The holidays are nearly upon us.  This is the magical season when neighborhood homes begin to gradually light up with holiday cheer, and they aren’t alone. You will surely notice many ecommerce sites light up in unison as well as holiday website conversion rates soar.

Consumer brands frequently see a 1.5X – 2X lift between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Here are a few examples comparing pre-Thanksgiving conversion rates to the Cyber Five surge last year:

A rising tide lifts all boats, but this tide won’t last long.  It’s scheduled to recede by December 14th, less than two weeks after Cyber Monday, as online shoppers rush to convert themselves into buyers before the last-ship-date deadline.

For many brands, this predictable holiday tide is critical to the year’s overall ecommerce success.  Holiday website conversion rates rise sharply for a couple of weeks, then fall back to normal.

The ecommerce holiday season ends on a melancholy note for brands who resign themselves to the limiting belief that another year of waiting is required before the next short-lived holiday conversion rate gain.

Growth-minded brands, on the other hand, prefer to live in a reality of their own making where conversion rates rise for a couple weeks during the holidays, then stay put right there to become the new normal.

This isn’t just wishful thinking.  This is the art & science of conversion rate optimization (CRO).  And I’m thankful for our smart team members who help create this reality for our clients.

Our Conversion Rate Optimization Team recently concluded a website test for a name-brand client that they began working with earlier this year.

Our team proposed an alternate way to display a product list they believed would increase product discoverability, and ultimately increase their ecommerce conversion rate.  This A/B test was launched to roughly 550K site visitors over a span of 14 days.

Everyone was all smiles as we calculated the impact of this statistically significant win.  This particular conversion rate improvement is conservatively projected to increase our client’s online revenue by $3.4M over the next 12 months.

Not all website tests produce a statistically significant lift.  In fact, the above winning test was preceded by three others which didn’t show any lift at all.  But we stuck with it.

CRO is methodical work requiring time and patience.  Percentage gains from a single winning test rarely approach double-digits.  The above win represented less than a 5% improvement. Assuming the traffic volume is there, each percentage point gain translates into substantial revenue increases.

Your level of traffic also determines how quickly your tests reach statistical significance.  Higher traffic volumes facilitate more efficient optimization timelines.  We’re able to drive the strongest results for clients with at least 100K unique monthly visitors.

We currently have space to take on a couple new CRO clients.  An ongoing investment in CRO is the most reliable way to create a stronger ecommerce reality and extend your holiday website conversion rates year round.

Email to initiate a conversation around the topic.  Why wait for the next holiday when you can create your own, which lasts 52 weeks a year?

Carpe Diem,

Timothy Seward