How to avoid festive shopping fails over the Peak period
By Ali Hanyaloglu, VP of Product Marketing, Amplience
At this time of the year with Black Friday around the corner, and Christmas only a few short weeks away, retailers and brands are about to click ‘go’ on their festive campaign plans. What they are all hoping for is an increase in traffic, a boost in sales and, of course, meeting the expectations of customers.
But the fact is, that some eCommerce experiences just don’t hit the mark, and the Peak season only highlights the worst shopping fails ensuring that customers are unlikely to return any time soon.
To make sure brands and retailers give themselves the best chance of success this festive season by optimising their websites and delivering engaging customer experiences, we are offering five top tips:
1)Make sure products are available
If there’s one surefire way to annoy customers, it’s highlighting a product which, when they reach the product page, turns out to be unavailable. Most consumers understand if one or two sizes are temporarily sold out, particularly if they can get an alert to let them know once they are available. However, clicking onto a page to find nothing is in stock is simply unacceptable. The use of an efficient Order Management System will help to maintain up-to-date product availability. Another solution is using integrated tools to recommend similar products that are in stock and available, which gives consumers an alternative.
2)Avoid misleading or incorrect content
Many customers create a Wishlist for an event like Christmas and keep an eye out for subsequent discounts or promotions being applied to the products on that list. If they then find that the discount is not actually reflected in the cost of the product, which remains at the original price, they will not only feel aggrieved, but lied to. Content changes need to be managed carefully and scheduled across all channels, so they are consistently accurate and provide a satisfying experience for customers.
3)Image quality matters
Poor quality images will not work to engage customers and will reflect badly on the brand. Customers need to be able to clearly see the details on the products they are buying, whether it’s the fringing on a sofa cushion, or the material of a coat. They will not take a risk on an item that looks blurry on a website. So retailers and brands must ensure their images are of a high and consistent standard to retain consumer engagement. A media optimisation solution that supports a variety of channels and formats will help to keep pictures up to scratch.
4)Using AI for accessibility
A useful tool for all retailers is an ‘alt text’ AI generator. This is a feature that provides a descriptive text of what is happening in an image or video. Retailers can automatically apply it to all their images, and it is essential for visually impaired customers or anyone unable to see an image clearly. In addition, it works well for SEO. Google will penalise retailers and brands that fail to use ‘alt text’ because these descriptors boost conversion rates.
5)A Content Delivery Network is essential
While all retailers want to increase traffic numbers to their sites during Peak, what they don’t want is so much traffic that they suffer an outage. Using a stable, distributed Content Delivery Network will ensure content availability and provide seamless shopping experiences for customers. Even if traffic does reach a peak, retailers can be confident that their eCommerce site will perform reliably and consistently throughout.
Even the most experienced and established brands can make mistakes at the busiest time in the eCommerce calendar. Paying attention to some of the most fundamental requirements of online shopping will help to ensure sites are optimised and customers are happy, paving the way for a successful Peak 2023.