Best Practices to Streamline eCommerce Store for Holiday Shopping Season

Dec 10, 2019 6:00:00 PM

ecommerce store for holiday shopping

The holiday season is around the corner and e-retailers, like every year, are geared up for more customers and conversions. While deals and discounts have been the most influencing reasons behind holiday purchases, they are not enough to convince the customers anymore. 

Ease, loyalty, availability, transparency are some of the factors that the smart buyers look for. Thus, when prepping up for the holiday shopping season, it’s necessary to pay attention to factors that impact a buyers’ decisions. 

Here are 10 factors to boost your eCommerce store with holiday shopping, ensuring better customer engagement, conversion and revenue for your business. So, let’s dive in. 

1. Improve Customer Support

More customers on the platform mean more searches, more payments, and ultimately more queries during the journey. Thus, it is imperative to have a customer support system that’s available 24/7 and addresses the concerns in the least time possible. 

Since the customer support system handled by humans have limitations (like no show-ups at certain points), it is recommended to back the support service with a chatbot. You can deploy a chatbot that answers the frequently asked questions or take the customer to the concerned representative to resolve the problem. 

Depending upon what you want the chatbot to perform, different types of chatbots can be developed and integrated with the eCommerce platform. You can make the chatbot take the orders, update customers about the order status, answer repetitive or simple queries, make payments, and a lot more. 

2. Optimize User Experience 

If the user can’t use it, it doesn’t work. Thus, it is important to create the best user experience than the best deal. To make the user stay on your platform and have a seamless shopping experience, here are a few suggestions to optimize the user experience. 

  • Simplify Checkout 

Imagine if your customer can search for the best product in the store, can add it to cart, but cannot checkout smoothly. If you don’t want your prospect to abandon the cart, review the checkout cycle of your eCommerce store. For this, you can ensure a one-page checkout, add multiple payment options, don’t ask for the same information over and again, use a progress bar to keep the user informed about the stage of the checkout, provide clear action items, etc. Simplifying checkout and making it seamless can significantly reduce the cart abandonment rate.

  • Highlight Holiday Offers

Highlight offers like BOGOs, discounts, flash sale, & free shipping. If you’re running special offers for the customers, make sure that your customers know about them. Don’t make them hunt for the deals all across the website and switch them to the competitor store. 

Also, if you’re spreading the word about deals and discounts through email, social media, or any other channel, ensure that the buyer directly lands on the deal page and doesn’t have to hop to the entire website/app to find the product with the offered discount. To know how you can do it, you can check out this article on deep links.

  • Follow the Mobile-First Approach 

Mobile has a crucial role in improving the conversion rate. The ability of shoppers to look up for the deal/offers and grab them anytime on mobile makes them a must-have during the holiday shopping season. You can opt for a mobile-friendly eCommerce approach such as Progressive Web App (PWA), Android Instant App, or simply create a native mobile app. 

Moreover, modern technologies like Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Blockchain, etc. can be integrated into the mobile app to improve user experience in different ways. For example, machine learning in eCommerce can help with inventory management, fraud management, personalization, and recommendation, etc. Virtual reality can help customers in virtual trials, Blockchain in supply chain management, and a lot more. 

3. Best Marketing Practices 

A great marketing strategy takes the business to the prospects. During the holiday shopping season, while there is a likelihood of customers coming to your online store, you can reach out to them through the right marketing strategy. Here are a few marketing trends that you should follow for better customer engagement and conversion. 

  • Proximity Marketing 

Proximity marketing involves the use of location-based technologies to directly communicate with customers through mobile apps. This marketing tactic can be used to navigate customers to store, send coupons and discounts to customers when they are around a store, track customer movement in-store, etc. For proximity marketing, beacons are one of the trending technologies. You can check out more on how beacons can help to improve customer engagement and conversion in one of our recent articles. 

  • Retarget Customers

Customers who previously brought products from your store are likely to return nack to make another purchase. Thus, re-targeting the customers is one of the most top-rated and the most efficient marketing strategies to connect with the customers. 

  • Personalization   

When planning for the holiday shopping season, personalized offers can be a great strength for businesses to improve the conversion rate. By using AI technologies like machine learning, the buyers’ journey can be understood and related product recommendations can be shared accordingly. 

In doing so, it is important to ensure that these deals and discount reaches shoppers on time. For this, instead of push notifications, messaging platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger can be used to connect with the shoppers, which improves the possibility of purchase and thus the conversion rate. 

4. Traffic & Infra Cost Management 

During the holiday shopping season, a great hike in the usual traffic can be experienced. This means there is a need to expand the resources on a server to deal with the rush of users on the eCommerce store. If the resources are expanded according to the temporary shift in the traffic, it can highly impact the infrastructure cost in the long term. 

For managing the extended traffic during holidays, it is recommended to move the e-commerce infrastructure on the cloud. Opting for cloud services such as Amazon S3 for storage, auto-scaling, auto load balancing, serverless architecture are some of the services that can help in scaling up and scaling down of resources, as the requirement strikes. 

ALSO READ: How to Optimize an eCommerce Store for Peak Usage?

5. Prepare for Disaster Recovery 

At any point in time, if a service within the online store gets affected, it should not affect the rest of the functionality. This can be assured by building a strong architectural base. 

Opting for software architecture like microservices over monolithic ensures that modularity in services makes it easy to fix a single service without affecting the entire application. However, this suggestion is completely dependent upon the scale of the solution and the complexity of the services that an eCommerce application has. 

Is your eCommerce Store Ready for the Holiday Shopping Season?

To know if your eCommerce store is prepped for the holiday sale, just consider if your platform meets the above-mentioned requisites for better customer engagement and conversion. However, these are just a few points that can tell you about your preparation for the holiday shopping season. 

If you’re in doubt, you can schedule a free audit of your eCommerce store with us wherein our customer engagement experts will let you know about the gaps in your path to a successful holiday sale. To get in touch with our experts, set up a no-obligation consultation with them now.

Archna Oberoi

Written by Archna Oberoi

Content strategist by profession and blogger by passion, Archna is avid about updating herself with the freshest dose of technology and sharing them with the readers. Stay tuned here as she brings some trending stories from the tech-territory of mobile and web.