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Top 9 eCommerce Lessons Learned from 2019

At the end of 2019,  AKA the Cyber 5 and the most crucial time of the year for retailers, YOTTAA analyzed trends, stats, and outcomes for brands to reflect on in the New Year. Joined by Internet Retailer, we combined our key findings into an informative webinar. Below are the top eCommerce lessons to take with you into 2020:

1. Extend your promotions

Brands are expanding holiday promotions longer than ever before, and although there is concern that this tactic could hurt the effectiveness of the promotions, the data proves that it still is driving shoppers to buy.

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2. Use these tactics to close the purchase

Factors that drove consumers to complete a purchase they were otherwise hesitant about included Free Shipping and BOPIS (Buy online and pick up in store). Does your brand offer BOPIS? Learn how it pushed shoppers through the virtual checkout line this year.

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3. Be smart about smartphones

There’s absolutely no denying it after this year: Smartphones are here to stay as a top selling channel for online brands, and are only going to become more and more relevant. This year, Smartphone sales surpassed $3 billion on Cyber Monday, increasing 42.2% year over year.

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4. Some browsers perform better

Although it’s 2020, we still do not have the ability to predict which browser shoppers are going to use when visiting eCommerce sites. This is why it is absolutely necessary that all of your browser and device experiences are optimized for the best performance.

This past holiday season, Safari won on two fronts: it had the most traffic (across our clients) during the Cyber 5, and had significantly faster load times by a huge margin — an average of 3 seconds faster than Chrome!

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5. Promotions can flop

To amp up promotions, we saw a lot of brands using highly animated, eye-catching banners to engage shoppers and increase holiday conversions. Unfortunately, the animation and high-res imagery can cause more harm than good if your site is not optimized correctly. This actually happened to KOHL’S, and the banner ended up slowing down page load speed and driving shoppers away.

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6. Don’t cut corners

A big trend we saw during the 2019 Cyber 5 was the use of “Waiting Room” technologies. These aren’t new technologies, but brands seem to be using them as a crutch to help keep the influx of traffic from crashing their sites, instead of properly preparing for the heavy load of shoppers. Here’s what can go wrong:

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7. Beware of unintended discounts

Cutting pricing for the holiday season is not an easy balancing act, as production costs and logistics can easily offset margins when combined with discounts. This is why it’s critical for brands to plan ahead, and stick with the promotions they accounted for.

Unfortunately, there are tons of ways shoppers can find unintended discount codes online and from discount plugins, not to mention the glitches that can happen with eCommerce sites during checkout. Learn what happened to Yankee Candle and how you can avoid unintended discounts in 2020:

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8. Product pages need love too

In general, the largest percentage of retail landing pages are product pages. Still, retailers continue to focus on optimizing just home pages. This is a big mistake as there is a direct correlation between the speed of first landing pages and conversion. For shoppers that arrived to a page loading more than 5.6 seconds, conversion drops like a stone at a very steady rate.  Learn what you can do to keep conversion rates high:

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9. Know what’s going on with your 3rd party technologies

A single 3rd party can slow down or even crash an eCommerce site. During the 2019 Cyber 5, we saw a massive increase in performance violations due to a specific 3rd party  — ShopRunner. Learn what happened and how you can avoid issues with your 3rd parties:

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Don’t miss out on even more eCommerce lessons and insight into the 2019 holiday season. Watch the full webinar here. By heeding the eCommerce shortcomings of 2019, you can make 2020 your best year yet.