Prepare Your Brand for Peak Holiday Success

Brands and retailers that proactively tweak their customer journeys to enable an easier gift-buying experience will reap the benefits of higher conversion and greater sales.

A tidal wave of holiday shoppers is coming your way! Is your site on point to deliver accurate search results, highlight your holiday offerings, and show each shopper the most relevant products? 

Capturing the attention and intent of eCommerce shoppers on a mission to find the best gifts at the best prices requires an ideal customer experience. As we know, convenience, access to a wide selection of relevant items, and competitive pricing are some of shoppers’ main priorities. 

Eighty-eight percent of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services — the highest it’s ever been, according to a 2022 customer engagement report from Salesforce. Here are some important tips to give these high-intent shoppers the best chances to convert and keep coming back.

Improve Results for Seasonal Keywords

Even if shoppers don’t know exactly what they want, they know where to start looking. And that somewhere is most likely a web search. People shop with Google more than 1 billion times per day. The Holiday 100 is Google’s recently published list of the top gift ideas for 2022, based on trending searches from 2022. This will give you good ideas and insights about where they’re starting; the trick is to get them to finish their shopping journey on your site.

Seasonal shoppers might be inspired by an ad, a holiday gift guide, or a social media post. To increase your chances of showing up on a search results page, your website must be optimized for SEO. Visual search capabilities combined with AI tagging can also help your website show up in search engine results. 

Visual search can improve search engine ranking and discoverability by turning your product images into a metadata-rich beacon. You can tag your image library automatically, using Syte’s rich lexicon of AI-powered product tags. By harnessing deep learning, neural networks, and advanced image recognition algorithms, our AI technology automatically generates metadata based on visual attributes and makes associations among related keywords without human intervention. Serving as the backbone of your on-site search and filters, automatic product tagging can help to surface highly relevant products at the exact moment your shoppers search for them. As a result, your product catalog is always in season and culturally adaptable.

Intuitive navigation is another important factor to improve the shopping experience for your online customers. Once you get holiday shoppers to your website or app, will they know where to go? 

Make your Site a Holiday Gift Destination

An easy initial step to enhancing your product discovery is making gift discovery a prominent part of your website navigation, to demonstrate to shoppers that they have arrived at the right place for their holiday shopping. Many retailers dedicate all the space, text, and images on their homepage during the entire month of December to inspire gift-shoppers. If you don’t want to go that big, you can add a “Gifts” tab to your menu, to direct shoppers to popular items that make great gifts. 

Zales screenshot

Take it a step further by incorporating social media images. Six out of ten shoppers say they get “inspiration and ideas” from social media networks, according to a 2022 global survey by the IBM Institute for Business Value and the National Retail Federation. With Syte’s Discovery Stories feature, you can add this social experience to your site as shoppable stories that users can tap through, just like on social media platforms. It’s Syte’s same great product recommendations, designed as a captivating social commerce experience. And of course, it looks great on mobile. 

Tailor Product Discovery with Curated Collections and Gift Guides

This holiday season, present your customers with gift guides for him or her, Christmas shopping lists, and more. Holiday shoppers love product recommendations that are already organized into a list because they make shopping faster and easier. For websites with large inventories, helping your site visitors avoid choice paralysis is integral to keeping them engaged and ultimately, converting them. 

Online retailers like Prada and Ernest Jones Jewelry offer digital gift guides to help shoppers narrow down their searches by selecting parameters such as gender, age, style, and interests. 

Prada gift guide

Gift guides can sorted by budget (“The Best Cheap Gifts for Dad from Expensive Brands” or “15 Gifts Under $15 for Your Best Friend), popularity (“December’s Best-Sellers” or “Our Top Ten for Kids’ Bedrooms”), as well as buyer preferences (“Conscious Giving” or “10 Special Gifts from Local Small Businesses”). By offering this kind of personalization, you can help relieve shoppers’ stress about choice overload and boost engagement while presenting them with relevant products that will make the perfect gift. 

Embed Visual Search Capabilities 

When shopping online for clothing or furniture, more than 85% of respondents respectively put more importance on visual information than text information, according to one survey

In other words, visual information makes the customer experience better. This is what shoppers expect from you. To match your customers’ expectations, you have visual search.

Visual search offers unparalleled opportunities to inspire, engage, and nudge gift-shoppers toward purchase. With the ability to search for items using images instead of text, shoppers who know what their friends and family members love, but may not necessarily know what it’s called, can easily locate the right items. 

Your customers are probably in a rush. When they can’t think of the correct keywords to search for on your website or app, the search results will disappoint them. With Syte’s visual product discovery suite, your customers can search using an image. This lets you surface visually similar results, and showcase all available products in your inventory that are relevant for holiday shoppers.

For shoppers who don’t have a specific product in mind but are seeking some visual stimulation, image galleries can generate inspiration and motivate shoppers to buy.

The key to increasing sales and delighting customers will be a tailored customer experience that makes finding the best gifts as effortless as possible.

Put Yourself in Gift-Shoppers’ Shoes

When considering how to boost holiday shopping sales, think about the features you’d find helpful as you do your own holiday shopping. 

In most cases, adding elements like specific web navigation, curated gift guides, and targeted visual search will be your best bet for providing the most personalized and attentive customer experience while introducing visitors to relevant products. 

With this in mind, brands and retailers that proactively tweak their customer journeys to enable an easier gift-buying experience will reap the benefits of higher conversion and greater sales.