Friday, 24 November, 2017
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How to bring seasonality to your e-commerce site

Matching creativity to a flexible e-commerce system means you can use one-off and regular occasions to your advantage, says KEVIN SPARKS.

Jewellers and watch retailers are experts at dressing their shop windows and their physical stores to attract customers and entice them to part with their cash: and exactly the same approach should be taken online.

Like many accessories, jewellery is more often than not bought as a gift. This means that the purchasers are generally coming to your ecommerce site in the first instance to look for ideas and inspiration.

Take cues and themes from the seasons and current events, just as you would when building an in-store display – Valentine’s Day, Christmas, a Royal Wedding, or even just summer or a day at the beach.

The good news is that it’s even easier to do online than in store – as long as you have the right technology in place.

First things first, you need an intuitive search function that suggests appropriate items for seasonal and special occasion terms – whether that’s Valentine’s Day, Christening, Engagement and so on. Hobbycraft is a great example of a retailer that uses search terms like ‘Mothers Day’, ‘Christmas’ and ‘Wedding’ to build themes around seasonal events.

A great way to reflect seasonality on an ecommerce site is through the use of individually branded landing pages. These can boost sales conversion rates by underlining that the person searching has come to the right products, and they can also carry prominent calls to action to directly drive sales. Visitors will also perceive that the retailer is catering much more to their needs, which can engender a greater sense of trust and loyalty.

The relative high value of jewellery naturally makes it harder to sell online than in store, as people are more likely to want to examine items closely by holding or wearing the item before buying. How do you get around it? Using video at the right time is encouraged as seeing items in situ worn by a glamourous model or celebrity will undoubtedly have an impact on propensity to buy – boosting the chances of customers completing their buying journey online.

To inspire customers and capitalise on seasonal and special events, a great trick is to implement advisory or guided selling campaigns. This means having an efficient advisory function incorporated into your ecommerce system as it gives you the flexibility to update quickly. Using snapshots of data from users from the previous time period last year will undoubtedly help but if that isn’t available to you then intelligent campaign management to deliver engaging content and experiences will uplift sales in most cases.

Of course, the usual simple, speedy and accurate key search functionality is vital, so that consumers can gain quick inspiration, then find a choice of relevant items with as little delay as possible. But advisory technology that allows people to search in a more intuitive way, along with the flexibility to react to key events, can work with your own creative skills to drive sales.

Kevin Sparks is Commercial Director at FACT-Finder. The firm helps customers to find and buy the right products in online-shops, analysing and optimising the customer journey for a better customer experience and higher conversion rates. Ecommerce managers can steer the full range of features through a user-friendly dashboard (e.g. to create landing pages, manage search results or adjust the filter navigation).

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