With the holiday season just around the corner, there is no better time than now to make sure that your website is ready for the holiday rush.

Studies have shown that holiday shopping has been growing by an average of 2.3% each year!

It isn’t too late – this is your chance to ensure that your site is READY and use this upward trend to your advantage.

We will cover:

  •         Planning and preparation
  •         On-site optimization
  •         Using mobile effectively
  •         Great ideas for promotions
  •         Impact of social media
  •         Email marketing
  •         Providing resources for your customers
  •         Fun marketing strategies

Take the time to understand when and where to advertise when the flow of traffic increases to your website in order to fully optimize your conversion potential.

  1.  Planning and Preparation 

No matter what you are doing or the changes you are making, it requires proper planning and execution. For prepping your website, let’s begin with something as easy as finding out when your customers shop, and making sure you are ready for this increase in traffic.

Firstly, you want to figure out the busiest online shopping days. One way to find out what days have been historically heavier in traffic than others is through your website’s analytics. Whether it’s a universally popular shopping holiday like Black Friday or Boxing Day, or a different day that is unique to your product, it’s important to specify these.

Why?

For one, you want to make sure that your website has plenty of bandwidth and is capable of holding masses of visitors at one time without crashing.

Also, you want to make sure that you have designated landing pages ready for particular promotions and sale items, making it easier for your visitor to make those impulse purchases.

  1.      On-Site Optimization

SEO is very important when it comes to a customer finding your product amongst your competitors.

There are many ways you can effectively optimize your pages so they are easily retrievable through a search engine.

This includes:

  • Taking the time to properly create themed landing pages to promote your holiday offers. This is an easy way to promote without having to redesign your entire website.
  • Making sure you are optimizing your most popular pages and products. This is an easy way for organic traffic to find your holiday themed products quickly and easily.
  • Ensuring that you properly link your content. When viewers are unable to click a link, the search engines will be very unlikely to rank it which decreases the probability of traffic being driven to your website.
  • Customize your URL to effectively show the hierarchy of pages. For example, you can clean up your URLS by replacing ambiguous information, such as beapartof.com/product/123121/, and replace it with a specific location, such as beapartof.com/product/product-example1.
  • Create holiday inspired blogs. This allows viewers to easily share your content amongst their social media platforms, which, in turn, promotes your company.
  • Enhancing your checkout allows for the cart abandonment rate to decrease. Providing added features, such as product recommendations, allows the customer to choose between different products and price points instead of losing the sale altogether because of a factor such as price.
  • Include Title tags on your webpage and Alt Text tags on your images. Title tags is a short description of the webpage. This not only provides a better user experience, but it also increases your website’s visibility on a search engine results page. Alt Tags aren’t just advantageous for SEO purposes, but also for allowing the visually impaired to know what they are scrolling over. For SEO purposes specifically, however, Google will place a higher value on alt text tags to determine what is on the image as well as the topic of surrounding text.
  1.      Go Mobile

Research shows that 62% of consumers make purchases on their mobile devices. In fact, most customers are EXPECTING to purchase online using their mobile devices. It’s important that your site caters to these visitors. Research also shows that mobile shoppers are more likely to make impulse purchases.

By ensuring your eCommerce store is responsive across all devices and linking to related and recommended products in the checkout, you are increasing the probability of conversion as visitors will act on these impulses.

You can also use geotargeting. This targets certain customers by giving them unique discounts or product codes, pending their location, to make them feel more connected to your company.

  1.      Promotions

FREE is always a good thing, especially when it comes to your customers. Although some of you may be asking yourselves; is giving something away for free feasible? The answer is YES! There is a positive correlation between giving and receiving, therefore take the time to give away a holiday themed item.

Maybe it’s as simple as giving your time. Committing to offline charitable events is a great way to not only spread holiday cheer, but also a fantastic way to market your company over the holidays.

Another way to promote is to inflict scarcity on your visitors, with a countdown timer to the big day. Showing your visitors that these great deals will not last long, so act now!

  1.      Get Social

This is a great way to humanize your brand. Use social media to build personal engagement with your customers.

You can run a contest through social media. As it is a major driver of retail and online sales, you can’t afford to ignore this platform. This will encourage customers to share holiday ideas and related themes to help promote your company.

Another great way to get social is to have a holiday photo contest. Instagram is a great way to host a photo contest. Giving prizes to the best photos encourages these participants to include hashtags which helps to promote both the contest and your brand.

  1.      Email Marketing

Does your company:

  •         Have an email list already generated from past customers?
  •         Or want to share a little something extra to those currently purchasing?

Either way, here are a few ways to use those leads to your advantage.

Use your imagination to create a holiday themed product that you can give away. This doesn’t have to be a product you sell, it can be a calendar, or case study, or anything else that your visitors will find useful to help grow your email list.

You can also setup a remarketing campaign through Google Ads and retarget those who were on your site and left. By offering them a better deal it can bring them back to your site to make that initial purchase they had abandoned or to just keep your company top of mind.

Maybe you are interested in keeping your company in the minds of those who have already purchased. Setting up a post purchase email campaign is a great way to follow-up with customers and upsell them on recommended products to go with their purchase. It’s an extremely useful service that can also lead to additional sales.

  1.      Provide Resources

Encourage your customers to buy by providing helpful resources to entice their purchase. Such resources can include;

  •         Using videos for marketing
  •         Creating a gift finder
  •         Bundling products
  •         Responding to new leads quickly

By incorporating any of the above you are diminishing the hesitancy barrier that some users face when purchasing. This will help to increase your chances in turning a visitor into a buyer.

  1.      Fun Marketing Strategies

HAVE FUN! You can’t forget to have fun during the holiday season. Here are some ways you can add a little fun into your marketing strategies;

  •         Redesigning your logo – Temporarily of course! Theme your logo to reflect the holiday season to generate buzz!
  •         Create a meme – You can describe what you specifically work on within the team and why you are passionate about the project.
  •         Add holiday related jokes – Encourage jokes and trivia throughout your marketing campaign.
  •         Create a game – Gamification has become a huge success and an even better marketing tactic. Boost your image while your visitors are having fun!

As you can see, there are many things you can do to ensure that your website is ready for the rush of visitors. While consumers are in the shopping mindset, make sure that your website is in the proper mindset to make their purchase as easy as possible. We hope you enjoyed our infographic as it lays out the different topics for you to visually see. To add to #7, an infographic is a great way to add helpful resources to your visitors. We hope you have a prosperous holiday season, enjoy!

8 tips to getting your eCommerce Store Ready For The Holidays