3 Simple Website Updates to Boost Holiday Sales

Content and webinar provided by: Whereoware

The holiday season is here. It’s time to develop your strategy to maximize sales during the busiest shopping months of the year.

Getting ahead of the holiday rush means thinking through brick and mortar fulfilment, merchandising, and promotions. Equally important, you must develop a thorough digital strategy to drive online sales. (We can help – we’re presenting a free webinar on 3 Simple Steps to B2B Holiday Readiness on October 26. Save your spot here.)

E-retail growth during the holidays in 2015 increased 13% year over year (YOY) to $69.08 billion, according to comScore.

Shopping trends this spring suggest consumer spending is on the upswing. E-commerce on desktops grew 19% YOY this April and 15.5% YOY in May. Similarly, total retail sales on discretionary products grew 5.3% (the highest level seen in years) in April and 4.4% in May (that’s higher than discretionary spending during the holiday months of November and December 2015).

You and the competition are both reaching for a piece of that holiday pie, but you’ll only convert customers if your website is a pleasant and simple shopping experience. To help you get started, we’ve outlined three quick tips to update your website to maximize holiday sales.

UPDATE HERO IMAGES + BANNERS

Updating your website for the holidays may seem daunting, but small changes make a world of difference. To give your site an immediate refresh without overhauling the design, update your homepage to place holiday promotions front and center. Start by swapping out the hero image and banner ads to highlight holiday sales and delivery information.

Even better? Compile products into focused landing pages relevant to your audience like Gifts for Movie Lovers or Gifts for Girls, to help busy visitors find everything on their list.

Notice how Crate and Barrel’s site structure doesn’t change between July 2015 and December 2015, but they replace summer sales imagery and promotions with holiday promotions. The December homepage adds a banner above the hero image to count down the days of guaranteed Christmas Delivery.

Crate and Barrel also helps visitors quickly purchase all the gifts on their list with prominent links to “Gifts for the Family” in the hero image and below it, gift breakdowns for different budgets. Their summertime website, on the other hand, doesn’t include a banner above the hero image, or “Gift Under…” links below.

This is important, even for vendors – think about how retailers can merchandise their store for the holidays. Creating a Gift Under $25 works great for those last minute purchases by the register.

TIPS FOR UPDATING YOUR HERO IMAGES + BANNERS:

1.  Use eye-catching imagery and high quality images

2.  Include your value proposition. Why should the visitor click on your banner?

3.  Don’t forget a call-to-action telling customers what to do. “Shop now,” “Learn More,” and “Explore New Products” are better than “Submit” or “Enter.”

4.  Switch up content more often. Visitors explore your site more frequently during the holidays, so update your hero image to highlight new sales, feature new products, or show off gift guides throughout the season to keep visitors excited.

5. Make it easy to shop categories of items, like Gifts under $25 or Gifts for Boys.

BOOST INTERACTION WITH CONTENT

More than ever, customers go online to research products, read reviews, and comparison shop. By developing content pieces like lists, blog posts, articles, videos, trend guides, and look books, you show off your products’ value and drive purchases without coming across as salesy.

Even better? Content pieces like “5 Décor Gifts for Girl’s Rooms” will drive visitors to your site for months and sometimes years after (people will search “décor for girls” for all different reasons throughout the year).

Use large product imagery and compelling text to excite readers around your products and highlight their real-life use. Make sure you link to items directly, and include all spec information, so readers can easily purchase the products you’re describing.

For example, our client Mud Pie wrote a blog post on “10 Tips for Capturing Holiday Photos.” They offered a variety of great tips unrelated to their products, like scheduling the shoot for a time when the child is rested and happy. It isn’t until Tip #5: Choose Your Outfit Wisely that Mud Pie shows off a few of their favorite photo-ready outfits from their collection. The graphic links directly to a landing page of seasonal outfits for kids. This type of content is helpful to their audience and will resonate for years to come, while also showing off their apparel collection.

A FEW CONTENT IDEAS TO HOOK YOUR AUDIENCE:

1.  Gifts under $xyz.

2.  Gifts for everyone on your holiday lists.

3.  Last minute gift ideas.

4.  Our holiday favorites (top selling gifts).

5.  Seasonal tips. (For example, if you sell dinnerware, your seasonal tips can be “Decorating your Holiday Table” with links to your products.)

CHECK YOUR WEBSITE ON MOBILE DEVICES

Mobile sales during the holidays increased nearly 60% last year, according to comScore. We foresee this trend growing.

It’s so important to check your website from a variety of smartphones and tablets to ensure mobile shoppers are receiving the same exceptional shopping experience as desktop shoppers.

Whereoware’s client Sullivans’ website is built using responsive design, meaning the site delivers an optimized experience from any device. On mobile, the top navigation changes to a hamburger menu, the shopping cart is prominently displayed, and content stacks vertically, so it’s easy to read and interact with from a tiny screen. These changes help Sullivans’ retailers click and shop the site from any device. 

CHECKLIST FOR YOUR MOBILE-FRIENDLY SITE

Can customers easily:

1.    Click navigation links and buttons?

2.    Click and view products?

3.    Close out of your site’s popover or fill out and submit webforms with one click?

4.    Locate contact information?

5.    Complete the checkout process without having to pinch and zoom, or take other frustrating actions?

GET READY FOR YOUR BEST SALES SEASON

You may have a holiday marketing to-do-list a mile long, but updating your website is a priority. All of your online promotions will flow through this digital hub, so make it easy for visitors to explore the site (from every device) and fulfill all their holiday gifting needs.

Looking for more practical tips to jumpstart your holiday marketing plan? Don’t miss our free webinar on Wednesday, October 26: 3 Simple Steps to B2B Holiday Readiness. We’ll cover email tactics to boost holiday sales, website updates to convert shoppers, and creative holiday campaign inspiration! Save your spot here

To learn more about Whereoware, please visit www.whereoware.com.