Drive Holiday Growth by Curating Buying Experiences

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By Miva | August 26, 2021
Holiday ecommerce shopping



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The blog was originally published on August 31, 2018 and updated on August 26, 2021.

As your business heads into the final quarter of the year, you might already be planning every detail of your holiday campaigns.

This year, retailers are faced with some unique challenges. COVID-19 has changed the way shoppers engage with retailers and discover products, spurring an exponential increase in online purchases. Though this has brought new opportunities for online sellers, continued supply chain disruptions could mean delays and frustration in what is shaping up to be a busy and ecommerce-led holiday season. As Miva CEO and ecommerce expert Rick Wilson shares with Practical Ecommerce, “you cannot assume that [your supply chain] is going to work the way it did in years past.”

Pro Tip: For those affected by supply chain and shipping difficulties, a flexible and transparent shipping process can help reassure customers during peak times. 

 Whether you're an online-only seller or a hybrid bricks and clicks retailer, this is the time for you to hone in your customer experience to drive growth online and keep your shoppers happy during the challenges of the holiday rush. One way is by curating the buying experience for your customers. In this article, we provide tips and strategies for dazzling your customers and using curated experiences to increase your holiday sales. 

Why Create a Curated Buying Experience?

Picture two brick-and-mortar stores. The first store is a well-organized showroom with clear signage specifying where items are located, eye-catching displays showcasing the best products, and employees standing by to answer questions. As a shopper, you know exactly where you are, what items are on sale, and where you can find them. The second store is a vast warehouse with items scattered everywhere and placed randomly with other items on shelves. Where are you more likely to find what you’re looking for?

Just as sellers do in a brick-and-mortar store, it’s just as important for online merchants to provide the right context to shoppers on a website. If customers aren’t guided along a defined  path, they become confused and frustrated, causing them to leave your online store. With such high stakes during Q4, your business can’t afford to lose out on customers.

How to Curate the Ecommerce Experience

To attract shoppers during this holiday season, you’ll want to curate the ecommerce experience, which involves deeply knowing your customers  and optimizing your site to meet their needs. By providing a curated experience on your site, you provide shoppers with the things that are most relevant to them, which makes them more likely to trust your business, purchase items, and become a fan of your brand. 

Start first by creating customer personas to better understand your customers. Customer personas are carefully researched, fictionalized representations of each of your customers, including who they are, the information they want, the products that they are most likely to be interested in, and how they want to buy.

Next, you’ll want to make sure you set up paths on your website that leads each of these buyers to where they need to be. For example, a company that specializes in archery equipment may sell a full range of bows, arrows, and targets, but if the on-site experience is too generalized, a customer may come across a product but not know how that product relates to other bows on the market and which arrows are most relevant to their needs, skill level, or interest. An archer may be a beginner or they may be experienced, or they might be interested in competitions or in hunting.

A curated experience means you’ll want to accommodate for each customer type and optimize your website to guide shoppers to the right areas on your site and provide them with what they need. The buying journey should be as unique as the needs and interests of your shoppers.

How to Guide the Shopper on Your Site

To guide the shopper, you need to make sure the buying journey is unique to the needs of each shopper. For the archery store example, the company can lay out site paths that relate to the skill and experience of the customer. They can leverage site banners and product categories to to guide shoppers to the right products, provide benefits and features of specific equipment for each skill level, and provide related products that suit the needs of each user, like the right case of archery cases and the right apparel. This curated experience delights shoppers by giving them a clear browsing path and leading them to personalized content and products that are relevant to their wants. 

When you optimize your experience for buyers, the results are impressive. Old Whaling Company, a brand specializing in handmade bath and body products, saw their online conversions increase by 30% after giving customers the ability to mix and match products and receive their in-store bundle pricing. Window treatment manufacturer Decorative Films had a 87% increase in their average order value after implementing an innovative online showroom for customers to see products in different settings.

The takeaway? A delightful and curated buying experience can lead to more sales, higher return rates, and greater customer loyalty—which are all things you need to drive growth during this unique holiday season.

Elevate Your Website for the Holiday Season

With the right ecommerce platform, it is easy to optimize your customer experience and establish various buyer paths. Rather than single dimensional and static product pages, you can set up categories to showcase a range of products without overwhelming buyers. You can display special promotions and suggested products. This will allow you to get the most out of your Q4 holiday strategy and drive more growth.

Want to learn more about becoming a standout website? Download our guide below.New call-to-action

About The Author

Elisa Williams

Elisa Williams is a journalist and communications strategist who combines storytelling with solid research and analysis. A contributing author to the Miva Blog, Elisa has written for a wide array of consumer, business and technology publications, including Newsweek, Real Simple, Computer Life and Inc. Her marketing and content development work includes supporting technology companies that specialize in ecommerce, financial services and big data.

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Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

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