12 Days of ECommerce Christmas: Part 3

Posted by Hannah Gierosky, Michelle Kowalski and Stefanie Rhine

August 21, 2014 | 9:06 AM

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Although the weather outside is anything but frightful, now is the time to prepare your site for a delightful holiday season. As the traditional 12 Days of Christmas carol illustrates, no one can prepare for the holiday rush in a single day. We have covered what drummers, pipers, lords, and ladies can do for your eCommerce site. Today the focus is on maids a milking, swans a swimming, geese a laying, and golden rings. Those may not sound like valuable aspects of your eCommerce site, but read on to see how these tips can make a difference for your business this holiday season. 

8 Maids a Milking 

12-days-ecommerce-8Now that you have your customer’s attention and business, how can you milk the situation to increase your revenue? Up selling and cross selling are great ways to get the customers you already have to get what they want while increasing your revenue.

Up selling is when your customers are shown more expensive, potentially better versions of the product they are viewing. An article from Econsultancy cites a statistic that up selling can drive more than 4% of sales. As the holidays approach and your customers are purchasing for others instead of themselves, up selling can make quite a difference in your sales results. After all, who doesn’t want to give their loved ones a bigger and better gift?

Cross selling, by comparison, is the practice of suggesting additional products that complement the one being viewed by your customer. Whether it’s something as simple as suggesting batteries along with this year’s hottest toy, or more complex, like coordinating accessories for the dress your customer is buying, cross selling is a great way to up the order value of your customer’s purchase. In fact, research from Predictive Intent has shown that suggesting cross sells at checkout can increase sales by 3%.

While these two techniques can be extremely helpful, they are only successful when they are executed in a thoughtful manner. This includes truly personalized and relevant product recommendations, not just pushing the flashiest, most expensive items.

7 Swans a Swimming & 6 Geese a Laying

12-days-ecommerce-7When purchasing merchandise online, it can be tough for customers to know whether the products are a gem or a dud, a swan or a goose, if you will. Updated, descriptive and relevant product descriptions and imagery can make all the difference in helping your customer find the perfect “swan”.

Imagine shopping in a brick and mortar store and finding a beautiful leather handbag, but it’s enclosed in a glass case. You can look at it but not see how many pockets are on the interior or, say, rub your face on it (just me?). That is what online shopping would be without product descriptions and informational pictures.

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So before the holiday rush hits, take a look at your product descriptions and pictures. Are they unique, enticing and, above all, accurate? If not, it’s time for an update because the last thing you want to land this holiday season is a “goose egg”. According to Page Traffic Buzz, your products need not only accurate, but also unique descriptions in order to differentiate from other sites and increase your search engine visibility. Their article also claims that improved content for product descriptions has been associated with a conversion increase of up to 30%.

5 Golden Rings

12-days-ecommerce-5Although accurate and updated product descriptions and pictures are helpful on their own, they work hand in hand with customer reviews to make the sale. Even better than receiving 5 golden rings would be to see 5 star reviews for products on your site. Giving your customers the chance to rate your products can be hugely beneficial for your business during the upcoming holiday season.

Customer generated content is great for your site because it boosts your SEO value. According to Brick Marketing, customer reviews provide more content for search engines, target long tail keywords and increase your click through rate.

While Search Engine Optimization is important, in business it’s all about the bottom line. A study from Econsultancy revealed that 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site with user reviews, and 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. The study also says that, according to Reevoo, customer reviews are associated with an 18% increase in sales.

Up next is the final installment of the 12 Days of ECommerce Christmas. Be sure to check back for our final tips for mastering the holiday rush and find out just what it means to be the partridge in the eCommerce pear tree.

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