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3 Quick Website Must-Haves to Increase Holiday Sales

by
November 11, 2014

 

We’re well into fourth quarter, and we know you’d probably rather spend your time making sales rather than preparing for them. So, we have a few suggestions for your website that take only a small amount of time, but can make a big impact on your holiday sales:

1. Free Shipping Banner on Your Home Page

Most of you know that offering free shipping increases sales. Just as important, however, is making sure that the offer is very obvious to your current and potential customers. A great way to do that is to put up a “Free Shipping” banner on your website’s homepage.

A recent case study makes this point loud and clear. This case study shows how NuFace, which sells anti-aging beauty devices, increased its orders by an incredible 90% when it added a free shipping threshold banner to its homepage.

nufacehome

Not surprisingly, a look at the current NuFace Website shows that the company decided to keep the free shipping threshold option.

The test was a very simple A/B test. Half of their visitors were shown the original website. The other half were sent to a second homepage version, with the incentive “Free shipping over $75″ placed right above the Shop NuFace button. The test results showed that when customers were offered the free shipping incentive, orders increased by 90% with a 96% confidence level. In addition to this, the company’s Average Order Value (AOV) also rose by 7.32%.

 

 

2. Trust Marks

A trust mark is a sign to visitors that a website is legitimate. Data collected by the third-party trust mark company confirms that the business is authentic. Some trust companies even provide an added layer of protection by offering insurance to be paid out in the event that the transaction becomes fraudulent.

Trust marks are something many of us take for granted. They’re nice to have, but not essential, right? Maybe not!

When an online shopper gets to a website, trust needs to be built in order to get the sale. With all the fraud scares in recent years, online consumers are more wary than ever about entering their personal information.

A survey conducted by Econsultancy/Toluna confirmed the power of trust marks when it asked participants this question:

If you are shopping on a site you don’t know well, how would you decide whether to trust the website? The results may surprise you:

survey

Which Trust Marks Are Most Important?

Trust marks can be expensive. Choosing the one that will most help your sales is important. Luckily, the Baymard Institute conducted a 2013 study on this subject:

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The clear winner was Norton, with almost 36% of the votes, followed by McAfee at almost 23% of the votes. It’s interesting to note that it’s not the actual security of your page that matters most to users, as they generally have little understanding of TLS/SSL encryption. Instead it’s the perceived security, which is why both SSL seals (Norton, Thawte, Trustwave, Geotrust, Comodo) and trust marks (McAfee, BBB Accredited, TRUSTe) were included in the survey.

The bottom line: Based on this survey, as well as several case studies reported on the Crazy Egg blog, if you choose a single site seal, you should strongly consider the Norton Secured Seal powered by Verisign. If you want to go further, you might want to consider investing in three site seals: a Norton SSL seal to indicate an encrypted connection, a McAfee seal to indicate a clean, non-infected “hacker safe” site, and finally either a BBB Accredited or TRUSTe seal for establishing trust in consumer relations. This way you display all the top 3 most trusted site seals, while at the same time catering to the customers with a high level of technical expertise who actually do know the difference between SSL and trust marks.

3. Countdown to Christmas

Many online consumers are procrastinators. One way to get them to make a purchase is to include a “Countdown to Christmas” timer on your website.

In a blog post by Conversion Voodoo, a case study tested two headlines: one with text and one with a countdown clock showing the actual days, hours and seconds left, while the seconds continue to decrease as a visitor is looking at a page. The headline with a countdown clock increased conversions by 10%:

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Note: The blog post shows the actual countdown; this static image doesn’t.

The writer of the Conversion Voodoo blog post offered HTML code and JavaScript in the blog post to add a working Christmas countdown to your site. Looking for other options? Volusion listed six free Holiday Countdown timers for your online store in this post.

Next Steps

Here are our 3 recommendations:

  1. Add a free shipping banner to your homepage. It could help you increase orders by 90% like it did for NuFace.
  2. Add Norton Secured Seal powered by Verisign to your website. Almost 1 in every 2 shoppers are more likely to trust your website more if it has a trust mark. Based on a study by the Baymard Instituted, Norton is the most trusted.
  3. Add a working Christmas Countdown timer to your website. A recent case study tested by Conversion Voodoo found that the countdown clock increased conversions by 10%.

These quick website additions should help you make more sales this holiday season and for years to come. Let us know how they worked for you!

Onward and Upwards.