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Holiday Preparations for Web Professionals

Posted on 10.01.2010

Every business engages in some type of holiday preparation, regardless of the products they sell or the services they provide. Live chat technology firm Bold Software is no exception, and its annual Holiday Readiness Handbook provides some useful data to help Web professionals develop their strategies.

Bold Software surveyed more than 400 people in August, representing more than 300 of the companies that utilize its live chat services around the world. The participants identified the website changes they were making in preparation for the 2010 holidays, and the top 10 responses are listed below:

1. Moderate design changes
2. Site navigation
3. Landing pages
4. Optimization of live chat (tie)
4. Site search (tie)
6. Search engine optimization
7. Video content
8. Purchase process changes
9. Wholesale design changes
10. Mobile commerce optimization

When asked what offers businesses were rolling out in support of the 2010 holiday season, the top six responses were as follows:

1. General discount coupons/codes
2. Specific product promotions
3. Free or reduced shipping
4. Free giveaways
5. Lowest-price guarantees
6. Contests/sweepstakes

The top five methods for optimizing their live chat systems included the following:

1. Evaluate canned messaging
2. Implement proactive chat
3. Empower agents to offer incentives
4. Optimize proactive rules
5. Chat window customizations

Of the entire survey group, 46 percent said that their preparations had been made when asked in August, 28 percent said that they were under way, and 17 percent had not started on them yet. Finally, 61 percent of the respondents are anticipating improved sales this holiday season while 37 percent expect no change, and 2 percent are expecting lower sales during the 2010 holidays than they experienced in 2009.

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