We know that Christmas shopping is growing, online shopping is growing and additionally, more people choose to shop from their mobile. STILL, every other e-retailer says that they NOT intend to Christmas decorate their sites. Is that a smart move?
Christmas shopping online breaks all records – again. 5,4 billion SEK where spent online in 2015, out of total 20,5 billion SEK. In 2016 we are expected to spend 24 % MORE on Christmas shopping online. We’ll give you a few suggestions how to optimize your e-commerce site during Christmas, so you can be able to convert more.
Every fourth Christmas gift was purchased online 2015 – in 2016, 1 out of 2 believe they will buy their Christmas gifts online
The number of Christmas gifts bought online is increasing – this is the e-commerce trend in Sweden:
2012: 3,9 billion SEK
2013: 4,0 billion SEK
2014: 4,3 billion SEK
2015: 5,4 billion SEK
2016: Predicted to reach 6,2 billion SEK
More and more people choose to shop online. The reason last year was said to be that “shop online for Christmas gifts is comfortable” – the same reason as this year, 2016.
Every fourth online purchase is made from a mobile device
Not just e-commerce grows, the mobile trend does to. 22% of all online purchases during Q3 2015 were done on a mobile device, and as many as 2 out of 3 are using their mobile at least once during their buying process. We will get back to the fact that the numbers are increasing during December…
So – what to expect in Christmas times?
- A totally different user behaviour
- More traffic
- Higher bounce rate
- Increased AOV (average order value)
- Concerns about shipping
Black Friday – the starting signal of the madness
We have looked at several Swedish e-retailers and analyzed their sites from previous years. We see that Black Friday is an obvious start for the e-commerce, no surprise there.
Black Friday is originally from the states and takes place the day after Thanks Giving, a day loaded with sales and offers, both online and in physical stores.
One example from last year from “a large e-commerce site”:
Is Black Friday the start for everyone?
The answer to that question is: the big ships control the masses.
When nearly 50 % buy their Christmas gifts before the start of December and 25 % purchase online, your customers will be out shopping – regardless if you optimize for the SEO keyword “Black Friday” or not.
Cyber Monday – The madness continues
Cyber Monday is not as hectic as Black Friday, but still a reason for marketers and e-commerce sites to push online sales.
Cyber Monday is also borrowed from the States and takes place the first Monday after Thanks Giving.
What do other e-commerce retailers do during Christmas
One method for your e-commerce to go all the way – create specific pages on your site that provides Christmas gift suggestions to different audiences, make sure lot of traffic go there and go all in. Maybe time consuming, maybe genius…
Frontmen opens up a new section in their webshop, dedicated to Christmas shopping.
Maybe smart, maybe not. 4 out of 10 e-commerce sites takes it easy during December and do not intend to give their sites a new look for Christmas.
In order to understand whether it is smart to Christmas decorate your site or not, the first thing you need to know is your visitors and your own goals on the site. That means we need to take it from the beginning.
What does the data say?
Your visitors behaviour is different during Christmas. They are a bit more stressed than usual, a bit more demanding and a lot more unfocused.
We have looked at data from 5 of Swedens largest e-commerce sites (all “Christmas shopping representative” and in the “Christmas gift category”), and found out trends that strengthens the hypothesis we had.
Traffic increases with 46%
The number of mobile users increase by 8%
The number of desktop users decreases by 6%
Bounce Rate is slightly higher
The number of page views per session are thus fewer
The conversion rate is nevertheless almost unchanged
What conclusions can we make from these findings?
We do have hypothesis regarding the reasons and we can definitely say that your traffic IS different. And in the end it will all come down to meet up on your visitors deviant behaviour.
Does earlier learnings and findings no longer apply?
When your Christmas-visitors no longer are representative for your “normal” audience, your earlier observations and conclusions will not apply to your visitors during Christmas. Perhaps more than anything else, but far from fair.
What about web psychology?
This is where our hypothesis come in – partly based on data and partly based on experience.
1. The visitor is in “just get it over with” state
- Check, one person less to shop for – Nice!
Bamba.se want you to buy NOW. Smooth and easy. And free shipping.
According to data, the visitor also makes much quicker decisions and are not interested in “looking around” or click further into the site.
And that tells us one thing: the relevance is EXTREMELY important.
2. Simplicity and relevance – the key to Christmas conversion
Christmas gifts, Christmas, Christmas gift, Im looking for a Christmas gift.
Where am i? Do you have what Im looking for? How do I buy?
Strip and simplify, keep the focus and help the user. Less is more.
CDON.com present “perfect gifts” for different people. Clever.
3. Respond to the concerns about shipping
According to last years survey users believe that they have to order before the 16th to get their Christmas gifts delivered before Christmas eve. In fact, the e-commerce says the 19th.
There is a real concern about not getting the delivery on time. It would be a greater disaster than the color of the blouse isn’t right. So, make sure to make your customers feel secure and focus on costs and alternatives – in a simple way.
Is it free delivery?
How long is the delivery time?
Where do I pick up my order?
Mio push hard on relevance, answer to customers concerns and present deals.
Get secrets and tricks to deal with delivery concerns at Christmas.
When the last possible delivery day has passed – redirect the customer focus to “find the closest store, so you have time to buy the gift before Christmas”. Or if you have collect-at-store, push that as the number one option to get their orders before Christmas.
4. You too will get a gift!
If it’s possible, use deals that benefit the buyer to motivate a conversion. The money will be spent on Christmas presents anyway, and small factors can easily increase the motivation. Spend money on Christmas gifts for someone else and YOU too will get a gift! Well hello you.
Offering from Bokus in 2011.
5. Think mobile
Less space forces you to prioritize content – remove disturbing elements and keep focus.
Don’t make the misstake to scale down desktop to mobile a la “we are responsive”. The user behaviour is totally different.
The importance to give the mobile usability your love is particular in December when the mobile traffic increases. To shop on your smart phone should be simple – do not complicate it.
We have checked out some big Swedish e-commerce sites and SEVERAL have broken mobile sites. For example, non working CTA:s. But look how well UNHCR are doing it.
Help and guide your stressful, demanding and UNFOCUSED visitors.
Christmas decorate your e-commerce site
– top 3 to fix now:
So if we go back and answer the question we asked in the beginning of this post: Yes, you should Christmas decorate your e-commerce site. We sure hope that you’re not belonging to the 6 out of 10, which in our opinion are NOT adding relevance or motivation for the deviant user behaviour we see in December data.
You only need to spend an afternoon to quickly make your site more Christmas like and direct your site to the user behaviour, and poof you are done with some shortcuts.
Let’s focus on the little things – where a small effort can give great effect. Here you go, three quick actions:
Communicate the feeling “an other Christmas gift done soon” Help the user by providing tips and focus on relevance. Copy and design are important here.
- Respond to the worry about delivery
How long is the time for delivery? Is shipping free? Communicate your conditions clear and almost excessively. Tips and tricks for delivery.
- Simplify and think mobile
Easy fix: hide elements/images on your mobile site and shorten texts. Keep picture, price and CTA above fold, don’t forget focus and contrast.
The risks of A/B-testing during Christmas
Let us save you from A/B-testing in December. To optimize you site, A/B-testing is one of the most powerful tools, but there are several things to consider in order to succeed. Or not to fail completely.
Get a detailed explanation here: This is why you should NOT A/B-test in December.
Use YOUR OWN Christmas data
Your own data is the most valuable for your optimization of your e-commerce site.
1. How’s last years data?
What can the data you already have tell you? Can you make conclusions from last years data?
And what is MISSING in your data for you to make the conclusions you want? The answer to that question is a list of to-do’s.
2. Stay alert during December
You need to prepare yourself for the Christmas shopping season. You will not be able to test or change anything this year (hasty conclusions often fails), but make sure you are ready to quickly identify problems and to detect anomalies immediately. Believe us, it will lead to eye openers.
- Use the measuring points you need to see WHAT is happening. Measure scroll depth, set events on links, buttons and images. What is happening in your checkout? Where do visitors enter your site? What site path are they using during Christmas?
- Add heat maps, like Hotjar – and understand WHY the data looks in the way it does. What is happening when “nothing” happens? Understand the user behaviour better, especially during Christmas.
And – Don’t copy others.
They probably have no idea what they are doing. Trust your own data.
3. Learn the lesson to next year
Don’t forget to analyze your data directly after Christmas, when it’s still fresh in your mind. When you can learn from the data how your visitors behaviour changes during Christmas and you can use that knowledge the next year, you are miles ahead from your competitors.
Remember: it happens a lot in one year – use your data as guidelines and for greater understanding of your visitor behaviour. You data compared year-to-year will be the most useful for December, but always keep in mind that behaviour changes over time.
What you should look for:
- It there a change of the number of visits and transactions during Christmas on mobile vs. desktop?
- Is the bounce rate higher and average time on page lower than usual?
- Is the usage of internal search different?
- Do users compare products using your comparison tool?
- The visitors who visited pages containing Christmas gift tips and gifts, did they buy more than those who just visited “regular” pages?
- Did the product pages get more visits than usual?
- Did the add to cart rate increase?
- Was it more visitors than normal who actually completed the purchase when visiting the checkout pages?
The purchase pattern WILL change in December, the question is HOW it will change especially for YOU.
4. How do I know if we are doing good or bad?
With our e-commerce tool, it’s easy for you to get an overview where in the buying process you loose your potential customers.
The tool show you the average in the e-commerce industri, for the ENTIRE year. Use the tool to compare with yourself – December vs the rest of the year.