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How the Customer Journey Differs for Holiday E-Commerce Shoppers

by Ariel Carron  |  
December 5, 2014

The holiday season focuses on buying and gift giving for family and friends rather than the off-season norm of buying practical items for oneself. So, if you're in retail, the holidays mean you're headed towards the black, and that's something to be joyous about.

According to last year's MarketingProfs data, 92% of holiday shoppers will go online to either research gifts or make a purchase.

How Can Marketers Appeal to the 92%?

The average percent of users who abandoned during Q3 in retail was 75%. Since the holiday season is when companies head back to the black, it would be safe to assume that abandonment rates will stay the same or grow higher if nothing is done to lower them. Companies that engage customers get them to buy 40% more often. You've seen the typical customer journey of a holiday shopper—the solutions are there if you choose to implement them.

What Makes the Holiday Online Shopper Different

Typically, holiday shoppers are looking for gifts for other people—Grandma, Grandpa, Great-Aunt Louise, and her eight children, etc. The point is that holiday shoppers visit sites that aren't necessarily for them. For example, my boyfriend does not go to to buy me makeup, and I don't go to to buy him Doctor Who bookends—only on special occasions and during the holidays.

We know when customers are shopping, but how they are shopping is the difference.

What to Remember About Holiday Shoppers

  • Customers have a higher sense of urgency.
  • They are searching for the best deal.
  • They want fast and free shipping.
  • They need to know you can deliver.
  • It's your job to know what their journey looks like and how to engage.

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Ariel Carron is content manager for Ve Interactive, a Boston-based e-commerce conversion company.

LinkedIn: Ariel Carron

Twitter: @ArielCarron

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  • by Janice Hostager Sat Dec 6, 2014 via web

    Great observations, Ariel. You're right, customers don't follow the same cycle as they do the rest of the year. Great tips for retailers too!

  • by Ariel Mon Dec 8, 2014 via web

    Hi Janice, thank you for your feedback. My target audience was definitely e-retailers--I'm glad you saw it that way, too!

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