5 creative ways to optimize the buying journey for holiday shoppers

By Marc Hummel

November 12, 2015

Converting holiday shoppers is super easy. Just follow this simple fool-proof formula.

1. Get a person with a holiday shopping budget/per person = to (your AOV + 20%).

2. Get them to visit your website organically (so you don’t have to pay for them to get there).

3. Don’t mess it up. Possible ways you could mess it up:

  • Confusing navigation/weird purchase journey
  • Crazy-unreasonable shipping policies
  • Sold out products
  • Confounding delivery deadlines
  • An inventory system that randomly swaps and/or cancels orders

4. CLOSE THE DEAL and get them to convert

5. Everybody wins. Holiday cheer all around

Today we’re going to tackle problem #1: Confusing navigation/weird purchase journey.

Hey, you come here often?

Getting coffee man

Setup campaigns that cut through the awkward small talk and help move potential customers further down the funnel.

  • Create targets based on visitors who have added items to their cart or visited their cart/checkout pages but took no further action.
  • You can also target when customers have been on the website longer than a predetermined time period, or when they attempt close their browser tab.
  • Try showing these customers a lightbox or additional promotions to get customers to finish the checkout process.

So, how’d you get here? Did you drive? Take the subway?

Tandem yo

Increase the impact of your holiday marketing spend by creating campaigns that are consistent and relevant to the referring traffic source.

Start by auditing your marketing campaign calendars for the holiday season and ensure you have consistent campaigns across your acquisition and retention marketing programs. If you attract prospects to your site via Ebates, make sure you carry through that offer on your website.

Here’s an example from a Freshpair/Ebates campaign:
consistent

What do you want to do next? We could play hide and seek…

Hide & seek

Hide elements such as your navigation on checkout pages to help keep customers focused on finishing the checkout process.

This thought process works in other contexts, too. On your wish list page, help shoppers complete the purchase rather than putting it off. When searching, make sure your customers have access to similar products or search terms they may not have thought of.

Here’s an example of what we’re talking about from our test store:

Hiding it

It’s always so magical in the beginning.

go go go

Make the gift discovery process simple, intuitive, and fun.

Look for creative and prominent ways to promote these new areas of your site. Cut down the clicks and increase the carts. You could even make a landing page designed just for gift shoppers. Look for creative and prominent ways to promote these new areas of your site.

We love how Jet onboards new shoppers. Although the following example isn’t about gift shopping, we think it’s certainly worthy of emulation.

Let’s take a deeper dive:

Please don't sue us, Jet

jet023

jet03

How can we get there from here?

Where could it be?

Add personalized shortcuts to make it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for.

You don’t need to rebuild your navigation to get people where they need to go. Add banner-style navigation elements that call out the gift areas that are right for each customer. Provide new visitors with a starting point by showing them top holiday products. Show returning customers with a brand or category a nity eye-catching creative that highlights their favorites.

Here are some examples:

Let's go get them

What a fun day. Until we meet again…

Float awayyy

Stay tuned to the blog (or sign up for our weekly blog email newsletter) for more holiday shopping guides and insights.

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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