2021 Holiday season sales will total $1.28 to $1.3 trillion during the November to January timeframe – Deloitte. What’s going to be your share in the trillion-dollar market?

Visitor traffic to your website is going to be high which means there will be enough opportunities to engage and convert new visitors into loyal customers.

E-commerce holiday sales are projected to grow 11% to 15%, compared to the 2020 season – Deloitte.

The statistics clearly show that online sales are eclipsing offline sales during the holiday season. When it comes to online shopping, it’s essential to prepare ahead. Remember, you are already late if you haven’t.

So, here is a checklist that can help you make the most out of the 2021 holiday season.

Load faster. Sell more.

47% of consumers expect websites to load in two seconds or less — and 40% will abandon a page that takes three or more seconds. – Kissmetrics

That’s losing almost half of the visitors, lost sales and marketing efforts.

Fix speed issues using performance optimization techniques like caching, coding tweaks, CDN and more. You can also seek options like PWAs to improve mobile web loading speed significantly.

Reduce checkout friction

Be it mobile or web, every added step to a checkout experience are chances for customers to leave or consider your competitors. Try to make your checkout experience as short as possible. Auto-fill options, pre-stored user information (for registered customers) can get you close.

Limiting multiple page checkout to a single page could do a lot of difference. You can buy one-step checkout extensions or add-ons and integrate them into your store in a short time.

Add more payment options

Offering more ways to pay will reduce cart abandonment and friction during checkout. Apart from credit card payments and other popular checkouts like PayPal, customers are expecting to pay through cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and digital wallets like Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay.

As per Worldpay’s estimation, digital and mobile wallet payments will account for 51.7 percent of online transactions worldwide.

They are easy to use and helps customers rake more loyalty points which can be redeemed for future transactions. It is a win-win situation for both retailers as well as customers.

Product Bundling – ‘Extra Value’ for customers. High AOV for eCommerce stores

Consumers plan to spend $997.73 on gifts, holiday items and other non-gift purchases for themselves and their families this year – National Retail Federation

Focus on increasing ‘average order value’ instead of closing in small deals so that you end up earning more value per customer. You can do so by creating ‘high value’ product bundles by paring related products.

Well, the witty cartoon below sums it up why bundling might work out.

Enrich your PDP with product information

88% of consumer pre-research their buys online before making a purchase either online or in-store – United States Ecommerce Country Report.

Customers do a lot of research before buying. You can win conversions by being a resource for information that customers would love to know. Apart from product reviews, customers look out for options to compare and sometimes look into granular level product details to get a better clarity.

If you provide it, you can beat out competition not by compromising on product cost but for being a wealth of information.

Bank on customer’s intention to buy ‘Smart’

During the holiday season, customers lookout for smart buys which makes them yield for discounted buys promoted with a sense of urgency. Highlight offers that are limited by time or stock numbers to create a sense of urgency for users to react quickly.

Have countdown timer or discount labels on products and also push them as notifications to achieve better conversions. You can A/B test to know which deals are working great for you and change notification timing, CTAs and copy to improve performance.

Personalize all the way till their inbox

Personalization is a great way to stay loyal to your existing customers. Customers expect brands they have already shopped from to connect with them with personalized messages.

Sought to email marketing for personalizing your holiday approach. Leverage data like their preferences, shopping behavior, wishlists and abandoned products to compose personalized email messages that carry offers along recommendations of products to buy.

Get your customers back on track – Dynamic retargeting

Your customers would have already made the list of websites to shop from and for sure you’ll not be the only option. They have the freedom to move around multiple marketplaces and exclusive stores.

It is natural that they come to your website and leave without shopping. In such cases, retargeting is the best way to keep them reminding about your brand or the product they’ve left. While cart abandonment emails can get into their inbox and personally say things you want to convey, retargeting can show up wherever they go.

As per emarketer, 3 out of 5 visitors consider ads showing products they viewed from another page. That’s the likeliness of your dynamic retargeting ads getting clicked.

Ship free or for less

93% of customers prefer free shipping over discounts – Returncustomer.com

Like page loading speed, shipping can make or break conversions as people are likely to abandoned cart due to added or excessive shipping cost.

On the other hand, 60% of shoppers are willing to add more products to their cart to qualify for free shipping. When customers add more products to their cart to avail free shipping, your AOV (Average Order Value) goes up. This will compensate for the free or reduced shipping cost you are providing.

Drive trust using user-generated content on social media

54% of social browsers use social media to research products. 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family.

A social word is as powerful as a product review. Online shoppers do have some liking towards words spread about a product or a brand they wish to buy on social media. Make use of such user-generated content (reviews and ratings) of your products on platforms like Facebook or Instagram and get them to your website.

Showing up product reviews and comments built on social media can build trust and eventually increase the likeliness of buying. You can do this using integration tools like TargetBay, Yotpo.

The way forward

The holiday season 2021 is almost here. If you haven’t started preparing, this is the time to get things done. There are several other factors to consider for improving conversions but these are quick fixes that can have a significant influence on conversions.

Happy selling.