10 Things to Prepare Your Website for the Holidays

Every year it seems like the holidays come quicker than they did the year before. The holiday season always comes early and consumers know this, so you need to ensure that your site is streamlined for the holidays. Here’s a checklist to help you prep your ecommerce site for the holidays:

  1. Make Major Changes Now – The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for an ecommerce site. You want to make sure that your site is free of errors and able to operate smoothly. With the amount of traffic your site is about to receive, you don’t want to run into any problems during the busiest season of the year. If you’re going to make changes to your site, do it now, but if there’s nothing major that needs to change, and you feel confident that your website is fully optimized to give you the best chance for conversions, you can move to the next step.
  2. Streamlined Checkout Process – According to the Baymard Institute, abandoned cart rates are almost at 70% across the industry. How much will this increase over the holiday season? Streamlining the checkout process is one of the most important things you can do before the holidays. To decrease this rate, cut out any unnecessary pages, make the process easy to understand, or provide a guest checkout option so people don’t have to create an account. A streamlined checkout process will have a huge impact on the number of sales that your site receives throughout the holidays.   
  3. Optimize for Mobile – People are increasingly using their mobile devices to purchase things. Insider predicts that mobile sales will account for almost half of all transactions on the internet. This means that mobile optimization is absolutely vital during the holidays. Provide a responsive mobile design that lets people shop without having to spend time navigating the site.
  4. Holiday Content Calendar – Create content leading up to the holidays. Make the content catered around holiday themes to motivate people to use your site to do their shopping. Create Christmas shopping lists, holiday-specific blogs, or even create a fun giveaway to get people in the door.
  5. Look at Site SpeedKissMetrics says that 47% of site visitors expect pages to load within two seconds. With increased traffic, you need to make sure your site loads correctly and quickly. Holiday shoppers don't want to wait around for lagging web pages -- they want what they are looking for instantly. Don't give them a reason to click off your page. Make sure your site loads properly with an added influx of shoppers.
  6. Lots of Customer Support – Increased traffic means there will be more customer concerns and questions. Create an FAQ, live chat, or call center to facilitate help and answer questions. If people have problems, you want those resolved as fast as possible.
  7. Look at Security Issues – The holidays are some of the most vulnerable times for ecommerce stores across the web. Shoppers are busy buying anything and everything on multiple sites. Cybercriminals know that there are countless amounts of information out there that they can receive from hacking a store’s database. Keep your data secure and make sure your shoppers know their data will be safe. 
  8. Holiday Advertising – Create advertising that is specifically centered on the holidays. Decorate your online store by including festive banners, holiday keywords, logos, holiday-themed photos, etc. Everyone will be optimizing and you don’t want to be the only company that does nothing to support the “holiday spirit”.  
  9. Make things Self-Service – Make your ecommerce site easy to use so people don’t have to spend time trying to figure out your site. You want your site to be accessible to anyone and everyone. Make sure people know how to use your site and have their questions answered without any additional help.   
  10. Load Test – Test, test, test. There is nothing that we can stress more than testing your site and ensuring that everything runs smoothly ahead of time. You don’t want to be caught off guard by something unexpectedly going wrong. Test your site and you’ll be thankful that you did later.
Use this checklist if you want to ensure your site is ready for the holidays. We want to help make sure your digital strategy is prepped and ready to go. Americaneagle.com’s digital marketers are ready to push your ecommerce site to the next level. If you want to streamline your site for the holidays, contact us to learn how we can help you.

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