How and why to optimize your site now for the Holiday season

Delaney McDonald

August 5, 2021 | 2 min read

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2021

For the first time ever, U.S. holiday retail sales are predicted to surpass $1 trillion this year. That means there will be more shoppers than ever before—both in-store and online.

This is why you should start optimizing your site now for a successful Holiday season. Below is an overview of the top three trends to expect this year and how to prepare for them from our webinar, CXmas in July: How & Why to Optimize Your Site Now For a Successful Holiday Season.

More money, more shoppers

Anticipate increased online traffic like never before, with new segments of shoppers moving online. After 2020, when everyone was forced to shop online, new segments (such as people over 50 years old) that previously chose to shop in-store are now preferring to shop online. Last year, online Black Friday shoppers hit 100 million, and this year is expected to be even higher.

How to prepare

  1. Line up support coverage and prioritize making self-help options available.
  2. Optimize your site now for peak Holiday hallmarks.
  3. Test, test, and test again!
  4. Make an internal communications and collaboration plan that all customer-centric teams can access.

A hybrid retail reality

Digital and in-store experiences are no longer separate—the line continues to blur as digital increasingly influences in-store activities. There are more ways to purchase online than ever before; in-app shopping, social media and more. This has led to a multi-tiered consumer journey—consumers’ can easily go from social, to web, to in-store, back to web, all before making a purchase.

How to prepare

  1. Focus on differentiating and improving your digital and in-store customer experiences.
  2. Explore and test alternative fulfillment methods like curbside pick-up, home delivery and buy online, pick-up instore (BOPIS).
  3. Use data to understand customer insights, intent and behaviors at all touchpoints.
  4. Bring in-store capabilities online. Bring in live influencer shopping, virtual shopping, virtual assistance and in-store events to education users instead of just selling to them.

Shoppers planning ahead

With supply issues occurring across industries, consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier to avoid the risk of out of stock or shipping delays. This means brands need to launch holiday promotions and gift guides on their site earlier than previous years.

How to prepare

  1. Test gift guides on your site.
  2. Test and update your site filtering.
  3. Check stock/out of stock and have real-time inventory updates on your site.
  4. Focus on convenience, make in-store interactions and site navigation more intentional and user-friendly.

For more in-depth details on the top trends, specific examples of implementation, and set-by-step instructions on how to prepare your site for the Holiday season, watch our on-demand webinar, CXmas in July: How & Why to Optimize Your Site Now For a Successful Holiday Season.