When you think of holiday shopping, what images come to mind? Surely, they include stores decked out with decorations, highly-coveted items flying off the shelves, and purchases happening every second … It’s every retailer’s dream.
As you know, the holiday season is a shopping frenzy! It’s no coincidence that the highest traffic peaks for the retail industry are closely linked to seasonality. From Valentine’s Day to Easter, Halloween to Christmas (and everything in between), these holidays are peak times to improve your revenue and conversions with a solid website optimization strategy.
With the holidays right around the corner, brands should start cooking up ideas now to provide the best customer experience on their sites. The spike in online traffic is certainly not the ideal moment to roll out tests that can impact your bottom line. That’s why it’s essential for e-commerce businesses to experiment now and validate only the best ideas to provide the most seamless experience for customers.
Here are five ways to kickstart your website optimization before the busy November-December holiday season. Check them out!
Tip #1: Take advantage of seasonal pop-up offers
What’s the best gift an online retailer can receive for the holidays? A considerable uplift in transactions on their site, of course! When these peak traffic periods roll around, marketing teams are watching visitors roll in with the hopes of landing more transactions. Unfortunately, teams are witnessing many users abandon their shopping carts, leaving the digital stores empty-handed. How can retailers keep visitors on their websites when it seems they’re about to, for lack of a better word, bounce?
French underwear brand Le Slip Français is known around the world for their products’ fun, flirty style. From undergarments to swimwear, everything they sell is proudly “Made in France,” which makes their brand the perfect destination for customers looking to treat their special someone.
Their marketing team had worked on finding the best way to capitalize on the spike in traffic that accompanied key gift-giving holidays, and they hit the jackpot when they introduced a pop-up for free shipping on Valentine’s Day.
Thanks to this pop-up, which was triggered upon a user’s exit intent, the brand not only succeeded in keeping their visitors on their page, but the special offer also drove sales by 22% and clicks on the pop-up by 10%. The best part? It only took the team 15 minutes to set up the entire thing.
With the growing competition and increasingly savvy customers, leading brands are working to identify the best ways to provide their customers with relevant on-site experiences to win their loyalty. You don’t need to wait for Valentine’s Day to come around, however. One way you can capitalize on the traffic spike this holiday season is using pop-up offers to keep visitors engaged and incentivizing them to buy.
Tip #2: Try gamification during high-traffic season
Traffic to both physical and online stores tends to increase during the holiday season, making this a prime opportunity to capitalize on the number of potential transactions. And what better way to achieve this than with a continuous optimization strategy?
Clarins, the leading global beauty brand, knows well that the key to their success is finding innovative ways to engage with their increasingly-savvy online shoppers. Having developed and implemented a test-and-learn culture at their company, the team at Clarins studied their visitors’ taste for gamification. How could they boost their conversions during high-traffic periods?
Ultimately, they launched a “Wheel of Fortune” style game to celebrate Singles Day: Every customer who landed on the brand’s desktop or mobile sites was presented with a pop-up inviting them to spin the wheel. They then received one of six special reward offers, which were automatically added to their basket in the form of a promo code at the checkout.
As it turns out, gamification worked well! The results were excellent across all key territories, with Ireland taking the lead with a 495% increase in orders and a 585% increase in revenue. By understanding their clients, Clarins identified a relevant offer and coupled it with an impeccable user experience to deliver stunning results. This goes to show that when you think outside the box and go the extra mile during peak traffic periods, innovative offers can deliver exceptional outcomes!
Tip #3: Add alerts for in-store availability
In the age of e-commerce, brands must offer consistent customer experiences in both their digital and physical settings. Don’t neglect the power of branding and in-person customer care when it comes to your brick-and-mortar stores. Even better, you can take advantage of your online presence to drive customers to your offline touchpoints; thus, offering shoppers multiple channels to interact and buy with you.
Degrenne, the French cutlery and tableware retailer whose products are a reference in the hospitality industry, wanted to create a seamless customer experience by combining in-store and online features. Using AB Tasty’s visual editor and pop-in widget, their team created a pop-up that displayed product availability in nearby stores. This encouraged shoppers to check whether they could swing by a physical location to pick up their reserved items, effectively cutting out the delivery wait time. Imagine purchasing a product online and then simply opting for in-store pickup during the holidays? That’s what we call a seamless shopping experience.
This hybrid shopping approach worked like a charm! The targeted pop-up doubled the number of online reservations from shoppers on their site, driving both conversions and foot traffic to Degrenne’s brick-and-mortar stores.
In a retail environment where competition keeps growing fiercer and clients are more and more selective about where and how they shop, creating hybrid retail experiences between your online and physical stores is essential for offering all types of customer experiences and, as a result, taking your conversions and revenue to the next level.
Tip #4: Use personalization for custom offers
The top brands know that when fall starts, it’s time to mark their calendars and prepare their stores for the gifting season. One way to maximize results from this influx of visitors is by helping customers sort through the different product categories to find the perfect gift.
To build a top-notch browsing experience, companies usually personalize their sites to each holiday. One popular option is to create a dedicated product page for gifting, but what if the traffic to said site wasn’t as high as you’d hoped? In order to maximize your results during high-traffic periods, personalization is essential for guiding users along the conversion funnel.
Fragrance Direct is a UK-based pure-play beauty retailer which sells over 14,000 products across 600 big-name brands in fragrances, makeup, and skin and hair care products. With the purpose of improving their customer experience and driving transactions, they used their dedicated tool, Fragrance Finder, to aid users in their search for the perfect product to suit their needs. Yet despite the high conversion rates this page generated, the team at Fragrance Direct wanted to do even better.
In order to drive more prospects toward it, they used AB Tasty’s Audience Manager feature to identify which visitors were either looking for gifts or unsure about what to purchase. These specific user segments were presented with a message asking if they were searching for a gift. All those who clicked “yes” were redirected to the Fragrance Finder page, where they were asked a series of personalized questions that would point them to their perfect gift.
This personalized strategy, which only targeted clients who were looking for gifts, delivered a 10% uplift in conversions during Fragrance Direct’s peak holiday periods. This goes to show how personalization is a superb tactic to guarantee your customers’ needs are met when they come to your site!
When looking for ways to increase your online revenue, one option pops up again and again: Attract more prospects to your website! While new customer acquisition is something that every brand works on, you should also keep nurturing your existing client base and turn them into brand champions.
One way to do this is by increasing your clients’ average basket size (and, consequently, providing a noticeable boost to your revenue) through a cross-selling approach. Essentially, if you’ve already convinced your clients to buy, you should nurture their experience with your brand by introducing them to new products. The holiday season presents a unique opportunity to do this. During these shopping periods, people aren’t looking for one gift — they want to package several items together, which means that the related products search bar can also inspire them to purchase more articles.
Gin Kiosk is a UK-based online store and vagabond pop-up stall that offers spirits enthusiasts a variety of guns, tonics and vermouth — all the while bringing a personal touch to gin selection. Their team knew that having a website populated with customer reviews was positive until they started taking up considerable space on the page, pushing down an even more relevant element on their site: The “related products” bar.
When the Gin Kiosk team started focusing on cross-selling, they quickly noticed that the reduced visibility of the “related products” section was impacting their efforts. The idea they had was simple: What happens if they placed the “related products” bar higher on the page, above the user reviews?
The test ran over three weeks and proved very successful: The variation generated a 28% increase in clicks to this cross-selling feature, which in turn led to a 30% boost in online transactions and a 27% lift in revenue.
The results go to show the effect that the related products section has, and how it can boost revenue. Use the cross-selling opportunities that a well-placed products bar can offer to maximize your average order value and improve your results considerably.
All in all, it seems pretty clear: There’s no season like the holiday season!
We know that despite even the best planning, it can be a challenge to avoid a last-minute scramble — for both shoppers and e-commerce businesses. At the end of the day, your website should be getting the most out of these peaks of traffic through continuous optimization and experimentation.
Did you know that a McKinsey study found 3 out of 4 consumers are trying new brands, purchasing methods, and places to shop? This means that it’s time for stores to step up their game this holiday season and build a plan for success! Since visitors expect seamless and personalized shopping experiences now more than ever, use experimentation to see which ideas provide the best business results before implementation.
AB Tasty’s team of experts has curated a selection of concrete experimentation and personalization tests that trusted global brands have done and that every company can use to boost their revenue — just in time for the high-traffic shopping season.
Discover a range of experiments designed to boost conversions, customer loyalty, and user engagement in “50 Tests You Should Know for Website Optimization.” Draw inspiration from the examples set by these successful brands and bear in mind that consistently testing each stage of the conversion funnel is essential for leaving no uncollected revenue on the table!
Download the complete checklist for website optimization and keep track of all the tests you try out!