The average American spends $830 on Christmas gifts, putting the total at roughly $263 billion across the country. Unsurprisingly, it’s the most wonderful (and lucrative) time of the year for small businesses online. So, now is when you should capitalize on the Christmas rush by optimizing your website to increase online sales.
Here are some tips to help you boost conversions for Christmas and make your holidays very happy indeed.
A Festive Design
First impressions count for a lot these days. People are very impatient when browsing the web; they’ll want to know if your website has what they are looking for within a few seconds of accessing it.
A festive design might not change the value of your product or the size of the audience that views it, but it will mean that viewers clicking through to your website are immediately under the assumption that you sell items that could potentially go under the Christmas tree.
Avoid going heavy-handed on the design, however. Animations of snowflakes falling, flashing lights or Santa Claus flying across the page can create distractions, loading errors and slow your site down. Go for something simple, like a red and white background and a festive logo.
Focus on Mobile Users
More people now access the web through their mobile than they do on a desktop, which makes mobile the top priority for websites.
It can be all too easy to focus on making your desktop site look great and then creating a simple, functional mobile version as a side project. However, with so many people shopping with their phones, it is essential that you spend time working on your mobile website. Look at how it performs, how easy it is to use and make a purchase, whether the design meets the standards of your competitors and so on.
Decrease Load Speeds
We’ve already established that online shoppers are impatient. However, around the holidays, when they’ve got a million other things to do, this is escalated further.
Maintaining quick load speeds is vital for reducing bounce rate and enticing as many people to your website as possible. The longer a person spends waiting for your website to load, the more likely they are to hit the back button and search elsewhere.
After a two-second load time, a high percentage of people will already be leaving out of frustration with your slow load speed. After you hit the four-second mark, 50% of visitors will be gone.
That’s a heavy price to pay for two seconds, so ensure your load speeds are as fast as possible. The best ways to do this are to ensure image files sizes aren’t too large, keep website design simple and use a reliable website hosting service. For more advanced tips on how to decrease website load speeds, check out this blog by HubSpot.
Provide Free Shipping
The power of free shipping should never be underestimated. Nine out of ten shoppers say it’s a valuable part of their shopping experience, with many unwilling to make a purchase without it. To make things worse, 36% of people that abandon their online shopping order do so because the cost of shipping is too high.
Shipping fees can destroy your sales figures. While it might not be feasible long-term, a festive promotion that offers free delivery could be just what you need to increase online sales. Not only will it inspire customers to order through appealing to their desire for free shipping, but it will likely draw in former customers — attracted not by Christmas, but by savings.
Be sure to promote your free shipping, through social media sharing, text on the homepage and even pop-up reminders if you are feeling daring, making sure customers are aware of it before they reach the checkout.
Remember Last-Minute Shoppers
Last-minute shoppers are a consumer very few sites cater for, but there are millions of them. So many people are just too busy with other aspects of their lives to worry about presents.
Finally, as the holidays roll around and things at work start to slow, they’ve got time to sit down and browse. But it’s too late; delivery dates stretch past Christmas Day and there is no way they can get an online gift now, right?
This is your opportunity to increase online sales by offering last minute-shoppers an option: gift vouchers and printable presents.
Gift vouchers are simple to offer, but nobody wants to give an email receipt on Christmas Day. Create a fun, festive design; something that shoppers can print at home that looks like an actual voucher — something you can give as a gift. You can also offer printable presents; some of the more well-designed printable pages that display the shopper has purchased an item and that it is on its way.
Produce Gift Guides
Blogs are a valuable method of boosting your search engine rankings and drawing people to your website, especially around the holidays. Writing detailed gift guides — gift guides for him, for her, for the one who has everything, for the budgeters, etc — is a great way to get people clicking onto your website. But how do you translate these guides into an increase in online sales?
Simple: use your own products in the gift guides, with internal backlinks taking readers to the purchase page.
Let’s say you create a gift guide blog on your website for “grown-up kids”. Create a list of the best products — or the products you want to sell the most — that apply to that category, write a paragraph about why they are a great purchase, then include a price and “buy now” button or call to action.
Including the price is important, as people like to know what they are getting into before visiting a new page. If they click through and the price isn’t what they expected, they aren’t going to check every other option on your guide until they, maybe, find something that fits their budget.