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Part 2/5 - 5 Ways to Boost Holiday Sales for your Site - Make your site easy-to-use!

Part 2/5 - 5 Ways to Boost Holiday Sales for your Site - Make your site easy-to-use!

In this article Part 2 of 5, we'll go over making your site easy-to-use to boost revenue for your site.

Read the previous article: Part 1 - Look at Past Metrics

The 2012 holiday shopping season could be the best in years for retailers, and according to Deloitte, a 15-17% increase is forecasted for non-store sales.  That could be you!

Even retail giants like Target, has announced they’re doing price matching this season that extends to online competitors such as Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy and more. Your business most likely won’t be affected by this, but it goes to show that even retail stores have been recognizing the increasing online shopping habits of savvy customers.

So how can you start taking advantage of the sales increase?

Over the course of this and next week, we’ll go over some easy and sometimes overlooked ways to boost your holiday revenue:

2. Make Your Site Easy-to-Use

Repeat after me, “I will not make my customers think. I will not make my customers think.”

Also, don’t have a site that looks like this, which is in the running for the “worst website of 2012 or of all time

Bad Web Usability Example

Image Credit: Constellation 7 (Clicking might result in your browser freezing up the first time so be forewarned!)

If you have a respectable website builder, then you shouldn’t have this problem. However, you still need to layout your messaging and call-to-actions properly so the customer doesn’t go astray.

For example, let’s look at eToys.com

Good Web Usability Example

Image Credit: eToys

I numbered the areas where my eyes went, and I’ll explain why each area helps the customer.

1. My eyes honed in on the FREE SHIPPING upon website arrival. Everyone appreciates free shipping!

2. The banner promoting a HUGE sale, with clear call-to-action to “shop now.” Free shipping and a sale so far, a customer should be really interested by now.

3. Shop By Age – This is a great example of a “don’t make me think” solution by laying out all the categories on the homepage.

4. Gift Finder- Maybe your customer don’t know how old the child is, so this provides a broader view. However, the best part of this section is “Award Winners” which is where I’d click first.

5. Another Call-To-Action- This provides value and also indicates WHEN they send email (Weekly) in case customers are worried about getting spammed.

6. The navigation provides yet another way to search for your perfect gift

7.  A search bar for when the customer knows the EXACT gift

As you can see, there’s nothing fancy on this site, however, it’s VERY simple to use and guides the customer into finding the perfect gift, which is the goal.

In addition, constantly be testing your shopping cart functions (if you have one) and be sure to properly mark Out-Of-Stock products if applicable. There’s nothing more frustrating for a shopper then being ready to finalize the sale and realize it’s not available or an error message pops up. You can guarantee you lost a sale right there to impatient shoppers.

Don’t forgo testing promo codes either! I recently tried to apply a holiday code right after it was announced by the retailer and ended up with a big fat, “THIS PROMO CODE DOESN’T EXIST” message. I decided to be patient, and wait, along with testing the code on different browsers, but it all lead to the same error. I messaged their Facebook page, letting them know of the mistake, and they finally fixed the code 5 hours later even during normal business hours. By this time, your customers would’ve been gone and already purchased from a competitor.

So utilize family and friends to help you gauge how usable your current site really is to a new customer. Ultimately, see where their trouble spots are, and fix them immediately.  Enlist help from different age ranges as well. A great resource and book on web usability I read 3 years ago still applies today, and you can read a sample chapter of “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug here.

Action Items:

1. Find people to give you an honest and fresh outlook on the usability of your site. Don’t guide them in anyway, and you may be surprised at where they may end up.

2. Learn from sites that have bad web design to improve yours

3. Think from a customer’s point of view, and look at your site again. Do this regularly.

We hope you found this article helpful and that you received some takeaways to apply to your site. Please let us know in the comments if you did! Tomorrow, we’ll go over Part 3 of boosting your holiday sales.

***If you’d like to be featured in a future blog post, comment with your website link and we’ll choose some for a complimentary critique on improvements!***

Cheers!

Alice Ly
Social Media Manager
Lucrazon Ecommerce


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