With the 2020 holiday season fast approaching and with Christmas just around the corner, you need to make sure that your website is up to par and ready for the increase in traffic. Keep in mind that sales during the holiday season, especially before the Christmas period tend to double or even triple in some cases.
While COVID-19 destroyed in-person retail earlier in 2020, eCommerce has been thriving, and this trend looks like it’s unlikely to slow down this holiday season. As such, here are our top tips to make your website ready for the upcoming holiday season:
Making sure that your website is fully up-to-date is extremely important. You always need the latest security patches and the latest updated to make sure that your website will be able to cope with the large amounts of traffic during the holiday season.
Oh and, taking down your website to perform a Magento update isn’t an option on Christmas Eve. If your store is overdue for any major updates or upgrades, you need to make sure you get them done well in advance. This will help prevent downtime and security vulnerabilities during the peak shopping season.
You really don’t want your website to grind to a halt during the peak shopping season. Whether you use physical servers or cloud-based hosting services, you need to make sure you’re ready for higher traffic volume. You may need to upgrade your server or hosting plan to get more bandwidth and overhead.
This is where past data can be beneficial. If you have data from 2019, you can use this information to predict how much bandwidth your site will need in 2020. And if you don’t – it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Spending a little more to get extra capacity is worth it if it prevents downtime, keeps customers happy, and boosts sales.
Hackers know that this is a busy time for eCommerce stores. Many eCommerce companies may not have the time to implement safety measures during the holiday season and protect their data.
That’s why you need to run security tests, check for vulnerabilities, and patch up any issues before traffic starts to surge and you struggle to keep your head above water. Get this out of the way now to make sure that customer data is protected.
Make no mistake, even if you’ve invested in extra bandwidth and betters servers for the holiday season, you still have to run regular checks on the website’s performance. Page loading time and performance is a major factor when it comes to conversion rate.
Nobody wants to wait around for products to load, so do everything you can to optimize your website and speed it up.
If you haven’t already, then please note that you really, really should do this ASAP. Believe it or not, but sales made from mobile devices have actually surpassed sales made on desktop PCs and laptops.
For that reason, you need to make sure that your website is fully responsive and optimized for mobile devices. Customers should be able to do everything they do on a laptop or desktop on their smartphone. If they can’t, you may be missing out on revenue.
To reduce cart abandonment, we recommend streamlining your checkout experience. Do some usability testing to make sure it’s intuitive and follows modern checkout practices. Make sure that single-page checkout and an option to check-out as a guest have been implemented on your website.
Last, but definitely not least – make sure to sweeten the pot with a few extra deals here and there. Nothing attracts bargain hunters to your website like a few strategically placed deals. Have a clearence sale, or maybe bundle a few products and sell them at a discount. And be sure to add a banner to let everyone know that you’re running some special deals.
The holiday season is always an amazing time for eCommerce website owners, entrepreneurs and companies to rake in some major profit. It is also a great time for customers looking for a bargain, a sale or a last-minute gift for their loved ones.
This is why we consider this period to be the most important one in eCommerce. And that’s exactly why you need to make sure that your website is ready for it and that it can cope with the increase in traffic.
Feel free to follow these 7 simple guidelines and you can rest assured that the holiday season will be smooth and profitable for your eCommerce website. Happy Holidays!