The fourth quarter is prime time for e-commerce. According to Forbes contributor Sucharita Mulpuru, holiday e-commerce sales growth outpaced holiday brick-and-mortar sales growth by a healthy margin last year.
Meanwhile, nearly every day following Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) saw e-commerce sales greater than $1 billion.
Thanks to a healthy labor market and signs that inflation is finally ticking up, this year’s holiday shopping season is on track to beat last year’s with ease.
Time is running out to get your e-commerce house in order for the big end-of-year push. Here are eight fixes you can make this week to attract more mobile-wielding shoppers and finish 2017 on an up note.
1. Get Mobile Traffic in Your Funnel Right Away
Why beat around the push? As soon as their browser finishes loading the page, invite first-time visitors to sign up for your email list or create a shopper account. Tempt them with tales of easy members-only checkout—more on that below.
2. Don’t Neglect Tablet Users
Millions of online shoppers prefer to browse by tablet, not smartphone or laptop. Tablet shopping is particularly popular with older, more affluent customers, both at home and in-store. (Opportunistic comparison-shopping is a lot easier with a larger screen.)
Mobile trailblazers like Beyond the Rack perfected tablet-first design before it was cool. You don’t have to go all-in with a separate tablet site, as they did—just integrate tablet-friendly elements, such as draggable images and large buttons, into your existing responsive interface.
3. Lose the Email Clutter
Avoid overwhelming marketing email recipients with text-heavy, multi-column blasts. Keep each email short and to the point—ideally, focused on a single promotion or product. That’s easier to do during the holiday season, when you can play up a sitewide Cyber Monday sale or “Twelve Days of Christmas” clearance.
4. Ask Users To Allow Push Notifications
Push notifications can further reduce your reliance on email marketing during the holiday season, when your prospects’ inboxes are likely to be even more cluttered than usual with promotional content. Prompt every new mobile visitor to sign up for push notifications and, ideally, allow geotargeting. Then, get to work serving them relevant deals based on their location and past browsing habits.
5. Always Be Cross-Selling
Four words: “You might also like…” Build a suggestions bar into your e-commerce site, and follow up purchases with emails, push notifications, and even non-digital content (postcards, anyone?) with helpful tips for the next shop.
6. Start Creating Shareable, Mobile-Friendly Content
You can’t turn up a sophisticated content marketing operation overnight, but you can start creating shareable, mobile-friendly content.
Short videos and memes work great on Facebook and Twitter; memes and professional photos work well on Pinterest. The more memorable, the better, as long as the tone and message stay consistent with your brand. Remember, the goal is to get prospects to share within their networks—anything positive to that end is good.
7. Run Paid Search Campaigns Against Your Competitors
No, this isn’t playing dirty. In competitive e-commerce niches, it’s an absolute necessity. Your budget will necessarily limit your reach, so choose your key phrases carefully—the goal here is to associate your site with common long-tail holiday searches including your competitors’ full name or their commonly used brand names, like “XYZ Shopping Site Black Friday deals.”
8. Implement One-Click Checkout
Are abandoned carts the bane of your e-commerce existence? Reduce their occurrence with a streamlined checkout process—ideally, one-click checkout for returning customers. Navigating a multi-step checkout journey is especially difficult on a small screen, so sell this to first-time mobile visitors as a perk of membership.