Despite the continued economic problems, consumers are expected
to spend more this year than last. Web-savvy teens are getting their
first credit cards, and are more likely to shop online than their
People are shopping before Thanksgiving and the online shopping
season is expected to have peaked by December 20th, since people
allow time for shipping. More consumers
are predicted to save time by shopping online, utilizing off-hours
or time at work to make their purchases.
To be successful, a commerce website must be visible to the search engines, friendly to their website visitors,
competitive in price and offer secure online commerce.
Know your customer's pain and solve it. Knowing why customers shop online may help you when developing your email, social media and website campaigns.
- Save time by not going to the store
- Avoid holiday crowds
- Can shop when stores are closed
- Might find better Pricing
- Can find products online more easily
- Easier to compare prices online
- Can find products online that are not available in the store
- Can have gifts sent directly to the recipient
Your Company's Website
Now is the time to take a critical look at your website and
internal operations. Ask yourself the following questions, and be
prepared to strengthen your weaknesses.
Can you handle the traffic?
Many websites aren't able to keep up with online shoppers. Web
pages are slow to load, products are hard to find, images are missing,
strange error messages pop up during checkout, the transaction processing
takes longer because more orders are being processed, and some sites
fail to come up at all entirely. The result -- lost sales.
Can you provide the goods?
Make sure your business has the ability to fulfill orders when they
come in. Draw a flow chart documenting the steps of ordering and
fulfillment, including customer service. Is the customer experience
friendly? Gain your customer's loyalty this year, and they will
return next year.
What do online shoppers want?
They want what they want when they want it -- that generally means right now. Consumers become frustrated after having
to click more than six times to complete a purchase, and 83% of
online shoppers surveyed moved to another web site after becoming
frustrated by too many clicks.
What else do they want?
- A site that is easy to navigate so they can find what they
- To trust the information on the site
- Frequently updated websites with
Conclusion: Use this Pre-Season Performance Checklist
|| Fix the basic errors such
as broken images, bad hyperlinks.
||Look at the highest
peak in your website traffic, and then make sure your server has
the capacity to handle at least five times that volume of visitors.
|Put your site on a diet:
|| Can your site
load quicker? Does your developer reuse images (logos, product
photos, etc.) efficiently throughout the site? Can large graphic
elements or bitmapped text be recreated using HTML?
|Accommodate all shoppers:
|| Some people
come to your site ready to buy, others will want to "learn
more". Provide the opportunity to "buy now" as
efficiently as possible in the upper level of your product navigation,
as well as lower in the most detailed product descriptions.
|Know your team:
||Make sure any external
services you are using, such as credit card processors, fulfillment
services, and ISPs can handle the increase traffic. A frustrated
customer doesn't care that it's not your faultthey just
want their order to get to them on time.
Have a very merry and profitable Holiday season! :)