We know, we know. It's only August and we have mentioned the C word, but you know as well as us, the tinsel will be hung and the carol ringing loud through the airwaves in no time. And this year is your year to make your online presence deliver a selling period to eclipse all others!
So now that we have the out of the way and we accept that the shop-till-you-drop season is almost upon us, what can you do to make sure your business is part of the action? While consumers are looking at all costs to avoid the long queues and heading online, small and mid-sized retailers are scrambling to prepare for the holiday rush. We get it, as a small business you’re worried about having enough inventory, your ability to quickly fulfil orders and how you’re going to maximise sales during the busiest time of year.
Four key findings from the BNZ's Online Retail Report for December 2016 highlight just how important it is to not only have an online store but to have a customer centric online experience:
- Total online retail spending by New Zealanders in December was up 14% compared to the previous December, bringing the 2016 annual spend level to $3.75 billion.
- Spending at offshore sites eased slightly from its November seasonal peak, but underlying growth remained very strong.
- Purchases from overseas online retailers in December were up 17% on the previous December, with approximately half of the increase coming from Clothing, Computer and Electrical/Electronic stores.
- Spending at local sites was up 13% on the previous December; confirming the early data that pointed towards continued double-digit growth, and eclipsing the growth rate at bricks and mortar stores (approximately 4%).
It's time to get your e-commerce website on the nice list
Many businesses assume simply having a web presence is enough to attract and retain visitors and convert them to sales, but most websites don’t automatically make it onto Santa’s nice list. E-commerce websites need to be optimised for search, performance and usability in order to reach and engage online consumers. If Google and other search engines don’t know your website exists, you’re missing out on a valuable revenue source. And once people can find your site, you need to make sure you’re providing a great user experience to keep them there. According to research, 57% of consumers will abandon a website that fails to load after three seconds.
Go through this quick checklist to ensure your web efforts aren’t getting lost in the white noise of the worldwide web:
Can Google and other search engines properly index and crawl your site?
Is your site targeting the appropriate keywords for your target audience?
Is your site optimised for mobile devices? (remember over half of online sales are now made on a mobile device and 80% of shoppers use a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations)
Is your site easy to navigate and search through?
Are you leveraging images to engage visitors?
Are you securing customer payment information?
Is your site integrated with social media platforms?
Need a hand getting your e-commerce site optimised - connect with us and discuss the best way to make Christmas 2017 your best selling season yet!