E-retailers prepare for Christmas period

Almost half of Australian consumers do most of their Christmas holiday shopping from their phone, tablet or computer.

With Christmas almost upon us, retailers are gearing up for the busiest period of the year. As chaotic as the season is for shoppers, retailers are already scrambling to make sure everyone’s got something in their stocking. We surveyed 1150 shoppers in Australia, the US and the UK to uncover what makes their shopping season tick, including plans, budgets and preferences.

Findings from the key Australian survey include:

  • 76 per cent of Australian consumers plan to spend $1000 or less on gifts this holiday season
  • 27 per cent of Australian consumers regularly shop on Boxing Day
  • millennials are twice as likely as Baby Boomers and Gen Xers to learn about holiday gift ideas from social media
  • the iPhone 7 is the most wished-for tech gift this year
  • clothing and toys/games are what most people plan to give as gifts this year
  • 36 per cent of Australian consumers learn about gifts to buy from television
  • 32 per cent of Australian shoppers say they always price check between bricks-and-mortar and online stores.

Almost half (49 per cent) of Australian consumers do most of their Christmas holiday shopping from their phone, tablet or computer, so the challenge for retailers is to tailor online experiences to individual customers and provide a frictionless experience in order to convert site visitors into increased sales.

We have identified three key tips to increase online sales over the Christmas period:

  1. Consider where consumers leave the website

Businesses should pinpoint where they are losing customers in the sales process. Identify at what point in the online order cycle customers leave and then correct those loss positions. This will create a lateral shift from frustration to purchase and help buyers better manoeuver around the website, locating what they want, with no checkout issues at the finish line. It will bring an immediate win on closing rates.

  1. Understand where consumers get stuck on your website

Businesses should track activity on the website, not just roadblocks to purchase but also where consumers are having difficulty. Based on website analytics, online retailers can use a website intercept system, that lets the organisation get feedback on the spot.

If a potential customer can’t find what they are looking for, they may leave the site. To prevent this, you need a website intercept system that recognises when there has been a halt in activities for a minute or two and then triggers a message to the customer asking them how you can help. This can deliver useful insights on how the customer is using the site and where they ran into trouble.

  1. Win consumers back as they abandon their shopping carts

Our survey found that 16 per cent of Australian consumers say they frequently and 17 per cent say they usually place items in their cart and then abandon it. Businesses can use cart abandonment surveys to determine why a consumer is leaving without buying and offer promotions to encourage them to purchase. For example, if a consumer abandons a shopping cart due to shipping costs, online retailers can offer a promotional code for discounted shipping if they purchase in a certain period of time. Interjecting at the right touch points and offering assistance, special promotions, or more information are a great way to get buyer success and customer feedback.

By making some simple tweaks to your website, you can gain deep customer and market insights, which can enable you to provide a better customer experience. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of customer behaviour and providing targeted experiences can mean the difference between engaged, purchasing customers and lost sales.

Bill McMurray, Managing Director, Asia Pacific and Japan, Qualtrics

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