According to Time’s Moneyland, the upgraded National Retail Federation’s forecast recorded at least 2.8% increase leading to $469.1 billion overall sales in 2011. Online shopping alone galloped by 15%, and over 1.25 billion was spent online.
Going by the books, that number is set to grow again. As for individual e-commerce merchants, it’s all about making dough when customers come shopping.
Here are five ways businesses can boost e-commerce sales this holiday season:
- Maximize Customer Experience: If conversion rates are the crux of well-oiled sales machine, there’s a reason why Amazon.com scores: customer experience is half-dead already for e-commerce stores compared to traditional retail stores due to the lack of sensory perceptions for customers while shopping. Customer experience on your e-commerce store is vital to make customers linger around, browse, and buy online. Steve Krug, author of Don’t Make me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, writes “People won’t use your website if they can’t find their way around it”. Call it common sense of best practice; it’s the first step to boost your sales. Easy navigation, intuitive search, optimized and streamlined product pages with great copy, fast-loading web pages, and a high-degree of interactivity are a given.
- Don’t make them drag a heavy shopping cart. The last thing customers want to have trouble with is their online shopping cart. If it disappears, stalls, miscalculates prices, and doesn’t appear responsive enough it’s a lost case. Make it simple for online shoppers. Allow them to login with a minimum number of clicks, invest in intelligent shopping carts that do half of the customers’ work (like filling in the details), add robust security features for the cart.
- Show Off Your Products. Presentation is everything. Combined with spectacular product photography, an organized layout, great graphics, and a pleasant visual presentation, your e-commerce site will do a lot of heavy lifting for your business, just like that.
- Use Effective Customer E-commerce Platforms. Often, the tools businesses use determine success (or the lack of it). Manage your e-commerce site, serve customers, and make profits while letting go of source code. Americaneagle.com’s idev® , for instance, is a simple-to-use CMS systems specially built for e-commerce sites. Starting with the idev® Intelligent Search tool, customers can find desired products more quickly without time-consuming searches. For merchants, a host of features make it easy to manage your website for maximum profitability.
- Let customers shop, their style. Customers are as different as the choices they make. Make sure that you allow for faster shopping times, choices in the form of multiple options to search for products based on product type, brand, category, color or price. Give them room to browse, choose, and let the vision of these products marinate in their heads. Using state-of-the-art e-commerce sales management systems such as the iDev E-commerce Platform plugs intelligent cross-sell, social, and recommendation tools and you’ll have ways to influence customer choices without coming on to them too hard.
Customers are ready to shop this holiday season. Are you ready for it?