How eCommerce Businesses Can Make Holiday Shopping Frictionless7 min read

In 2020, we are witnessing an explosive growth in the popularity of online shopping. 

According to Forrester’s brief, the volume of online commerce has grown by more than 18.5% over the past 12 months. It is primarily due to the introduction of quarantine precautions that have influenced buyers all over the world. 

Annually, business owners, marketers, and eCommerce business managers employ tailored strategies to guarantee frictionless holiday season shopping. 

As the number of purchases increases considerably around holidays, it is easy to make critical mistakes and not withstand the competition. But in the challenging world of business, nobody wants to miss a tasty piece of the pie, right? 

In 2019, the trade volume on Black Friday and Cyber Monday was about $16 billion. 

In 2020, particularly on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the larger half will undoubtedly go to eCommerce Businesses. 

We have prepared some useful tips and recommendations from top managers, marketers, and other leading experts in online trading, which will help to organize holiday shopping smoothly. 

The following information will be of great relevance to owners and managers of online stores and trading platforms as well as marketers, support, and finance departments at eCommerce businesses.

How eCommerce Businesses Can Make Holiday Shopping Frictionless Blog Image

Where to Start?

First, you need to make sure that the online platform in question can withstand a massive inflow of customers. The traffic on your website can increase by 100-200% due to delays and hanging carts on holidays. 

Slow website performance leads to the loss of potential buyers as no one likes to wait. 

According to Unbounce surveys data, up to 70% of users may refuse to buy if a website is too slow. 

Google stats confirm this. 

According to research, when it takes more than 3 seconds to load a page of an online store, up to 50% of users will close the tab and move to another offer.

What to do in this case? 

  • Check the loading speed of website pages;
  • Simulate high traffic on your website pages using web tools (e.g., LoadRunner from Micro Focus or Loader) to understand how your online store is optimized for high traffic;
  • Set up monitoring services to monitor website performance in real-time;
  • Optimize pages and increase loading speed if necessary.

According to Unbounce surveys data, up to 70% of users may refuse to buy if a website is too slow.

Your Ordering Process: How Simple Is It?

One of the most common mistakes of all online retailers is setting a complicated and unclear shopping process. 

Abandoned carts are a serious problem that reduce revenue by up to 40%! 

There can be several reasons for abandoned carts, for example, a complicated data entry process to purchase with mandatory registration, unexpected additional costs, or difficulty with adding new items to the cart. 

What should you do? 

  • Analyze the user’s path from the main page of the online store to the design page (use Google Analytics or any other tool for this);
  • Identify holes in the conversion funnel, due to which some users do not complete the purchase;
  • Analyze “heat maps” to understand where users click most often and what they are having trouble with.

Such analysis often reveals common mistakes in web design and website structure that hinder the process and otherwise are difficult to detect. 

For example, the button to add a product to your shopping cart may be way undersized, or it may be located in an inconspicuous place. Reduce the percentage of failed purchases by eliminating the complicated mandatory registration procedure. 

And also, make your shopping cart in the online store dynamic so that you can return to it and continue shopping at any time.

Think Out Your Promotions in Advance

Buyers usually plan their purchases, so you also need to think about marketing campaigns in advance. 

To increase the effectiveness of promotion, it is worth using smart marketing. The most convenient way to track outgoing traffic is to use the UTM parameters. 

These are special tags that can be added to URLs and shared in advertising letters, social networks, and various advertising banners. Thus, in a short time, you can find out where you get more traffic and customers. 

It is crucial to get a campaign promotion going pronto, as you will have to spend more on holidays advertising on social networks and search engines. 

This way, you make sure you make your product visible, optimizing your marketing budget without overpayments for seasonality and reaching out to your target audience before a planned sales rush. 

Do not forget about retargeting. 

Up to 35% of visitors to online stores come to a site to make a purchase, but finally, something stops them. 

Use emails and other targeted interactions to offer discounts or appealing offers. Your target audience is potential customers that previously visited the site or even left purchases in the shopping cart but did not pay. 

We should not forget about other marketing technologies as well. You can attract thousands of potential customers to the online store through guest posting.

In order to ensure high quality, aim for the best site to buy backlinks on the market. 

Guest posts in popular shopping blogs effectively attract new leads, as in articles with backlinks, users can find useful tips on choosing gifts, festive decorations, affordable accommodation, and so on. 

Mobile Device as the New Most Crucial Shopping Tool

According to available data, in 2019 on Cyber Monday, more than 33% of all purchases in online stores were made through smartphones or tablets. 

Mobile shopping revenue exceeded $3 billion for the holiday weekend alone. Therefore, the importance of the mobile version of the site should not be underestimated. 

If you don’t launch advertising for mobile devices and don’t optimize the site with a shopping cart for such buyers, you will lose one-third of the weekend revenue by our rough estimation. 

How do you avoid this?

  • Make sure that the mobile version of the site and the shopping cart are equally well and correctly displayed on devices of any display size;
  • A software tester should check how easy it is to place orders through Safari, Chrome, Firefox, MS Edge, and Opera browsers;
  • Reduce friction when buying with mobile devices (people often make purchases with smartphones and tablets at work, public transportation, or at home, so they want to do it as quickly as possible).

Too many registration fields and the lengthy procedure of registration is repulsive.

Optimize your Logistics

Mass quarantine restrictions in 2020 changed logistics. During the holiday weekend, delivery services are expected to be under heavy strain, which is most likely to delay processing and delivering goods from stores. 

What should be done in such a situation to avoid mistakes?

Develop a delivery plan in advance. It may be rational to sign additional contracts with several courier services and transport companies. 

If there are no couriers in your staff, it is reasonable to hire them for the holidays. It will allow you to process your purchases and deliver it to customers faster, optimizing the warehouse’s work.

Conclusion

In 2020-2021, the revenue of eCommerce Businesses will increase by tens of percent compared to last year. 

According to opinion polls, about a third of Americans plan to stay at home and make purchases online without visiting shopping centers. 

It is vital to make sure that everything works well on your end, not to sabotage your own business during these unpredictable times. 

Let’s sum it up:

  • Optimize your user experience and make sure that nothing prevents you from buying quickly on your site;
  • Work on your logistics, as in 2020-2021, the sales volume may be higher than expected;
  • Develop festive marketing campaigns well in advance of the vacations;
  • Measure traffic and make sure you manage to increase the number of customers without losing quality.

Online store owners, together with developers, marketers, and managers, need to prepare for an active holiday shopping period, which is, due to the pandemic, steadily shifting to online stores.