Every year, your stakes are at their highest during the holiday season. This year, with the US economy still in recovery, retailers got some encouraging news from Chicago consumer retail research company ShopperTrak: For the 2012 holiday shopping season, retail sales are expected to increase 3.3% from last year, and a good chunk of that increase will come from online retail.
Every retailer wants to maximize the influx of shoppers at this time of year, and those that sell online have more opportunities than ever before to convert website visitors into buyers. Cyber Monday is becoming as much of a tradition as Black Friday. Holiday deals and discounts, such as free shipping and special coupons for program members proved especially attractive to online shoppers last year.
But what else can retailers do to boost sales online? And how do retailers keep these shoppers coming back when the holidays are over?
1. The time to prepare for the holidays is now
Experts agree that if retailers want to be first to capture shoppers' attention, they need to get ready now. Hanukkah falls 11 days earlier this year than it did last, so expect an early start to the season. Also, two extra calendar days fall between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, so retailers need to prepare deals and offers accordingly.
Many online retailers have already put the final touches on their new website code and are rolling out holiday-themed landing pages and deals.
2. Reduce shopper anxiety at every point in the sales process
Though you may pick and choose products, product families, or services to create the right mix of offerings for your target market, the one thing you can't selectively omit is your end-to-end sales cycle support.