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7 Tips for Improving Product Discovery During the Holidays

December 15 2017

For the 2017 holidays, sales are expected to beat previous year's totals by 3.6-4 percent, potentially reaching $682 billion. Retailers who want to be successful during this time of year need to focus their strategy on product discovery during the holidays. The following tips will help e-commerce businesses draw consumers to their promotions and make a purchase.

1. Give the Appropriate Holiday Emphasis to Product Categories

Shoppers will be actively looking for holiday-focused sales and products that are ideal for gift-giving. To draw attention to the best items, retailers can put these key products into categories specifically themed for the holidays. For example, product groups like "Christmas Toys" can include holiday-themed toys and best-sellers to bring more focus to them.

2. Feature Key Products on Holiday Campaigns

Along the same lines, holiday campaigns from a retailer's homepage to its emails can boost product discovery during the holidays. Especially paired with a special offer, like free shipping or the expected seasonal discounts, products in holiday campaigns make it easy for shoppers to find the right deals and make a retailer's offers more persuasive. For the best results, these holiday campaigns should use visuals that begin to the tell the story of the products as the perfect holiday gift.

3. Monitor the Availability of Promoted Holiday Products

One of the biggest ways that an otherwise great holiday offer can be derailed is through promoted products that are out of stock. Items that are emphasized in emails and social media ads that show up as unavailable on the retailer's website can mean not only the loss of an immediate sale, but can also cause retailers to lose out on customers in the long term. To ensure the best possible holiday experience, businesses need to carefully monitor stock levels of products they promote.

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4. Ensure the Website and Holiday Promotions Are Easy to Navigate

A quick, general user experience check can go a long way towards making it easy for customers to complete the process from discovery to the purchase confirmation page. By making sure that navigation and promoted links work as expected, retailers can eliminate technical issues or navigation issues that may prevent a sale. There are also several ways to improve the website experience for the holidays.

5. Boost Site Search for Holiday Product Discovery

For those customers who already have a specific gift or type of gift in mind, efficient and accurate search is essential for making the most of seasonal shopping. An optimized site search begins with an evaluation of whether customers use the search feature -- and how they use it. From there, retailers can enhance the search experience with updating the search box design, testing search box accuracy and several other techniques.

6. Put More Emphasis on Cross-selling and Upselling Opportunities

Cross-selling and upselling are valuable techniques for retailers at any time, but especially during the holidays. By presenting a customer with related products to the one he or she is viewing, promoting complementary products to a customer, or both, retailers create the opportunity for a better sale, as well as a better customer experience. Bundling and keeping suggestions limited are the best practices for good results with this tactic.

7. Target Holiday Shoppers Through On-site SEO Practices

Search engine optimization is another element of online retail that is important for product discovery during the holidays. Adding holiday-related keywords such as "holiday sales on __" and "great gifts for __" to the usual SEO strategy can help retailers get better ranking on Google for the season.

The best strategies for holiday product discovery really come down to creating the best possible customer experience from Google to the website itself. 

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