This blog was contributed by our partner Kensium. Kensium is a ShipStation partner that creates scalable Magento Commerce websites and efficient Acumatica Cloud ERP solutions. We are a leading Magento Enterprise Partner (with more than 60 trained Magento 2 professionals) and are Acumatica’s Official eCommerce Partner.
The most successful eCommerce strategies are executed across all departments, including technology, sales, marketing, and fulfillment. With the 2017 holiday season approaching and other merchants booking reliable development resources, your time to produce a comprehensive holiday action plan is running out.
Putting a last-minute strategy into action can cause confusion and hurt your performance during the opportunistic holiday season. As a trusted ShipStation Partner and Magento Enterprise Partner, we use more than a decade of eCommerce experience to help refine your store to drive more traffic and convert more customers. Here are some of the tips our experts suggest for improving your performance during the holidays:
Tailor multiple storefronts
Magento gives you the ability to design storefronts that match your visitor’s intent, allowing them to more comfortably navigate the site. For instance, if you’re a full-scale apparel retailer and someone accesses your store through a Google search for “deals on running shoes,” a homepage showing a banner with the text “Shoes To Keep You Moving – Shop the Sale” is more fitting than a generic one that reads “Deals on Coats, Sweaters, and More.” Guiding these purchase-ready buyers down the paths they seek makes them less likely to bounce and more likely to buy from your site.
This same method of creating multiple pages can be applied to registered and unregistered users. While new users’ pages and cross-sells can be built from behavioral algorithms as they browse, returning users can be prompted to buy items based on their previous purchases. Additionally, these customers have privileges that you can highlight, such as gift card credit and rewards points.
Optimize on-site search
If new visitors aren’t readily presented with a call to action that leads them to their desired page, they may abandon your site or use your search tool. If they decide to search, it’s crucial that your tool provides the results they’re looking for (or gets them close). Irrelevant results risk losing business and hurt your brand’s reputation, likely eliminating future visits from the user as well.
The solution needs to be able to deliver the same results to the customers who use different terms to find specific products. For example, “court shoes” might be used to search instead of “basketball shoes,” but you must still lead the customer to your selection of basketball shoes. To ensure your store is providing the proper results, you should make sure you establish search term synonyms and redirects before the influx of holiday shoppers reaches your store.
Making the search experience easy can lead to increased conversions and happy customers, who could return for additional purchases and become brand advocates in the future.
Reward loyal customers
While the customers who have purchased from you multiple times may genuinely enjoy your product and brand, you may not be at the top of their list when it comes to holiday shopping. Among other reasons, this may be because consumers don’t see your products serving well as gifts, or they may feel the need to allocate their budget elsewhere as they buy holiday items.
If you have reason to believe your repeat customers will become less active as the holidays approach, you can offer exclusive promotions to increase purchase frequency during the season. Some promotional options may be offering store credit if they make a purchase or simply giving them a discount during a specific timeframe. These offers can even be tailored to specific products categories and individualized based on past customer behavior.
Keep in mind that assuming you need to carry out a promotion simply because competitors are doing it is not a sound strategy. If results are not expected to improve revenue from what is otherwise forecasted in the timeframe, the promotion will only cost you money. Looking at customer behavior in previous years and conducting product research are good ways to validate (or invalidate) promotions and maximize revenue.
Display shipping details
If you aren’t taking full advantage of ShipStation’s customer-facing capabilities, you should look into implementing more functionality during the holidays. With 92% of eCommerce customers saying it is important to have clear information about delivery charges before they purchase, visibility into your fulfillment process has never been more important to completing a conversion.
ShipStation’s APIs can be used to source multiple carriers, timeframes, and rates to give your customers accurate timelines and the best deals on shipping. Clarity into arrival times and shipping costs gives your customers the confidence they need to finalize their purchase.
Following the transaction, ShipStation allows you to extend your brand experience to the customer through customizable shipping labels, tracking pages, and more. These features further associate your business with successful fulfillment and reliable customer service.
Demand social attention
Ecommerce platforms and merchants are embracing social media plug-ins to sell directly through the channel, but social media posts containing giveaways and contests can be even more powerful in driving new traffic to your pages and store. The two biggest advantages of special social media initiatives during the holidays are:
- Providing branded content to those who like and follow your company. Reaching them through social feeds provides another touchpoint and builds brand equity.
- Reaching new customers through paid posts and shares by followers. These new consumers can like your page or visit your website, leading to brand awareness at the very least — if not a new customer.
Giveaways and contests are popular ways to catalyze engagement and get users to share. Generally, people take advantage of freebies and share opportunities with friends. However, if you don’t offer a sweet enough prize to participants, you might find yourself with low levels of engagement.
How Kensium can help
A leader in Magento Commerce, Kensium has been an innovator on the Magento 2 platform since its release in October 2015. We have been developing, integrating, and supporting eCommerce websites for more than a decade and continually help our clients with seasonal adjustments.
Learn more about our capabilities and how we can support your holiday improvements at www.kensiumsolutions.com.