11 Quick Fix Tips to Improve Holiday Conversion Rates

Sarah Dysthe

‘Tis the season!

If consumers haven’t already started their holiday shopping adventures, they’re beginning to brainstorm about finding the perfect gift for upcoming celebrations. Most retailers and ecommerce companies see a boost in sales in the holiday season simply because people are more inclined (or obligated!) to spend money. However, a lot of businesses miss out on potential revenue by not positioning their products in a way that consumers will respond.

Below are some basic tips for improving conversion rates during the holiday season.
1) Run seasonal specials. The holiday season is expensive so people are constantly on the hunt for the best deal. If people believe that promotions are exclusive to the season and more of a deal than they ordinarily get on a product, they’re more likely to buy it.

2) Use emphatic creatives.
Appeal to the holiday spirit in consumers. Traditional color schemes, festive verbiage and symbolic images on advertisements will communicate the underlying meaning of buying a product or service for someone this time of the year.

3) Reward Customers. The smartest companies capitalize on holiday shoppers by offering additional savings or vouchers to be used later in time. For example, consumers who make purchases in November may get an additional 25% off coupon to be used in December. Similarly, customers who purchase products before December 25th might receive a $10 credit valid after the holidays. The strategy behind the delayed savings is that people will be more inclined to buy throughout the season and even after, spending more on a company’s merchandise than the original purchase they had planned.

4) Coordinate online and in-store specials.
Some people dread the thought of holiday shopping. Others camp out in front of a store for hours to get the best deal. Regardless of how they buy, however, they expect the same savings for online and in-store purchases. This is especially important because consumer behavior reports show that consumers use multiple resources in their decision-making process. If they research a product online and visit a retail location to make the purchase but discover it’s more expensive, they may change their mind about the purchase altogether.

5) Optimize for mobile. This gets repeated over and over, but most consumers are buying or browsing on mobile devices and most advertisers can’t deliver. According to Yahoo! Finance’s Tenth Annual Holiday Season Survey, “retailers will see the impact of purchases made via mobile devices. Among respondents who will research holiday items/purchases on their mobile devices, 58.8% say they will do so to assist in making online purchases, 46.2% say they will do so to help with offline purchases and one-third (33.3%) will make purchases directly on these device(s).” Consumers are mobile and advertisers will have better conversions if they can position themselves across devices.

6) Encourage the gift-giving mentality. Throughout the holiday season, most people spend with others in mind. They’re also more likely to buy a nicer or more expensive gift than planned if they get a good deal. When companies can offer both a significant savings and leave their customers feeling good about themselves, conversions will skyrocket.

7) Offer gift cards, vouchers and other free items. There’s nothing like offering people money to get them to spend more money. Include a free gift or service with the purchase of another. Give a credit in a certain dollar amount for orders exceeding a certain dollar amount. Allow people to give gift certificates and vouchers to your site. Gift givers see this as the best way to treat someone and the people they give them to will likely spend more than the gifted amount.

8) Use multiple marketing channels. Some people only run email or display banners. Having 3-4 channels (e.g., email, display, video ads and social media) will create more opportunities. Plus with cookies, people may see a company’s ad in multiple places and have that company fresh on their mind when they go to make a purchase.

9) Include testimonials. Everyone likes a good story. Think along the lines of happy kids on Christmas morning or a thoughtful present bringing tears to Grandma’s eyes. Concrete displays of customer satisfaction incorporated into the body of an advertisement will motivate more people to engage with and buy a product or service. Don’t make them up! Reach out to real-life satisfied customers.

10) Build in a “Gifts” section. On a site geared toward ecommerce, this works for two reasons. First, companies can showcase holiday-themed items and specials they want to push. Second, if people don’t know what they want to buy, they can easily browse for things they like and make a decision from there. Organizing everything in one category will increase the traffic to those items on the site.

11) Consider shipping guarantees and discounted rates. When people buy online, they want to know the item is going to reach them on time. They also don’t want to spend an unreasonable amount for shipping. If people can enjoy both the convenience of online shopping band not have to pay extra for it, they’ll be thrilled. Free shipping over a certain dollar amount, discounts on expedited shipping, and guaranteed delivery dates will make the buying decision easier on consumers and increase sales.


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