How to Prep Your Ecommerce Site for the Holidays
A profitable fourth quarter starts with a well-planned holiday ecommerce strategy to boost traffic and increase sales. Are you ready? Follow these holiday ecommerce strategies to finish strong.
Preparing your ecomm site for the holidays
As we wait eagerly for 2020 to come to an end, perhaps no one is more excited for the fourth quarter than ecommerce retailers. Online sales increased year-over-year in July by 55%, and by 42% in August, according to a report from DigitalCommerce360. In total, the pandemic delivered online retailers more than $107 billion in revenue so far in 2020.
Although online sales slowed slightly between July and August as more brick-and-mortar stores began to open nationwide and people ventured out of self-quarantine, ecommerce retailers should still prepare for a large uptick in traffic as the holidays approach. No one knows if a second wave of the pandemic will force another shutdown. So now that more people have discovered the joys and convenience of online shopping, they are likely to rely on it more than ever during the coming holiday season.
Prepping for increased holiday sales means more than just trying to predict the season’s hottest products. An ecommerce consultant can help you devise a holiday ecommerce strategy that will drive traffic to your site, increase conversions, and create a satisfactory customer experience on any platform.
Optimize your website for search engines
As you seek to compete against larger e-retailers, it’s important to look for ways you can dominate the search engines. Several factors go into SEO, or search engine optimization, to put you near the top of Google’s first page.
Elements of on-page SEO can make a big difference in your search engine rankings with just moderate effort. Make sure to focus on optimizing the following using the long-tail keywords customers use when they’re shopping for the products you sell:
- Product descriptions
- Photo descriptions
- Photo filenames
- Alt-text for images
- Structured URLs
Other elements of your website also contribute to your search engine rankings under Google’s latest algorithm. These include:
- Site speed
Site speed makes a big difference in your Google rankings — and also in sales. Studies show that 47% of customers expect a web page to load in just two seconds or less. That’s not much time to get your message on their screen. Increased traffic leads to increased SEO rankings. Plus, Google rewards site speed on its own merit as well.
Security also matters when it comes to Google algorithms. Sites built on a Drupal platform already show relatively low vulnerability compared to the platform’s market share. Installing security modules and ensuring your site has an up-to-date SSL certificate can give shoppers greater peace-of-mind while boosting your search engine rankings.
Finally, make sure your site is accessible to every visitor, just as you would in a brick-and-mortar storefront. A site that works seamlessly with a screen reader, has large font size capabilities and photo descriptions are the online equivalent of providing ramps, automatic doors, and wide aisles for handicap accessibility in your brick-and-mortar store.
Don’t forget about mobile performance, too
In 2018, mobile purchases accounted for 40% of all online holiday sales. In 2019, mobile users generated 58% of online holiday traffic, with only 37% coming from desktop, according to Adobe’s Digital Insights Holiday Recap. Ensuring a fast, secure, and user-friendly experience, with a clear path from product selection to checkout, on mobile devices should be part of your holiday ecommerce strategy.
Prepare for increased traffic
Ideally, rising search engine rankings, coupled with growing online shopping numbers, will lead to increased traffic for your ecommerce site. But are you ready for it? Ensure your ecommerce solution is:
If your ecommerce platform is showing signs of age and is near the end of its lifecycle, it could be time to consider re-platforming. API-led, or headless, architecture can help you manage multiple sales channels and continue to scale to meet your ecommerce company’s growing needs.
Conduct a performance analysis to determine how well your site will support your holiday ecommerce strategy
Prepare for the increased traffic of Black Friday and Cyber-Monday by executing a performance analysis in advance of the holidays. Your site should not only be fast and reliable, but the user experience should guide visitors down the sales funnel for increased conversions. Regardless of how many visitors flock to your Cyber Monday sales, your infrastructure should be able to handle — and convert — them. Find out more about being ready to handle traffic surges with our article Why Planning for “Big” Traffic Matters.
How an ecommerce consultant can help with your holiday ecommerce strategy
If preparing your site for the holidays with a fresh ecommerce strategy sounds like a lot to handle, it might be time to enlist the help of ecommerce elves. We don’t mean Santa Claus and his kin. An ecommerce consultant can assist with every phase of your holiday ecommerce strategy, including:
- Optimize your website
- Completing a performance analysis
- Ensure your site is ready to handle the boost in traffic seamlessly
Reach out today and speak to one of our subject matter experts and find out how Acro Media can get your site in tip-top shape to crush the holiday shopping season.
Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing professional specializing in technology, ecommerce, web development, personal finance, and real estate