Holiday season shopping is well underway, and in the age of COVID-19, online retailers have never been more relevant. Deloitte predicts that online retail sales will grow between 25% to 35% from November to January, reaching between $182 and $196 billion. Many e-commerce sites may not be prepared to take advantage of the opportunity this period affords them to grow their businesses. If this describes your online store, don’t wait another minute. Now is the time to make sure your website has the capacity to handle the increased consumer shopping this holiday season.
5 ways to get your online store ready for holiday shopping
Getting your e-commerce site ready for increased holiday shopping doesn’t need to be super-complicated or complex. It just means ramping up your user-friendliness and making some upgrades.
1. Make a plan to combat shopping cart abandonment
Shopping cart abandonment is when a visitor to an e-commerce website fills their cart with any number of items, but leaves them there without making the purchase. The ability to customize your website's cashier with a Christmas theme improves the users experience and leads to lower rates of shopping cart abandonment, and as such BridgerPay offers cashier customization.
There are a number of reasons shoppers abandon their carts online, including:
- Lack of currency choices: Many shoppers across the globe prefer to use local currencies when shopping online, if you’re not offering them this option you will lose them
- Declines/low approval rates: If a shopper’s payment method is rejected, they will find another platform to purchase products on
- Knowing transaction status in real-time: Shoppers need to know where they stand in real time, and don’t have the patience online to be kept in the dark
- Incorporates discounts easily: Shoppers may get to the finish line and see that the site doesn’t accept their discount, and if it does, the experience is awkward. This is a big turn-off and can cause them to go to a site and look for another deal
While it’s hard to know the exact reason for shopping cart abandonment, there are several ways you can combat it. You can offer free shipping for holiday gifts, create a checkout method that allows guest checkout, or expand your selection of payment options. (See #5.) It’s important to have your hand on the pulse of your audience. While you may not be able to address all the reasons for shopping cart abandonment, you can try to address those that are most relevant to your store.
2. Optimize your site for mobile
If it isn’t already, make sure your site is optimized for mobile. To give some context on how important the mobile experience is for users, this report indicates that “roughly four out of five Americans are now online shoppers, with more than half having made purchases using a mobile device.” In the weeks leading up to the holiday season, shoppers turn to every possible method to get the gifts they need, fast. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you will lose potential customers quickly.
3. Make sure your website can handle more traffic
If you’ve been getting more visitors than your website can handle, the pages may be loading slowly. When this happens, you might as well have a pop-up that says, “Don’t shop here, go somewhere else.” Because that’s what consumers will do if the website isn’t loading fast enough. To make sure your website has the capacity to handle more traffic, contact your website host and consider upgrading to a plan that can handle more traffic without slowing page loading time. (How can you tell if your website is getting more visitors than usual? This is where checking your website stats becomes crucial.)
4. Create a holiday atmosphere on your site
You don’t need to totally redesign your website, but you can add a holiday touch with special graphics or music. These can include Hanukkah candles, Christmas jingles, whatever will appeal to your readership. You can also use banners to announce sales or show a countdown until the holidays arrive. This isn’t just about creating a positive vibe on your website, customizing your cashier for the holiday will reduce cart abandonment rates, thus improving your sales.
5. Offer fast, secure transactions
As mentioned above, many consumers abandon their shopping carts because the website they’re on doesn’t accept their preferred payment method. To combat this, you can expand your selection of payment methods. BridgerPay has an AI-powered platform that offers secure, fast, and international transactions, all through one solution. It’s easy to integrate into your site, and once it’s there, consumers can access their favorite local or global payment method.
If you’re concerned about putting a lot of effort into a season that only lasts a few months, your worries are misplaced. As COVID-19 shows no signs of going away any time soon, experts predict that consumers will continue to turn to online retailers from their most basic to complex needs, from food to electronics and everything in between. So, the time and money you invest in upgrading your site now will serve you well during the height of holiday shopping and as the trend of online shopping continues on its upward trajectory.