E-commerce sales are expected to boom again during the 2016 holiday shopping season. For retailers this means fierce competition and the key to success is having an effective online merchandising strategy. Converting shoppers is all about delivering the right product, at the right time, to the right person, in the right place.
Personalized product recommendations, holiday promotions, site structure, and presentation can help retailers optimize their holiday merchandising to increase traffic and conversions. Here are 5 tips to help you get the most out of your holiday season.
5 Holiday Merchandising Tips
- Product Recommendations — A simple and effective way to increase AOV is to recommend cross-sell and up-sell products while visitors browse the site. Be sure that the product recommendations are relevant and fit contextually with the product category and individual products a visitor is viewing. Also, don't forget the cart preview and checkout pages; they can be a great way to move overstock and seasonal items while increasing average order value.
- Organize Your Products for Holiday Shopping — Poor navigation is one of the most common reasons consumers go to a competing site, especially during the holidays when they want to get their shopping done quickly. In addition to the standard attributes used in faceted navigation, the holidays are a great time to create gift guides and optimized holiday landing pages tailored to shoppers looking for gifts. Turn your every day categories into mini gift shops and highlight popular items for gift recipients such as "Gifts for Women."
- Highlight Promotions & Make Them Clear — With every shopper looking for the perfect gift at the perfect price, it's important that holiday promotions are visible throughout the site and that the "rules" of the promotion are very clear. If you're running multiple promotions, make sure that the promotion an individual sees while browsing the site is consistent with the source of their promotion. In other words if you're running a site-wide "free shipping on orders over $65" and you've sent an email promoting "free shipping on orders over $25" to your best customers, make sure the promotional messaging matches the email.
- Add Some Holiday Cheer — I wouldn't recommend playing holiday music on your site—that gets annoying enough after a few months of holiday tunes being played in brick-and-mortar stores. However there are ways to add some holiday cheer to get site visitors in the holiday frame of mind. Feature holiday and seasonal products on landing pages and use text and graphics to convey a seasonal feel to your navigation and gift guides.
- Be Social and Engaged — Social media networks are a great way to extend your holiday merchandising beyond the website. Make it easy and encourage customers to post reviews and share what they like.
The holidays will be here before we know it, but it's not too late to implement these holiday merchandising ideas to increase conversions and average order value.