December 10th, 2012

Holiday News and Greetings

by Elizabeth Peavy

You’ve probably heard by now that records were blown out of the water when it came to online sales on  Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Online Sales were up over 20% on Black Friday and hit 1 Billion for the first time ever —showing us that people were not just waiting for Cyber Monday specials to start their online shopping, as they have in the past. However, that didn’t stop Cyber Monday from soaring to new records as well; sales were up 30% over last year.

People are not just waiting for one day or one deal anymore, but are spreading out their shopping across multiple sites and multiple days this season. That means there is still time to take advantage of online shoppers!  To make sure your website in good enough shape to handle the traffic, here are a few helpful tips from the elves at our workshop to improve your website and online customer experience:

1. Does your website clearly display your business name, logo, and contact information? Often times this information gets buried within pages of your website or in a poorly designed layout. Reorganizing just your header to prominently display the most important pieces of information is crucial to reducing bounce rate and starting off your customer’s experience right.

2. Are you submitting site maps for your website to the search engines? Not only do site maps act like the yellow pages for Google (telling them exactly who you are and what your website pages are about), they also act as a crucial tool to protect your site against malware. Submitting weekly site maps allows our team to monitor your website constantly and ward off any viruses or other strange blocks Google may incur.

3. Searching in Google is a no-brainer way that customers locate websites and products. Now is the time to consider updating your keywords to include strategic holiday phrases, relevant to your industry.

4. Are your holiday offerings clearly spelled out? Free shipping? 20% off with coupon code?! Well-designed, prominent ads should be placed throughout your entire site clearly stating your important holiday messages.

5. Is your brand represented consistently throughout all online platforms? You may be doing a great job on Facebook and maybe you just started a Pinterest board—awesome! Just make sure your holiday brand is represented across all of these channels in a consistent manner. Update your Facebook profile and cover image with a graphic similar to your website, and then carry that look throughout all of your social media platforms.

6. As your sales hopefully ramp up for the holidays, so will your time spent on customer service. Making sure you have an up-to-date return policy and frequently asked questions page can easily answer some of those common questions and reduce you and your company’s time spent on the phone and answering emails.