Are you ready for Cyber Monday? No matter what time of year it is, this is something that all online retailers should be thinking about—as the biggest shopping weekend of the year, it could ruin your chances of reaching your annual sales goals if you go in unprepared.
One of the most important aspects of shopping holiday preparation is the design of your site. Every storefront needs to be decorated for the holidays, no matter what holidays you’re celebrating. Whether this means building an entirely new theme from scratch or finding a template that works for you (option two is definitely the quicker route), there are a few features you need to look for in any Cyber Monday redesign.
1. Good Product Photography
Put your products forward in the best light possible. Remember that since customers can’t pick up and look at the item themselves, it’s up to you to make sure that you offer multiple photos to give them a proper feel for the size and features of the product.
2. Supersize Thumbnails
The best product photography in the world doesn’t mean a thing if your customers can’t see it! Make your thumbnails as big as you can, within reason, and make sure that they expand to a large resolution either via lightbox or a magnifier. Entrepreneur.com also notes that clear photography and good descriptions will reduce returns after the holidays come to a close,
3. Responsive Themes
With the amount of shopping traffic that’s going mobile, there’s nothing to lose by making your site responsive—and you have everything to gain. TechCrunch reports that in 2013, mobile sales reached over 21 percent of total online sales, a staggering 43 percent increase. As a small business, you can’t afford to ignore a fifth of your prospective annual sales, so make sure that your site is fully responsive and optimized for mobile. Online retail solutions like Shopify offer plenty of themes and templates that come fully optimized out of the box, so this isn’t as difficult as it used to be.
Put your Cyber Monday declaration in your header to make sure it’s visible across the entire site. Remember that your clients aren’t necessarily going to find your storefront homepage first, so you need to make sure that your deals are visible throughout the site. You can put this in your header, a (user-friendly) popup, in your site background, or even all three. Just make sure that no matter where a customer lands, they can see your special offers right away.
5. Holiday Shorthand Imagery
Christmas trees, Santa Claus and twinkling lights are just a few graphical options that will serve as shorthand for your Cyber Monday extravaganza. These images and their respective color schemes serve as “shorthand” for clients to read into your current sales and season. Don’t be afraid to go all-out, but don’t overdo it—these images should never overpower your product listings.
As a sidenote, if your shop specializes in goods for other winter holidays such as Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, be sure to make sure the imagery and colors you use matches up with the given holiday. Christmas trees are nice, but if you’re selling handmade dreidels it’s probably not the most appropriate graphical decision.
6. A Countdown
Put this on the front page starting the week before Cyber Monday to build interest and get your customers excited. It shows a dedication to your business by keeping it constantly updated as you come closer to the big event, and lets customers know exactly when you intend to open your doors to the festivities. A large animated countdown is preferred, but a smaller one in the upper right corner of your header will work too.
7. Landing Pages for Best Sellers
This is not only an attractive way to showcase a particular product or group of products, but also helps increase your SEO for the related search terms. It helps customers find you in the hustle and bustle of the shopping holiday, tells them how to get what they want, and helps you put your best foot forward.
Since prospective customers aren’t generally going to run a search for the name of your business, but rather the type of products you offer, this gives you more pages featuring those particular keywords and can increase traffic and customer engagement by a huge margin according to Unbounce—as long as the pages are designed correctly.
Skin Out Your Site Early
There are plenty of other design features you could incorporate to make your Cyber Monday sales as close to perfect as they can be, but following these lucky seven recommendations is sure to make a difference whether it’s your first Cyber Monday in sales or your last Cyber Monday sale before retirement. Remember that customers start looking for Cyber Monday deals as early as the first week of November, so get your site skinned out for the holidays and your advertisements up as early as you see fit.
The sooner you get your site redesign live, the sooner your store will start cropping up on searches for Cyber Monday sales. No matter what you’re selling or how comfortable you are in your industry, you need all the traffic you can get. Make sure your design is working with you, not against you, and get it out there early.
Image credits to : Scott Lynch