Conversion Wednesday – Preparing for the Golden Quarter

By Dan G


Welcome to Your Daily Concept, Get Smarter Everyday.

Welcome to another installment of our Conversion Wednesday Series.

Our topic today is “Golden Tips: Preparing for the Golden Quarter”

I’ll be your host today, my name is Dan G.

Its that time of year again! The Golden Quarter is upon us. Have you prepared your Holiday Strategy yet? Lets start with these two questions:

  1. When is your Holiday Season?
    And no, I don’t mean do you celebrate Chanukah or Christmas!! I mean, when is the rush on your store? What were the days last year and years long past that you saw a bump in sales due to the holiday rush? Look into your analytics to find out the exact dates. Yours may be different than the traditional November-December dates.
    If you sold jewelry parts online, your season might start in September because the stores you sell to, usually begin building their inventory to resell to their customers in November and December.
  2. What are your Shipping Cut-off Dates?
    This is also important. You need to calculate all of your Shipping Cut-off Dates so you can highlight (or have a shipping page that) details clear ordering cut-off dates for each of your shipping methods before each of the major holiday days. You might also want to indicate any products that require special shipping considerations. And remember, if your holiday season isn’t in the traditional November-December dates then don’t forget to articulate those cut-off dates in that non-traditional season as well.

Use your analytics research and back-up both of your answers to these questions.

Now that you know your actual Holiday Season Dates and Shipping Cut-off Dates lets get down to the Golden Tips. What other changes could you make to your site to maximize your holiday season conversions?:

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  1. Add Holiday Themed décor to your site or Create Holiday Landing Pages
    • try using a theme that doesn’t blend in with the most prominent parts of your site (like add-to-cart & search buttons, you want those areas to still stand out). What you might try is a winter theme with blue, white, and silver as your color scheme so that your red ‘buy now’ buttons don’t get lost in the sea of red and green.
    • Display your most popular seasonal products in these themed areas to make finding these hot-ticket items that much easier.
    • Be sure to include links to those gift categories to provide your shoppers with more ideas and more information, if they want it. You don’t want to leave them in the dark if they want to know what the actual dimensions of a product is, etc…
    • Assure your visitors that their gift(s) will be delivered before the holiday (if that’s a promise you can keep, this goes back to those calculations you made for shipping cut-off dates).
  2. Make It Easier to Purchase (cutout any unnecessary steps)
    • Holiday shoppers in 2010 will expect a richer, easier shopping experience than ever. That includes rich content such as video, detailed product information, and better site search and navigation, whether on a computer, a phone or even an iPad. Make it easy to take a minimal amount of key information to enable a purchase. Consumers will have less patience than ever for text-heavy pages or a difficult-to-navigate purchase path.
    • Remember that less can be more. Put the key information upfront, and simplify or remove anything that doesn’t help a customer buy. Focus on making the purchase as easy as possible, whether the shopper is on a product page, a category page, or in checkout
  3. Add some holiday coupons to your campaigns
    • nclude a special holiday offer that you don’t display elsewhere. Free expedited shipping and free bonus gifts are always good for the holidays. Percent-off discounts may not be the best option if you have already discounted your products to be competitive.
  4. Identify the Gift’s Recipient (to personalize their shopping experience)
    • Nothing beats the glow of finding the perfect gift within a budget range. Identify the recipient who will love the gift–her surroundings, needs, or anything else relevant. Whether it’s ‘keep your dog cozy-warm with the doggie-coat’ or ‘any professional chef will be ecstatic to receive this pan set,’ the value proposition that extends to the giver has never been more important.
    • Maybe in videos, show the product in use by the recipient envisioned in the copy, with real-world audio. Skip the talking head or voiceover. Product videos are often over-scripted and too long. Minimal words or sounds are the best accompaniment.
    • Leave the shopper honestly curious to see the gift in use, if you can. As always, share drama, mystery, suspense, and comedy – it’s the holidays and we’re celebrating life.
  5. Make Your Shipping Commitment Clear and Ever-Present
    • Reliable delivery of holiday gifts is a key consideration for many holiday shoppers. Your website needs to have a clear holiday shipping policy that is easily accessible throughout your site. Shoppers should not have to get all the way to the payment page to find out how quickly you can deliver their holiday gifts. Add a link to the shipping page near the add-to-cart area of your product pages to help customers feel confident about when their purchases will be received.

On top of all of these, just try and make your site as seasonally inviting and stream-lined as possible. The less distractive and inviting you can be, the better your site will convert.

So how does your site’s holiday strategy measure-up? Have you found some things you might what to revamp? Or did you pickup a couple new ideas that you’d like to try out? Lets Recap:

  1. Use your analytics from season’s past to figure out exactly what your site’s holiday season looks like date wise. Then from that, calculate all of your shipping-cut-off dates for that season for each of your shipping methods.
  2. Add some holiday décor to your site and/or Create Holiday Landing Pages emphasizing your best-selling holiday products.
  3. Make It Easier to Purchase and cutout unnecessary steps in your navigation and checkout process. If there are optional fields that you don’t necessarily need, now is the time to hide or get rid of them.
  4. Add some holiday coupons, exclusive to your holiday campaigns to get the edge on your competition and close that sale.
  5. Identify the Gift’s Recipient, to try and personalize the shopping experience for your visitors. If you can help them imagine “grandma wearing those ultra-comfortable slippers” you’ll have yet another edge on those competitors that just list their products like a buffet line.
  6. Make Your Shipping Commitment Clear and Ever-Present. This could be the biggest, especially in the wee hours of the nite for those last-minute shoppers. I you can make this messaging clear and prominent, and follow through with your shipping commitments, not only will you win the sale this year, but you’ll win them back the next time their shopping in your

And if you don’t have the time or effort to put into a full-blown Holiday Strategy Campaign, let us do it for you! We can test all of these ideas without making all of those pesky changes on your live site. We can design & test these holiday messaging strategies for you, procure and analyze their overall effect, and then present you with the winning holiday strategies for your site.

We call this Exclusive Concept full-service testing option “Conversion Booster”. We do the work for you by gathering your analytics and determining the best seasonal changes for your site to maximize conversion rate. Then, we test those changes in an AB or Multivariate test and present you with the winning combination! Its that simple. Give us a call at 1-800-504-4324 if you’re interested in learning more.

We would be honored to perform a free Seasonal conversion audit on your qualified website today.