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Optimizing Your E-Commerce Store for the Upcoming Holiday Season

November is almost upon us and we all know what that means. The countdown is certainly on in your area as well, followed by Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas” on endless repeat. Almost everybody is excited about it unless you are an e-commerce retailer. Just kidding, but still, holiday seasons for online store owner is completely different from that of his customers. Where your one half is pretty excited about making a huge profit out of the holiday season, your other half is constantly worried up about how to handle the store so that everything turns out ok.

Been there, done that. While preparing for the upcoming seasons, though it’s important to focus on driving the majority of consumers to your e-store, what’s even more important is to make the ones that enter happy and to get them in the mood for holiday shopping. The website you have been using the year-round won’t just work, it isn’t optimized for this festive year.

Now, I understand announcing promotions or start running sales in this month or the next is a bit early but that is simply no excuse for waiting till the very last to start working on things. In this article, we are going to discuss the various design and marketing tactics which can help boost the sales of your e-commerce site during this festive season.

Research Last Year’s Data

If you are in business for more than a year now, you need to start with studying data from 2017. Use your CRM platform and Google Analytics to find answers for the following questions and work accordingly.

Was it desktop, mobile or tablet that generated majority of the sales last year? In which month your site experienced heavy traffic, November or December? Did the sales remain consistent throughout the festive season or there were temporary dropoffs? What time did the sales and traffic starts getting to its usual? What promotions were most and least successful in 2017?

Organize your Inventory

First comes the navigation part. Make sure to provide high-level tabs to inform your visitors about what to expect while visiting your store along with shortcuts to parts of the site featuring attractive deals.

Moreover, it’s also a good idea to check out what’s currently popular on social media while anticipating the upcoming trends for the next two months and fill your product line accordingly.

Start Building your Promotion Strategy early on

Businesses always try to outdo one another, especially during the holiday season by sprinkling their website with special deals. Where the majority of the e-stores’ promotion strategies revolve around submitting their coupon codes on major coupon directories on the internet, you can aim higher this year by focussing on ways to leverage your visitors’ appeal in order to convert more of your traffic into making a purchase before leaving the site.

For example, you can use an exit-intent popup such as an instant discount code or free shipping at the time of cart abandonment to entice them to complete the purchase.

Make sure to have Plenty of Stock and Staff at hand

Another important aspect of preparing for the holiday season is to make sure that every product listed in your inventory is in stock, especially those you are planning to promote heavily. Your last year’s analytics will come in handy at this time to help determine whether or not you should consider buying more of a particular item to avoid the risk of it running out too early.

Similarly, if you are currently facing a hectic time managing your business with the present staff, you might want to reconsider hiring some casual staff to help out when the orders start piling up. This becomes all the more important if you are running your online store on your own, you will burn out even before the holiday season hits you with full blast.

Closing In:

Apart from the above-mentioned, there are some other ways too to get your website ready for the holiday season include-

  • Increase your website speed by ensuring that all your holiday pages are upgraded with best SEO practices in use.
  • Renovate your website’s design with a holiday theme to get into the festive mood.
  • Give your images a seasonal touch as well.
  • Add a retargeting pixel that follows the departing people on the internet and sends them targeted messages to entice them back to your site.
  • Test out the checkout process on your website before you start losing your customers over it.
  • Review and if possible, update your return policy.

You might think it’s a bit early, but the best time to start preparing your business website for the holidays is right now. While you are reading this article, there are many online shoppers currently busy jotting down their holiday gift list. So, if your holiday season prep isn’t already underway, get cracking!

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