It's hard to believe the Holiday Season 2011 is already 3 months in the past, and the 2012 season starts in about 8 months. We don't want to be pushy, but right now is the time to start reviewing your 2011 holiday website strategies in preparation for the 2012 season.
We're serious about this. Now that Spring is officially here you need to start reviewing what worked, what didn't, and what your competitors did that impressed you. Work out a new marketing strategy, and start implementing it in July.
Last year Google Think (http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/) once again gave us reports that holiday shopping starts online in August. Few websites are prepared for these early shoppers.
Starting today, and then over the next 2 months, we will frequently publish the research-based SEO and online marketing strategies that were successful from 2011. We pull our research from several sources, and during 2011 we captured more data than ever before. This is the beginning of our Holiday 2012 Run-Up book which will be available at the JCK Show in Vegas.
We're starting with mobile websites.
Back on February 23, 2012 we showed you that mobile devices account for a full 20% of all visitor traffic to jewelry store websites. Our findings are backed up by a recent Nielsen study which also shows the top-5 retail stores and how users preferred mobile websites over smartphone apps. We've included the URL for the Nielson blog post at the bottom of this Nugget.
Your customers have high expectations for mobile usability, which means they don't simply want to pinch/zoom on their smartphones to view a PC website. They prefer an actual mobile website.
Start planning your mobile website now. Here's a plan of attack for you:
1. Call your website company and ask them to set up a mobile site. This might require a secondary website, a different CMS, or a 3rd party program. Because there's a potential technology hurdle here you should contact them first, even before you decide what to put on the mobile site.
2. Mobile users will need fast access to your Store Hours, Contact information, and Store Events. Create individual pages for those. Make sure the text is large enough to read quickly even when the phone is held an arm's length away.
3. Make your entire product catalog available through your mobile site. Even if you don't have prices online, your customers still want to browse.
4. Get yourself a mobile specific domain name. You could register jewelrystore.mobi, or you could set up the sub domain of m.jewelrystore.com. Now, this next step is important, so pay attention... Have your web programmer set up a special script so that any PC visiting the "m." or ".mobi" will automatically be redirected to the regular (i.e. non-mobile) version of the site. THEN log into your Google Places account and change your website address to your mobile version.
Google is pushing a lot of their local search results on smartphones. They are also pushing Places results that show store hours and website addresses. Savvy mobile users would rather click on your Places listing with a mobile website than your competitor that still has a www.jewelrystore.com website link.
PC users will be properly redirected and will probably never notice what happened.
Let us know if you have any questions about this or other mobile topics. We're always happy to answer.
For your own reference you can see the Nielsen blog post here: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/?p=31164