The fourth quarter is the most important part of the year for most ecommerce companies. Not surprisingly, they will move the earth to improve sales performance. We have reviewed different use cases we did with our clients around the world throughout this year and chose five things that will ensure that yours is indeed a Merry Christmas.
Use fear of missing out to your advantage
One of the worst things that can happen to someone shopping for Christmas is that after days and weeks of searching for the perfect gift, it is no longer in stock. Knowing that the product is being purchased by many others may significantly speed up her decision making process. If used well, a small banner showing how many people have recently bought the product or how many are looking at it right now can increase your conversions by up to 10%.
Avoid information overload
There is only so much information you can communicate to customers on one webpage. Many promotions fail because customers pay little attention to them. There are two ways to manage this risk. In the first approach, make sure that your website design is perfectly readable and that the page is not information-heavy. We once increased the conversion rate for a leading travel booking portal by 5% just by redesigning the buttons on their check-out page. The second, easier and much more efficient, approach is to emphasize a crucial piece of information with a pop-up banner. When a client created a banner announcing free delivery for purchases over €50, conversion jumped up by 23%, although the same information had already been shown at three different places on the website! Similar case happened with a major shoe online store, which saw 58% conversion rate increase after it emphasized free delivery.
Customers, want to be done with shopping as soon as possible. Therefore, they do not want to spend a lot of time browsing through your website, looking for goods. You can get much higher conversion rates if you streamline their journey. For example, one of our telco clients did this through real-time website personalization. Customers saw different content based on their segment. Once the initial barrier of product search was removed, conversions on the website increased by over 100% in general, and by over 500% for the target segment. Personalization is even more important in product newsletters. All our customers who have implemented newsletter personalization have seen substantial increase in click-through rates and subsequent conversions, so if you haven’t, we highly recommend that you start now. It is true, that in the Christmas season customers look for presents for others, yet there is still a great number of people buying seasonal goods for themselves.
We all love great selection in theory but it is often hard for us to choose what we actually like, want or need. If you can make the decision process easier for your customers, they are more likely to actually finish the purchase. The recommendation feature is among the most powerful tools ready to help you. Working for a Dutch client of ours, we reached over 47% conversion increase and 35% increase in revenue, compared to the standard layout, by implementing a recommendation bar. One might be tempted to think that anything marked as a recommendation would perform better, but that would be a gross oversimplification. Specifically, only recommendations based on machine learning consistently outperform non-labeled items. For example, we achieved a 50% higher click-through rate on articles with a media client of ours thanks to machine-based recommendations compared to their editor picks.
Test and iterate to understand specifics
There is an exception to every rule, and what works for everyone may not work for you. You oftentimes need to run tests and make several iterations before seeing results. The largest e-commerce company in an EU country we have been working with recently is a good example. They used Exponea’s pop up banners to incite fear of missing out, but for some reason they were not able to get good results. When our consultants took a closer look, they established that our client’s customers were insensitive to this type of message in certain product categories. So, while there was no improvement in the case of books and watches, we managed to increase conversions in perfumes by 6.5%. This client is currently running over 150 different banners on their website, testing which banners work for which product category, and adjusting messages to optimize the result. As Milton Friedman once said, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and if you want to get the best performance, you will need to spend some time discovering what works.
If you want to know which use case would be best in your particular situation, then get in touch with our consultants. They will be happy to give you a free website audit and offer a few tips.