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Tech Tips | 5 min read

3 Tech Tips to Enhance your Digital Experience for the Upcoming Holidays

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Well, the holiday retail season is here! Amidst the chaos of a shopping season predicted to hit over $900 billion in total sales, what can you do to capitalize on the rush?

Obviously, a streamlined shopping experience is critical. For years, user behavior has been trending towards short sessions, omnichannel browsing, and bouncing away after just a few irrelevant search results. As attention spans decrease, serving the exact product customers are looking for, quickly, has become even more important.

Nowadays, there are many interactions on eCommerce sites that can easily distract shoppers - accepting cookies, signing up for email lists, activating coupons, and more. And even if they do not distract the customer, these tasks provide an unwelcome interruption during the shopper's journey.

These interruptions quickly detract from the main purpose of eCommerce sites: to allow shoppers to easily purchase products. And since we're heading into the second busiest online shopping period of the entire year, here are 3 quick tips you can implement before your big Boxing Day Blowout to eliminate distractions from the shopper's journey and increase conversions.

3 Ways To Improve Your Shopper's Journey:

1) Move non-shopping CTAs to the right phase(s) of the shopping journey

Calls to action (CTAs) at the right step in the journey can provide huge boosts to shopper engagement and conversions. At the wrong time, however, they can very easily create friction, annoy customers, and lead to search and cart abandonment.

For example, take a CTA to sign up for your email list and receive a coupon for 10% off. Shoppers are far more likely to interact with this CTA and actually sign up for your mailing list during the checkout process - when they're actively looking for a discount - instead of the minute they land on the homepage.

Prompts to sign-in, however, work better earlier in the shopper's journey, before a customer has decided to purchase. When the user is actively looking for products, personalized recommendations provide a lot of value at this point in the journey.

So take another look at what CTAs you've placed within the shopper's journey and where they occur. Are they going to create more friction for the customer or facilitate their goal of purchasing a product?

2) Provide seasonal & topical landing pages

Most retailers create landing pages for sales around the holidays. At this point, it's the digital equivalent of changing up your retail window display - aka, standard merchandising practice. Seasonal and topical landing pages allow shoppers to easily find products that are top of mind, and allow companies to take advantage of traffic related to current events, holidays, and trends. While most companies have larger seasonal landing pages, adding pages around smaller seasonal segments can be just as, if not more powerful.

For instance, with Boxing Day quickly drawing closer, many retailers are focused on landing pages for upcoming promotions, deals, and blowout sales. However, at this time of year, shoppers are also looking for outfits for family dinners, company holiday parties, and other special celebrations. A featured “holiday outfits” landing page, (complete with #OOTD inspo pics!) can serve a collection of suggested and relevant products to customers with a single, convenient click.

What smaller, more niche landing pages can you put together, quickly, that would provide a ton of value to your customers, and serve them relevant products they may not be actively looking for (but they actually need) while on your site?

3) Make product discovery simple and straightforward

90% of U.S. consumers say that a good search function is very important or absolutely essential for a positive shopping experience. Customers want to search and - more importantly - find the products they're looking for with minimal effort. And if the product they're looking for is unavailable or out of stock, they want to be served helpful suggestions for replacement products, product reviews to guide their purchases, and other personalized shopping recommendations.

First, make sure your search bar is prominent and easily accessible. Then, look at search functionality. How easy is your search function to use? Simple site changes or design modifications can make the search bar easier to navigate and use with minimal time and investment - with potential big gains over the holiday shopping surge.

Think Beyond The Holiday Season

While all of these actions can have a noticeable impact on conversions, product discovery is by far the most important and has the biggest impact year round. 85% of global online consumers view a brand differently after experiencing search difficulties - regardless of what time of year it is. In fact, this may be more pronounced during the Holiday Shopping Season, when customers have lots to buy on a strict timeline. This makes investing time and effort into having a powerful product discovery solution (especially one that's easy to use and serves accurate search results to your customers) a necessity year round.

If you want to get ahead of the curve and streamline the shoppers journey in 2023 and beyond, check out the GroupBy Product Discovery Platform. powered by Google Cloud Vertex AI Search for Retail, GroupBy's Search and Recommendations leverage state-of-the-art machine learning and AI algorithms that have been trained on significantly more data than traditional legacy systems. Retailers and wholesalers can gain access to Google-quality search that is customizable to business goals and built upon Google's understanding of user intent and context. This functionality enables advanced query understanding and produces better search results and recommendations from even the broadest queries thereby improving the customer experience and delivering higher revenue gains, faster, and without the hassle of building your own solution.