So what if the holiday season is almost over? As the month of January trickles ahead, a hoard of shoppers are all geared up and are looking for gifts to celebrate one occasion or the other. Last year e-commerce sales reached a total of $15 B and is expected to hit a growth of over 128% increase in mushrooming e-commerce purchases compared to the previous year. This is an unimaginable potential boost for your business – and it’s never too early (or late) to start optimizing your site to support the increased traffic that your e-store will be attracting.

Early shoppers generally take first baby steps with marketplace browsing. Browsers then turn into shoppers. Here is where your sale banner or promotions play an integral role to incept the seed of gifting in the minds of your customers. The potential customer then begins to explore this maze and when they see something that catches their attention – the purchase is made.

More often than not, for these people, shopping is a culmination of extensive research, price comparisons, and recommendations. And this journey begins at marketplaces. The search then trickles down to individual sites. If you are a small or medium business, you’ll want to be part of the narrowing down process.

Once they hit your landing page, you’ll have to give them a quality user experience to convert potential browsers to customers. Allow them to narrow down on their search seamlessly and you could win the game.

What are some things you could focus on?

Make their Search Easier:

The first step is to create a visibly large search button making it prominent for your buyer. We all know that time is money and with everybody looking to make quick purchases and efficiency is the need of the hour. Research shows that bad design can lead to one fourth of your cart abandonments while 84% of browsers leave the site as a result of too many clicks before purchase. What customers want today is a seamless experience where everything is spelt out for them verbally or visually.

Take for example Titan, who place their search bar right in the top navigation and promotional banners visibly prominent. A good use of white space also ensures that the search and banner stand out.

Titan

Auto-suggest:

Again, emphasizing on time crunch and indecisiveness with respect to purchases, an enhanced autocomplete option catalyzes their purchase. Product matches in an auto-suggest with a visual representation of the product, if feasible, cuts them a step from viewing search results.

A good example of this is Amazon.in where scrollbars are avoided, suggestions are kept manageable with minimal noise.

Amazon

 

 Mobile Prominence

Today, more than ever, more purchases take place from pocket-sized devices. Offering a great mobile experience with enhanced search features as great as your desktop site is the need of the hour, to capitalize the holiday season.

Considering the size of mobile devices, shoppers get even more impatient while browsing on mobile sites. Optimize their shopping experience by eliminating features for mobile and making your search and filtering options prominent.

A good example is Starbucks, using a simple, effective responsive site. Seasonal gift offerings are listed by collection and highlighted with clean, simple images. The site’s mobile view condenses pleasantly without leaving out any menu items or descriptions.

starbucks

Customized Category Pages

A great idea would be to have a festive theme categorizing your sale items in a separate section will help your customers access their products effectively. In addition, this also helps your SEO with identical products being pulled from one landing page which in turn increases relevance with search results.

Over the years, you probably get a good perspective to best selling products. Use this to your advantage by adding a ‘Gift someone’ option or another category which highlights your most popular products based on the level of sales that they have generated. This works not just for the holiday season, but all year round.

This was well executed by Malika Arora’s Label life which has great customizations and a categorized page for sales.

The Label Life

Filter it out

In addition to your usual filters, your e-store can be enhanced using banners, product spotlight badges, and product recommendations. All of these add-ons will work together to make your online store more visually appealing and easier to use.

Check out Zappos.com to get an idea of what I mean. Even with a great range of products, it’s relatively easy to find products through the drill down – which runs both along the top and on the side panel.

Zappos

The holiday season is definitely a busy yet stressful time for everybody in the retail world. Give your customers a seamless experience by making your products extremely easy to find and relevant information. With an optimized experience to tackle the festive season, you’re all set to tackle even the biggest of your competitors!

Happy New Year everybody! If you’d like to know more on why retailers today should focus on Smart Commerce, you can read about it in detail here.