24+ ideas for Q4 holiday ecommerce optimization

By Marc Hummel

November 10, 2016

The 2016 edition of the Monetate Holiday Prep Guide for ecommerce retailers is now available. It includes over 24 ways you can tweak your ecommerce website to maximize conversions during the holiday season. It also includes some interesting stats that can help inform your priorities. Here’s a sneak peek of a few of our favorite ideas.

1. Put a badge on it

Make the most of a small space with product badges. These little callouts, placed on product thumbnails, help shoppers find products faster. They can also increase sales: a Monetate report found a 55% improvement in conversion rate among websites that use product badges compared to those that don’t.

Call out key holiday messages, such as:

  • Holiday best sellers
  • Shipping deadlines
  • Good gifts for moms, kids, etc.
  • Special holiday promotions

Also good to new: badges work great on mobile devices, too. They’re particularly helpful on those small screens, since they communicate more than one type of information (product attribute + thumbnail).

2. Optimize your website for new visitors

You’ll probably see significantly more first-time shoppers who aren’t familiar with your brand during Q4.

What’s up with those new customers? Are they likely to turn into new long-term customers? What can you do to optimize the experience for them?

We analyzed 12.6 billion shopping sessions (88.1 billion pageviews) that occurred from Q4 2015–July 31, 2016. We found that:

  • 1.9% of new customers converted in Q4 of 2015
  • 86% of those customers made 1 purchase and never returned
  • 6% will come back and make 1 more purchase
  • 8% will come back and make 2+ purchases

One of the ways you can make the most of this reality is to prominently highlight relevant policies and promotions. And don’t be shy! New shoppers may not be familiar with your brand and what sets you apart from the competition. Make sure you help those new customers along every step of the buying process.

3. Embrace alternate payment options

Since many new Q4 shoppers don’t plan on coming back, they may be reluctant to enter their credit card data.

Make it easy for new shoppers to feel secure buying from you while speeding up the process with third-party payment options.

Prominently feature icons for customer favorites like PayPal and MasterPass, and highlight mobile-friendly options like Apple Pay and Android Pay that make checking out simple and secure.

Get more holiday ecommerce optimization tips.

Download the 2016 Holiday Prep Guide. It covers:

  • Key dates you need to be ready for the holiday rush
  • Ways to improve the holiday gift buying experience
  • How often do first-time holiday shoppers become long-term customers?
  • Avoid common mistakes made by ecommerce retailers

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Marc Hummel is a former Content Marketing Associate for Monetate. He's also a part-time grad student at the University of Pennsylvania. He enjoys biking to work, reading, listening to podcasts/music, and eating ice cream. Usually not all at once. For more about Marc, go here.

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