It's critical that retailers optimize their sites during the holiday season -- even as IT 'locks down' the shop to prepare for business
BOSTON (PRWEB) September 30, 2008
According to comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), the 2007 online holiday shopping season surpassed $29 billion in sales, up 19 percent from 2006. The holiday shopping season is when most online retailers experience substantial revenue for the year; some estimates put 30 to 40 percent of total annual sales coming from the fourth quarter.
Successful marketers realize that targeting users with relevant content, and then non-intrusively testing content for effectiveness, are critical components to increasing conversion rates during the holiday season. These techniques are even more important as consumers hold more tightly to their wallets during tough economic times.
In support of online marketers worldwide, SiteSpect has released its top three tips to prepare retailers for success during the holiday shopping season in 2008:
1. Increase relevance through targeted landing pages
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 43 percent of Internet users have been frustrated by the information they encounter while using the Internet to buy goods or services. To avoid frustrating customers, online marketers should use targeting to link search engine and email campaign traffic to relevant pages based on keywords and promotions. For example, personalizing site content to match visitor intent (as articulated through PPC or organic search keywords) is one of the most effective ways to increase relevancy and improve the shopping experience.
2. Test and fine-tune promotions and offers
Marketers who run promotions during the competitive holiday season would be surprised to learn that campaigns sometimes work for certain visitor segments, but are ineffective for others, or worse, can even hinder conversion. Make sure to test multiple versions of promotions, such as free shipping, on a segment-by-segment basis to determine precisely which versions convert best for each type of visitor.
3. Welcome, comfort, and reassure your visitors
To persuade new visitors to become customers, focus on clear, helpful messaging that describes shipping, return, and privacy policies. Wherever possible, let visitors know how much shipping charges will be without forcing them to wade through the entire checkout process. And make sure to highlight any credibility elements, such as HackerSafe and BBB icons. Run multivariate tests to zero-in on the best combination of these elements that reassures visitors and maximizes conversion rates.
"It's critical that retailers optimize their sites during the holiday season -- even as IT 'locks down' the shop to prepare for business," says Eric J. Hansen, President of SiteSpect, Inc. "Savvy marketers know that optimizations performed outside of the holiday season usually need revalidation because they were done for different audiences under different contexts."
Hansen continued, "The high concentration of shoppers, including many who may only purchase online during the holiday season, offers a rich opportunity for marketers to make improvements at a time when purchase intent is at its highest."
About SiteSpect, Inc.
SiteSpect enables web marketers to optimize website and mobile web effectiveness through multivariate testing and behavioral targeting. By testing variations of landing pages, product descriptions, search results, and buy-flows, SiteSpect allows marketers to fine-tune every aspect of their website on a segment-by-segment basis. As the first and only non-intrusive solution available, SiteSpect empowers marketers to optimize their sites without the need for ongoing IT involvement. SiteSpect's patent-pending technology is used by some of the world's largest and most successful online businesses, including Cabela's, iProspect, Overstock.com, ShopNBC, and VEGAS.com. For more information, visit http://www.SiteSpect.com or call 617-859-1900.
Note to Editors: SiteSpect is a registered trademark of SiteSpect, Inc. All other product names, service marks, and trademarks mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective owners.