Ah, the holidays. Seems like the official holiday buying season starts earlier and earlier every year. Was it only yesterday we were touting summer sales and back-to-school specials? And now it’s time to start pulling down the boxes of decorations from the attic. The digital attic, that is. We’re talking about how to spruce up your website for maximum holiday cheer and cha-ching. The US spent $35 billion in online holiday shopping, according to a report from comScore. If you want to increase your ecommerce around the holidays, here are a few tips to get you ready for the season.
Who doesn’t like presents? Your customers do, and you can give them just what they want with incentives like reduced shipping times, free shipping or a promotional gift on orders over a certain value. Be careful with your margins, though. It may be better to give than to receive, but if you lose money by offering unsustainable incentives--it’s your own holiday you might ruin.
Keeping your website security updated lets customers fill their sleighs/shopping carts with goodies knowing their information is safe. Our very own Lord of the Network Adam had this to say about website security, “PCI Compliant. Google it. If you do that, you’re good.” PCI means Payment Card Industry, and they have developed a strict set of security standards. If your website adheres to the guidelines, you’re silver and gold.
We’re not talking about your brick-and-mortar storefront, we’re talking about hanging some tinsel on your digital shop. Create temporary landing pages or jumbotron banners with festive designs and a little fa-la-la messaging to promote holiday incentives and sales.
An increasing amount of online shopping is done through smartphones and tablets. If your site isn’t mobile optimized yet, you may want to consider an upgrade. Consider it an early holiday present to yourself...and your customers.
Here’s an old caroling favorite:
The economy may be frightful
But your website looks delightful
Now help shoppers know where to go
With SEO - SEO - SEO
All wassailing aside, improving your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) may seem daunting, but there are software programs that can help. Another option is to hire a digital agency (hint hint) to do all the research, analyses, and then implement an SEO strategy for your website. Once you’ve decked your halls with SEO keywords, you’ll want to get the word out that there’s a holiday party going on at your page! Spread your holiday cheer (and your reach to potential consumers) through social media. Authentic, well-crafted holiday messages keep your Twitter followers and Facebook fans in the festive spirit when they click on your webpage to browse. If you have a company blog, be sure to include holiday keywords. If you're in the travel industry, for example, include key phrases such as "warm weather," "winter vacations," and "escape the cold." And if you’re going to have a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale, don’t forget to mention that in the blog, too.
Consider a local Google AdWords campaign to drive local traffic. This can also increase your in-store foot traffic, if you have an actual store. Check out our tips on Google AdWords, too.
When you decide to launch your holiday campaign is up to you. Some companies push holiday sales before Halloween, others wait until the sugar-crash headache has subsided. Whichever you choose, these tips will help keep you off the Naughty list of consumers, which is very Nice indeed.