The holiday season is one of the most pivotal times of the year for retailers and eCommerce businesses to secure customer loyalty. Are you ready to make the most of it?
But with many options available to them, shoppers will continue to do business with brands that provide an exceptional online experience during the holiday shopping season and beyond.
"For retailers and eCommerce sites, identifying and eliminating friction points on their websites and mobile apps will be imperative to keeping customers engaged and coming back," says Lance Ullom.
To maintain a high-performing, customer-centric website, retailers must first determine how well their platforms can handle significant spikes in traffic, including whether it can scale to meet demand.
They also need to pinpoint where shoppers commonly encounter friction and abandon the site before completing a purchase. Gaining insight into customer journeys and why people exit prematurely is paramount.
Addressing any website performance, scalability, or customer experience issues is essential before entering the busiest shopping period of the year.
Offering a seamless, hassle-free experience for shoppers during that time will establish which retailers they choose to shop with and continue shopping with into the future.
Customer loyalty and repeat business will belong to those brands that prove they can satisfy customers’ needs through an exceptional online shopping experience.
A site that loads too slowly or is filled with friction can have a significant negative impact on conversion rates. Shoppers have little to no patience and will form an opinion about your site in less than two-tenths of a second.
So, if visitors have a negative first impression, they'll abandon your site in favor of one that sells the same or similar product, resulting in lost revenue and customers flocking to a competitor instead.
Here are some practical recommendations from industry experts to help you fight friction and prepare your site for BFCM.
1. Audit your website.
Check out more of his suggestions here to prepare your site for the peak holiday season (and before locking down your site for Black Friday).
2. Learn from past mistakes.
"Remember the 1999 Victoria's Secret Superbowl ad? The hype paid off, creating significant demand, but the site wasn't built for that much volume. It was a costly mistake. Make sure your infrastructure and tags are optimized to avoid a website traffic jam," says Alan Harris.
Read Alan's fun and informative holiday post here all about achieving optimal site performance.
3. Monitor the customer journey.
"Monitor the customer journey to see how customers are traversing your site. Quickly resolve the most pressing friction points caused by out-of-stock items or page errors," advises Lance Buchholz.
For more thoughts from Lance on how to remove friction from dead-end experiences, such as broken links and out-of-stock-pages, then you'll enjoy reading his post here.
4. People-first content is key.
"Focus on people-first content (i.e., your message and value, holiday pages and promotions, etc., that are helpful to your visitors), then optimize it in a way that Google prefers," recommends Chuck Moxley.
Check out Chuck's marketing playbook post here to improve Core Web Vitals and deliver a frictionless online experience that your shoppers have come to expect.
5. Analyze your conversion rates.
"Look at the conversion rate curves of your critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday pages. Then, prioritize solutions for the greatest conversion uplift and customer experience impact," says Nick Paladino.
For more ways to improve the customer experience and boost conversions, you won't want to miss reading Nick's recommendations here.
Identifying and resolving friction that frustrates and turns away customers should be a top priority for retailers ahead of the holiday rush.
How retailers manage this critical sales period will shape their future success in winning and keeping customers. So, optimizing the online experience now and building trust and loyalty must remain an ongoing focus.
To help achieve this and create frictionless digital experiences, read our holiday readiness eBook.
Remember, every shopper and their digital experience matters. Don't miss out on the holiday sales craze - get ready to make the most of it!