Last time we looked around, it was time for the fireworks show on the 4th of July. Before we know it, the 2018 Holiday season will be upon us and we need to be ready to take advantage of the many opportunities the season has to offer ecommerce retailers. It also always seems to be that with opportunity comes challenges, specifically regarding how to best turn site visitors into loyal customers during a time of year that is tougher to get noticed by the shopping public. Here are a few reasons why the holiday season is a more challenging time to win in ecommerce.
- Fierce Competition – Your fellow ecommerce retailers are bringing their “A” games to the holiday party so it’s more important than ever to capture & hold the attention of site visitors and convert them before they abandon your site to see what the competition has to offer.
- Shopper Stimulation Overkill – The amount of marketing and advertising that goes on during the lead up to the holiday season is getting more intense each year. It’s more important than ever to get your message out to your target audience in an effective way that they notice and which grabs their attention.
- Impatience is Not A Virtue – The same mild mannered shopper that bought from you in July is now less patient and wants all their shopping to be done a week ago. At this time of year, they will be much more quick to abandon your site if their shopping expectations are not met.
When it comes to claiming your piece of the holiday pie, your on-site search solution could easily make or break you. If people are counting on your search tool to not only help them find the exact products they are looking for, but also expand their horizons about what other items are available in the ecommerce universe, it’s critically important that you don’t let them down.
As you plan for holiday ecommerce success, here are some ways to ensure that your on-site search engine is the gateway by which your visitors search, shop and buy to their hearts’ content.
Transform Transactions Into Experiences
The online market place today is a level playing field when it comes to product and price and these things are commodities that every online seller has. The victors in today’s great ecommerce battle will win because they gave their customers an overall great shopping experience instead of a mere transaction. When it comes to your search tool, meaningful experiences/connections start with personalized search results. When shoppers receive search results back that are extremely relevant to them, they not only buy, they return as loyal customers. Through such technology as visitor targeting, machine learning and Relevant Recommendations, Hawksearch can create meaningful shopping experiences for every site visitor.
Complete A Journey With Them
Online shoppers today are savvy and expect a unified experience when they interact with your website. They yearn for a well thought out, deliberate journey that makes them feel confident that you understand their needs from search box to shopping cart. Your search tool is really the map and gateway to successfully completing a personalized, shopping expedition. Great journeys start with extremely relevant search results, tailor-made for each site visitor. However, personalized search results are only the beginning of a successful journey, as Hawksearch features such as Relevant Recommendations and Smart Autocomplete gives visitors more product options to consider and additional guidance along the way. If at the end of their journey, the shopper arrives at the check-out page feeling fulfilled, you will have been successful.
Talk The Same Language
As the old saying goes, you have to strike while the iron is hot. When it comes to ecommerce, the iron in this case is when the site visitor types into the search box. A great way to improve the chances of providing a great search experience for shoppers is to have continuity between the search words they are using and how well your search engine is recognizing them.
Successful search tools capture data that allows marketers to measure how effective a site is synching up with shoppers’ search patterns. Hawksearch offers some really insightful reports to help you evaluate this. Reports such as conversion summary, top 250 facets, top keywords and searches with poor results enables marketers to refine and tune search settings for the greatest ROI possible. Any ecommerce business that takes the time to study this data will be far out ahead of the competition.
The Holiday season is a fantastic time to increase revenue and grow the number of loyal customers who will return to purchase your products all year long. By creating experiences rather than transactions, enabling your customers to take a cohesive journey and studying the effectiveness of your search tool through data metrics, you will be thrilled with the results.
Ah and one last thing – don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the season with family and friends!
We hope you have a great Holiday season to come.