8 Tips for Creating a Better Online Holiday Shopping Experience

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

By Brian Rogers

(Multichannel Merchant) With Black Friday and Cyber Monday less than a month away, the busy holiday season is fast approaching. How will your website handle this season’s shopping frenzy? There are smart marketing methods out there like real-time web personalization that will help create a better online experience for your customers through this joyful yet stressful time of year.

holiday-snowmanPersonalize the web experience for a first time visitor:
It may seem difficult to know what a first time visitor is interested as there isn’t any clickstream behavior to track yet, but there are some things you can do here. In real-time, you can identify what site they came from (referring site), what their search terms were, you can start to understand their likely interests.

Tip 1: You can simply serve new visitors with a Welcome Message on your website – and this message can be used as an email acquisition tool.

Gardener’s Supply Company saw a substantial increase in revenue and boost in leads after launching a welcome message on their website, targeted at visitors who came from Pinterest. The message included a discount and email address capture to help increase engagement and drive conversions.

Personalize the web experience for a returning visitor:
This one is easier. Anonymous visitors can be identified as a return visitor. The instant they visit your site, in real time, you can recognize this “Anonymous visitor ABC.”  Last time they were here they clicked on “XYZ,” so let’s present them personalized language, content, and offers focused on “XYZ” right away. You are now dramatically improving your chances of having this visitor make it past the 20-second danger zone, because right off the bat you are showing them what they want.

Tip 2: Serve the consumer with a Welcome Back message – this can include a variety of messages based off their past behavior such as items left in their shopping cart, items previously viewed, reminders to submit their email addresses or any qualifying coupons or promotions.

Tip 3: You notice that an anonymous visitor is returning to view a specific item. They have never added it the shopping cart, but it is obvious there is high interest. Upon their return visit, you can swap out the content and language to be focused on that specific item, as well as similar and complementary items to assist in increasing the purchase order. You can even offer them a personalized coupon for this specific item, as well as discounts on related items.

Help guide your visitors:

With lengthy shopping lists, last-minute shopping runs, and returns and exchanges – you can help create a better customer experience by making your site a customer service representative. There several ways to do this and it will be impactful if it’s done right:

Tip 4: Target your visitors based off of geolocation. Help guide them with a banner or popover with the nearest store location. You can also promote new store openings, sales and store events.

Tip 5: Tailor messages to visitors based off of the time spent on your website. If they are on your site with no action, you can ask them is they need assistance, ask them for their email, live chat, or offer them an incentive to purchase.

Create Urgency!

Creating a sense of urgency with discounts or free shipping messages can drive sales with already engaged visitors.

Tip 6: Whether a visitor has returned to your website several times to view a product or if they have items in their shopping cart, you can help move them through the sales process quickly by offering a deep discount or free shipping message while they are engaged on your website. This tactic will increase shopping cart conversions and decrease abandonment.

Decrease your bounce rate:
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your site that visit one page on your website and then leave. According to Google, the average for most sites is between 40% and 60%. The lower your bounce rate is, the longer your potential customer will be on your site making the decision to buy.

Tip 7: Are they bouncing without a purchase? Offer them a coupon or discount right away – an incentive for them to stick around.

Tip 8: Do they have items in their shopping cart? Show them those items within a message to remind them of these items! These two tips can be used together as a double whammy to get them to convert.

Don’t let your customers have a mediocre shopping experience this holiday season. Help them find what they are looking for, when they are looking for it, and guide them through the buying process. While you have been planning your Q4 since this summer, it’s not too late to add real-time behavior-based web personalization into your holiday marketing mix.

Brian Rogers is the Director of Customer Success at Evergage.

This article originally appeared on Multichannel Merchant.

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