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Rule the Roost: E-commerce tips to keep the holiday sales surge going

Shoppers are increasingly reaching for their laptops and smartphones to buy the perfect gift.
Shoppers are increasingly reaching for their laptops and smartphones to buy the perfect gift.PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

If you’re a Singapore-based e-commerce retailer, you are probably recovering from one of the busiest periods of the year.

Data from performance marketing company Criteo shows that e-commerce transactions surged by 40 per cent in the two weeks prior to the Lunar New Year in 2015

Instead of braving the crowds at the famous shopping stretches in Chinatown and Orchard Road, shoppers are increasingly reaching for their laptops and smartphones to buy the perfect gift. 

However, sales don’t need to decline now that the Year of the Rooster has begun.  We’ve outlined four important e-commerce lessons from the Chinese New Year period to consider for improving sales conversion throughout the year.

1. Speedy Shipment

Shoppers are increasingly buying gifts at the last minute.  And in today’s age of instant gratification, consumers expect goods to be delivered at short notice. With plans for Amazon to enter the market in Q1 2017, retailers will be pressed to compete with same-day delivery timeframes that have become the norm in other markets. Increase your sales conversions by partnering strategic logistics providers and investing in instant delivery services.

2.  Make it mobile

In the region, mobile transactions are quickly approaching nearly one-third of all online transactions, and that number will continue to grow.  On mobile phones, where any friction is exacerbated by smaller screen sizes and less reliable data connections, it is critical to make the buying and checkout experience as smooth as possible. 

Studies have shown that you could be losing up to 7 per cent of your customers for every one-second delay in your checkout experience. Remove any superfluous input fields, eliminate unnecessary screens and scrolling, and ensure your checkout flow fits within the smaller screen size.

3. Overseas but not complicated

It is no surprise that extending your services to overseas buyers will increase opportunity. By understanding the local markets and festive seasons, you will be able to take advantage of buying cycles in other countries.

However, cross-border shoppers are even more cautious and abandonment rates are higher. Build trust with your cross-border customers by providing them with a “local” buying experience. For example, offering them the option of paying in their home currency and providing relevant payment methods can help to improve your sales conversion.

4. Customers are busy, make it easy for them 

Merely meeting customer expectations is no longer enough. Creating an experience that requires very low effort from the customer is the factor that has the largest impact on customer retention numbers. 

From browsing and account sign-up, to checkout, delivery and issue resolution, successful online retailers make it simple and quick for their customers. One easy tip to implement is to save your customers' details for future use. This includes your customers' order preferences, shipping address, and payment information.

The devil is in the details.  The more personal, intuitive and easy the shopping experience, the greater the impact on your bottom line. 

Contact Braintree: Find out how you can create a more seamless shopping experience.