August 30, 2012
The third installment in our Holiday Success series offers insider secrets from Chris Goward, Co-Founder and CEO of WiderFunnel Marketing Optimization. Here's his advice on how to make the most of holiday traffic to your website.
[caption id="attachment_16812" align="alignright" width="150"] Chris Goward, WiderFunnel[/caption]
Q: What is one of the biggest ecommerce trends we’ll see this holiday season?
A: Two trends will continue this year: local and mobile.
Retailers are using the strength of hyper-local product sourcing in the ongoing battle against Amazon. We recently learned that eBay is partnering with major retailers to offer same-day delivery for the holiday season. By sourcing products from brick-and-mortar retailers, eBay aims to get delivery times down to within an hour in some locations. Partners include Best Buy, Macy's, Nordstrom, and Walgreen’s. They are overcoming one of the major things that online shopping is missing—instant gratification.
Mobile will continue to be more important. Yes, some shoppers will complete their purchases on their phones and tablets. But, even more interesting will be the increased comparison-shopping online from within stores. Prepare to see shoppers comparing deals on their iPads and mobile devices while shopping in-store at their local retailers—if that’s not happening already.
Q: What is the most important thing an ecommerce business can do this season to improve conversions?
A: With just a few weeks before the holiday shopping season begins, retailers need to focus on big improvements quickly.
Test site-wide improvements via template tests. Focus on value proposition for landing page visitors, merchandising the product breadth on home and category pages, and clarifying product info and calls-to-action on the product detail pages.
Get some fast A/B tests underway now before IT implements the holiday shopping site lockdown.
Here are some case studies that detail test ideas that may be helpful.
Q: How can ecommerce companies support consumers shopping across multiple devices?
A: With device and hardware platform proliferation and screen sizes abounding, the customized mobile sites and apps are becoming expensive strategies. Responsive Web Design (RWD), as an approach for device proliferation, is a preferred strategy for many companies. RWD allows retailers to build the site once and have the same site work for any browser and screen size.
Retailers have been slow to take it up (probably because they’re still amortizing their development costs from building mobile apps), but look for it to be more prevalent moving forward—especially since Google has come out in support of RWD. We’ll see it continue to gain momentum.
Q: What is a good campaign to run during the holidays that many ecommerce companies still seem to overlook?
A: The best campaign offers are ones that resonate between prospects and the product. They should be relevant and valuable, of course. However, the biggest surprise to me is how few retailers are testing their offers. They’re putting all kinds of effort into driving more traffic and planning an offer schedule, without leaving room for an iterative offer or promotion optimization campaign.
My advice: When you come across a good idea for an offer or promotion, You Should Test That!
Editor's Note: Check back next week for yet another insightful interview with a conversion rate optimization industry leader who will help guide your holiday marketing efforts. And catch the first two posts in the series, Holiday Success Interview #1: the e-tailing group and Holiday Success Interview #2: Brooks Bell.