6 Steps to Prepare Your E-Commerce Store for the Festive Season
In the blink of an eye, the season of festivals is upon us. Marked by occasions such as Diwali, Navratri, Durga Puja, Dusshera & Christmas, the period between October to December is considered ripe by both Online & Offline retailers to ramp up sales. The top E-Commerce players have their own trademarked and branded events such as Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale, Amazon’s Great Indian Festival & Snapdeal’s Unbox Diwali sale. These events are marketed aggressively with heavy discounts to attract Indian buyers.
According to an ASSOCHAM report published in 2015, online sales during the festive season were pegged to touch 8 billion US$, or about 52,000 crores. Looking solely at Flipkart, they got over 150 million site visits over a period of 5 days along with over 8 million app installs over the course of their big festive sale last year.
We have listed down a few simple ways by which you can remain on track during the big festival days and capitalize on the opportunity:
For your customers, your website is the first touch point. It is therefore imperative that your site loading times are quick. Ideal loading time should be under 1 second, but 2 to 3 seconds should also be good enough. According to research, “a single second delay in your website loading time can result in a 7% loss in conversion, and 40% of web users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.” You can use tools like Web Page Test to find out how long it takes for your site to open on multiple platforms. You can also use Google’s site speed optimization tool, called Page Speed Online which can help you identify and fix problems affecting site loading speed. Also, Google considers site loading time as a ranking factor which can make your web site featured ahead of competition in search results.
Make sure your site is Secure
Site security is an important factor in customer’s mind while making a purchase online. A recent study conducted found out that 59% of customers would not make a purchase on a site that temporarily lost the green bar SSL validation. Ensure that your website has SSL encryption certificates to boost customer confidence and increase your site security. Also, using Trust badges/seals has been known to boost customer confidence in site security, especially those coming from reputed online security brands like Norton & Mcafee. Lastly, ensure the integration of multiple payment gateways to offer a multitude of choices to your customers.
Ensure Mobile Optimization of your website
In 2014, 41% of online E-Commerce purchases were made from a mobile device in India. According to research reports, 70-75% of purchases made on Snapdeal & Flipkart during their festive sale period in 2015 were made from their mobile apps. 65% of India’s online traffic originated from mobile phones. It is fast becoming a popular mode of online shopping amongst shoppers in India, which is why it is important to have a mobile optimized webstore that looks great and works flawlessly.
Optimize website UI/UX
A good looking website is always a plus because it appeals to the sub-consciousness of the consumer in many ways. Customize your website design to embrace the festive spirit and witness an increase in customer engagement and reduction in bounce rates. Also, fix issues with the customer experience to ensure a seamless process from start to end.
In lieu of increased order frequency during the festive period, maintain a strong supply chain so that your products reach customers in the stipulated time. Ensuring timely delivery of your products will ensure customer delight and also cement your reputation as a trusted brand. Flipkart managed to deliver 99 % of Iphone 7 orders on the same day during the last day of their BBD sale by hiring 10,000 extra delivery staff.
Bolster Customer Support
Maintain a strong support system on the backend to handle increased customer queries during the festive sale period. This will help you maximize conversions if you are able to engage with and guide shoppers through every step of the buying process. Handling customer complaints and queries is paramount to the success of your holiday campaign. One way to do this is by providing a live chat feature on your webstore and your mobile app. This will ensure that your customers have a touchpoint for interaction with your brand.
If you are an E-Commerce player, you need to make sure that your site is ready for the festive period. Ensure that your online store is well equipped to handle the increased site traffic during the festive period so that you can maximize your conversions. Every customer out there is looking to get an unparalleled shopping experience during the festive period. Make sure to follow the outlined steps to ensure a great campaign for your online store.
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