The holiday season is finally coming to a close and so far it’s been good news for e-commerce. There are also tips for showing customer appreciation, ways to compete with the big boys, Amazon and Ebay, how to make sure your home or landing page sends the right message, and more.
Holiday Spending Up 13% From Last Year
Good news for ecommerce sites! The most recent week of the holiday shopping season brought in a record setting $7 billion in sales. That’s an increase of 13% from last year. So far online holiday shopping has brought in a total of $35 billion. It looks like despite the still shaky economy, people loading up on holiday cheer this year and spending freely. Now that the season is near it’s end, etailers are offering deep discounts and free shipping, giving the final week of the shopping season a good chance of being equally successful.
Google’s Disavow Tool Works!
Is your site suffering from a manual link penalty? According to SEO Roundtable, Googel’s Disavow tool actually works and removes the penalty. The results are seen immediately for a manual penalty but won’t appear for a Penguin penalty until the next data refresh. This is good news but remember, it won’t restore your page rank. If you’ve been penalized for bad links, you’ll have to rebuild your rank and gather good ones, something that will take time but will help your SEO. There are no shortcuts there.
What Does Your Homepage Say About Your Company?
Search Engine Land has a great article all about the message your homepage or landing site sends about your company. Is it easy to navigate? Pleasing to the eye? Is your message cohesive? If your site is cluttered with multiple offers/sales, uses lots of exclamation marks, or makes visitors work hard to find what they are looking for, you’re sending the wrong message. Highlight just one thing on your page, free shipping for example, or a discount code, make it easy to navigate, and use overlays, roll outs and pop ups very sparingly. Offer a web based service? Get your visitors started right away, and don’t use asterisks to denote fine print, which can be misleading and gives a negative message. By doing these things it will have a positive effect on user experience.
Remember to Say Thank You!
Practical Ecommerce has an important reminder. This time of year people’s inboxes are flooded with marketing emails and ads, and many times potential customers get overloaded and turn away instead. Every sale is important, no matter how small and that’s why you should send a thank you to you customers. Send a beautifully designed email thanking them for their business and loyalty. Keep it simple and don’t try and market anything. Simply say, “Thanks!”
Yes, You Can Compete with Ebay and Amazon
It may seem impossible but yes, there are ways to play on the same field as the big boys. Forbes offers some simple advice, the most important being, meet demand. Be prepared for high traffic and makes sure your servers can handle the load. One thing companies do repeatedly is offer a special promotion or discount on Facebook only to have their site crash from the load almost immediately. This results in angry, frustrated customers who feel like their time was wasted and they were misled. Another piece of advice is to make sure your website usability is in tip top shape. It should load fast, and your shopping cart should work perfectly at all times.