For many retailers, the holiday season marks an influx of site traffic from consumers searching for the perfect gift. And immediately following the busy season, a whole new group of shoppers looking to exchange purchases, redeem gift cards or learn more about their gifts may appear on retail sites. Often, these visitors are coming to a site for the first time, providing retailers with a unique opportunity to capture a new audience and encourage repeat purchases. With the New Year upon us, retailers can capitalize on this opportunity by personalizing the site experience for unfamiliar visitors and convert them into returning customers.

  1. Provide Welcome Messaging

Make new visitors feel welcome on your site by providing them with information about how best to navigate the site. Direct visitors to key areas of the site, such as the navigation or search bar, so that customers can more easily find the products for which they are looking. You can also point out how to create an account, where to sign up for a newsletter or read the company blog to provide these visitors with an opportunity to engage with your brand.

  1. Introduce Customers to Your Brand

New visitors may not be as attuned to your brand mission or the values for which your brand stands, so helping visitors understand why they should shop with you can lead to increased purchase behavior. If you offer a generous return policy, support charitable efforts, or provide a free service, be sure your messaging reflects these values so that new visitors feel they are making an informed decision when they choose to purchase.

  1. Make Navigation Changes

Simple changes to the main site navigation can prompt customers to move further down the purchase path. For new visitors, highlight top categories and suggest the best ways to filter for particular products. Use endcaps to show recently viewed products to customers so they can easily navigate back to products they may be interested in purchasing.

  1. Showcase Best Selling Products

As new visitors make their way further into the site, help them more easily find top selling products by automatically sorting by best sellers on product grid pages. Badging is another great tool to help highlight these products and increase their visibility to newer customers. Also, be sure visitors are aware of highly rated products so that they can hear from other customers who have had a positive experience with your brand.

  1. Highlight E-mail Signup Location

Finally, be sure to prominently display the e-mail signup location on your site to encourage customers to provide their e-mail addresses. Not only do e-mail signups improve the health of your database, but e-mail also provides an additional platform to reinforce your brand messaging and to deliver promotional offers. Once those customers do come back to the site, you can continue to target them, providing a consistent, personalized experience that encourages customers to continue to purchase.


Welcome Illustration courtesy of Shutterstock.