As shopping centre security guards around the world fill their thermos flasks full of stronger coffee and prepare for the mad rushes of Black Friday (28 November, this year), savvy e-commerce businesses will already have a plan in place to take advantage of Sofa Sunday and Cyber Monday.
Whilst for some people, every Sunday is a sofa Sunday – eating crisps in their boxer shorts and watching X Factor – the official, capitalised Sofa Sunday is expected to be the year’s biggest online shopping day. With enough time for delivery in time for festive period, Sofa Sunday has become the day for millions of Britons to complete (in some cases, start) their Christmas shopping.
And the fun doesn’t end there, with the following day being dubbed Cyber Monday due to the incredible online sales offered by e-retailers.
So make sure your e-commerce website is fit to receive with our last minute Sofa Sunday and Cyber Monday Checklist.
Attractive Meta Information
If your customers have found you and your products through a search engine, the only indication of suitability they may have is the Meta title and description provided. Ensure the Meta information is clear, concise and accurate to give the customer a clear indication of what to expect by clicking through.
Generic Meta information may not attract customers who have been offered five competing businesses in one search engine result – so make sure product page Meta information is product-specific.
Shopping for Christmas presents can be incredibly stressful, so you may be granted an even smaller window of opportunity to impress potential customers. The Meta information is your welcome mat, and you need to make it as welcoming and inviting as possible.
Optimised Landing Pages
The browsing activity of online shoppers is becoming increasingly streamlined, to the point where many won’t waste time searching for the correct page if not immediately directed there. Make sure any organic or paid-for search engine conversions direct customers to their preferred page with all the information they require.
Product-specific searches should direct customers directly to the product they are looking for to help retain their attention and prise the cash from their hands.
Where appropriate, offer optimised but unobtrusive ‘You May Also Like’ links to other products on the landing page to derive extra value from a visit.
Simple Customer Journey
Online retailers risk irritating and deterring customers if the purchase process and customer journey has too many steps. Make the customer journey as simple and quick as possible without compromising safety to help keep them interested and retain their custom.
Customers with slow internet connections will be particularly grateful for a simple, intuitive customer journey.
Up-To-Date Stock Lists
Products labelled ‘Sold Out’ or ‘Coming Soon’ will only serve to frustrate busy customers looking to complete their Christmas shopping in one fell swoop without being inundated with information about your limitations as a retailer. Sold out products can be hidden in the CMS until they come back into stock.
This means the lines of communication between the website management team and the stock room have to be optimised and up-to-date to ensure no out-of-stock products are listed as available. A frustrated customer may see your entire store as unreliable and take their business elsewhere.
Correct Pricing and Delivery Information
‘Excl. VAT’ and ‘+ Delivery’ are just two pricing phrases which will immediately deter certain Christmas shoppers. Often working with a budget they have to juggle a myriad of different presents for family and friends – shoppers want a clear, concise price.
This is essential throughout landing pages, product pages and even in Meta data. Attention-grabbing low prices in Meta data leading to pages with a higher product page will immediately frustrate and irritate customers. Be honest, clear and accurate with your pricing and you might just win the fair hearts of your customers.
For reasons twofold it is important to include crisp images: clarity and trust.
Many Christmas shoppers won’t be experts on the presents they are buying for friends or family members with completely different tastes, so they’ll need additional clues that what they’re buying is in fact the correct thing. This is particularly pertinent for products such as clothing or fashion items which rely heavily on aesthetic appeal. Your daughter is not going to be happy if her new iPhone has incorrect fruit branding.
Furthermore, customers are less likely to trust a website which looks like the photography has been provided by a Nokia 5800. Crisp images exude professionalism and can inspire trust.
Plan for Next Year
If you’re scurrying around in a panic for last minute tips this year, it may be preferable to immediately plan for next year’s Sofa Sunday and Cyber Monday. Like doing your Christmas shopping in the January Sales, early planning and implementation can help take the stress out of optimisation and ensure your site is in pole position to generate sales.
For more information about how to optimise your e-commerce site, contact the Banc Media team on 0845 459 0558.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: are you my rik, Devensters