Top 5 E-commerce trends that marketers need to look out for the 2015 holiday season

It’s never too early to plan for the holiday season.  Since holidays also mean shopping time, this adage holds good especially for e-commerce marketers who are looking to peak their sales during this time.  A well-planned strategy is a good indicator of companies that mean business and almost always result in satisfied customers.

top 5 e-commerce strategies for this holiday season

Here are top 5 e-commerce strategies that we think marketers should adopt to ensure that they reach their optimum sales target during the holiday season.

  1. Migrate to Universal Analytics (UA) for better features: While many organizations have adopted Google Analytics (GA) to identify and track down their customer segments, collect visitor data and apply predictive intelligence to optimize conversion, it seems more beneficial to migrate to the UA from GA because of certain (listed below) advanced features that the former offers.
  • A multi-device or multiple browser visits to a website by a single user is tracked as multiple users in case of GA while the UA allows tracking these as a single user. Since a shopper might use multiple devices to complete their shopping over multiple sessions, tracking them correctly as a single user will help to target personalized experiences in a better fashion.
  • UA provides an advanced shopping behaviour analysis like how many customer sessions included just viewing the product, how many times was the cart loaded, and at what point the customer exited the purchase cycle etc.
  • An in-depth product analysis like the Product List and Product Performance is possible by using UA. Such an analysis is crucial to obtain metrics like at what level on the list does a particular product perform well? How many times has the product got clicked or been viewed? Sometimes, a product performs favourably for a certain search result or when it is featured on certain category pages. These metrics can be easily tracked using UA.
  • A case in example is the luxury retailer 1stdibs who saw a 24% increase in the conversion rate by analysing the product interactions at all stages of a shopping cycle: before, during and at check-out.

  1. Have an efficient Web and mobile marketing: Reports state that 60% of the traffic comes via mobile devices. Hence, it makes for a good strategy to iron out any technical glitches that may hamper a smooth shopping experience for a customer on a mobile device. Having effective personalization tactics like creating specialized landing pages for certain customer segments can enhance the experience for shoppers resulting in better conversion rates.  Similarly, your websites need to be prepared to handle the holiday traffic. A site crashing due to traffic overload or a page loading slow enough to drive a customer away is the last thing you need during the holiday season.

According to Sean O’Brien, director of Marketing, Pagely, having website monitoring tools in place will enable the marketers to remain aware of any slow performance or downtime of a website.

  1. Keep checkout simplified: Many users abandon their carts at the checkout stage due to various reasons including payment hassles or due to technical glitches at the payment gateway. While it is important to ensure that the checkout procedure is kept as simple and secure as possible, in case of any problem that may crop up, the marketers could earn brownie points by offering alternate methods of payment or an option to buy later. Will Devlin, the e-commerce manager of ShopVisible, suggests displaying a modal interrupter as one of the effective measures to arrest abandonment of the cart at the checkout stage.
  1. Target peak shopping days: As with any holiday season, the shopping graph peaks at certain points during the season. Marketers need to identify these and work towards targeting better during these times. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are considered to gather the highest customer traffic online as well as in the brick-and-mortar stores during the holiday season. But apart from these two days, the first few days of the beginning and mid-December also join the list of peak shopping days with their revenue amounting to as much as the combined ones of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 
  1. Use Infographics and a strong content: Using attractive visuals and effective content go a long way in creating a strong brand image. An infographic not only is visually appealing but is also used for brand visibility, wider exposure for the product, easy share via social media etc. This can be effectively combined with SEO to target the right set of customers. Optimize SEOs well in advance and make sure most-searched keywords are included. A strong and interactive content, an integral part of interactive sales strategy, helps your customers interact with the brand in the form of sharing their pictures or experiences with the brand. This could be further leveraged by offering incentives like a holiday discount or a faster delivery to help them complete the purchase.

We hope you find these strategies useful and helpful for the coming holiday season.

Author : Uma Chellappa Date : 07 Aug 2015