Last year’s Cyber Monday sales were up more than eight percent compared to the previous year. But this increase in online shopping is not exclusive to just one day of the year. Online purchases in general, as well as mobile purchases, have steadily increased.

Now more than ever, online retailers need to optimize their websites throughout the year, and especially during the holiday season. So what can you do to maximize ecommerce conversions before and during the holiday season? Take a look at these tips and discover what you can do now to increase holiday sales later.

Reviews

Customers trust online reviews. Reviews are unbiased opinions that increase your credibility and influence buying decisions. Ask for reviews before the holiday season begins so you already have enough to help consumers convince customers to buy your product. Make it easy for customers to locate where they can read and write reviews on the product page. Amazon includes the rating and number of customer reviews right below the product name.

You can also offer an incentive for reviews. Send an email to those who have already made a purchase with a Cyber Monday discount code if they leave a review. This ensures that customers are leaving reviews on products they have actually bought.

As tempting as it is to ask for positive reviews, let your customers give their honest opinion. Negative reviews are still helpful, and even lead to sales. Research suggests that consumers trust reviews more overall if there is a balance of good and bad ones.

Amazon Reviews

Streamlined checkout process

A quality ecommerce website always includes an easy checkout process. The biggest mistake online retailers make is requiring customers to create an account before completing their purchase. Always give customers the option to check out as guests.

Make sure your checkout process is simple and requires only the necessary information needed to complete a purchase. The less the customer has to input, the better. If you have to make a lot of changes to simplify your checkout process, consider making this your top priority.

Promoted holiday content

You’ll have to do more than post a couple of holiday-related blog posts to really stand out among your competition. Think about social media campaigns, paid advertising, and more. You want to amplify your content across multiple platforms.

This will require some advanced planning. Collaborate with your marketing team to discuss strategies. Know what you want your content to focus on. For example, maybe you want to build a campaign around one of your best-selling products. The key is to map out how you are going to promote your content in advance of the holidays. Otherwise, you’ll waste time and money planning something that won’t have a high return on investment.

Themed landing pages

Optimize your website content for the holidays to boost your SEO. This again will require preparation before the holiday season begins, but it’s better to take the time to create well designed and optimized landing pages.

Follow-up emails

How many times have you made a purchase just because you had a coupon or discount code? With follow-up emails, you want to encourage and prompt users who have already made a purchase to buy again.

Offer free shipping or another discount to entice them to come back and shop again. Make the code available during a window of the holiday shopping season. This is a great way to get repeat customers who could eventually become brand loyalists.

Some retailers make the mistake of forgetting about the individuals who add items to their cart and then leave without buying. Abandoned cart emails are a must if you are in ecommerce. These compel customers to come back and complete their purchase. If you haven’t already implemented these, you’re missing out on a lot of potential revenue, especially during the holidays.

These emails should be sent shortly after holiday shoppers have abandoned their shopping cart, usually within 24 hours. Make sure the emails are creative and personalized and include the item(s) they left behind. Calypso St. Barth sends well-designed emails that make it easy for shoppers to return to their carts. You can also add other recommended products that may be of interest to them to potentially increase your sales.

Abandoned Cart Calypso

Flash deals on social

This is a great tactic to use during the holiday season, especially on slower days, i.e., not on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Flash deals can be a great way to drive sales in a short amount of time. Offer an exclusive code to your followers for a limited time.

Let your followers know in advance that you’ll be offering flash sales throughout the holidays so they frequently check in with your social channels. Not only can flash deals drive sales, but they can also increase your social media exposure.

As a retailer, you’re fighting for consumers’ attention during the holidays. Once you get visitors to your website, you need to get them to stay. Strategize and implement these suggestions now so you are ready during the peak of the holiday season. You’ll want to put your attention towards fulfilling all of those orders you’re going to get.