fine.
Terrible Thought #11
“Customer service apps -Oh, Come on! our customer service team is well equipped to tackle the additional rush.”
Trust me when I say launching a customer service app for your business would half the heartaches and headaches of your customer service people.
So, if you think that your customer service is gonna have of a heck of a time, go ahead and engage a third-party customer service app such as ZenDesk, Smarter Track, Get Satisfaction and more.
Zendesk, which is already serving 20,000 companies, comes fitted with the best of the service tools and even provides one-to-one customer support.
Terrible Thought #12.
“Speedy check out – Still pondering on.”
‘Tis no time to ponder and stare. Things have to move at express pace, given the high stakes. So optimizing your checkout form should be on the top of your agenda.
And the work involved isn’t something that you should lose your sleep over. Simply replace the long form with something nice and consise.
The consise look might just prompt customers to fill-it up.
Author’s 2 Cents
I know, for sure, such thoughts would never cross a serious entrepreneur’s mind because the holiday season is a make-or-break situation for them.
But then again, you never know, given that you would have so much on your plate to handle at the same time during the crazy holiday rush.
So the only remedy is, prepare beforehand, before the Sword of Damocles hangs over your head.
Back to You
How are your holiday preparations going? Is there anything that I haven’t covered here? I know, there would be lots...so why not go ahead and help us discover them.