Though the holiday season came and went, it brought with it increased engagement, new customers, and record-breaking sales. With holiday e-commerce sales forecasted to have a year-over-year increase of between 11% to 15% during 2021-2022, now is the time for businesses to ensure that no revenue-driving stone is left unturned, and to start preparing for the next holiday season.

When it comes to e-commerce websites, their features can significantly affect the outcome of their profits, especially during a season where high traffic volumes are expected. For example, at the height of the pandemic, retailers that did not have a curb-side pickup feature on their e-commerce sites missed out on a portion of sales from customers who were ordering online but wanted to safely collect their purchases.

For businesses to avoid losing their share of the holiday season sales pie, they must utilize these revenue-generating e-commerce features.

Site-wide Discounts

Offering discounts during the holiday season is a no-brainer. Offering a discount on a selected item is simple and only requires the website administrator to input the details and click ‘save.’ However, launching a site-wide sale can be more complicated if the e-commerce CMS does not have an automatic storewide discounts feature.

Utilizing a storewide discounts feature will enable e-commerce businesses to, for example, offer 10% off their entire catalogue for all orders over $40 so that the discount applies to all customer purchases. With this feature, customers can enjoy a better shopping experience as they don’t need to input a coupon code at checkout as the discounts are automatically applied.

Abandoned Cart Recovery

Every e-commerce business owner has experienced the frustration of receiving multiple abandoned cart reports and has had to accept the fact that they are missing out on multiple sales. Based on the data collected by the Baymard Institute, the current average cart abandonment rate is 69.82%, and it can be assumed that this number increases with the advent of the festive season.

E-commerce business owners must add a shopping cart abandonment feature to their website, to mitigate the risk of losing sales. When a customer adds a product to the cart, enters their email but doesn’t complete the checkout, this feature keeps track of the abandoned cart, saves it on the system, and sends them a reminder email. The customer is reminded about what they were going to purchase and can be redirected to the checkout page to complete their order later.

Without the abandoned cart recovery feature, e-tailers will miss out on the opportunity to exceed sales targets and boost growth.

Recurring Billing

Whether your business offers a service or a product, failing to get users to opt into a subscription or recurring payment during the holiday period is a huge, missed opportunity. Businesses wanting to ensure that they continue to generate sales long after the season is over must make a point of utilizing the recurring billing feature on their e-commerce website.

To capitalize on Christmas spending, e-commerce stores can place the feature on their most popular products and allow customers to indicate the frequency of product replenishment or renewal.

Not only does the subscription feature increase revenue, but it also allows businesses to retrieve valuable customer data that can be used to upsell a tailored experience or a customized product offering later down the line.

Automated Emails

Converting a ‘browser’ into a ‘buyer’ for a single holiday transaction is a success but getting that same customer to return and make an additional purchase within a short period is an even bigger accomplishment. The best way for online retailers to achieve this during the holidays is by installing an automated emails feature.

According to global data gathered on email marketing automation, the conversion rate for automated messages sent to post-purchase customers is 18.21%. That’s 16.01% higher than the benchmark e-commerce website conversion rate of 2.2% for December 2021. So, sending an automated message to a customer’s inbox, based on the interactions they’ve had with a store, is a sure-fire way to re-activate their interest and encourage them to buy again.

The feature can also improve customer experience in that order confirmation, shipping notifications, and purchase anniversaries can automatically be sent immediately after the customer has performed a specific action.

Web Features Can Make or Break E-commerce Sales...

There’s so much that goes into ensuring that an e-commerce business thrives during ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ so making sure that sales-generating website features are in place should be high up on the proverbial priority list. When an e-commerce store is optimized with effective features that improve user experience and drive purchase consideration, it positions itself for a successful season of sales over the holidays and for many years to come.

Written by: Itai Sadan, Co-Founder and CEO, Duda

Credit: Rafael Shachari