High Impact Tweaks for Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner. Is your site prepared for the consumer rush? If not, will you be able to convert those you've been lucky enough to attract?

While you might not have time to correct all potential usability issues that could hamper your online sales this season, a few tweaks might be just what you need to make this a merry holiday indeed.

There are of course a whole host of changes that you can make to your website which can increase your conversion rate many fold. Major changes aside, rethinking headlines and subheadings to emphasize the uniqueness of the products, reorganizing how products appear in search results, aligning products for related searches, reviewing product copy, and creating custom sales pages are all ways to add a "holiday-centric" layer to your website without breaking the bank and driving yourself crazy before Thanksgiving.

Let's look at these tweaks (and others) in more detail:

Rethinking Headlines and Subheadings: Nothing speaks more loudly to consumers (and search engines of course) than powerful headlines and meaningful subheadings. While headlines and subheading play key roles in successful on-site search engine optimization, it's the impact they have on site visitors that matter most. At a glance consumers are able to determine if they are on the right page and whether what it is that they are seeing is appropriate for them. Rethinking headlines and subheadings goes much further than including keywords (although that will help). Analyzing them with a focus on their ability to provide "conversion assists" and whether they persuade or dissuade users (perhaps through some quick A/B testing) should be your first tweak before Cyber Monday begins.

Reorganizing Products in Search Results: Search (as was mentioned in Website Magazine's November cover story "Search All Over") happens everywhere - including your website. Most powerful ecommerce solutions provide merchants with an opportunity to profile certain products based on the users query or at least highlight a product regardless of the search term. Leveraging these tools will help consumers find precisely what they are looking for and increase average order value as merchants are able to generate awareness for specific types of products.

Refreshing Product Description Copy: How often do you rework the copy featured for each product? Chances are it's not very often. Don't worry - you're not alone. Simply reviewing this immensely important section of product pages, checking for accuracy and even giving the text some freshness will position those products for higher sales. A relatively new trend is to scan consumer reviews and retool descriptions using trigger words such as "reliable" or "attractive". Since this is how consumers define these products, using those terms and phrases to sell the products to other consumers just makes sense.

Creating Custom Sales Pages: While each product should have its own sales page, adding another layer (in this case a holiday-centric layer) to what consumer expect will help to yield high conversions and the respect of your consumers. For example, should you be selling mobile phones, consider ordering them on a custom page in "good, better, best" format or by profiling them according to separate attributes such as best value, best design or best performance. Consumers will appreciate the insights and be more likely to part with their limited budgets.

Developing Support Sections: While putting contact information at the front and center of ecommerce storefronts can firmly be put in the "beginner's category," it remains incredibly important. Take support a step further by developing a special support section for holiday shoppers and calling consumers attention to it. This is a good opportunity to exposure shoppers to live chat offerings (which can be an inexpensive and a powerful way to reduce the number of abandoned carts), postal and email addresses, and even offering access to something as simple as a frequently asked questions section which should be link to it product pages. Consumers need your support, so develop custom sections for them!

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