It Will be Tougher this Year to Make Sales Online. Here’s Why and Here are Solutions

One of the most frustrating things for a retailer is to have lots of browsing traffic but little buying traffic.
According to SeeWhy, a company that helps companies convert browsers into buyers at the shopping cart, in reviewing some research data, customers this holiday season are going to be a tough crowd to make a sale from.
The SeeWhy press release reads that “in normal years, click through and conversion rates can be expected to increase as the deadline of Christmas approaches, and customers seek to find presents for loved ones.
But this year we’ve seen significant changes in buyer behavior as customers have searched for better deals. According to Hitwise, searches for promotion codes are up 40 percent year over year. The significantly increased sale volumes driven by the holiday shopping season have the effect of amplifying underlying trends.”

SeeWhy states that the two main underlying changes in behavior seen this year are:

  • Increased use of shopping carts as ‘wish lists’ where items are bookmarked by leaving items in the cart
  • Buyers looking for a better deal, by comparing prices or searching for free shipping and voucher codes, especially among higher income buyers

I hate to depress you but the Forrester data also highlights how little ecommerce teams can do about shopping cart abandonment: most ecommerce sites are now locked down from changes so the only weapons left in the marketer’s armory are price changes, promotions (especially free shipping) and abandonment remarketing, writes SeeWhy.
What does this mean to you?
You have to be even more vigilant to ensure you company’s web site is built as best as possible. Ensure the navigation is rock solid and clearly designed.
Customers are only a click away from a competitor and it’s already hard enough to make a sale. However, you’ll KILL A SALE if you’re site is not as good or better than your competition.
Keep in mind, sales, discounts and other things are also going to be vital in boosting sales online as well.