6 Tips to Make 2014 Holiday Shopping Even More Profitable

by / Wednesday, 16 July 2014 / Published in Blog, E-Commerce

With the holidays just four months away, retailers are getting ready to cash in on the biggest shopping season of the year.

According to IBM’s Online Retail Holiday Readiness Report, 2014 promises to be a prosperous one for US online retailers. Shopping on retail websites continues to grow at a double-digit pace, average order value (AOV) and items per order rose to record highs over the past year, and soaring usage of smartphones and tablets has made online shopping accessible to consumers anytime and anywhere.

In addition to promotions you already have planned, here are six low cost, low risk, high reward and easy to implement ideas that can help make the holiday season even more profitable.

 

1. Optimize Your Checkout Flow with Social Login

Cart abandonment continues to be a perennial problem for retailers. Cumbersome, multi-page transaction processes result in poor customer experiences and frustration, especially when attempting to make purchases on mobile devices.

People want a frictionless transaction experience, and one way clients can accomplish that is by having a well-designed single-page checkout form.  It’s been shown that implementing one-page checkout increases completion rates by more than 250% and conversion rates by 22%.

With that in mind, another way to expedite the checkout process and reduce cart abandonment is the use of social logins.  People hate to fill out forms, so why force them to? Even when they create an account on the retailer’s website, remembering login credentials can be challenging. 92% of shoppers report having left a website because they forgotten their username or password.

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Fluid has an optimized solution designed to facilitate an easy checkout process and social login. Our single-page, accordion style checkout experience uses the latest in information design to create a low friction, high performance, customer-centric process across desktop, tablet, and mobile. The implementation process is simple, and we can have you up and running well ahead of the holiday code freeze.

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2. Implement Curation and Discovery Highlighting Consumer Created Wish Lists

Social shopping is the new normal. People rely heavily on the influence of friends when making purchase decisions, and those who desire to can become influencers themselves.

Therefore, it makes sense to invite them to create and curate Wish Lists on your site where they can express their point of view, share with friends and followers on social networks, and become brand advocates. In return, you’ll identify your key influencers and be able to recognize and incentivize them in a way that builds trust and increases lifetime value.

For example, Fluid client Kipling leveraged social curation through the use of Wish Lists that enabled customers to share their passion for its products with other customers and friends on Facebook.

Customers who logged into the Kipling site via Facebook created personal Wish Lists, shared them with friends and invited others to create their own lists.

Discovery tools provide customers who may not know exactly what they want with inspiration from product selections that others Wish Lists.

In an age dominated by social media, shopping is as much about product discovery as it is about buying, and sites like Kipling facilitate browsing and behavior as much as searching and transacting.

 

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3. Create a Holiday Gift Guide

During the holidays, it’s often difficult to determine what to buy for family and friends. Holiday gift guides can be a way to solve that problem

Last year, Amazon promoted the holiday season with its 2013 Holiday Toy List, which was chosen by Amazon Mom fans on Facebook, and has plans to repeat the campaign this year, as well.

Toys R Us promoted its holiday efforts with a holiday Wish Finder gift guide where consumers could browse by age, interest or gender.

You can also take advantage of curation by allowing your most influential customers to create gift guides, or leverage the influence of celebrities much the same way as sites like Open Sky, Beachmint and ShoeDazzle have done.

 

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4. Offer Shipping Alternatives

After deciding on a purchase, it’s not uncommon for well-intentioned shoppers to experience sticker shock when they get to the shipping page. High shipping costs are one of the chief culprits that lead to cart abandonment.

Two ways you can turn shock into delight is by offering free or same-day shipping.

It’s well documented that free shipping is a top incentive to purchase. Even though you may be unable to offer it across the board, it may be an option for purchases above a certain amount.

In an effort to win over customers, brands such as Amazon, Google and Walmart are expanding same-day delivery services in major cities. Though less feasible for many retailers, those who follow suit could win the battle to acquire new customers.

 

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5. Integrate Group Buying Options

For customers who need to buy a gift for their child’s teacher, or birthday present for a friend or colleague, but who don’t want to foot the bill entirely can tap the power of group buying (also referred to as “group gifting”).

Typically, we associate group buying with sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, but the practice has come into vogue with retailers thanks to third-party applications such as GiftSimple, The Gifts Project, and Friendfund, which enable brands to add a group gifting widget to their website.

For example, Friendfund allows retailers to integrate a payment button that enables customers to create a “Pool” for any product, and invite their friends using Facebook, Twitter and email to contribute.

 

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6. Display Trending Products

Another way to enable discovery and influence purchase decisions is through the use of trending products by integrating a trending activity feed on the home and category pages of your site.   Inspiring shoppers with other shoppers likes, loves and purchases.  Highlight your influencers or merchandisers to leverage their valuable content and drive catalog exploration.

 

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As you prepare for the holiday shopping season, keep these suggestions in mind. Simplifying the checkout process, incorporating social login, social discovery and curation, providing product recommendations through gift guides, Wish Lists, and trending products, as well as offering free or same-day shipping and group buying can help make 2014 an even more profitable year.

As always, Fluid is here to help. As the holiday season approaches feel free to contact us for more information on how to implement these and other ideas.

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