The Holidays might be the busiest season for retailers and digital marketers – but it’s also the best time of the year to keep an eye on your competition. That’s right: the Holidays are not just for shopping and gift-giving. If you’re in the ecommerce industry for instance, you can surely learn a lot by checking out rival websites and learning from their example.
As it’s one of the most important events in the entire year for many businesses, it’s not a bad idea to take note of what successful companies are doing right so you can think about incorporating them in your strategy for next year. In this aspect, we’ve rounded up the top three best ecommerce sites for you, plus key takeaways from their brilliant web design.
As one of the leading retail companies in North America, Target sure knows where the profit is (literally). They released their Black Friday sales as early as Thanksgiving to compete with Amazon’s digital offers. According to an article on Fortune, this was a great move on their part because shoppers today check the Web early for deals before heading to brick-and-mortar stores.
Aside from an awesome marketing strategy, we love Target’s shift to welcome international shoppers by giving more options for shipping and currency information.
Another cool feature on their website is the My Store tab, where users can enter their ZIP codes and search for the nearest Target store in their locality. This makes it easy to find discounts before heading out to the physical shop.
Want to be big like Target? Keep your customers’ convenience in mind by:
- Including a search field where they could effortlessly enter details (like their location) to look for precise items.
- Putting your chief offers on your landing page. Keep it simple though – you don’t want people to feel overwhelmed. About 3 – 6 offers should be enough to get them interested.
- Stating your operating hours clearly on your website. If you have multiple branches, let users know which ones are open and in which city they are in.
If you want to maximize sales before the Holidays (and maybe until the New Year), you can ask your web design expert if he can implement these changes into your website as soon as possible.
The famous department chain is looked up to not only for their quality products, but for their focus on their customers’ needs. One of the major reasons behind Macy’s success story lies in the company’s focus in retaining repeat or loyal customers.
Macy’s also implements a clever pricing strategy that involves mixing high-priced items with more affordable stock.
Also known as high-low pricing, the technique is being used by most retailers and big brands to hook customers into buying popular wares. While high prices create value in the minds of consumers, the low price suggests a bargain. Next to an expensive wool coat, the boots and handbags look like better steals indeed.
To be in same league as Macy’s, you could also mix up your inventory on your landing page by alternating low and high prices together. Just keep a few pointers in mind:
- Don’t overload the page with too many products or services! Choose only from your bestsellers or most popular merchandise.
- Insert coupon and discount offers with every expensive item on your list. Everyone wants to take advantage of a good deal during the Holidays.
- Round off your percentages to whole numbers (like 20 percent or 50 percent). One study has found that as consumers today are smarter and shop faster. That means they have less time to process that 24 percent tag you put on a Black Friday coupon.
Again: make it simple for your customers. The Holidays can be a stressful time for them – so removing web design obstacles is definitely going to earn you loyalty points.
#3 Marks & Spencer
The multinational retailer has certainly encountered plenty of setbacks in the changing economy. But that has not stopped Marks and Spencer from dominating important events, like the Holidays. Their website is all decked and ready for shoppers. Aside from the obviously large tiles of photos and discount offers, one of the site’s main features is its Style and Living editorials.
Marks and Spencer understands that today, customers are not only shopping: they are also looking at experiences. With the amount of competition, it’s so easy to shift from one store to another. One of the ways a company can stand out is to create an exceptional experience from start to finish.
The retail giant takes advantage of their talented pool of photographers and writers to package products in a way that customers can easily relate to. For example: instead of just promoting their food and wine selection, they went a step further and made an editorial about how to give them away as practical gifts.
Don’t know what to give to your discerning Uncle? Do you have a friend who’s obsessed with cooking shows? They have gift suggestions for your foodie friends and loved ones. Plus, as their web design is mobile-friendly, you can read these on the go on any of your portable devices.
Take your cue from M&S by providing that extra step in making their purchasing experience a memorable one:
- Make sure to update your retail blog with Holiday topics, featuring your bestsellers and most popular discounts.
- Take good photos of your products in how they are going to be used, so that it’s easier for customers to imagine them. For instance: take pictures of wine poured in glasses, then paired with the appropriate dishes.
- Don’t forget to be mobile-friendly in time for the Holidays!
Your website will play a crucial role in your business, not just during this season of giving, but throughout the year. So ensure that you’re equipped with the right web design elements to convert interested users into happy customers.