Dressing Up for Holiday Parties Helps Bolster Shoe Sales, Experts Say

People want to look their best during the holidays — and there’s data to prove it.

According to a new holiday report by user-experience optimization firm ContentSquare, heels and dress shoes have a 35 percent higher conversion rate during the holidays. The insights are derived from data culled from last year’s holiday transactions.

Comparing different categories during the holiday season, heels and dress shoes have a 78 percent higher conversion rate than boots and casual shoes. Meanwhile, boots and casual shoes were found to have a 29 percent higher conversion rate than sneakers and athletic categories. Accordingly, Jonathan Cherki, founder and CEO of ContentSquare, has urged footwear retailers to focus on campaigns that showcase items in especially dressed-up contexts.

Cherki also warned that footwear tends to be among the most returned items during the holidays. “At the top of the list was footwear,” he said. “Footwear had 130 percent more returns than the average retail item, and 338 percent more than fashion.”

Among other report findings: Women are expected to receive less expensive gifts than men, and children’s gifts have a conversion rate that is 2.3 times higher than women’s.

Additionally, children’s gifts take the most time to be purchased — and Cherki reflected that the extra time could be a point of concern. “When items during the holidays take a significantly longer time to purchase, it can be a potential sign that something is causing confusion or frustration,” he said.

“Retailers must make sure that the categories and navigation options they are offering are actually helping their customers in the digital journey and not confusing them further,” he said. “Retailers must understand how customers are interacting with their site and digitally listen to them to reduce points of friction and offer easier seamless journeys.”

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