Online Optimization For The Holidays: Is Pittsburgh Ready?

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are a time for giving thanks and cheer, but also for painstakingly long lines and brawling for the last Steelers Jersey on the shelf. The thing is though; we may not be seeing so much of the latter this year. The lines for shopping are blurring to the point where Google’s retail team is calling this the first “nonline” shopping season. With the current smartphone and tablet technology with us everywhere we go, consumers no longer view shopping online and offline as two different things, and neither should business owners. This is what you need to know about optimizing for holiday shopping in Pittsburgh, or anywhere!

Online sales for November and December of this year are expected to reach $54.5 billion, making that a 16.8% surge over last year, according to Jeffrey Grau at eMarketer. With that in mind, businesses have a lot to consider. The most important thing to understand is that consumers will be utilizing a combination of all available channels to aid them in their shopping process. This includes tablets, computers, smartphones as well as the traditional brick and mortar store. On top of that, they will be turning to those specific platforms at different stages of the buying cycle. According to an article by Mashable, 44% will research online and buy products online, while 17% visit a store first, and then purchase online. On the other hand, 51% research online and visit a store to purchase while 32% research online, view product in store, and then return online to purchase. Businesses are thinking, “How do we keep up with this erratic shopping behavior?” The answer is simple, make sure you’re prepared on all fronts and optimize for this holiday season!

Here are some tips!

 1)       Website – Something as simple as a bad font could have a potential customer hit the back button on their web browser before they even search for what they came for. Making sure that your site is visually pleasing as well as easily navigatable is key. Along with that, making sure all aspects are functioning, especially when it comes to purchasing items. Good websites lead to happy customers which lead to more sales!

2)       Mobile Site – Make sure that you’ve optimized your website to be viewed on mobile devices or tablets. Most of the time, if a website is not optimized for mobile, the information is jumbled and non-functioning. In most cases, shoppers will immediately look elsewhere. This can be easily avoided! Believe it or not, a mobile site is pretty easy to get!

3)       Social Media – Ever hear of Pinterest? At 30%, the shopper’s dream network is close behind Facebook, which is at 50%, for the biggest source of social networking traffic for retail websites. Not only can social networks lead shoppers to your website, but it’s a place to read reviews, which 67% of online shoppers say influence them the most.

So, Pittsburgh, are you ready to optimize for this years holiday shopping season? Rely on your allies at 34 Allies to give you everything you need digitally to have not only a successful holiday, but a successful business for years to come.E-commerce Holiday Shopping Statistics and Trends

Infographic by- Invesp