5 Technology Tips Your Ecommerce Business Needs For The Holiday Season
Is your Ecommerce business ready for the holiday rush? Black Friday is right around the corner, and optimizing your online business plan for the holiday season make can make all the difference in the world.
According to First Data Corp., which analyzed point-of-sale data at nearly one million merchants, in 2016 E-commerce accounted for 25% of all consumer spending on Black Friday and the two days prior, up from 18% the previous year, and nearly double the figure for the same period four years ago. The E-commerce share for all holiday retail sales in 2016 was 10% of the entire market, for a total of approximately $88.5 billion.
Just like in sports, the fourth quarter is the most important time in the game for businesses. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas all present an opportunity for online retailers to score points with consumers.
Here are 5 technology tips your Ecommerce business needs to focus on this holiday season:
1. Mobile Is Key (And King)
According to Techcrunch, “mobile traffic and sales are breaking records compared with years prior” based on third-party reports and those from major retailers. Thanksgiving is now one of the busiest mobile shopping days on Amazon. Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, and total spending on connected things will hit $2 trillion. Mobile retail payments, both online and at the point of sale, are expected to total $180 billion in 2017 and balloon to $410.5 billion by 2020. It’s clear that mobile is now king.
Make sure your website is mobile-optimized. Offer an easy-to-use app. By 2018, it’s estimated that the average U.S. adult will spend more than six hours each day on a mobile device, and by 2020 almost 1 in every 2 dollars spent online will come from purchases made using mobile devices. It is integral to offer a streamlined mobile experience where users can effectively, efficiently, and easily navigate, search, select, and purchase items. Remember: the fewer clicks a customer has to make the better. Don’t make the mistake of a mediocre mobile site or app.
2. Optimize Your Website
Speaking of website optimization, take the time to properly review your website before the holiday rush to make sure it delivers exactly what your customers want. The homepage is the face of your online company and the first thing customers will see, so make sure that it leaves a good impression–that means no broken links, spelling errors, ugly designs, or counterintuitive setups. Your site should be easy to navigate, and it should also be easy to add items to a cart and make purchases. Put your top-selling items on the homepage, and add additional payment options like PayPal to offer consumers more choice. Perhaps most importantly, make sure that the site can handle additional new customers during the holidays. The very worst thing that can happen is for your site to go down at the most important time!
Just like in real-life brick and mortar businesses, Ecommerce is all about location, location, location! Your Ecommerce business can live and die by Google search results, so make sure you get noticed. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. Differentiate your search results from your competition. Research your business and search topics, or look into hiring a professional to do it for you. Update your keywords and tweak outdated pages. During the holidays, look into investing in advertising or retargeting tools to promote certain products or pages.
4. Customer Service
Make sure your customers can get in touch with your company and answer questions in as many ways as possible, including email, online chat, FAQs, social media, and phone. The easier and faster their questions and concerns about your Ecommerce business can be answered, the more likely they are to make purchases.
5. Social Media
81% of U.S. online consumers’ financial decisions to purchase are influenced by friends’ social media posts. The holidays are the perfect time to launch new social media campaigns to engage your viewers and boost sales. Beef up your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other pages to better integrate them into your Ecommerce business in order to increase sales and help you promote your holiday marketing plans. Get your customers talking about you by offering social media contests, giveaways, promotions, etc.