Two Ecommerce Trends to Watch this Holiday Season

It’s about this time of year that e-commerce retailers email me asking how to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. For many retailers, holiday seasonality is critical. If you’re an online retailer, getting your conversion funnels optimized early and strategically will determine whether your year ends on a high note or a flat one.

Here are two trends that will affect online shopping as we enter the shopping season: Fast Delivery and Mobile Shopping.

Trend #1: Fast Delivery: Immediate Gratification with Same-Day Delivery

Retailers are using the strength of hyper-local product sourcing in the ongoing battle against Amazon. eBay recently announced that it is partnering with major retailers to offer same-day delivery for the holiday season. By sourcing products from local brick & mortar retailers, eBay aims to get delivery times down to within an hour in some locations.

Partners in eBay’s program include Best Buy, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Walgreen’s with the intention of achieving online shopping’s holy grail – instant gratification.

Trend #2: Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

Mobile will continue to grow in importance but not just with straight-forward mobile purchasing behavior.
Yes, some shoppers will complete their purchases on their phones and tablets. As a precursor to Christmas, we’ve just witnessed the annual back-to-school shopping season where 20% of Moms said they used their smartphones for online shopping, according IAB’s Mobile Moms Survey last month.

Even more interesting will be the increase in “Showrooming”, or comparison-shopping online from within stores. 25% of adult cell phone owners used their devices to look up the price of a product online while they were in a store shopping during last Christmas’ shopping season according to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project report released earlier this year. After another year of smart phone and tablet market saturation, prepare to see more of this behavior this year.

Mobile proliferation also contributes to sequential multi-screen shopping. As Google recently reported, most multi-screen shoppers start browsing on their mobile phone but complete the purchase later on their PC, usually within the same day.

How Do These Trends Affect Conversion for E-Commerce (Businesses/Revenue)?

With just a few weeks left before holiday shopping gets into gear, retailers need to focus on making improvements for conversions both on their PC and mobile websites.

For example, you should try to influence positive conversion increases:

A. Implementing Site-Wide Improvements via Template Tests:

Focus on value proposition, merchandising the product breadth on home and category pages, and clarifying product info and calls-to-action on the product detail pages.

Test individual custom mobile experiences with calls to action and messages that are appropriate for segments.

B. Test Variations of Promotions and Campaigns for Conversion Efficacy:

Very few retailers test their offers and campaigns. While a lot of effort is put into planning an engaging offer and driving interest, there’s not as much focus on an iterative offer or promotion optimization campaign.

While having a “killer” holiday promotion is great, having variations of a promotion will allow you gauge which promotions work and which don’t. Furthermore, the insights you gain from testing will allow you adjust and make informed decisions for future promotions.

If you want ideas for how to improve your key templates, WiderFunnel has a Conversion Analysis service where our strategists do a LIFT Analysis of your page and give recommended hypotheses to test and improve before the holidays. Contact Us to learn more.

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