By Jim Clanin
An ecommerce developer in the Greater Atlanta Area offers useful assistance to merchants preparing for online sales during the upcoming holiday season. The current Coronavirus Pandemic injects an element of uncertainty into decision making at this time. Yet many indicators suggest current events may have actually strengthened consumer confidence in online sales. Retailers battered financially by recent shutdowns may enjoy an opportunity to recoup losses during this important marketing period.
A Confusing Retail Landscape
One challenge facing many retailers involves assessing how much emphasis to place upon online sales following brick-and-mortar store reopenings. While this issue in general has proven significant during the past few years, 2020 has made it a particularly pressing concern for some Atlanta retailers. One recent survey conducted by DigitalCommerce360 suggested merchants encountered disparate ecommerce sales results during the height of the pandemic.
For example, of 107 retailers polled during April, 2020, roughly one-fifth (21%) experienced significantly higher than expected sales. On the other hand, 33% reported much lower than anticipated figures. Only 11% obtained their projected sales results. This situation creates stress for marketing teams.
An Important Time of Year For Retailers
Uncertainty surrounding the condition of the economy during the latter part of 2020 also proves problematic for merchants this year. In many cases, the nature of the products carried by a retail store likely impacts online sales figures. Some products (e.g. masks and medical supplies) witnessed high consumer demand during the height of the pandemic; yet the holiday season may reveal a need for a wider selection of consumer goods.
Significantly, ecommerce sales rose by some 13.6% during the 2019 holiday season from the previous year. Online merchants reported an impressive $138.65 billion in sales transactions at that time. Even if cyber spending drops somewhat during the 2020 holiday season, online sales will likely account for a significant portion of the revenues of many retail firms this year in the USA.
Tips For Improving Online Sales Websites
No one can guarantee online sites will generate desired sales volumes, of course. Yet a skilled web designer offers valuable help facilitating retail goals. Consider using some of these basic tips to encourage customers to spend longer periods perusing your ecommerce website this year:
1. Provide Rapid Site Loading
Consider obtaining website testing to ensure your site loads well on a variety of screen sizes. Loading speeds matter in terms of ensuring site visitor retention.
2. Present Information Clearly
Avoid distracting background music and unusual fonts or scripts. Emphasize easily accessed text.
3. Do Include Accurate Product Descriptions
For legal reasons, descriptions must accurately reflect merchandise offered for sale online. Even if some information appears monotonous, online sellers should not stint on furnishing detailed, precise disclosures concerning products.
4. Ensure Product Images Appear Clear
Fuzzy or poorly visible pictures diminish consumer confidence in retail sites. Presenting accurate, clear product images creates a more favorable impression on prospective buyers.
5. Supply a Secure, Easily Navigated Checkout Process
Whether you conduct checkouts in-house or outsource this responsibility to a third party processor, customers require secure sales transactions.
6. Consider Using Incentives to Encourage Holiday Sales
Polls reveal many customers appreciate free product deliveries and returns. While not possible in every case, special offers providing this incentive sometimes persuade hesitant buyers to commit to a purchase. (This year, of course, retailers may not find it appropriate to accept the return of some items for safety reasons, especially if the pandemic persists during the holiday season.)