Start planning for Holiday Season now

The holiday shopping season is upon us. Based on a 2011 study we found that the first week of October marks the start of the shopping season.

The holiday shopping season is upon us. Based on a 2011 study we found that the first week of October marks the start of the shopping season. That means it’s time to focus on creating your keyword list for both organic search optimization, and for pay-per-click ads. And just as important, you should have a plan in place for visitors entering into your site.

“I’m just browsing” could turn into a sale...

With the current economy, people are more likely to visit your website and view merchandise several times before making a purchase. Data collected from our study last year shows that consumers are increasingly more budget conscious. It may take several days or weeks for a customer to complete their decision to make a purchase. Half of the shoppers wait a day or more to decide on finalizing a purchase.

In the past we’ve called it shopping cart abandonment. Today, let's call it: Opportunity

Here are a few tips to help turn those shoppers who are “just browsing” into paying customers:

  • Offer Special Incentives To Buy Now.
    Most everyone enjoys a discount. And by offering it to shoppers who have already shown an interest in your product — you are increasing the chances that they will purchase from you. Offer them a small percentage discount or throw in free shipping. Get creative with it. If someone is looking at buying a winter coat from your store, perhaps offer him or her a complimentary hat or set of gloves if they return to your eCommerce store and complete the purchase.
  • Use Holiday Graphical Themes.
    Show some holiday spirit and redesign some of the artwork on your site with a holiday theme. Hopefully, this will get visitors in a buying mood.
  • Offer Gift Receipt Or Gift Wrap Option.
    Customers have begun to expect this, especially during the holidays. No one wants to send a gift with an invoice showing what they paid. At the very least, offer a gift receipt with the prices not showing. Even better, include an option for a gift message.
  • Follow-Up With An Email.
    Help browsers keep your company in mind by going straight to them. Offer multiple locations on your site for visitors to opt-in to your email list, and then send them an email encouraging them to come back to your site, perhaps by offering them a special incentive.
  • Tell Your Customers About Your Security.
    Wouldn’t it be silly if you were losing sales because customers are worried that your site isn’t secure – but you know it is? If you know it is, why not let potential customers know that as well. Sales conversions are 11 percent higher for those online shoppers when they were shown a security cue.

    Example of text you can use:
    Secured by GlobeCharge : The check-out and order process for "" is protected by GlobeCharge. Our patented fraud protection system ensures the secure transfer of your shopping data. All your personal and payment data is entered on secure pages and transferred using high grade SSL encryption to protect your data from being intercepted during the transfer on the Internet. As soon as your payment for this order has been approved, your payment details will automatically be deleted from our secure servers.The SSL certificate which protects this transaction is supplied by Digicert, Inc.
  • Loosen Up On Your Return Policy.
    While a 30 day return policy is common place for the rest of the year, it may scare off early shoppers during the holidays. Make it clear to your visitors that you will accept returns and exchanges on all Christmas gift purchases. Consider extending your returns policy date for holiday shoppers - especially those who start their gift buying as early as October.
  • Follow-up To The End, And Beyond
    Hopefully you have your online holiday campaigns and discounts in place very soon. But don’t forget to follow-through until December 25, and even afterwards. Last year we found that the week after Christmas merchants experienced an increase in both conversions and sales.
  • Keep up to date
    To succeed during the holiday season, make sure your website and its underlying technology can support your marketing plans now. We highly recommend to upgrade to ShopFactory version 9 to avoid any browser compatibility issues since all browsers have updated considerably over the past year. Your online shop should be prepared to quickly and accurately process large quantities of orders during the holiday season.