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5 Holiday Website Design Tips

By Martin Smith | 1720 views

This holiday selling season (2014) will happen as close to real time as any thanks to the social / mobile web. Listening and curating are going to be important, but so is tapping the nostalgia and spirit of the season in creative and collaborative ways.

Presentation Outline

  1. 1. holiday

    5 Holiday Website Design Tips

    We have over 30 years of experience in Internet Marketing and ecommerce packed away in team Curagami, our startup with offices and funded by the Startup Factory American Underground Durham, North Carolina, wants to help you have the best holidays ever! https://www.twitter.com/Curagami Http://www.Curagami.com We know ecommerce teams are planning their holidays now despite how strange it is to think about Christmas in August. This Haiku Deck shares hard won lessons in holiday web design, copy and promotions to help your website win more hearts, minds, loyalty and money this holiday season.

  2. 2. Holiday Design Tips

    • Hero Images.
    • Free Shipping & DOD.
    • Mobile (Smart Phone & Pad Stores).
    • Holiday Social Media.
    • Listen, Modify, Rinse & Repeat.

    Here is what we cover today: Hero Images (largest image on any web page is called a "hero"). Free Shipping & Deal of the Day Free Shipping without many hoops or codes is now a MUST have holiday "meme". Blame Amazon for creating the "free shipping movement", but plan to be SMART about how your website joins that movement: * Know when you need to remove triggers. * Know what triggers impact orders, traffic & conversion. * Consider free 2x shipping especially if you sell things like shoes (this one you can blame on Zappos now part of Amazon). * Deal of the Day is the Woot-ization of the web. Works great in social media and creates tremendous urgency. KNOW your best "keeper" products (lowest return rates) and use those for DOD since you can't afford returns. Also use products with VELOCITY since knocking the stuffing out of popular products at Christmas helps your online reputation and so increases sales of all other products. * MOBILE - if your site isn't fully responsive read the incoming code and send phones and pads to special stores with highly optimized content and offers. Mobile is great place for "easy to buy' products with few attributes (colors, sizes) and colorful easy to SEE. * Holiday Social is about FOLLOWING (as a form of social reward and promotion) those who follow you, LISTENING to the ripples your holiday content is making and then curating User Generated Content.

    Photo by Steve Snodgrass

  3. 3. Hero (largest image)

    • Visitors follow Model EYES so USE.
    • SPIRIT of season important (SMILE).
    • Seasonal Colors (red, white, green).
    • Copy = nostalgic. 
    • Movements NOT Sales. 

    HERO Tips I wrote a more detailed post on Scoop.it about 5 hard one image tips http://www.scoop.it/t/design-revolution/p/4025171290/2014/07/24/5-quick-tips-about-images-web-design Know that your visitor's eyes LOOK at where your model's eyes are looking and use that knowledge to help you design highly converting content. Last year abercrombie.com had a grey site with mad models. Don't do that (lol). Such arrogance is stupid and pointless at the holidays. Join the spirit of the season and smile, laugh and have fun. You can be angry and grey in the new year. MOVEMENTS not SALES https://plus.google.com/+MartinWSmith/posts/e3rBdz6xAhp NEVER more important than at Christmas to place your website, brand and content into the BIGGER picture. How are you helping customers realize aspirations? How is your marketing and company making the world better. Best if thsoe stories come from NOT YOU. This doesn't mean you DON'T create sales. It means you place those sales in the larger context of your company and brands educational mission. You learn, THEY learn and the world doesn't fall apart so all good things :).

    Photo by zilverbat.

  4. 4. Slide 4

    Great Image She is looking at him lovingly, he is looking at the call to action and the baby is in portrait welcoming the visitor. That is a GREAT image for holiday marketing as it has GIFTS for HIM, HER and CHILDREN written all over it.

  5. 5. smile

    Smiles & Laughter important in 4Q Ecom

    The power of a smile can't be overstated at this time of year. Even BETTER than canned photos are the real smiles, laughter and fun of your customers. Ask for PICTURES at this time of year. Create a contest to see who can share the best Christmas nostalgic picture and use that on your homepage the week of Christmas. BTW, even if your site is in a warm location, get people to share their memories and then market to those. People in the warmer parts of the country like here in North Carolina often migrated there from colder states. Christmas is about spirit and tapping nostalgic feelings. Get your customers to help you to recreate THEIR memories and SMILE :).

    Photo by betta design

  6. 6. colors

    Red, Green & White Seasonal Colors

    Even if you use a lot of BLACK at other times of the year, LOWER it in the holidays. USE traditional holiday colors and your marketing connects and cuts through clutter faster. Strange to tell you to do what everyone else is doing I realize. But Christmas is a CONVENTION and you flaunt that convention at your peril. I shared how Abercrombie felt the need to be all grey all the time last year. DON'T DO THAT. Finding unique ways to recreate convention is fine, but don't reject and be critical of conventions that people love. No one is that arrogant (or no one should be that arrogant). We need each other to create magic and meaning and we are reminded of that every 12.25. Don't forget Christmas isn't a merchandising event. Christmas is a MEME and a MOVEMENT :). M

    Photo by cobalt123

  7. 7. copy

    • 5 senses - Sight = red, green, white.
    • Taste: coffee, hot chocolate, roasting turkey.
    • Sound: Nat King Cole, Sinatra, Crosby.
    • Smells: fresh snow, cinnamon, lemon, pine.
    • Touch: Christmas tree, presents opening.

    Want to resonate and cut through clutter in the holidays? Use language that speaks to all 5 senses. Analyze Christmas songs and STEAL their language for headlines, sub-headlines and copy. Don't change your site's voice as much as its TENOR. Read your copy and see if it fits into an old Bing Crosby song like White Christmas. If it does you are there. You can't TEST this idea before the holidays since matching your copy to the season is timed when you shouldn't be testing much (if anything), but trust me WORDS MATTER in the winning of hearts, minds and loyalty online.

    Photo by Darwin Bell

  8. 8. movements

    NOT Just Sales.

    Online Christmas feels like a battle between Free Shipping and Deal of the Day. Don't become so solipsistic your marketing isn't connected to BIGGER ideas. I love having CUSTOMERS define our bigger ideas or collaborate in that definition. If you are looking for a bigger idea to connect with I've created a Tech Cures Cancer fund at the UNC Lineberer Cancer Center. We would love to have partners who can help increase awareness and support our movement - that the cure for cancer is close, technology will be the answer and so money to the labs NOW is more important than ever. Curing cancer is not perfect for every company or brand (though I can't think of any that would be HARMED by alignment with such a universally important cause). Find something you love and tell that story. ASK for help or connect the purchase of your products to YOUR helping. Keep track, be thankful and remember there are more than one kind of currency now (social support, content support and advocacy by word-of-mouth or online are valuable too).

    Photo by benji2505

  9. 9. free

    Free Shipping & Deal of the Day

    FREE is a powerful word. Last holiday season we saw sites clear out the underbrush associated with Free Shipping (codes and triggers) starting at Halloween for some and in December for almost every major online retailer. Charge shipping on Black Friday and you will lose sales to your competitors who don't. Give free shipping 2 way and you will steal share. This holiday season will be the free 2 way shipping Christmas (we predict). Don't be LATE to that party. Finding something to put on deep discount daily. Inform your visitors when the daily sale starts and don't have infinite inventory. In fact RUN OUT more than not since you can't afford to give away the farm and Woot.com has trained customers that daily deals are First Come First Served. Look for LEAST RETURNED but POPULAR products since you want the marketing juice Daily Deals create for OTHER products. Bet your daily deals average 3 items in the cart with only one being a deal. Important to upsale your daily deals with relevant suggestions (to create profit instead of going broke).

    Photo by dklimke

  10. 10. mobile

    Smart Phone Store, Pad Store

    Even if you have a fully responsive site we suggest creating a Smart Phone and Pad store. Mobile content needs to be easier to evaluate smaller, flatter and faster than laptop or desktop. Mobile content needs to be FUN and highly VISUAL even in small size. If you sell 500 products put 10% into a "mobile" store for the holidays. If you aren't responsive you can still read the code of an incoming browser and know where to send them (not complicated). Once here be sure to ASK for suggestions and help. Make shopping a GAME and think of the phone as a game console and you will make more customers happy. REMEMBER a lot of people will be receiving mobile stuff for the holidays too so INCREASE the size of your mobile stores on 12.25 and ASK for pictures and movies from newly minted pads and phones.

    Photo by Photo Giddy

  11. 11. Holiday Social Media

    • ASK for User Generated Content (UGC).
    • Curate & Reward UGC.
    • LISTEN CAREFULLY (sentiment, emotion).
    • Curate "beyond your site's borders". 
    • Monitor, Be Present, Modify, Rinse & Repeat.

    We used to give Black Friday off. Can't imagine doing that today only 4 years later. Social media is that pervasive. This holiday FOLLOW BACK at a high rate since it is a TINY thing that can make someone's day and then they spread YOUR love. Also CURATE content off of your social channels and then to your social channels. Curating User Generated Content says you are listening and care about something OTHER than SELL, SELL and SELL. That doesn't mean Don't have a KILLER Black Friday sale lined up, but don't make the season all about YOU or SALES. Best and cheapest way we know to do that is simple - LISTEN to and FOLLOW your customers. DON'T send auto-thanks for following on Twitter as those messages have no value. Do find reasons to send Direct Messages to your followers on social media thanking them for support, purchases or content. https://www.haikudeck.com/p/rzvVVLYSUz/connection-the-new-ecommerce Don't limit your content curation. Get outside your tribe and reward great relevant content to your brand and positioning by including, sharing and commenting on that "not yours" content. This holiday will happen in real time more than any other. Monitor your social channels, respond, curate and change to what you hear. Your marketing isn't STATIC anymore. Its out there being shared, changed and fed back to you. LISTEN carefully and share or check-in with those changes, ideas and memes. Your online authority comes from being part of the conversation. We have 3 tools that can help: Curagami Surfer, Builder and Bullpen. If you need help creating online community we would love to discuss how our tools can help.

    Photo by mkhmarketing

  12. 12. Curagami

    Creating Community One SMB At A Time

  13. 13. Contact Curagami

    • @Curagami.
    • www.Curagami.com
    • e: Martin@Curagami.com
    • Visit us at American Underground, Durham.
    • @Scenttrail = Founder & CEO Marty Smith.