How to Deck Your Online Store for the Holidays

Retailers, online and in-store know the holiday season is the best time of the year for their businesses. Customers enjoy the holiday shopping experience filled with lighted trees, adorned windows, and holiday music dancing around filling the store with cheer.

If you run an online business you may feel the holiday giddiness is lost on your online store. However, you store is your digital storefront. Your design and graphics can also be updated to reflect the excitement of the season.

Start with your web design and branding

It’s no surprise that the look, feel, and design of your online establishment can magically  change your customer sentiment.

Generally speaking, two main factors affect customer sentiment online. The first is “communicability”, which is the capability of the website content to positively or negatively affect consumer perception. Simply put, the text, visual, and video content on your site will absolutely influence buyer perception. Use symbols of the holiday season to add positive sentiment  The second factor is “classic aesthetics”, which means that elements of order, balance, and clarity affect sentiment. Consider your website design and improve the layout and experience for an increase in brand favorability.

But buyers aren’t only interested in pretty stock photos and smiling faces. Ensure your website design and branding is clear. It is important to remember that holiday shoppers are likely to be more high-strung than at any other time of year. Because of this, a clean, pleasing, and responsive website is ideal.

Make mobile purchases easier

Studies have shown that 28% of online mobile product research results in some kind of customer interaction, be it phone call, visit, or purchase. Whether you interact with customers or not, be sure your website is responsive—meaning it has a mobile-friendly display. Using storefronts such as WooCommerce, can help guide stressed out shoppers to complete purchases instead of abandoning their carts.

Mobile activities can be used to decide what should be included on a mobile site. In particular, directions, contact information, products and catalogs, product information, and mobile offers show positive correlation with customer action. Creating a mobile site that features this information before adding additional pages. It is important to remember, however, that customers do not interact with mobile devices the same way that they do with desktop websites. Since mobile users spend over 32% of their time on their devices, these differences must be taken into consideration.

In general, it is best to implement a mobile specific solution that works with the user. Focus on formatting your page so that text, images, and navigation are larger and clearer, so that they can be quickly and efficiently used on touchscreen devices. At this point, however, do not concern yourself with mobile purchasing technology if you do not already possess such capabilities. The above study has demonstrated that the time investment and clumsiness of entering card information and making actual purchases on mobile devices are currently of sufficient frustration as to prevent a great deal of mobile commerce.

Bring the holidays to your site

If a website redesign is not feasible before the holidays, you still have multiple options. The spirit of joy that the holidays bring can be captured in through holiday graphics as well by introducing thematic elements. The holidays present an opportunity to share cheer, but focusing too specifically on one denomination or another can create waves in an increasingly sensitive society.

Fall is a time of leaves and family. Winter is a time of snow and eggnog. Gift giving time is a season of fireplaces, wool scarves, and community. In each of these instances, your aesthetic choices can capture these sentiments and improve customer moods.

Families and poodles shouldn’t be the only ones sporting their holiday gear. Websites can benefit greatly from a little decorating as well. Address any usability issues on your site and streamline the shopping experience for stressed out shoppers. The spirit of generosity fuels the season of gift giving, so be generous to your customers and enjoy the reciprocation.

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