Holiday Shopping Tips for the Digitally Challenged

September 23, 2015

By Stephen Chukumba, Senior Project Manager

I know it’s mad early to be talking about holiday shopping, but luck favors the prepared. 

Nearly everyone is familiar with Black Friday. It’s the biggest shopping day of the year, where retailers slash their prices and shoppers act as if the world is coming to an end. 

There have been countless stories of people being trampled – trampled when store doors open as people literally rush to savings. 

I’m not a Black Friday kind of dude. 

If I’m going to go shopping and try to save money at the same time, I’m going to do it intelligently. 

And I’m going to do it online. 

While Black Friday is a boon for brick and mortar establishments, it’s also a win for online retailers who offer similar savings for folks not inclined to deal with holiday shopping crowds, but are still looking for bargains. 

Online shopping on Black Friday has become so popular that it spawned a completely different shopping day, devoted entirely to the online shopper: Cyber Monday. 

Cyber Monday, for the uninitiated, is like Black Friday, except its wholly online. 

Instead of rushing to your local Target to stand online in the hopes of snagging that 42″ flatscreenLG, simply flip open your laptop, type in the URL and viola! it’s in your cart. 

If you're an online retailer, Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer two prime opportunities to target and convert your savvy online shopper. 

And if you're interested in homing in on your mobile shopper, you're in luck! 

Here are the top five tips for increasing mobile conversions. 

1. Offer mobile-only promotions. A key to increasing conversions on a channel is keeping users on that channel. You’ve seen “online-only” products and promotions, that encourage shoppers to take advantage of and complete purchases online. These types of strategies take advantage of online shopper’s natural inclination to save money, whether it’s a discount, free shipping or an online-only offer. Brands which employ a mobile-only strategy will see an increase in conversions as shoppers will engage in similar behavior to take advantage of mobile exclusive discounts, coupons, and specials. 

2. Reward social share. If mobile is good for anything, it’s social sharing. Likes, favorites, retweets, and shares are social currency that brands should be actively trading in. Pinterest, for example, has given brands millions upon millions of unpaid promotions. Rather, than simply liking a post, brands should reward patrons or potential patrons for their favorable social promotion, by offering mobile coupons or discounts, in recognition, which can be redeemed the next time the user makes a purchase. 

Sammydress is one retailer who understands the importance of rewarding users who promote their brand. Sammydress encourages users to post images of themselves via social media and offers points for these activities. Users who collect enough points can redeem them for discounts on future purchases. Retailers who are interested in leveraging the social currency of their audiences may want to follow suit. 

3. Mobile exclusives. There’s nothing better than feeling like you’re getting an exclusive benefit. The same holds true for mobile. Treat your mobile users like members of an exclusive club by giving them perks each time they convert, whether it’s responding to a post-purchase survey, click-to-call, favorite, like or share content via the mobile channel. 

Mobile exclusives incentivizes users to make their mobile device their channel of choice. Push notifications, text messaging and email are great ways of engaging your users with mobile exclusives, which can be delivered directly to members of your loyalty or rewards programs, folks who have signed up for your email newsletters or opted in to receive text messages from your brand. 

4. A/B Testing. You’re never going to increase your mobile conversions if you’re not constantly testing, testing, testing. It’s one thing to have a theory about user behavior, and quite another to have data to back up your theories. More importantly, by performing A/B testing specifically, you’re able to see how one campaign or strategy racks up against another. 

Think desktop on mobile outperforms mobile on mobile? An A/B test will bear that out. Want to know whether an offer works best as a banner or a pop-up overlay? A/B testing can figure that out too. Is a red landing page more engaging than a black one? Conduct and A/B test and you’ll know for sure. 

5. Give fewer options. I’ve often heard people say that they want their mobile customers to be able to have the same experience on mobile, as they do on their desktops. And I always respond “why?” They are different platforms, serving different needs, so why would you want the same content on both? Obviously, you’re not trying to reduce selection or service, but if you can accomplish in two steps on mobile, what it takes four to do on desktop, then by all means, cut out the unnecessary steps. 

On mobile, you want users to have a frictionless experience. Things like “one-click” checkout or allowing users to check out as guests (and thereby not have to log in to complete a transaction) are examples of how to apply this tip. And in this instance, less is more. The fewer steps you place in the path of the desired behavior, the more likely it is that you’re going to see your conversions increase. 

Now go out there and convert!

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