Boost your online success this Christmas
This year has brought many challenges for small business, but the holiday spending boom promises to end 2020 on a high. Make sure your business is well prepared to meet the seasonal demand for online goods and services so you can reap the benefits and give yourself a well-earned break.
To help you share in the holiday cheer, we’ve compiled some tips and advice to ensure you exceed your customer’s expectations this Christmas.
Provide a smooth and secure online experience
Good customer service is critical at this time of year and applies more than ever to the online experience. Making it easy for your customers to connect with you and find what they’re looking for tells them that you care and strengthens their loyalty to your brand.
Make it easy for customers to get in touch
Help your customers fly through their Christmas shopping by making it easy for them to contact you with questions—and be on hand to answer them promptly!
Ensure you have a contact form on your website and that it’s in a place your customers would expect—either in the footer of every page or on a separate ‘contact us’ page. If you haven’t already, then consider setting up a direct dial link on your mobile site so customers can phone you with the touch of a button.
It also pays to check that your contact details are up to date across all your online accounts—social media, Google My Business, and any business directories you’re listed on.
Top tip: Use common customer questions to improve your website experience by creating a Q&A section—you’ll be answering your customers’ questions before they even have to ask!
Include Christmas post cut-off dates
Avoid disappointed customers by clearly displaying Christmas postage deadlines. This is made trickier this year with delays caused by COVID-19, but keep your eye on the NZ Post website as they aim to keep their dates updated.
Offer several ways to pay
Make sure you provide a smooth check-out experience by offering your customers a choice of payment methods. Most online shoppers come armed with an oh-so-convenient credit card, but don’t assume that everyone will trust this option. Some customers may want to stick with a bank transfer while others still may be happiest to order online and pick-up and pay in store.
Optimise for mobile
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is no longer optional, it’s essential!
According to statistics, over half of your visitors will be accessing your site from their mobiles this Christmas, yet 43% of New Zealanders still claim they run into issues when trying to access certain websites via a smartphone—and 29% say they won’t try to load the page again, they’ll just try a different site.
This represents a huge loss in potential business if your mobile site is not up to scratch. Ensure it’s quick to load and easy to browse, and if you’re not sure whether you make the grade, then check out Google’s free mobile-friendly test tool.
Secure your website with https
It’s important that your customers can trust the security of your website when they do their holiday shopping. If their web browser, like Google, flags your site as ‘Not Secure’ this is naturally going to erode their trust in you and your brand.
Why does Google do this? Web browsers like Google ensure that any information your website may send, like credit card details, is encrypted, or scrambled, and therefore harder for outsiders to hack or steal. They do this by checking your website’s SSL certificate. If it’s up to date and installed properly then your web address will start with http‘s’—some browsers will even display a padlock symbol—and if it’s not, then there will usually be a site security warning message.
Make sure to check your web address in the top browser bar. If it has been branded as ‘Not Secure’ then fear not, fixing it is not complicated. Contact your website manager or hosting provider and they will be able to advise you on your best course of action.
Finally, make sure your connectivity is up to speed. Whether your enhancing your existing website or rolling out a completely new e-commerce platform, having a solid and secure internet connection is essential.
A business grade fibre broadband connection has a range of benefits you won’t typically get with broadband tailored more for residential use. So it’s worth checking in with your internet service provider that your broadband has all the bells and whistles your business needs.