With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas all on the horizon, it’s important that both your business and your website are ready for the busiest period of the year. It’s also crucial that your website is functional all year round, as adverts and other seasonal trends can provide spikes in sales and traffic. Your online marketing must be spot on if you want to make a difference to your sales and traffic.

The Bank of England revealed that a typical household spends around £2000 a month. However, in the run up to Christmas the same household will spend £500 more in the month of December, and it’s not just on presents. We eat out more and drink more too; well, it is the season to be merry after all! On top of that, in 2016, the UK spent a huge £1.23bn on Black Friday. Suddenly, the pressure mounts on having a website and an online marketing strategy that performs to its optimum.

As Black Friday has expanded to include Cyber Monday, some retailers are also offering deals in the run-up and aftermath of the huge sale events too. This means your business will experience busier and busier periods each year. So, how do you make sure you can handle the influx of extra customers in your busy periods?

Increasing conversions

It’s no use driving people to your website and increasing traffic if they aren’t converting. The customer journey can sometimes be a long one, and you’ve got to keep them interested until they have made it to their basket and paid. In other words, customers can drop off your site at a number of different points, so it’s in your interest to make sure it’s a seamless and easy path from browsing to buying.

Even the smallest tweaks to your website and online marketing can result in a higher conversion rate, which is perfect if you’re building up to a busy period. One of the key places to start is your mobile website.

Two-thirds of mobile users prefer a website to using an app, so making sure your website is mobile friendly is no longer a recommendation; it’s mandatory. Go a step further than just making sure your website has a responsive design by improving your mobile-specific SEO. This refers to things like localised search and device-specific speed optimisation.

Building trust

The public are becoming more savvy when it comes to online shopping and making a decision on a retailer. With this in mind, you should be doing everything you can to reassure your visitors that you are legitimate and trustworthy; it’s too easy for them to drop off your site and head straight to a competitor if they see something they aren’t sure of.

You can measure so many different metrics on your website to see performance, but trust isn’t one of them. Make sure your website has things like an ‘About Us’ page, links to your social media accounts and customer testimonials. This can prove to your customers that you are what you claim to be.

online marketing

A personalised experience

Personalising your service now goes further than just putting a customers’ name in the subject line of an email. As the capabilities of AI increase, your ecommerce store has a better chance of predicting your customers’ next steps and making it easier for them to take it.

Knowing your shoppers’ habits through online marketing metrics can mean you’re able to predict what they’re thinking of putting in their basket and putting the perfect products right in front of them. A live chat feature can be critical in giving your website a more personal feel, while using analytics to your advantage can help you to win business where you lost it in the past.

Easy-to-navigate UX

If you’re experiencing a high number of people abandoning their baskets, it can be for a number of different reasons. Most of the time it’s because the navigation on your website is too complicated or too long-winded to get to the right page. Customers are more demanding than ever before, and are looking for a smooth, fast process to get the things they want. User experience throughout the whole website should be seamless. You should also take into consideration stages such as registration and the payment process to ensure they are fine-tuned and faultless. The easier the buying process, the less time the customer has to abandon their basket!

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