For most retailers, the holiday season begins promptly in November, although some retailers start the previous month for Halloween and others as early as September for back-to-school. While retailers can forecast the start of the holiday season, one area that proves to be unpredictable are the strategies and tactics used to boost holiday sales.
The holiday season can represent as much as 30% of annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation. For online retail brands, understanding changing consumer behavior, technology and timing is critical to having a make or break year.
When comparing 2016 to 2017, the retail industry experienced an increase of 11.5% in online sales, according to eMarketer. Just as noteworthy, on Thanksgiving and Christmas smartphones accounted for more than 60% of web site traffic and approximately 50% of digital sales. By identifying these types of key consumer shopping behaviors and trends, retailers can anticipate how they will prepare and plan for the upcoming holiday season.
Recommendations To Achieve Holiday Growth
Workarea customers experienced a 20% increase in revenue last holiday. That is almost double the industry average for holiday growth. The following data-driven recommendations and emerging best practices are shared in full in the 2018 Workarea Ecommerce Holiday Planning Guide.
To help fuel your best holiday season yet, here are three of our top Holiday Guide recommendations to achieve growth this season.
As evidenced above, customers are increasingly shopping online from their mobile phones. So much so, one in four of every e-Commerce marketing dollar is allocated towards mobile spend.
To maximize ROI, segment mobile users to create personalized and tailored messaging. Be sure to optimize the mobile shopping path to allow for the quickest pathway from product to checkout.
For example, on the Workarea platform, admins can show or hide certain content blocks, or display different images depending on the user screen size, to allow for a frictionless shopping experience with the least amount of clicks possible to put a product in their cart.
Site Speed Optimization Across All Devices
Don’t let something as simple as site speed slow down sales; especially on mobile devices. Did you know that 53% of web visitors will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than three seconds to load (Google report)?
Now is the time to check your site’s speed, before the weight of holiday traffic and sales start. Use Google’s speed insights and Web Page Speed test to understand how your site is performing. If you need to make some improvements to get it closer to three seconds, evaluate your third-party integrations and remove any you are not using, audit your content images to make sure they are optimized and not too large, and talk with your platform partner about any available optimizations to their application’s load time.
On average, customers convert 3X higher when they engage with your search tool. Retailers on the Workarea platform experienced tremendous gains in search conversions with a 9.87% average conversion rate using site search on Black Friday, and 10.8% average conversion rate on Cyber Monday.
Prioritize the search tool in your web site’s header and make it easy to use and easy to find. Be sure to continually audit trending on-site search keywords and promote those products or categories on the site. Last, review top searches from the prior year and map out if/how consumers will be directed to these products or be able to find similar products this holiday season.
Cheryl Amaya, Director of Customer Success at WebLinc is the quintessential customer advocate. At the top of her priorities is identifying online merchants’ needs and guiding them to find solutions. She maintains a relationship with all Workarea platform customers, evaluating their e-Commerce solution systems to help them maximize revenue and increase site traffic.
Site Search 360 Trends