Well folks, November is officially underway, which means we’re quickly approaching the time of year that brings in significant traffic and increased sales.
And the best way to feel prepared for the upcoming shopping holidays is to ensure that your eCommerce store is ready for any obstacle that comes your way.
While your promotions and marketing plans were made months ago, now is the time to do a quick check up to make sure that everything else is in place.
So Before you fully enter ‘holiday mode’, take some time to ensure that your eCommerce store is on the same page and prepared for the inevitable holiday rush.
To ensure that your eCommerce store is ready for some of the biggest retail shopping days of the year, make sure to go through our holiday eCommerce checklist so you can check off any last-minute tasks off of your list so you can enter the holidays worry-free.
1. Is your search box visible?
If a shopper struggles to locate your search box, chances are they’ll grow frustrated and leave your site. Make sure that your search box is not only visible, but it’s capable of autocompleting search queries and supporting synonyms and misspelled terms.
2. Is your site mobile optimized?
Retail mobile traffic is on the rise. If your site is not optimized for it, your customers will find a competitor whose is. Last year, mobile shopping accounted for more than a third of Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales, so make sure your site is optimized for all devices or risk missing out.
3. Are your banners set up?
One proven way to make your site more visually appealing is with keyword triggered banners. Banners help you share store-wide messages, promote similar items, popular items, and specific sales and discounts. Most importantly, banners can increase conversions and average order value.
4. Did you include customer product reviews?
Considering 90% of shoppers read customer product reviews prior making a purchase, all eCommerce retailers should be taking advantage of this and including customer reviews on their site. This gives potential shoppers the reassurance they need to follow through with making a purchase.
5. Do your product photos look their best?
When a potential shopper makes it to your eCommerce site, typically the first thing they take in are your product photos. Because of this, product photos are a crucial element for the success of an online store.
The difference between mediocre and professional looking product photos can easily make or break your online sales. So it’s important to always use high-quality images that are both visually appealing and clearly communicate the details of your product in ways that regular product copy can’t. For more information, make sure to read our blog post on eCommerce product photo tips.
6. Are you offering product recommendations?
Present shoppers with an automated ‘You Might Like’ product recommendations, as well as intelligent suggestions based on browsing behavior and past purchases. This will allow you to cross-sell and up-sell your products.
7. Is stock availability visible?
There’s nothing more frustrating than going to purchase an item only to discover that it’s actually out of stock. To ensure you never lose a sale because of this, indicate to customers stock availability. You can even include estimations for restock time or have customers leave their email addresses so they can be notified when the item becomes available.
8. Is your site festive?
If holiday shoppers make their way to your site only to be greeted with the home page that you use year-round, chances are they won’t be in the festive buying spirit. Create some festive popups and banners or add some holiday touches like winter themed graphics.
9. Do you have a clear return policy visible?
If an online shopper hasn’t shopped with you before, chances are they’ll be feeling a little unsure about making a purchase. A great way to make them feel comfortable is to have your return policy clearly stated throughout your website. This way they’ll be fully aware of when to expect their order.
10. How are you overcoming abandoned carts?
A great way to overcome cart abandonment is to send visitors abandoned checkout emails. This allows you to offer additional product recommendations, discounts, which will encourage shoppers to return to your site once they’ve left.
11. Are you promoting your holiday discounts?
Consumers love to know that they’re getting a good deal. As a retailer, you should do whatever you can to offer various holiday promotions and promote them throughout your site. Make your discounts clear by displaying them on your page banners and product pages so all shoppers are aware of your promotions and discounts available.
12. Do you offer online customer support?
There’s nothing more frustrating than having a question about an item, but no resource available to assist you. Retailers should consider adding a live chat feature so time sensitive questions can be answered immediately.
13. Have you removed your ‘no results found’ pages?
When a customer searches for an item, there’s nothing more annoying than being redirected to a ‘no results found’ page. Knowing which search terms lead to a ‘no results found’ page gives you the opportunity to create unique landing pages, custom redirects for those certain terms, or build more effective ‘no results found’ page. An effective ‘no results found’ page is going to give the shopper options. For example, a ‘no results found’ page could present the customer with the option to sign up for a newsletter in order to stay up to date with new products.
14. Have you reviewed your site search reports?
In order to convert potential buyers, retailers need to understand the wants and needs of their site visitors and the best way to do this is by learning about what they’re searching for, which can be found in your site search reports. Site search reports list all search terms entered on a website and the number of times words and phrases have been searched. Retailers can use this information to create unique landing pages to promote specific items.
15. Do you offer gift guides?
As a store owner, no one knows your customers better than you. Take this time to put together a holiday gift guide that consists of your most popular items. This can make the gift shopping experience much easier for uncertain shoppers, not to mention it will help increase your sales.
16. Can your site handle the traffic?
It’s safe to say that most online stores are going to encounter a spike in traffic over the coming weeks. Make sure to test your site speed and make sure that it doesn’t take longer than three seconds to load content otherwise you could lose up to 40% of your traffic.
17. Is your website secure and trusted?
To ensure that your customers feel safe purchasing from you, include reputable security badges, as well as logos of payment methods and suppliers, so you can build confidence in your store and products.
18. Did you include user-generated content (UGC)?
A great way to reassure your customers that they are making a great purchase is to include user-generated content. Your customers are already talking about your products by posting photos of them on social media, so feature these images on your site. This way customers can see what your clothing looks on or how it looks in use.
19. Are your prices transparent?
One of the main reasons for shoppers to abandon their online carts is because shipping prices were much higher than expected. Retailers need to be upfront and transparent about all costs as early as possible during the shopping process so shoppers are fully aware of what they are expected to pay. This will cut down cart abandonment because shoppers are able to weigh the cost-benefit for shipping the item – opposed to buying in store or from online from a competitor.
20. Can your shoppers shop at ease?
To improve conversion, make it effortless for users to return to their carts to continue shopping whenever they want. Humans are easily distracted and it doesn’t take much for them to get migrate away from their shopping cart – especially if their Christmas shopping as they might have multiple tabs opened at once. This is why it’s crucial to allow shoppers to return to their carts later to complete their purchase at a time that’s convenient for them.