eCommerce retails sales in the U.S. are expected to increase by at least 10% during this year’s holiday season as compared to last year. As an eCommerce store owner, you should be preparing your website to take advantage of this projection.
Here are 10 Ways to Get Your E-Business Ready for the Holidays:
1. Decorate Your Website
Don’t maintain the same look you’ve had throughout the year. It’s the holiday season and your website should look like it.
You don’t necessarily have to completely overhaul your website’s look. A few themed images and color changes should do the trick.
2. Don’t Make any Drastic Changes to Your Website Layout and Functionality
Though we advise switching up the look of your eCommerce website, you should still maintain the layout and functionalities you’ve had for some time.
The holiday season isn’t the time to test new layouts or functionalities. Your customers might be confused with the new layout and bounce.
3. Make Sure Your Site can Handle the Extra Traffic
Holiday sales make up up-to 30% of annual sales for some retailers. It’s perfectly normal for your website to receive more traffic during this holiday season than on normal days.
However, you shouldn’t just wait for this traffic to pour in. You must make sure your servers can handle this extra traffic. If you’re in doubt, you should reach out to your hosting providers to discuss your options. One easy solution is committing more server space to hosting mirrors of your site.
Having a crashed website during a holiday season will cost you a lot both in sales and in the number of disappointed shoppers.
4. Improve Your Site’s Speed and Optimize for Mobile
According to a research by Google, 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds. A third of all holiday seasons purchases last year was also made on mobile. This year, it’ll likely be the startling majority.
The importance of mobile-optimization and page load speed cannot be overemphasized. The last thing you would want is for users to leave your website because it is too slow.
You must make sure your site loads as fast and possible and displays correctly on all mobile devices. This should be a priority for your eCommerce development team.
5. Increase Website Security
In addition to improving your site’s speed and optimizing for mobile, you must increase the security of your website. Users must feel comfortable giving you sensitive information.
Improving your site security will also mitigate the chances of your website going down as a result of an attack like DDoS.
Perform a security audit and have a team on standby to monitor and address any potential breaches.
6. Have Enough Stock With Plans for Quick Restock if Necessary
Using the previous year’s holiday sales as a guide, you can project your potential sales this year and have enough stock to cover it. Going out to stock during the holidays is never a good thing.
Also, have plans in advance for quick restock in the event that sales exceed your expectations.
7. Hire More Staff if Necessary
Your present staff can easily get overwhelmed with the level of work required to get through the holiday season. With more orders come more processing and fulfillment.
Hiring an extra pair of hands to help out during this time is a great idea. Not only will you get customers orders processed and shipped out fast, you’ll also avoid your present employees burning out.
8. Promote, Promote, Promote
Yes, people shop more during the holiday season but it’s not guaranteed they’ll do that at your eCommerce store. You have to get your name out there.
Promote the hell out of your business. Depending on the kind of strategies working out for you, double down on your efforts. Try new working strategies like influencer marketing.
Paid ads during a holiday season is a good idea as there’s a huge competition for organic reach.
9. Provide Info on Shipping Deadlines
One of the prime concerns of holiday shoppers is delivery times. Shoppers want to know in advance if their orders will be delivered on time.
When they are unsure of delivery times, they may avoid making a purchase. This is why you must provide this information explicitly on your website.
This will give shoppers the confidence to place their orders with the knowledge that they’ll receive their packages within their desired times. It’ll also push some shoppers to shop early to avoid missing the deadlines.
10. Give Discounts
This is a no-brainer! It’s the holiday season. During this time, impulse buying is at its peak. All eBusiness and Brick and Mortar stores are giving discounts to get more sales.
You should do the same to get your customers to buy more and also as a way to reward them for loyalty.