The festive season represents a huge opportunity for businesses to make more sales online.
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Black Friday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day… the winter months can be hugely lucrative for businesses trying to sell online. There’s no better time to review your website and ensure it’s all set to deliver the big bucks once the bells start jingling!
It’s also a challenging time for online businesses and, depending on the industry you’re working in, you may find increased competition and pressure to discount your goods in a festive ‘race to the bottom’.
The idea of conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is to deliver more conversions from your existing traffic. Meaning even with the same number of visitors to your site, you can make more sales. Here’s how:
1) Prepare your website (and don’t forget mobile)
We’ve all been there; something’s not quite right on our website, not quite the way we want it to look or function, but hey, we’ll leave it for now and sort it out ‘soon’.
Well, soon is now! With Christmas rapidly approaching, now is the time to get all those niggling tasks done, so your website is performing at its best ahead of the festive rush.
One of the biggest mistakes website owners make is not checking that their site is prepared for any uplift in traffic. Be sure to review this with your internal web team, or agency, if you use one, and explain to them the importance of the site being available and working properly throughout the coming weeks.
If there’s anything they need to do to prepare the website for higher than average traffic, it should be done early to check that there are no bugs.
It’s also really important your website works well across all devices - mobile being the key consideration here.
As we move into 2018, those working in digital marketing or SEO will know that Google is set to work on a mobile-first basis, meaning your visibility in the search results will be impacted by how well your site works on a smartphone or tablet.
Moreover, those users visiting your website and wanting to buy through a mobile device over the festive period will need to be able to do so without problem; check your website is working on mobile and address any issues now.
You may not have time for a full overhaul before Christmas, but any changes the web team can look into to make the mobile experience better will help.
2. Consider the complete user journey
Delivering on your promises makes basic business sense. If you tell your customers you can do one thing, but fail to deliver, not only will you lose that sale, but also potentially valuable referrals and return visits, too.
When considering your Christmas strategy, it’s important to take a multi-channel approach. Encouraging conversions on your website will be easier when you can follow through on promises made on other channels. In short, the messaging on the website should match the messaging on social media, adverts and any other marketing channels.
Be sure to review all of your messaging and ensure it all stands true for the Christmas period. It’s important you’re not promising next day delivery if that can’t be done during the festive rush, and equally if you are able to offer USPs like this that will appeal to Christmas shoppers, be sure to showcase them throughout your marketing channels.
3. Gather data for long term strategic insights
All digital marketing should be based on data. When we analyse our data, we can make much better informed decisions. Strategically, it makes perfect logical sense; if we can analyse what’s worked before, and what hasn’t, we’re much better equipped for the future.
If your site has high levels of traffic over Christmas, you can gain data that will allow you to refine the site for the next year. Tools like Google Analytics, which are free, will gather information about how many people visit your website, where they come from and what they do once there. Use this data to inform your strategies moving forward.
If you’re running offline campaigns, be sure to tag those up, too. Providing discount codes or specific URLs to visit will enable you to monitor the outcome of that work. If people come to your site and buy, you can review how much they spend and the relative ROI of your campaign.
Importantly, this data can be used to inform the strategy of the whole company. Did one category area convert better than others? Then what was it about that category that made it so appealing?
It’s important to encourage a data-driven mindset within your business if you want to see better results in the future. A commitment to CRO fosters this mindset, which will have positive benefits for other strategies, too.