eCommerce Solutions: The Evolving Holiday Shopper

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Marley Bathe

So much about holiday shopping has changed in recent years -- the mobile phone is now a device for purchasing and free shipping is now a cost of entry. So, what’s driving this holiday season’s strong eCommerce growth?

A greater comfort with mobile buying.

Mobile devices will play a major role in the consumer purchase behaviour -- with a projected 27% of purchases from mobile devices and 48% from tablets during the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas -- says a mobile study by Criteo.

In 2013, Black Friday was the season’s biggest mobile sales day, with the majority of people making purchases on their phones and tablets while waiting in line. Clearly this indicates a significant shift in shopping behaviour -- one that must be addressed by independent retailers moving into one of the most critical seasons of the year.

eCommerce Solutions for a Better Shopping Experience:

To create a better shopping experience, independent retailers must have an active mobile commerce driven site. This is critical to producing an effective holiday shopping experience, because mobile devices can be involved in several ways during the consumer decision-making process.

Shoppers generally follow a non-linear path to purchase, one that includes careful web design consideration that will adapt throughout the process. The thorough string of touch points leading to a purchase is known as the “consumer decision journey” by researchers at McKinsey & Company. A well-designed responsive web page can help customers engage with products throughout the purchasing process -- which, will be easily adapted by a mobile device.

Holiday messaging that emphasizes sales may push mobile users to complete a purchase, but simplified product comparison grids may be more influential to mobile users still in the research phase. With fashion and luxury verticals holding the largest shares of mobile purchases during the holiday shopping season, followed by toys and gadgets and sporting goods, it’s important to have a well designed site that will properly guide your customer to the point-of-purchase.

A Web Design Makeover:

Skinny Ties, a family-run company that has been designing and producing neckties since 1971, decided to reinvent the brand’s identity and build a platform that would be ready for the holiday rush. Bearing in mind the increasing growth of mobile devices, the company opted for responsive design. Within a couple weeks of the re-design, Skinny Ties experienced massive improvements in sales metrics in comparison to the previous three months*:

Revenue from iPhone grew a staggering 377.6%

iPhone conversion rate increased 71.9%

Revenue from all devices went up 42.4%

Overall conversion rate increased by 13.6%

Bounce rate dropped 23.2%

It is clear that having a simple desktop web presence isn’t enough for the smart mobile shopper anymore. To keep up with the increasing smartphone integration, a well-designed responsive eCommerce driven site can help to convert more mobile visitors. Independent retailers who want to benefit from this year’s holiday surge should get into the game and start working on enhancing their customer’s browsing experience!

For more on eCommerce solutions, contact us or see: How to Improve Your eCommerce Revenues *”How Responsive Design Boosts Mobile Conversions”. Conversion XL: accessed 20 November 2014.

*Photo credit: blog.thanxmedia.com