In the world of ecommerce, it’s no secret that prep for the holiday season starts early. For many online retailers, the three key weeks of holiday shopping can make up 20 to 25% of annual revenue. Stakes are high, and the digital experience must be flawless—which doesn’t happen overnight.
Because many retailers will soon go into code freeze, holiday preparedness measures need to be fine-tuned well ahead of the actual shopping season. For FullStory, this means our customer success team is working hard to help customers optimize their DXI set-up before the chaos sets in.
Why the 2023 holiday season is like no other
Though it feels like we’ve been chanting this for the past several holiday seasons, this year is different than previous ones.
We know that macroeconomically, times are tough. While you can’t control those factors, you can control how well you prepare.
Here are our top three recommendations for online retailers in the current macroeconomic climate.
Recommendation #1: Nail the basics
The months leading up to the busy holiday shopping season probably aren’t the time to implement your site’s first Augmented Reality experience or to launch a whole new website experience. Instead, make sure the features and experiences that are already on your site are doing their jobs well.
In fact, a recent survey of consumers revealed that most shoppers would prefer practical website improvements over fancy new features—and 81% consumers say their top priority when transacting online is simply “to quickly accomplish what I came to do.”
Here are three ways to use Digital Experience Intelligence to emphasize value over flashiness:
Improve user journeys: Use FullStory to monitor site abandonment and suss out ways to improve the customer’s journey. If a customer can’t easily find the product, read about it, and add it to their cart, they’re not going to buy it.
Balance payment options: With more and more payment options out there, retailers should think carefully about which to accept. Too many options (PayPal, Klarna, Afterpay, etc.) can be overwhelming for shoppers, while too few can be limiting.
Clarify shipping and return policies: These can contribute to major drop-off—especially if your shipping and return policies are unclear or seen as unfair. You can monitor the impact of these policies with Journeys, Funnels, Page Flows, and especially through the highlighted text signal in FullStory. If a shopper highlights something in your policy, it’s likely they’re surprised to read it.
Recommendation #2: Monitor your coupons and loyalty programs
You already understand the importance of customer loyalty—but do you know how effective your loyalty program is? Ahead of the holiday season, ensure that your loyalty program offers and promo codes are working properly. Accessing the discount they expected through a promo code or special offer can be the difference between completing a purchase or abandoning a cart.
On the other hand, it’s also a critical time to reduce friction for shoppers who want to check out as a guest without creating an account or joining a loyalty program. During gift-giving season, not all of your shoppers are your target audience. Get out of the way of shoppers who just want to quickly make a purchase and move on.
Recommendation #3: Make product research easy
Research is becoming an increasingly common and important part of buyer behavior. In fact, in a 2022 FullStory survey, 51% of consumers said they have begun researching more carefully before making purchases online.
Here are three signals in FullStory that can help you monitor and improve the experience for shoppers who may be doing product research:
Copy/paste: Shoppers who are using copy/paste are most likely comparison shopping between sites. For example, if you see a high abandonment rate associated with users who are copying and pasting, you may be being beat out by a better deal (or a better digital experience).
Pinch-to-zoom: If shoppers are using pinch-to-zoom on your web or mobile site, it likely indicates that something is difficult to see. This can be frustrating, and may even cause customers to look elsewhere for a more user-friendly shopping experience.
Tabbed browsing: You can now accurately visualize the creation, closure, and navigation between tabs with tabbed browsing in FullStory's session replay. This allows you to better understand when and why users are interacting with multiple pages on your website at once.
By proactively setting up Metrics and Alerts for these signals in FullStory, you can monitor comparison shopping behavior and make updates to improve the experience.