Gearing Up For Christmas 2009

By | November 19, 2009

Increase Conversion Using 3rd Party Tools and Social Networking

The holiday shopping season is almost here and unless your site sells beach balls you are probably expecting to see a bump in sales. But how do you make the most of this wave of excited holiday customers? And how do you turn this bump into a mountain of sales?

There are a variety of components that make up a successful ecommerce site. One major pieces of the puzzle is keeping your site’s customers and visitors engaged and excited. Luckily there a lot of great tools that can help. The integration of 3rd party applications will often achieve a faster ROI than building a custom web tool. One of the latest trends today is Software as a Service, or SaaS for short. Below is a compiled list of web tools that will help improve visitors’ on-site user experience and help you, the site owner, better understand how your visitors are interacting with your site.

1. OnSite Chat

Chat in real time with your customers. Help them find what they need before they decide to leave. A great way to improve customer relationships and lower your bounce rate.

  • Provide better customer service by directly connecting to your customers.
  • Add a chat icon to your site’s home page or header for easy communication with your customers.
  • Improve conversion by walking customers through the selection and checkout process.

LivePerson Chat on ECommerce Partners Website
LivePerson Chat on ECommerce Partners Website

2. Google Optimizer

Find out which version of your site or newsletter works the best! Website Optimizer makes testing and optimizing your sites content and design easy. This tool will quickly increase conversion and improve your site’s message.

  • Maximize conversion based on user behavior
  • Compare different layouts side by side and use multivariate testing to tweak your webpage design
  • Increase visitor satisfaction.

3. Heat Density Mapping

Track which areas of the page visitors focus on: which buttons they hover over, what text and images they click through, etc. Some tools that can be integrated include Click Density and Crazy Egg. Notice the red dots in the image below. Using this heat density tool it became clear that we needed to make the main banner on the site fully clickable, particularly the lower right hand corner. It also shows that the About Us page needs to be further developed as it’s an area that many site visitors are looking at. This alone should increase conversions substantially.

Heat map for Laser Hair Removal website
Heat map for Laser Hair Removal website

4. Social Networking

Social networking is the buzz word of the day. Take a look at these three sites and see how social networking is changing e-commerce.

  • Ning – Create your own social network or see what others are saying.
  • GetSatisfaction – Build a community that can be accessed from any page on your site.
  • Just Bought it – Log in and let everyone know what you’ve just purchased. Be a trend setter!
  • Sidewiki – Google is letting people comment on your web site. Do you know who is commenting on your site?

Three Fun Facts About Holiday Shopping

  1. 1 out of 3 men wait until Christmas Eve to do their Christmas shopping! Try to make your final ship date before Christmas as late as possible.
  2. Younger women are nearly twice as likely as their Gen X counterparts to say they had discovered a new brand or product when a friend mentioned it in an online status update. Does your business have a Facebook account?
  3. In 2008, the average e-commerce conversion rate on Black Friday increased by 147% when compared to an average day in November.

Holiday Cheer

Interactive games, cards and animations are a great way to build your brand through viral marketing. Take a look at what Lowe’s did with their viral elf-tacular tree builder.

Elftacular Tree Builder by Lowe's
Elftacular Tree Builder by Lowe’s

Christmas season starts on Black Friday – November 27, 2009. There’s still time to implement a few simple features to maximize conversion on your website. Moving forward, now is the time to prepare for the 2010 holiday rush, when the economy is expected to pick up.

For help with integrating SaaS technology with your website, Contact ECommerce Partners for a consultation and price quote at 1-866-431-6669 or email dennis[at]ecommercepartners.net.

One thought on “Gearing Up For Christmas 2009

  1. ecommerce website

    I agree that the holiday season is the perfect time for online stores to increase conversions. You just need to make your site stand out from the others. Think of cool promotions and def make use of Facebook and cool viral clips and games.

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