Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you’ll know that 2012 is a big year for UK retailing. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 are both key seasonal ecommerce opportunities with unlimited potential for merchandise, themed products, special promotions and more.

Run a search right now to see how many internet retailers are jumping on the occasion-led bandwagon – and onto the front page of Google. Are you ready for the flurry of online buying we’re expecting as these events finally hit?

Plan for every occasion for ecommerce success

Back in March Retail Technology publicised seasonal advice for ecommerce retailers. Retailers need to follow best practice actions “around 60, 45, 30 and 15 days prior to each seasonal peak” said Keith Bird, eSellerPro Chief Executive, adding that “in an era of convenience where the consumer expects what they want, when they want it, through whichever channel they want, it’s not an option for retailers to fail to keep up with seasonal demand.”

Mr Bird is quite right – it’s not just Summer’s patriotic celebrations we should be planning for. Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and more all present prime sales opportunities. Let’s look at how you can optimise your ecommerce site to ensure that you pick up every opportunity during these key periods.

Optimise average order values the British Museum Way

 One of Locayta’s key clients, the British Museum Company, are showing the world how it’s done when it comes to the Diamond Jubilee. They’ve developed extensive merchandise – and as a massive UK visitor attraction with a global footfall, the ecommerce potential is huge. Where they’re really getting ahead on revenue though is in their cross-selling and up-selling strategy.

Not only are BMCo pro-active in intelligent product recommendations across their range, they’re making clever use of cross-sells with the British Museum’s own site, as Head of Ecommerce Fabrice Druelle recently told me: “We have re-schemed our site to make maximum use of product recommendations and give visitors a whole new look and feel with more cross-selling opportunities”

Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® is powering this strategy with product recommendations that respond in real time to user search and basket preferences. The ability to integrate with the main British Museum site, and constantly update suggestions automatically maximises business potential.

Powering seasonal celebrations with Prezzybox

 As Prezzybox have discovered, refining search options to suit occasions is key to conversion rates. Locayta search has helped them get this down to a fine art. A vast array of gifts is superbly categorised on their site giving logical, clean search functionality for shoppers. But on special occasions they need to be able to adapt both categories and search criteria quickly.

It hasn’t always been easy. Until last year manual input was intensive. Then CEO Zak Edwards discovered Freestyle Merchandising and our unique technology Balance Factor®. Search categories are quickly updated via the central dashboard, plus Prezzybox can influence results according to their own product placement strategy. Check out our recent blog for full details on how Balance Factor works.

Get mobile to make the most of seasonal ecommerce

We all know that multi-channel is a must these days, and Marketwatch‘s recent report confirms that 55% of shoppers now purchase online with their smartphones. This March 50% of all online flower orders were placed on a mobile. It’s hardly surprising when you think about it. We’ve all been caught out with a last minute occasion purchase and mobile technology offers a convenient consumer solution.

The issue isn’t just one of sales volume – it’s one of conversion and retention. Internet Retailing reports that bounce rates are 40% on mobiles (10% higher than on tablets). More worryingly, they point out that 61% of shoppers are unlikely to return to a site after a negative mobile experience, and 40% will turn to a competitor site.

If you’re looking for a quick and cost-effective way to get your site onto shoppers’ phones take a look at Locayta M-Commerce. It’s a click to buy iPhone shopping app that supports our full features set. Because the app queries your website directly customers can browse your full product range without any changes to your e-commerce platform. They are then transferred directly to your site’s checkout to complete the purchase wherever they are.

Across the ecommerce sector we’re dedicated to providing retailers with innovative solutions that achieve a high return. Our clients know it – the likes of Tesco Clothing , boohoo.com, Superdry and Paperchase are all transforming conversions and revenue with Locayta. Want to know more? Get in touch – we’ll be happy to help!

Want a chance to win an iPad3? Why not take 5 minutes to complete our survey for entry into the prize draw!

Read more:

Ecommerce vendor published seasonal advice Retail Technology, March 2012

The global rise in “always-on” shoppers is driving ecommerce MarketWatch April 2012

Retailers losing 1 in 20 sales through lack of mobile enabled sites Internet Retailing April 2012

The opportunity of responsive design Silverstripe, April 2012