In 2014, retail e-commerce sales during the Christmas holiday season accounted for23.4% of total annual retail e-commerce revenue and 50% of sales in the retail industry were somehow influenced by digital interactions. People bought online or were looking for information before completing the purchase in a good, old-fashioned Bricks & Mortar store (webrooming).
Since then, more than 70% of brands have allocated more than half of their digital marketing budgets to traffic acquisition through search and social channels for this holiday season.
As a result, conversion rate optimization at this time of the year is even more profitable than usual. An increase in sales by 1% during Christmas accounts for much more than 1% at any other time.
So time to get testing then? “No” is the answer. Testing is based on statistics and one of the basic rules is to not change the testing environment. During this short period of time, the testing environment is especially subject to change. Traffic acquisition campaigns affect all KPIs. The Christmas context highly influences purchasing behaviour, so testing results would be biased and useless.
Then how to take advantage of AB Tasty during the vital Christmas period?
These visitors are not your typical ones, but they still account for a quarter of annual sales. So how do you improve conversion rates?
“Christmas is not the right time to collect data and draw conclusions about website design (Test & Learn), but the season is perfect to push marketing messages using a personalisation tool! “, says Arnaud de Medeiros, Head of Consulting at AB Tasty.
Instead of testing a new design and splitting a segment in two, personalisation is about sending specific content to an entire segment. Targeting criteria are infinite. They can be contextual (time, location, weather, etc.), or based on visitor behaviour and interaction with the website.
Personalisation is especially appropriate at Christmas, as messages are easy to edit and implement and can be removed instantly. Also, many messages are single-use and only apply to this season. It would be a shame to muster technical resources instead of editing on-the-fly using AB Tasty! Changes appear in real-time: it saves all teams time during the busiest part of the year, and informs on immediate issues related to stock, shipping, etc.
Here are a few personalisation ideas to increase Christmas conversion rates:
#1: Adapt to the magic of Christmas
Christmas is about magic. Shopping, as we know, can be stressful but buying gifts for friends and family is about spreading joy and happiness. Bricks and Mortar shops are decorated for the holiday season to spread Christmas cheer, why not websites? On our website, we added a snow effect in one click using a plugin from AB Tasty Engage.
Beyond design, wording can improve the Christmas customer journey (“give” rather than “buy”) and additional services, if provided, can enhance the experience (wrapping, printed cards, etc.).
#2: Answer Christmas needs
During the Christmas rush, the range of customers is varied and differs from the usual one. Visitors, therefore, have very different needs. They can be people searching for a present for their partner, or grandparents for their grandchildren… To attract them and meet their different needs, you’ll have to treat them differently and adapt their online visit.
By connecting the Data-Management Platform to the testing tool and using the categories and products they visited, defining personas becomes easy. When they return, simply push the products they saw on their previous visit and suggest carrying on from where they left off instead of starting over from scratch.
New visitors may also need a custom path to conversion. If they did not land on a specific product page but elsewhere (on the homepage, the blog, etc.), visitors might be lacking inspiration. For example, you can serve them with top selling, popular, or trendy items, or items in price bands such as “Under £50” – “Under £100” or in a special “For her” or “For him” range, etc.
At Christmas, new visitors often come to the website for a particular product and not for the seller’s brand. Unfortunately, they are not especially set on buying on one particular website. On the one hand, they are often very price-sensitive and only a discount can retain them. On the other hand, price becomes secondary as time goes by and Christmas anxiety grows.
#3 Christmas anxiety
Two weeks before Christmas, buyers start experiencing Christmas anxiety. They obviously need to buy gifts before the big day, and pressure is increasingly higher. Phrases like “Still undecided?” can substantially accelerate decision-making, as can playing on urgency in stocks and delivery.
Using AB Tasty’s plugin library (i.e. ready-to-use templates), every marketer is able to quickly implement a dynamic countdown to Christmas or to in-time delivery. Examples could be “To get your product before the 22nd, order within 2 hours” or “3 people are currently reviewing the same product. Only 1 left in stock.”
Check out the Carrefour case study and discover how they implemented a countdown on Black Friday.
#4 Drive visitors in-store
Driving people in-store with Click and Collect or Reserve and Collect locks in revenue (the order has already been completed), reduces shipping costs (while increasing logistics costs nevertheless), shortens queuing, increases salespeople’s availability, and is an opportunity to upsell.
Additionally, 69% of people webroom (i.e. research a product online before completing the purchase in a physical store) because they feel more comfortable when touching and feeling the product.
Using geolocation and AB Tasty, marketers breeze through crafting a message about product availability in the nearest store, opening hours or sales events.
Agile personalisation and A/B testing platforms are often put out to pasture during Christmas, although they needn’t be. Testing and personalisation are very different. While the first is about learning, the latter is about acting swiftly – which is especially appropriate at Christmas.
Sources: Deloitte, Statistica, Business Insider