If you are an owner or manager for an Ecommerce website, then planning for the holiday season 2018 needs to become one of your top concerns. In 2017, shoppers spent over $108.2 billion representing a 14.7 percent increase over the year earlier. With less than a 4.0 unemployment rate, average wage levels staying even with last year and consumer sentiment averaging 95 points, the 2018 holiday season may be another record-breaker. Therefore, it is time to lay out your online advertising plan.
Be sure that you are ready as early as possible to greet the online holiday shopper. There is no reason to believe that shoppers will not be looking for deals before Black Friday. In 2017, online sales on Black Friday grew by 32 percent over 2016.
While the percentage may not necessarily rise that high in 2018, the number of shoppers who are shopping at Ecommerce sites on Black Friday may be even larger. In fact, shoppers turned to the internet rather than head to stores for special Thanksgiving sales bucking the trend of the last few years to work off the turkey in retail locations. While Saturday and Sunday following Black Friday saw record-breaking sales, shoppers got tired of shopping and sales decreased by 15 percent on Cyber Monday.
Shoppers in 2018 may even start shopping earlier, but they may also be done earlier, so make sure that you are prepared to offer them great customer service and have inventory on hand. Solicit great reviews during that weekend so that those customers who always wait until the last minute know that you are prepared for the holiday season. Make it easy for customers to interact with your company on social media. Create a way to listen to customers and respond to all reviews promptly as over 90 percent of customers say they trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation from a friend.
While you may have been eating a big Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, something exceptional happened on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day in 2017 as the number of shoppers using mobile devices outnumbered shoppers on desktops for the very first time. Since Google has pushed mobile-first indexing hard in the early months of 2018, it is time to step up your mobile game. Make sure that you have a responsive website that loads extremely quickly. Buyers on mobile also expect to get to where they want to go on your website faster than desktop users, so take a look at your navigation to make sure that it requires the mobile shopper to make the least amounts of clicks to complete a purchase. Tempt buyers with special banner ads showcasing your best deals.
Shoppers are busy thinking about others during the holiday season, but they want to make sure that you are thinking about them as individuals. Find ways to make product recommendations that fit the buyer’s persona. During 2017, only five percent of customers clicked on product recommendations, but they accounted for 30 percent of the sales. Create ways that you can greet customers by name on your site, automatically remember their preferences and safely store their shopping and financial information until their next visit. Consider allowing customers to choose their own delivery dates as many people will be traveling during the holidays. Send emails to remind people about abandoned shopping carts, and inform them when an item that they have looked at goes on sale.
One of the keys to rising to the top during holiday season 2018 for Ecommerce is going to be getting their information listed on Google’s first search engine result page. In the Google has seemingly changed their game to encourage people not to leave that page. Therefore, you will need to change yours to capture the attention of shoppers during this holiday season. Getting listed in Google shopping carousels and product reviews can make this a very happy holiday season for your company. Create interesting videos in hopes that they will feature yours in video carousels about your top products. Make sure you have claimed your Google My Business listing and have written the description to capture shoppers entering your keywords. Offer high-quality unique images of products encouraging Google to choose your image for image carousels. Post on Twitter using hot topics.
Shoppers are already preparing for the winter holidays. Contact us today so that we can help you create a plan to increase your online sales.