As we head into the peak holiday shopping period, Facebook has provided some new tips to help businesses looking to maximize their eCommerce opportunities, and generate more direct sales online.
And with more customers making online purchases than ever, this is an essential consideration - according to Deloitte, eCommerce sales are projected grow by up to 35% this holiday season as people look to limit their exposure to COVID-19, and stay away from physical stores.
That presents a lot of opportunity - and if you want to maximize that potential for your brand, here are Facebook's five key tips.
1. 'Is the experience mobile-friendly?'
This almost goes without saying in the modern landscape, but it is worth reiterating, and re-examining, the mobile-friendliness of your digital shopping experience.
"People expect a seamless shopping experience when using their phones and other mobile devices - especially during checkout. Make sure the checkout process on your website is mobile-responsive, if not mobile-first."
Facebook also advises that brands should re-check all elements of their process - from browsing to purchase - to ensure it's streamlined and designed with mobile users in mind.
Of course, as Facebook notes, you can also consider Facebook and Instagram Shops for this purpose.
2. 'Can customers check out in as few clicks as possible?'
The more steps required to make a purchase, the fewer people will go through the process. Facebook advises that brands take the time to ensure that they've done all they can to limit clicks, and remove unnecessary friction from the purchase process.
"Requiring a shopper to add their job title or surname - which adds about two clicks or taps - or their date of birth - which adds up to 11 clicks or taps - could turn customers away. Take a look at your checkout experience and eliminate any unnecessary steps for the shopper."
3. 'How fast does your website load?'
You know why Google added page load time as a ranking factor in its mobile SEO process? Because people hate slow-loading websites, and a worse experience leads to lower user satisfaction from search results. Hence, Google looks to trank slow-loading sites lower in its listings.
The same applies to eCommerce pages - if your site takes too long to load, users will just stop trying and move onto something else.
'Slow load time on checkout pages can cause doubt in the mind of the shopper and force them to exit before they complete their payment. Improve your website’s page load speed, particularly in the checkout process.'
You can check out your mobile load time via Google's Pagespeed Insights, and look to optimize your process from there. These assessments also relate to Google's upcoming 'Core Web Vitals' update.
4. 'Which payment methods do you accept?'
Payment is also a key factor, and with more and more payment options becoming available, it's important to cater for as many potential exchanges as you can.
"Giving customers more ways to pay can help increase sales online. Accept local, modern and multiple payment options, like ApplePay, to reach more consumers."
Facebook is increasingly looking to emphasize Facebook Pay for this process - you can find out more about Facebook Pay here.
5. 'What is your return process?'
Finally, Facebook also notes that businesses should clearly outline their returns policies and processes to proactively communicate how customers can deal with any potential issues and/or concerns.
Without the capacity to try things in-person, this is always going to be a factor, and by giving us much detail as possible up front, you can allay concerns, and reassure your potential customers of their options.
"Some of your customers may want to return their purchases. Make this as simple as possible. Try including a page on your website describing the return process in detail or offering a prepaid return label."
In addition to these tips, Facebook has also included some ad copy pointers to help maximize your Facebook ad push for the holidays.
There are some key notes here, and the added ad copy tips provide some more helpful notes to help maximize your holiday campaigns.
You can read Facebook's full tips here.