Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

‘Tis the Season to Be Social

September 30, 2009

Two months till black Friday, three months till Christmas morning, that time of year when shoppers are in the giving spirit, throwing caution to the wind, and pushing their credit card limits to the max…or at least that is the goal.   And they certainly do not like going at it alone.

This Christmas is about Social Shopping. The e-tail world has been introduced to a new level of social interaction amongst customers. The wind blowing from social nets is hitting online stores, calling for online retailers to incorporate a social dimension to their online search!  Trust us, we’re not making this stuff up.

The results are in.  An E-tailing Group study reveals that 67% of online shoppers buy more when friends give a nod.  Customers enjoy getting approval on their purchases and knowing what’s popular.  A shopper searching today doesn’t want yesterday’s style—she wants what’s hot right now. With Social Shopping technology, you can help out your customers figure out what to buy and help out your business by knowing what to stock.  Even Santa needs a little help every now and then… Some tools that were introduced this year help retailers do just that – make shopping a social experience:

  • Social Search Cloud provides customers with a cloud of popular searches, products, and brands of choice, revealing the community taste  immediately as you enter the online store.
  • Social Sort, gives customers the ability to arrange search results by social feedback, including top sellers, ratings, reviews, popularity, and more.
  • Share with Friends permits customers to refer products they find to their friends via e-mail and social networks. Shoppers sitting miles away can now shop together and exchange impressions at the click of a mouse.

Customers no longer feel they are shopping alone and gain confidence with their product choices, making that extra click to the checkout page. 

On the retailer side, advanced reporting lets the retailer get a head start on analyzing product popularity and identifying trend leaders, essentially  reading shopper vibes and voicing shopper buzz as it forms!

Of course, it goes without saying, none of the optimum online search essentials should be left behind.  As we noted in a previous blog of ours last year (155 Sleeps Away – Get Ready to Sell) there is a list of basic action items that an etailer should consider in the months leading to the Christmas season.  Just to jog your memory a bit, some of the mentioned items in the link above include sprucing up your UI, adding an auto complete solution to your search box,  suggesting cross-sell items based on your customers’ product choices, and adding more refinement options to further zero in your customers on the products they seek.  If your customers can’t find the products you are stocking, they cannot purchase them.

Lastly, it is important to remember, as mentioned in Latitude blog, that the success of online Christmas shopping will impact shoppers activity and likeliness to come back to your site.  So if you follow the checklist above and let Santa be social, you are in for a good new year of repeat business 🙂


155 Sleeps Away – Get Ready to Sell

July 22, 2008

According to Santa’s Official Clock, we are more than halfway there – to Christmas, that is. Now if you’re nine years old and see “155 sleeps away,” that probably seems like an awfully long time.

But as a retailer, you know that 155 days, or approximately five months, is almost no time at all.

Not just because time flies, but because there is SO much to do to make sure your online store is ready for the holiday rush. And in a recession year, or as the optimists call it, a weakened economy, every sale counts more than ever.

Of course there’s inventory to order, sales to estimate, and special promotions to devise. Those are the basics, year in, year out. And if you haven’t yet started, then here is your gentle reminder. Today is the day to begin.

On top of the basics, give your online business a boost this year by maximizing your sales. To do so you will need to focus on either improving, or acquiring revenue optimizing tools.

First off, make sure your site is operating at full capacity. Check and double check all existing tools. Is your UI clear, easy (i.e. intuitive) to navigate? Do you have a search box? If so, is it clearly visible to shoppers?

It’s important to remember, your shoppers cannot buy what they cannot find. Make it as simple as possible for site visitors to find what they are looking for, in as few steps as possible.

Are you making the most of every sale? Do you offer shoppers additional recommended products along the way? A good cross-sell solution is a must for all online retailers. Once your shoppers have committed to spend, it’s easier to add on other items.

Christmas is THE shopping holiday. So don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

For a free site evaluation, to determine your site’s preparedness for the holiday season, click here.

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