While known for many things, 2020 is a year that is packed with uncertainty. Consumer behaviour has shifted towards finding safer ways to shop. Search queries for curbside pickup, local businesses, and online shopping are on the rise as consumers look for COVID-friendly ways to shop this holiday season.
It isn’t new information that the average shopping journey begins online. The average consumer will research a brand’s social and online presence before visiting their brick-and-mortar location. This year, 75% of U.S. shoppers indicated that they plan to shop online this holiday season as well as browse online stores for gift ideas rather than in-store.
This digital shift for holiday shopping leads to the question, is your website holiday-ready? Creating a strong digital strategy is not always easy, but with these pointers, you can get started in the right direction.
Establish your online presence
Your business needs to be where your customers are, and that’s online. Having a website is a fantastic way to showcase your products and services, tell your brand story, and provide your users with the relevant content that they are searching for. You want to ensure that when users visit your website that you are offering them the best experience possible.
Many factors go into developing a great website. Whether you already have a website, or you’re just getting started, here are some questions you should ask yourself:
- Are you updating your website regularly with new and interesting content?
- Does your website allow visitors to make a purchase online?
- Does your website prominently display promotional offers?
- Is your website optimized for a positive user experience?
- Does your website pass the blink-test?
- Does your website offer users valuable information about your product(s) and service(s)?
- Is your message consistent across your online channels?
- Are you promoting your website on your social media outlets?
Establishing your online presence simply means creating a space for your business online that provides users with access to your business. Remember, your online presence is often how you will make a first impression on potential customers, so you want to be communicating the right message.
Get ready for the holidays
With consumer behaviour shifting towards COVID-friendly shopping, you need to make sure that your business and website is holiday-ready. Do you have a digital strategy set in place for the holidays? We know that consumers will be prepared to shop online this holiday season. Does your digital strategy reflect this trend? Here are some points to consider:
- Is your business offering curbside pickup? Is the answer to this available online?
- Is your business prepared for a potential lockdown? Are your products and services available online?
- Is your website speed optimized?
Prioritize digital customer support
With more users likely visiting your website this holiday season, you want to ensure they have everything they need available on your website. The last thing you want is for a user to come to your site with questions but have no way to reach you in a fast manner. There are many ways that you can prioritize digital customer support, including:
- Having an easily locatable Contact page
- Displaying the easiest and fastest way for a customer to receive a response from your team
- Incorporating a chatbot on your website
- Having an FAQ page
- Providing all the relevant information your customer needs to know about the product and service, such as shipping information, product specs, and the process of your service
Are there other ways that you can prioritize your customer experience on your website? One of the best ways to make a user experience better is to ask a friend or someone unfamiliar with your website to go through the process of purchasing a product. During this process, it’s a good practice to ask them to identify any areas where they felt confused, stuck, or had an experience that was not smooth. This is a great starting point to figure out where and how you can provide more areas of support on your website.
Enhance user experience
Did you know that approximately 50% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices? Most websites are built using a desktop computer, and it’s sometimes easy to forget that your website is interacted with on other devices and screens. Having a website that is responsive no matter the screen size is crucial to ensuring a positive user experience.
When making changes to your website, it’s good practice to check how it translates on different screen sizes and devices. You can easily check if your website is mobile-friendly by using free online tools such as Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
It’s no surprise that the circumstances of this year have drastically impacted the economy. With tighter budgets, consumers are shopping earlier and looking for more affordable deals. A good way to attract users and provide an incentive for them to shop at your business is by offering relevant deals and incentives. Do your customers get a discount if they shop within a certain time frame? Do they earn loyalty rewards for purchasing your product or service? Let your customers know that you value their business by offering relevant incentives this holiday season. Be sure to share this information about how you are supporting them in places on your website where they will see it and click for more information.
Take your business to the next level
Are you interested in elevating your online presence? At AlphaKOR, our Digital Marketing team will work with you to develop a strategy that is right for you and your business. Visit our Website Design page to get started with a beautifully designed, responsive website.
For more tips on prioritizing your retail website, check out this article by Kevin Fried.