By Ethan Giffin
There’s no ecommerce “offseason.” Any veteran online retail pro will tell you the end of one holiday shopping season marks the beginning of the next. That said, this time of yearis one of the few opportunities etailers have to catch their breath, restock, take stock, and make sure that their ecommerce machine is in tip top shape for the remainder of the year.
The following tips should do just that–boost your leads and sales without the complete overhaul you don’t have the time or money for.
- Revisit Your Email Acquisition Strategy. If your holiday shopping season was dedicated to hitting your subscribers with the latest deals and gifts, you can dedicate summer to growing that subscriber base with welcome series email campaigns, social media integration, and loyalty programs.
- Set Up Advanced Google Analytics Functionality. If the holiday season only left you with a truckload of visitor data that lacked insight, it’s time to leverage advanced features of Google analytics like Events, Event Tracking and Custom Reporting. Make 2013 the year of using your data instead of being overwhelmed by it.
- Evaluate Your Cross-Selling Tactics. How did your cross-sells pay off during the winter? Did your product suggestions miss the mark? A number of recommendation engines on the market can evaluate your customer’s behavior and help you find ways to increase average order value.
- Change Up Your “Hero” Banner. You don’t want your customers to come back to the same hero banner months later. Put some exciting new images in the rotation and possibly tie it to the current season.
- Catch Up on Your Blog, or Create One. Even the most active company blog can slow down during the busy season. Now is a great time to create new, evergreen content that you can use in the coming months when you don’t have a chance to sit down and blog.
- Demo the Latest Tools. It seems like every other day, a Web company is offering insight into your website’s performance, especially when it comes to SEO. Seek out free (or free trial) analytics tools to see what’s out there.
- Evaluate Your PPC Landing Pages. Don’t waste valuable clicks! Are you leveraging what you know about your user to cater to them? Is your copy compelling? Does it include a strong call to action? Be sure that you are using B-testing— it’s critical.
- Check Your Links. Obvious, yes, but when was the last time you did it? Customers don’t appreciate being sent to 404 errors, and it hurts your SEO as well.
In an ideal world, you’d have time for all of the above, but sometimes keeping the site up, your catalog current and the shipments on time is all you can handle. Focus on a couple tactics now, and you’ll be set up for improved ecommerce success year-round.
Ethan Giffin is the founder and CEO of full service ecommerce agency Groove Commerce. When he isn’t obsessing over SEO, conversion rates and ecommerce architecture, he can be found speaking at industry conferences nationwide. In his free time he enjoys, cooking, traveling, DJing and the pursuit of rare pocket squares.