The biggest shopping season of the year is fast approaching: now is the time to start optimizing your eCommerce site to have success during the holidays! If you make the busy shopping occasion easy and enjoyable for your visitors, you can count on maximizing your current and future sales.
Ease into the cheer.
An aggressive display of smily gingerbread men and reindeer in early-November might scare away customers who aren’t ready for their Xmas shopping. Start your Christmas campaign slowly and gradually introduce more promotions as the holidays approach. For example, you could start by devoting one page of your site to holiday promotions, rather than having your entire site consumed by snowflakes from the get-go.
Have an advent calendar of promotions.
With all the Christmas Competition, you need to offer some perks to keep visitors coming back to your site again and again. An advent calendar of promotions is a fun way to keep customers on their toes: count down to Christmas by revealing one limited-time offer each day!
Reward returning customers with extra promos- for example, in a confirmation email, you can gift your visitor with a promo code for 20% off their next purchase. Or start a loyalty points system for repeat customers to build up to greater deals.
Extend return or gift exchange policies.
Even though “’tis the season to be jolly,” anxiety and trepidation will abound with all the pressure to purchase that perfect gift. Extend your return policy at least until mid-January so customers can feel at ease about making their purchase. Make sure your extended policy is displayed clearly, especially in the shopping cart and check out areas so that customers won’t have the desire to back out of making that purchase.
Pay attention to the weather (and other delivery considerations).
Don’t let the weather pull a fast one on you- with unpredictable rain and snow, shipping times may be delayed. Encourage customers to make their purchases earlier to guarantee a timely delivery.
Mix and mingle with social media! Use Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking platforms to spread the word about your company. Your use of social media can help your Christmas campaign snowball into great success!
Make help available.
Clearly display your phone number and other contact information for confused and/ or skeptical customers. And make sure you have a solid team to answer queries in a timely matter. Remember the old adage- you snooze, you lose!
If you’re an unknown company, visitors will want to know more about you before they commit to letting you fulfill their niece’s wish list. Most importantly, shoppers will want to know if you’re a credible company that they can trust with their credit card number and personal information.
Check for typos.
IFF YUR SPELING IZ UNPROFFESINEL, visitors won’t take the time to muddle through your jumbled messages. Not only that, but your trustworthiness as a legitimate eCommerce site will be considerably lowered. Consider hiring someone to take a look at your site with fresh eyes, to catch those spelling blunders that you might have missed.
Optimizing Your Site
Prepare your site for the increase of visitors.
Make sure your site can handle a sudden onslaught of traffic. If you’re expecting your huge one-day promotion to bring in a flurry of guests, the last thing you want is for your blizzard of shoppers to bring your site crashing down. Make sure you have plenty of bandwidth to accommodate the influx of users.
Increase site speed.
The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year, so make sure your site can keep up. Optimize images and large files so that they can load quickly. There are other ways to increase your site speed. For example, our SSD hosting plan will make your site load times incredibly fast. For advanced webmasters who would like to optimize the load time of yourselves, please take a look at our articles on this topic.
Have a mobile site.
Consider looking into optimizing your site for use with tablets and phones. Your busy customers will appreciate being able to browse and make their purchases while waiting for the bus or lining up at the grocery store.
While this article has mainly focused on preparing your eCommerce site for the holiday season, remember that any business owner can benefit from optimizing their site for the holidays! For example, if you’re a freelance photographer, you might want to offer special packages for family photos or personalized greeting cards. If you need any help with setting up an eCommerce or other site, feel free to give us a shout at Doteasy.
Bonus tip: For more tips on how to prepare your eCommerce site for the holidays, check out this article: Prestashop Holiday Guide