Optimizing Your Site for the Holiday Season

  |  October 30, 2009   |  Comments

Three easy tactics to draw in consumers and boost your holiday sales.

It's that time of year again. Many companies we work with are depending on Q4 sales to get them through this tough year. I'm sure having a good Q4 is more important to you this year as well. While it's almost November (and most of you have frozen your sites for the year), there are still a few small things you can do to help increase sales.

Discount Teasers

Most companies will offer many incentives this year. Generally, incentives have two parts: the actual incentive and the qualifying rules. For example, "Free Shipping on Orders of $80 or More." While this is a common type of promotion, many companies fail to implement "teaser" campaigns for these promotions. For instance, when the consumer has $65 in her shopping cart, a teaser campaign that tells her to "Add $15 more to your order and get free shipping" will help push her over the edge and enable the discount. After all, these discounts are (usually) aimed at increasing average order size and value. If you're simply enabling the promotion once the thresholds are reached, are you sure the promotion is effective? In that case, it's possible you're simply rewarding people for doing what they were already going to do. But with a teaser, you're actually bringing someone who wouldn't have met the threshold on their own to a higher purchase level. Do this today: for every promotion you're running, create "threshold teasers" aimed at people who almost qualify for them, and get them on your site quickly!

Sharing a Wish List

For every online buyer shopping this holiday season, there will be many more people browsing for products they want. While most companies have wish lists, not many have wish lists that are easy to share. A personal wish list is fine if you're the one who will eventually buy the items you want. But if you're a teenager, you're most likely adding items to a wish list that someone else (such as your parents) will end up buying for you. We need to make this an easy process. At the very least, put a link to an "e-mailable" version of the wish list -- one that lists the products, prices, and links to buy them in a format that e-mail readers will be able to display easily. That way, you're providing the missing link between the "wisher" and "wishee."

Get Those Digital Assets Online

A picture is worth a thousand words -- and thousands of dollars. A video is worth even more. Do you have good photography of your top products? Do you have videos of them? Or, has the manufacturer/supply of your goods given you digital assets, but you don't have time to get them on your site? Well, make time quickly. The more tangible your products are, the more likely they will sell. You're doing a disservice to yourself if you have these assets available to you but haven't put them on the site. We've run many tests on the value of these types of assets. Simply adding a photo, an alternate angle, or clear close-up of a product will increase your sales from 10 to 20 percent (at least that's what our own testing showed -- results may vary). Plus, there probably isn't much IT work involved in that process. If you're looking for low-hanging fruit that doesn't involve IT, this is a big one.

Conclusion

I know it's getting close to the holidays, but there are still small things you can do that will make a huge difference. Constraints breed creativity. You already have a list of the big projects that didn't make it into the IT calendar this year. But don't give up yet. Make a list this week of five things you can easily accomplish before everyone leaves for vacation. Who knows, you might just be the reason your company exceeds expectations this quarter.

Questions, thoughts, comments? Leave them below!

Until next time...

Jack

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Aaronson

Jack Aaronson, CEO of The Aaronson Group and corporate lecturer, is a sought-after expert on enhanced user experiences, customer conversion, retention, and loyalty. If only a small percentage of people who arrive at your home page transact with your company (and even fewer return to transact again), Jack and his company can help. He also publishes a newsletter about multichannel marketing, personalization, user experience, and other related issues. He has keynoted most major marketing conferences around the world and regularly speaks at Shop.org and other major industry shows. You can learn more about Jack through his LinkedIn profile.

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