During the holidays, specialty stores often see boosts in traffic as people hunt for both common and unique gifts. Most other stores put a great deal of focus on the Christmas shopping season, but nearly any ecommerce site can benefit year-round.
It all boils down to how you market and show shoppers that various products make good gifts. Mimicking big-box stores like Walmart and Target won’t cut it. That’s because these sites focus on large, bold graphics that scream “sale,” followed by categories of featured items.
Granted, sales are always nice, but shoppers first need to find the right gift. That’s where effective landing pages, banners, and showcased items come into play.
When building a gift-giving landing page, be sure to accommodate as many people as possible. The ideal page should include the following.
- Featured holiday or celebration. If applicable, include the current year’s date.
- Spotlighted items, which can be displayed in an oversized banner.
- Categories of gift types, such as apparel, housewares, sports, and gift baskets.
- Collections of gifts by price range. Many shoppers have a budget and this helps them better focus on what they can afford.
- Any promo code, sale information or offer, including free shipping and gift wrapping service.
- Links for contacting customer support — live chat, email, phone — so shoppers can get help finding the right gift.
Shopping for the right gift can be time consuming and frustrating, especially when a site doesn’t offer enough details. Here are some things to avoid, to make the conversion process go smoothly.
- Focusing on stellar design and little else. Be sure to also provide all the essential product information.
- Listing products that will not arrive in time. As the holiday gets closer, remove any items that can’t ship in a timely fashion. Typically this includes drop-shipped items.
- Listing items that have poor ratings and reviews.
- Not being clear about items that are oversized and may require specialty handling.
- Not disclosing in advance any products that cannot ship to certain locations, such as products that cannot be exported.
- Listing too many products. The idea is to provide a decent selection, not necessarily a massive group of products because “anything is a gift.”
- Listing out-of-stock products. Many people are shopping last-minute. Make it easy by listing products they can actually buy.
You’ll also want to educate shoppers, especially when it comes to gift giving for special occasions. By providing key information, you can keep them right where you want them, rather than sending them to other websites.
It may take several revisions and testing to find the right mix, but it’s worth finding the best way to feature gift ideas. Don’t hesitate to check out plenty of other online stores, including competitors. You’re not looking for what to copy, but rather analyzing how each one would work for your target audience.
Gift-ideas sections are ever changing, as trends change. Both analytics and heat maps can help determine what’s working. Look at these often. A successful landing page or gift-ideas section entices the shopper to really navigate, so longer visit times often indicate interest, especially on mobile.
Lastly, be sure to read both pre-order questions and post-order feedback from customers. Some will share their gift-giving stories, which can help you decide what products to feature.