Is your e-commerce website ready to fire on all cylinders this holiday shopping season?

ecommerce website holiday shopping

The holiday season is right around the corner! Is your e-commerce site equipped to handle the rush? If yes, then you better start the moment you read this because we have some stats to show you why. Get ready for Armageddon folks!

According to IBM’s annual Online Retail Holiday Readiness report, an average user is expected to spend at least $2000 on his holiday shopping in the run up to Christmas. The stakes are even more for an e-commerce site’s mobile app or version since 20% of the sales and close to 40% of the site’s traffic is predicted to be from users on their mobile devices. So when you are thinking about sprucing up your digital infrastructure, make sure you have the mobile versions also spruced up. Need tips? Here are a few:

Make it simple

As far as mobile interfaces for shopping sites are concerned, the mantra for success is to keep things simple and straight. According to a Google study, 57% of consumers will not recommend a business that has a poorly designed mobile version.

Do not go overboard with color themes. Stick to two or three colors for display, and best of all, keep the fonts as crisp as possible. In short, do not provide a cluttered user experience for your customers.

Get low on visual content

Save the HD ad boards for the desktop versions and roll out light textual ads for mobile version of your site. If your site is slow to load and a competitor comes up with a faster option, then your potential customers get hooked on to them even if your site offers them a better deal. You can never really blame them. When there is scarcity of time, you cannot expect them to wait for every corner of your site to load in their mobile screens. The study also points out that 40% of consumers move to a competitor’s site if your site is slow on a mobile device.

Deploy technology wisely

Very often the performance of your mobile apps rely on how effectively you are able to deploy technology to solve issues such as storage, dynamic content loading, payments, etc. Giving an adequate amount of cloud compatibility to your apps and migrating core product frameworks into cloud frameworks often results in improved ROI. Getting the perfect mix of cloud and in-house streams is a lethal combination to deliver the best experience to your customers.

Gain traction on all platforms

It is important to have your e-commerce site’s mobile app deployed in all native mobile OS platforms, be it Android or iOS or Windows or Blackberry, etc. Users who have a bad experience on any of these platforms will automatically fix a mindset that your business does not have affection for its choice of platform; and this can prove to be a costly venture for your business.

Quicker buying processes

You need to integrate “quick buy” buttons that make it possible for shoppers to place orders on your site with as few clicks as possible.  You also need to have a fully-fledged payment processing system that works seamlessly.

Focus on email creation suited for mobile

No matter how much outdated we say email is, it is still the number one media for announcing events and news to individual stakeholders, be it customers, merchants or any other concerned parties of your business. According to a 2013 study by Super Monitoring, 28.85% of all emails are now opened on mobile screens and 10.16% on tablet screens. This means that emails announcing sale or special holiday offers in your retail site should be customized to offer the best mobile view possible to your customers.

Now that you know why you should have a mobile oriented sales strategy for your e-commerce business this holiday season, you better start acting fast. Shopping frequencies are likely to get heated up and peak in the week before and the week after Christmas, running all the way up to New Year’s Eve.

Speaking about your business as a whole, there are areas wherein you need to provide extra attention on these busy shopping days; for instance your backend operations such as logistics, supply chain management, payment processing, delivery partnerships, and above all, a fleet of highly customer centric executives who sit behind call desks to help shoppers pick the best deals from your site or help them to leverage after sales options such as service, replacements, etc. After all if you don’t have an equally organized and collaborative physical support system to your virtual store, then you are doing nothing more than drawing lines in a pool of water.

Image Credit: COD Newsroom

Author : Rahul Suresh Date : 17 Dec 2014