It’s not too late to maximise online sales this Christmas

Christmas is a key time for many retailers and brands. Therefore, it is important to ensure your website is up to scratch in order to maximise sales.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) underpins the success of a website and even a few small changes now could have a positive impact on conversion rates and sales over the festive period.

So where to start? How about with the following:

Carry out some quick A/B tests

Many tools such as Optimizely allow you to test smaller changes against the current design to determine which perform better than others. You can then serve the better performing page variation to a higher percentage of users in the run up to Christmas. This means that even if you do not get statistically significant results quickly, you can still divert more traffic to your higher converting page variation.

Conduct a user test

This will help you quickly identify any changes you can make immediately. If you have specific problem areas you want to test, What Users Do is a cost effective online tool that can top line key issues users’ face.

Conduct a short survey

Tools such as Google Surveys or Survey Monkey allow you to gain some quick, free insight into what users might find frustrating on your site. By focusing on getting something up and running now, you can run it for a month and implement any quick-win changes in time for December.

Identify problem pages in Analytics

Look for pages that drive a good amount of traffic but have low conversion and/or high bounce rates. In addition, review page speeds and work through priority recommendations from Google Page Insights. You will typically find the same problems across a number of pages, so some site-wide changes to improve load time could have an immediate, positive impact on user experience. It will also improve optimisation of the site.

Go through your checkout process

Identify any issues or tweaks you could make to simplify or streamline the process. Look out for unnecessary form fields, enable guest checkout (if you haven’t already,) auto populate address fields where possible etc. Try and be objective, as if you were a customer yourself.

ASOS checkout

Check your online enquiry forms and customer service channels

Ensure they function as best they can. Forms should be quick and easy to fill in and should let customers know that their enquiry has been received. Any queries should be answered promptly in order to try and maintain the attention of the customer and ideally their loyalty to buy with you.

Check your website’s search function

Many people know what they want and will search specifically for gifts at Christmas. They also usually want to view and compare products and prices quickly. Therefore, ensuring your site search functions well and provides relevant, useful results should help support conversions. If you are using Google custom search, you should explore marking up for a Google sitelinks search box which would enable a search box directly in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs.)



Review which products were popular last Christmas

Use this insight to ensure they have good visibility on your site this season. Use popular product imagery to promote email sign ups too (e.g. email / newsletter/ catalogue sign up boxes.)

Offer a price match

If you can, offer a price match offer in case customers have seen lower prices elsewhere. Price is even more important to customers at Christmas, therefore you have to ensure you remain competitive. Ensure price match messaging is in a prominent position across product pages and provide details for customers to contact you to honour the price match.

John Lewis price match

Free delivery

Where possible, offer free delivery as standard. Alternatively, consider awarding free delivery if people sign up to your newsletter. By doing so, you will benefit in the long run by growing your email list.

john lewis

Abandon basket emails

Make sure your abandon basket emails are working effectively in the run up to Christmas. These emails are really effective to bring people back to purchase.

Basket abandonment email

As you can see, it’s not too late to make some fruitful changes to your site that could boost your sales this Christmas. Look at your website with fresh eyes and prioritise any ‘quicker win’ changes so you don’t lose sales to your competitors. But don’t hang around too long – your customers certainly won’t!


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