Optimizing your website for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day, one of the largest gift-giving events of the year, presents an opportunity to optimize your website and take advantage of the spike in online sales.

According to a study by the National Retail Federation:

  • The average amount expected to be spent on Mother’s Day this year is $152.52.
  • 66.4% of people surveyed said they would be buying flowers for Mother’s Day
  • Clothing (32.8%) and jewelry (31.2%) will also be popular gift choices.

Online retailers of these products can expect to see a large increase in website traffic in the week leading up to Mother’s Day compared to any other week of the year. A recent survey by PriceGrabber, a part of Experian, reported that 52% of people planned to buy their Mother’s Day gifts online this year – help make it easy for them to buy, and attract new customers who are ready to spend!

These 15 tips will help you to optimize your site to take advantage of Mother’s Day and to be more prominent in the search engine results, ultimately maximizing your online revenues.Optimizing Your Website For Mother’s Day

1. Review metrics from the same time last year – Take a look at your analytics data from last year. What were your top referring sites and keywords? Which were the best converting? Which pages performed well (bounce rate, conversions, etc.)? Which performed poorly? Use this knowledge to target marketing messages and/or prioritize what parts of your site to tackle first.

2. Fix the Obvious – Do a crawl of your site or use webmaster tools to check for 404 errors and broken links. Fix them. Make sure that you’re ready for 404 errors to happen by having a good 404 page.

3. Tailor Your Value Proposition– PriceGrabber’s survey reports that the respondents’ reasons for shopping online include free shipping (53%), price cuts (43%) and coupons (35%). Shopping online also lets your customers save time, save gas, avoid the parking lot, avoid lines, find hard-to-find items, use gift finders, wish lists, and guided selling. Incorporate this type of messaging into your site, and make it prominent.

4. Promote “Desire Paths” – Most people want to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Help get them there by using promotional areas devoted to Mother’s Day features and/or develop a special Mother’s Day navigation menu. The example below shows 1-800-Flower’s home page with 5 navigational elements to get to the Mother’s Day Gift Guide.

Optimizing Your Website For Mother’s Day

5. Personalization – If you have personalization capabilities, use them! Target customers based on whether they’re new or returning, what they’ve purchased previously, where they live,

and anything else you know about them.

6. Service Messaging – Online shoppers are naturally risk averse – they want to make sure they’re making the right decision. Help them answer their service questions by including easy

and obvious content about or links to payment options, return policies, shipping policies, and inventory updates. More importantly, make sure that they can get help if they need it. Live chat and/or obvious contact phone numbers should be available on every single page of your site.

7. Clicks to Bricks – If you have bricks-and-mortar locations, make your store finder obvious. And if you have ship-to-store capabilities, make sure that customers know that’s an option.

8. Product Badging – Help customers identify new items, sale items, great gift ideas (“Great for Mom!”), popular items, free shipping items, and top rated items by using product badging.

9. The Clock is Ticking – Include time-based messaging so that customers know when the cut-off date is for shipping and when specific deals or promos expire.

10. Promote Gift Cards – Pricegrabber reports that 22% of consumers plan to purchase gift cards for Mother’s Day this year. Use a promotional area to make it obvious to customers that they can easily purchase and send gift cards.

11. Add Mother’s Day Messaging to Your Meta Data – Update your title tags and meta descriptions to include Mother’s Day messaging. This can help you stand out in search results and potentially rank better for Mother’s Day-related search terms.

12. Take Advantage of All Sales Channels – If you’re not using Google Product Search, Bing Shopping, Amazon Marketplace, Nextag, and so on, now might be a good time to check out those shopping feeds. If you are using them already, make sure that your feeds are updated daily with the latest product information.

13. Optimize Your Checkout Process – There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing the number of people who abandon their cart halfway through the checkout process. Reduce the risk involved by ensuring that they’ve been exposed to clear messaging about pricing throughout the process, including price guarantees, shipping and return policies, taxes and fees etc.

See Mediative’s Cheat Sheet “9 Tips for Optimizing your eCommerce Shopping Cart” for more tips to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

14. Check Your Mobile Experience – The National Retail Federation reports that 25.4% of people surveyed who owned a smartphone planned on using it to research products or compare prices, and 12.4% planned on purchasing products. Is your mobile experience ready for that?

15. Test! – Run some A/B tests. You can try Mother’s Day vs. regular messaging, specific promos on different pages/ site sections, time-based messaging, geotargeting, specific customer segments, and so much more to see what gets you the best ROI.