Evidence from 2015 suggests that record-breaking numbers of holiday shoppers will make their 2016 purchases online. (Click here to Master 2015 Holiday Trends to Clinch 2016 Holiday Sales.)
Trends show a steady shift from the majority of online purchases being made from a desktop to more purchases being made on mobile devices. While computers still brought the highest average transaction size at $114 (over $89 for tablet and $70 for smartphone), for six of the days leading up to Christmas last year, traffic from smartphones surpassed that of desktops.
Savvy online retailers are preparing to harness the “runaway power of mobile” (NRF) to close more sales than ever during the holiday 2016 buying season.
Here are four strategies to optimize the mobile experience and drive higher sales this holiday and beyond.
Drive Conversions with Interactive Content
Four times as many consumers would now rather watch a video about a product than read about it (NRF). Further, one in four consumers will lose interest in a company if it doesn’t have video. This is great news for retailers who want to capitalize on the rise of mobile for holiday shoppers. Since mobile users are turned off by lengthy text, videos create a clean and attractive design that enhances the user experience. Videos and other interactive content, such as blogs and reviews, can be embedded right into the search results to increase the likelihood that busy holiday shoppers will convert.
Create a Personalized Search and Navigation Experience
Personalization is the next big thing. Customers are increasingly coming to expect a personalized online shopping experience. Nowhere is personalization more important than mobile sites. With long lists of family and friends to buy for and limited time to do it, mobile shoppers this season will want relevant products served up fast, which is a challenge for retailers, given the limited real estate of small screens.
Mobile search and navigation results will win higher conversions when they are automatically fine-tuned on critical facets personal to each shopper, such as gender or size. (See how SLI Systems is personalizing the entire shopping experience.)
Help Searchers Find Your Site
While mobile has yet to surpass desktop for actual purchases, the majority of search is now mobile. Fifty-six percent of searches that resulted in a click to a top retail site during November and December 2015 were conducted on either a smartphone or tablet (NRF).
Mobile users, even more than desktop users, are unlikely to scroll through the first couple of results. While you may not be able to compete with Amazon or other giant online retailers’ rankings for the most commonly used search terms, you can win by capturing long-tail search terms from your shoppers and using them to create dedicated landing pages that are crawlable by search engines. Then, when searchers type those long-tail terms into Google, your landing page will pop right up where mobile shoppers are likely to click.
Use Creative Omnichannel Strategies:
The retail store is not dead. It remains a mecca of holiday spending. Innovative retailers are using the capabilities of mobile to enhance the in-store experience, and vice versa.
To be successful, go beyond what shoppers expect (such as seeing in-store availability for products they see online) and delight them with the unexpected. Offer Wi-Fi during the holidays to make it easier for shoppers to make comparisons and read ratings and reviews on their smartphones. Allow mobile shoppers to set up in-store appointments for services (great for busy holiday shoppers). Or take it another leap forward to create a virtual shopping experience as described in the Forbes article: Virtual Reality Coming Soon to a Clothing Store Near You.
Harnessing the power of mobile for higher holiday sales is all about tailoring the entire shopping experience, from search to purchase, to the wishes of your shoppers. After all, happy holiday shoppers purchase more, and that will make your days merry and bright!