Catering to the growing number of online shoppers this holiday season

Wednesday, November 07, 2012 9:39 AM

As the holiday season approaches, more research has been released that proves how popular online shopping will be this year. For instance, The Telegram reported that about 20 percent of Canadians plan to purchase holiday gifts over the internet. Companies will find having a strong web design for their ecommerce site that not only attracts consumers but makes shopping enjoyable will be crucial in order to capture these online purchasers.

According to The Telegram, an estimated 13.3 million consumers in Canada ages 14 and older made at least one purchase in 2011. That means nearly 57 percent of Canadians used the internet to shop. While the number may seem high, the article stated retailers should be doing more to increase sales over the web by providing websites that cater to customers and offer a positive experience.

“I think a growing number of Canadians are really turning to the web and digital channels to do their shopping," said a online marketing director in the article. "Whether they buy online or not, certainly they’re browsing, they’re doing comparison shopping.”

A survey conducted by CouponCabin in September also showed on what devices consumers want to make their online purchases on this holiday season. The survey of more than 2,500 consumers showed that 58 percent of adults in the United States who own a mobile device plan to use their smartphone to buy presents. About 70 percent also said they will use their smartphones to research products for holiday shopping.

How to effectively target online holiday shoppers
A recent iMediaConnection blog offered some web design solutions for companies hoping to make last minute improvements to their websites to attract online shoppers. First, the blog suggested getting in the "holiday spirit." A festive website clearly displaying seasonal promotions and featured products will keep shoppers interested. This means displaying these items on the homepage or specific product pages, or both. Either way, the product should be presented largely and multiple angles of the item should also be shown. Call to actions such as "Add to Cart" should always remain above the fold of the webpage.

Navigating between the homepage and product pages should remain simple as well, the blog stated. This is an important aspect of every website's design, because if users are continuously bounced around the website, it's not likely they will end their visit by making a purchase. Effective navigation features allow users to jump around between web pages easily, search the site and be able to find the checkout page.

Making it easy for shoppers to make a purchase on the site is another must. Ease of use will especially be crucial for the shoppers using their smartphones to make online purchases. According to iMedia, if a website's login and checkout processes are difficult, most shoppers will give up and buy from a competitor.

Division [1] Web Design of Edmonton is a web design and development firm that has been serving customers since 2002.

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