It is already happening. I’ve seen my first ‘countdown to Christmas’ timer on Facebook…Really!?! And you know what that means Black Friday is closing in too! Well, yes, actually…Really!
It can’t be ignored – Black Friday and the holidays are coming, and those of us who work in eCommerce, know that delivering outstanding Online Customer Experience and getting peak trading ‘right’ is a big deal.
Happy eCommerce Holidays
Since 2015, online sales have overtaken that of traditional brick and mortar retail and this trend has continued steadily ever since with eCommerce sales set to increase a further 16% over this years holiday season.
It’s a great time to be involved with eCommerce and there is everything to play for, especially when you consider that the average retailer will bring in between 20-40% of their annual revenue during Black Friday and the holiday period.
Time to pop your feet up by the fire and sip on a hot cocoa letting the online sales roll in, right….?
Any niggling Customer Experience (CX) issues that exist on your website day-to-day are just about to be magnified, as the holiday visitor volume kicks in. With only 100 (ish) days till Christmas Day and 70 (odd) days until Black Friday (trust me….I saw the holiday count-down on Facebook…I know!) it’s time to blitz the Customer Experience issues that are giving you a headache now before they have a serious impact on your holiday trading figures and place your website firmly on the naughty list!
Furthermore, with online giant Amazon ensnaring the majority share of eCommerce sales, making the most of the customer visits you do get has never been more pertinent.
I’ll run through some key stats and areas that are worth reviewing in the run up to silly season that will give your website the Customer Experience edge!
Since 2015, online sales have overtaken that of traditional brick and mortar retail and this trend has continued steadily ever since with eCommerce sales set to increase a further.
eCommerce / mCommerce is dashing through the snow!
Ignore the mobile customer at your peril. The reality is that ecommerce has grown to be mobile first with many holiday shoppers choosing to shop via their phone or tablet over traditional laptop and desktop computers. On Black Friday last year, a record breaking $1billion was generated by mobile clients and this trend is set to continue.
Despite the customer shift to mobile, conversions are typically lower by 63% on mobile compared to desktop shopping.
It is reasonable to suggest that this is down to the nature of mobile shopping itself and the tendency for these types of visitor to enjoy a shorter, more bite-sized online shopping experience. However, all too often, online retailers have not invested nearly enough in the mobile customer experience they deliver.
If you haven’t already, review your websites mobile offering and ensure it is providing your clients with the Online Customer Experience they expect from your brand. For those strapped for time use your in-house analytics to target improvements on the major mobile platforms for your user base.
CX Competition is Ho Ho Hotting – Up!
The ecommerce giants like Amazon have absolutely captured the imagination of the online shopper and with a projected 34% share of all holiday ecommerce sales (up 4% YoY), Amazon will prove to be stiff competition, as always.
The battle is far from won however, and online retailers can differentiate themselves by tuning in to the needs and wants of their customer by delivering an excellent online customer experience.
Dig into your customer journeys on your website. Review your forms. Is your website search functionality up to standard? Can you fulfil the delivery expectations of your clients? Are you offering the payment options your customers want? Evaluate your fraud safe-guarding measures. Are they robust enough?
Interrogating the usability and technical issues you may be dealing with and ironing out the kinks now could prove to be a hugely lucrative in a few months’ time.
DevOps and IT are your secret CX Santa!
At no other time of the year will your online traffic be so high and at no other time of the year will your web servers be under so much strain. The struggle is real and if any of your online infrastructure goes ‘Pop!’ your customers are going to feel it first, leaving your website, taking their holiday spend with them.
Website server outages and IT issues can cause ecommerce retailers to lose 8% of sales per hour which, if unmitigated, could take a serious wedge out of the holiday coffers.
‘Tis the season to bring together the technical and business teams within your organisation.
Doing this will allow you to build a truly customer-centric approach to online by optimising service delivery to your clients and helping the organisation provide a high value online customer experience.
Getting your Online Customer Experience just right is the gift that keeps on giving all year round and a little hard work now, will really make Black Friday and the holiday season ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.
To learn more about what you can do to optimize your websites online customer experience for the Holiday Season, download the Holiday Retail eBook here.