Emily Strachan

Visualsoft’s CRO Guide For The Peak Retail Period

In 2017, an astonishing £1.4 billion was spent on Black Friday – an 11.7% increase from 2016 (Net Imperative). One thing’s for sure, we must not underestimate the power of Cyber Weekend and our CRO guru, Heather Barmby, has put together an expert guide, to make sure your site is fully prepared for the expected increase in demand during Q4.

A quick website review:

For Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), it’s highly important to make sure all your ducks are aligned on the website itself prior to the peak retail period, so, a quick website review would be wise! The high street can be stressful during peak periods and in contrast, your website should provide users with a tranquil and enjoyable shopping experience.

Top Tip: Use a contact that doesn’t personally work on the website to conduct this review. Whether it be an owner’s spouse, silent business partner, investor, or close friend, try to pay close attention to them as they do it to get the best out of the experience.

Things you are looking for:

  • Countdown timers in line with key delivery cut off times.
  • Last delivery dates clear on all pages.
  • Extended returns policies also clear on all pages to encourage users to convert to customers.
  • Keep in mind what devices your customers use, if it’s predominantly mobile, ensure that this is your main focus.
  • Check all promo banners are current with correct messages.
  • Urgency, such as ‘only x left in stock’, may help encourage users to buy sale items on the spot instead of shopping around.
  • Are filter options sufficient enough for users to easily narrow down their search to only products that are relevant to them?
  • Homepage and landing page images need to be properly optimised to reduce page load times – there’s going to be a lot of traffic on its way!
  • Check your products are properly merchandised.
  • Make sure search is properly set up including misspells, to redirect users correctly to the best pages possible.
  • All products must have images, titles need triple checking, and ensure all are correctly categorised.
  • If you’re offering free shipping, make sure delivery messages are prominent across the site.
  • If you’re not offering free shipping, consider it with a free delivery threshold, and promote at checkout ‘spend x more for free shipping’.
  • Make a test purchase, how easy was it to find the product, add it to the basket and checkout?

Overall, you are carrying out a quick objective review to make sure your website is clear, generates urgency and provides the correct messaging.

Approach the review of the site as if it were a physical store. If there are clear user experience issues or design flaws, then it’s like having a great looking shop front with great products, but the doors are locked. Make sure that every user has an enjoyable experience on the site and they’ll be sure to return to shop with you again!

Alternative to the site review:

One low cost but highly effective way of reviewing a site, is to adopt a user testing service and target a handful of users from your website’s demographic with tasks to perform on the site. This will provide insight into how potential customers actually navigate their way around the site and will highlight any frustrations they may face along the way. Speak to our CRO team direct for further information about user testing, and how it can help boost your website’s performance!

Final tip:

Make sure your main homepage promos link directly to your most important categories/brands to be pushed over the festive season. This is particularly important on mobile to ensure that a customer’s journey is as short and efficient as possible!

Our CRO experts can help optimise your website to achieve the best possible conversion rates over the biggest sales periods of the year, including Cyber Weekend. Keen to learn more? Get in touch today on 01642 988416.

Related articles: