Australians spent $28.6 billion on online shopping in 2018. That’s a lot, and what’s more, Statista predicts online businesses are expected to see a further 15 per cent growth in revenue by the end of this year. With December – the peak trading season for many online businesses – upon us, it’s worth considering whether your business is prepared to take full advantage of the big opportunity ahead. From delivering a great customer experience to coping with a spike in new business leads and page visits, here are some tips to help you thrive while the festivities are in full swing.
Maximise site speed
Google research found that over half (53%) of mobile site visitors will leave a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load. So, it’s essential to ensure you have a website equipped to handle the influx of traffic that could come your way this holiday season. Of course, if your website is slow to load at any time of the year, you could lose conversions, but losses could be multiplied over peak seasons. To put this in perspective, Google found that when page loading times increase from one to five seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 90%, compared to 32% when it increases from one to three seconds. A few ways. To help improve your page load times you could, for example: using the optimum – rather than maximum – image size, compressing any files or forms that sit on your site, or even upgrading your hosting provider or package.
Implement an easy check out process
Chances are, many of your customers will be spending a lot of time shopping around this year, so it’s important to offer a simple, intuitive and fast checkout process. Allowing customers to check out as a guest instead of forcing them to register as a new customer is one way to help make those smaller purchases seem much more worthwhile. Meanwhile, giving customers the opportunity to add more items or continue shopping from their shopping cart could be an effective way to capture those last-minute impulse purchases or forgotten items. Similarly, why not consider adding some offerings such as gift wrapping or name tags – after all, this could give your business an edge among busy shoppers.
Make sure your website is protected
Consumers are increasingly prepared to abandon their shopping carts (or any website) when there are security concerns. So, to help give them peace of mind that you’re taking steps to protect their credit card details or personal information, ensure your website is using up-to-date encryption technology to process payments. You can demonstrate that your business is taking those steps by purchasing an SSL certificate for your website. With an SSL certificate such as those offered by GoDaddy, personal information is protected during transmission and a green padlock will appear next to your site’s URL, which is a universal indicator that you’re using added security protections. And there might also be another benefit which could be a boost for the holiday season; having an SSL certificate for your website can help improve your site’s search rankings resulting in your website showing higher up on search results pages.
Ensure the most important information is clear and upfront
Many people find themselves in a last-minute rush to get things done during the holiday season. If they can’t find what they need on your website quickly, they could turn to another business instead. That’s why it’s a good idea to ensure your customers won’t have to go digging around your website to find key information. One possible approach is to create a list of all the details that your customers are likely to be looking for before making a purchase and provide this in a prominent location on your site – such as your homepage. Usually, this information might include product and service information, customer service contact details, pricing and testimonials among others.
What’s more, with research revealing that online shoppers are increasingly looking for speedy deliveries, the holiday season is an important time to ensure your customers are aware of expected delivery times to avoid an influx of disappointments and complaints. Meanwhile, with more consumers turning to alternative buy now, pay later options like Afterpay, putting your payment options upfront helps to make this information clear from the start.
Staying agile is one of the keys to running a growing online business, and the holiday season could also mean you need to be able to adapt particularly quickly. By taking a few steps to be prepared, your business could be ready to maximise the holiday season opportunities, which can hopefully last well into the new year.