Another holiday shopping season is here! Are you ready? Were your Black Friday sales not as robust as you hoped? There’s still time to fix things, but you need to really buckle down. The first thing to do is review your site stats. Pay particular attention to bounce rates and shopping cart abandonment. Bounce refers to how quickly visitors leave your site. If that rate is high, take a good long hard look at your site. Is it loading slowly? Approach it as a shopper. Is it easy to navigate? Do your product listings have clear, professional photos and well written descriptions? One small pop up inviting visitors to join your mailing list in return for a discount is okay, but more than that will send visitors diving for the back button. Make sure all the images you use are high quality, but optimize them so your site will load quickly. Did your site bog down or crash altogether on Black Friday? Find out why and fix it ASAP. Most of the time it’s due to a lack of bandwidth. Increase yours to as much as you can and if you aren’t on a dedicated server, you need to be! It’s crucial your site be able to handle high volume.

If you’re experience a high rate of shopping cart abandonment, it’s likely your check out process is too cumbersome. It shouldn’t require customers to jump through more than 2-3 pages, nor should it demand their payment info before showing them shipping and tax info. Look at your shipping fees too. While it’s true that shipping seems to be getting more expensive everyday, try not to pass that along to your customers. Offer free shipping whenever possible. It’s been proven that shoppers will overwhelmingly prefer an item with a higher price and free shipping over the same item at a lower price with a shipping charge, so build your shipping cost into your item price whenever you can.

If you’ve been getting complaints about your shopping cart, heed them and make some changes. Check out to get started. A good shopping cart will go a long away toward building customer satisfaction and loyalty. It should be easy to use and most importantly, save the customer’s choices for as long as possible. One of the best ways to drive a customer away is to have a cart that empties their cart the minute they leave the site. Shoppers love to fill their carts and then think about their purchases or do research/comparison shopping elsewhere. If they know they can come back and simply check out, they will!


Holiday Shopping Pitfalls