CRO at Christmas: Your 3-Step Online Strategy for More Festive Season Sales

The Christmas season is a unique opportunity for many businesses to reach record levels of traffic. That’s why it’s essential that your business is prepared to make the most of these visitors. Here, CRO specialist Edd Wilson shares his tips for festive success with CEO Today.

Converting website traffic is the goal of conversion rate optimisation (CRO). It’s a process of making small on-site changes with each change increasing the percentage of visitors that convert. CRO is normally referred to as a long term strategy, but there is scope for quick gains to be made that will make a difference at Christmas.

Here are some of the things your business can be doing in the run up to the festive season to make more of those all important Christmas sales:

  1. Prepare the website (and don’t forget mobile)

Website performance is a key consideration of CRO and crucial to optimising your Christmas sales.

Whether you have an in-house web team or you work with an agency, expectations for a busy Christmas should be discussed with them. If there’s anything they need to do to prepare the website for higher than average traffic, it should be done early to check that there are no bugs.

Another consideration for the web team is functionality across all devices and internet browsers. Ideally your site should work well on all platforms, but the web team needs to know where most of the traffic is likely to come from to catch any serious problems.

For many ecommerce businesses, mobile sales are key driver of revenue. However, many mobile sites lack functionality and ease of use compared to desktop. You won’t have time for a full overhaul before Christmas, but any changes the web team can look into to make the mobile experience better will help.

  1. Consider user journeys from attention to conversion

CRO is often considered part of a larger marketing strategy. Although it doesn’t focus on bringing visitors in, it’s important to find consistency with other marketing efforts to maximise conversions. In short, the messaging on the website should match the messaging on social media, adverts and any other marketing channels.

The user journey refers to the user’s experience of your brand from start to finish. CRO is concerned with the final stages of that journey. An aspect of CRO to discuss with your marketing team is how to ensure that the customer’s conversion experience lines up with the expectations that marketing efforts have created. For example, if you promise a huge range of products or one-click checkout, your website should deliver.

The inverse is also true. CRO data can help the wider marketing team to understand which areas need more attention. Looking for categories or products which don’t convert well could highlight an opportunity to refine the channels that are bringing visitors to those pages. It is important that CRO is not isolated from other initiatives.

  1. Gather data with a view to the long term

This final point looks at getting a longer term gain from festive CRO efforts. Effective CRO is based on data. The data shows the benefit of changes that you make and indicates where a site is underperforming. If your site has high levels of traffic over Christmas, you can gain data that will allow you to refine the site for the next year.

Importantly, this data can be used to inform the strategy of the whole company. Did one category area convert better than others? Then what was it about that category that made it so appealing?

It’s important to encourage a data-driven mindset within your business if you want to see better results in the future. A commitment to CRO fosters this mindset, which will have positive benefits for other strategies, too.

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