How to Break Through the E-Commerce Clutter During the Holidays
In 2017, online shopping is more popular than ever, particularly around the holidays. This October, it was reported that 59 percent of consumers surveyed by the National Retail Federation consider online to be their preferred shopping destination during the 2017 holiday season. Some proactive customers begin tackling their gift lists long before the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals get announced. Others prefer to wait for the sales and enjoy searching for the best deal. And then there are those who leave their shopping for the last minute and scramble to get everything ordered in time.
No matter their preference, more shoppers are eager to make purchases from the comfort and convenience of their homes. This means brands are once again tasked to find new ways to break through the clutter of sales, promotions and advertisements to reach consumers most interested in their products. Here are some e-commerce tips to capitalize on during this holiday season:
- Streamline: For online-only retailers and those with massive website inventories, it can be hard for shoppers to sift through thousands of products and find what they're looking for, particularly if they're shopping for someone else with niche tastes. Retailers should use filters and targeted search features on their websites, and make them as refined and easy to use as possible. Help the customer avoid frustration by bringing them results in the exact color, size, style or price range they want with just a few clicks or taps!
- Show and tell: Online shoppers don't have the luxury of trying on or testing out items in person before making a purchase. This can become even trickier when the buyer is looking for something very specific to give as a gift. It's crucial for online retailers to include multiple high-resolution images of the product from different views. Detailed product descriptions, including the appropriate measurements and specifications, are also very helpful. You don’t want the shopper to have to leave your page to seek out these details elsewhere.
- Get social: For online retailers selling niche products, it's not enough to simply promote new items, sales and exclusive deals on social media. Having a loyal and engaged following creates an opportunity to build a community of brand fanatics who are interested not just in your products, but also the culture surrounding the unique items you sell, whatever they may be. Share content that resonates and encourages users to engage through questions and polls to open up a dialog between them and others who share their interests.
- Simplify checkout: Supporting multiple payment options at checkout isn't a new concept, but this year we expect to see even more emphasis placed on quick and easy checkout options thanks to mobile shoppers. According to PayPal’s Holiday Survey, 80 percent of Americans will shop on a mobile device this holiday season. While even more shoppers like the freedom to make purchases from anywhere, they're still averse to typing in all their data on the payment page, a task which can be tedious on mobile devices. Offering secure and easy ways to log into third-party services like PayPal, Apple Pay and Venmo directly on the checkout page will help shoppers save time. Desktop shoppers will likely be thankful for this as well.
Every holiday season brings a new batch of products and items that customers will be drawn to. E-commerce shouldn’t be any different. Brands looking to drive online sales this time of year need to keep up with what customers want and strive to offer services and features on their sites that will elevate the shopping experience to keep customers coming back.
Leslie Pritchard is a marketing specialist for CARiD.com, one of the largest online retailers of aftermarket car parts and accessories.