According to Forrester, the U.S. reached a record high of $89 billion in online sales this holiday season, an increase of 13 percent from 2013. With online consumer spending on the rise, retailers must reevaluate their business models to accommodate for the growth of e-commerce, especially during the holidays, which have become a strong period for e-commerce.
With the holiday shopping season officially over, leading e-commerce database provider Clustrix discusses the lessons learned from this past shopping season for e-tailers to leverage for greater success in 2015.
Boosting E-Commerce Success
Click through for five lessons e-tailers can take from the past holiday season and apply in 2015 for greater e-commerce success, as identified by Clustrix.
Maximize Mobile Engagement
Mobile devices are beginning to play a large role in e-commerce, from researching prices and products in advance of a purchase and for the purchase itself. In fact, in 2014, mobile accounted for 51.2 percent of all e-commerce browsing and almost one-third of sales over the Thanksgiving and Black Friday period. Yet, many e-commerce retailers are still delivering the desktop experience to mobile devices.
As consumers continuously shift between their smartphones, desktops and tablets, e-commerce businesses must optimize their digital storefronts to seamlessly sync across these devices. By optimizing for mobile, e-tailers are aligning their sales strategies to keep mobile consumers consistently engaged via their preferred channel.
Capitalize on Time-Sensitive Deals
Time-sensitive offers have proven highly successful for retailers. Black Friday and Cyber Monday – two occasions to offer time-sensitive sales – have easily become two of the biggest shopping days of the year. Combined with great savings, these limited-time offerings present a call-to-action to consumers and often result in a spike in sales.
Not only can these time-sensitive deals drive sales during holiday periods such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, but they can also be leveraged to drive incremental website traffic on a weekly or monthly basis.
Don’t Rely Solely on the Big Shopping Days like Cyber Monday
This year, the holiday shopping season extended well beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with retailers offering deals throughout the months of November and December. As a result, despite a successful season, many retailers saw a decrease in sales on these two historically high traffic days.
This shift extends well beyond the holiday season. Online shopping provides consumers with the ability to shop for almost anything, anytime. As such, e-tailers need to be prepared not only to handle peaks in traffic, but also to provide an “always on” shopping experience for customers.
Leverage Consumer Analytics to Personalize the Shopping Experience
By capturing consumer data, e-commerce businesses can create data-driven offers and personalize the shopping experience for visitors. This creates a distinct advantage over competitors.
Whether collecting consumer demographics or gaining insight on peak shopping times, this data can be used to optimize the customer shopping experience year round, and ultimately help to increase sales conversion opportunities.
Adopt a High-Availability Database to Scale as Traffic Increases
While the holidays may bring an exciting amount of new business and traffic to e-commerce websites, traffic peaks also have the potential to overload the databases that power these sites. The result: page load slowdown, transaction interruption, or worse, website crash.
By leveraging a database that can scale out with zero downtime, e-commerce businesses can equip their websites to handle any amount of traffic. A scale-out solution has the ability to simultaneously accommodate any amount of traffic and transaction volumes, providing a seamless shopping experience for customers.