With well over half of all visits to ecommerce sites now being made on mobile, what can e-retailers do to make a festive impact on these devices? FACT-Finder’s Commercial Director Kevin Sparks offers 12 Tips to market through mobile and M-Commerce this Christmas:


  1. Plan early

The early e-tailer catches the Christmas shopper. This isn’t about shouting about the impending festive season from September, like bricks and mortar retailers do, but more to do with being there when consumers are ready to do their gift shopping. So prepare the festive offers or the Christmas section of your site early by following the tips below and alert your customers once it’s ready, perhaps with some early deals.


  1. De-clutter

Make it easy for people to find your Christmas section via your mobile site from the homepage, while also preparing a special festive landing page for those shoppers being directed straight to it from external links, such as Facebook or other social media channels, which are increasingly being used as search tools. So lose any unnecessary and irrelevant products and marketing messages, and present a clean, clear look and feel.


  1. Look back

Creating a personalised Christmas shopping experience is a great way to drive people to their favourite stuff and stave off the horror of abandonment, but it isn’t particularly easy, as people buy for others rather than themselves. The answer is not to examine their recent buying history, but that of a year ago, to try to tap into their gift-buying habits, then using this to push relevant suggestions.


  1. Bundle gifts

Take a tip from your high street competitors and offer special festive gift packs that bundle complementary items together to create interesting and useful presents and help your customers save money. Even better, steal a march on your bricks and mortar rivals by grouping complementary products together so that shoppers can create their own bundles – a kind of make-your-own gift pack. Then you could share other people’s bundle choices to inspire shoppers. Remember to keep bundled items available individually, so shoppers can see how much they’re saving.


  1. Build in filtering

Remember that gift shoppers frequently don’t know what they want and are looking for inspiration to find the perfect present. This means they’ll often kick off with general queries, such as watches, shirts, pens, etc, which tend to generate large numbers of results. To avoid instilling panic into your festive friends, introduce a smart filtering system that immediately offers choices, such as size, colour, gender, cost, etc, so that it’s quick and easy for the undecided shopper to hone in on the gift they want.


  1. Make it quick and easy to find key advice

Your search and navigation function should make it easy for mobile customers to find key advice, such as how-to videos, advice and relevant articles, offers and product information to make it easier for them to find the ideal gift. This can really help keep shoppers’ attention and they will pay you back for this free valuable insight with their loyalty.


  1. For him and her

Create special gift categories that present the most popular gifts by gender or relationship, to drive sales by delivering great ideas for shoppers. This should include ‘for him’ and ‘for her’ at least, but why not also include ‘for Mum’, ‘for Dad’, ‘for big/little bother’, ‘for big/little sister’ – even for your pet if you offer relevant products in your range. Any help you can give shoppers find that elusive gift will be more than welcome. You could even be really smart and have a category ‘for the person who has everything’.


  1. Optimise Xmas terms

Last year, Google revealed that there were 30 million searches for the abbreviation ‘Xmas’. So make sure you optimise your product descriptions for Christmas terms to increase engagement and visits. Remember to include any special Christmas offers within them, too.


  1. Compensate for errors

Gift shoppers are usually well out of their comfort zones, searching for items they often know little about, making them more prone to errors. Mobile only provides a small window of opportunity with which to display the most relevant products that match what your customers’ are searching for, so you have to make sure you have an intuitive error tolerant search solution in place that will prevent no results being shown, or irrelevant products, or they’ll go elsewhere.


  1. Stay open on Christmas Day

One clear benefit that you have over High Street stores is that you don’t have to close on Christmas Day, so make the most of this opportunity by ensuring your festive campaign continues for 24 hours after Santa has delivered his goodies – then also ramp up for the post-Christmas rush from Boxing Day. People usually have quite a bit of down time on Christmas Day, so help them make the most of it – and remind your customers that you’re open for business.


  1. Last delivery date

Make sure shoppers are aware of the last date they can place an order for it to arrive before Christmas. Gifts not arriving on time is a nightmare, particularly at this time of year, and it could seriously affect your relationship with your customers if you let them down. Obviously, also make sure you can honour any delivery date you commit to.


  1. Get measuring

Finally, remember to measure customer activity as much as you can, gaining key intelligence you can use to inform next year’s campaign.


written by Kevin Sparks, Commercial Director at FACT-Finder

This article originally appeared in Talk Business Magazine December 2015.