Get Your eCommerce Site Ready for the Holidays

holiday ecommerce

For many online retailers, the holiday season is the busiest time of the year. It’s when shoppers let rip, using the disposable income they’ve built up during the year to splurge on gifts for loved ones. eCommerce websites experience additional traffic during this time, so it’s essential to make sure that your website is prepared for the onslaught. Here are some holiday ecommerce design ideas to get your site ready for the rush.

How to Improve Your Site’s Holiday eCommerce Design

Stress test your siteholiday ecommerce

Because so much of your annual revenue depends on the business you do over the holiday period, you need to stress-test your site well in advance to make sure that it can cope with demand. Third-party hosts can help you test your eCommerce website design and speed, telling you how much traffic it can manage without crashing, and informing you of any bottlenecks in user experience. Remember, for every half-second delay in loading a page, you could lose 10% of your customers.

You also need to make sure that your servers can scale. Good web hosts provide servers with automatic scripts that immediately increase server space in response to spikes in traffic.

Prime your audience to spend

Holiday eCommerce competition can be stiff. It’s imperative, therefore, to “prime” your audience to shop with you rather than your competitors. Priming begins early—right at the start of the festive season. Retailers need to offer their customers a compelling story about why they should shop with them. It could be anything, from special seasonal bulk buy discounts to clocks counting down to the last chance to order and receive before Christmas Day.

Get your payment systems working efficiently

Data from holiday shopping trends in 2018 suggest that this will be the busiest ever for eCommerce websites. Online retailers, therefore, need to make sure that their systems for getting paid work properly, even under high volume. Integrating sales data with accounting software can help retailers automate performance tracking and establish internal metrics for comparison in subsequent seasons.

Encourage early purchases

The last-minute rush before Christmas can be frantic. Online retailers often struggle to make a large volume of deliveries in the time available to them. It’s a good idea, therefore, to encourage customers to shop early. Send them gift ideas lists to their email. Entice them to buy earlier in the season using “Black” sale events. And provide special offers, like “free delivery” before the season to avoid any last-minute rush.

Test your holiday ads

Holiday advertising is necessarily different from the rest of the year. It needs to start early and persist throughout the holiday season. Retailers that begin A/B testing early tend to do better in the long-run, refining their messages and generating higher conversion rates.

Manage your security

The holiday period provides excellent opportunities for hackers to attack and bring down websites. Attackers can hide among the extra traffic, using bots to spam websites, slowing them down, or causing them to fail. Online retailers need to speak with their web host about strategies to prevent a site failure.

Get Your Site Ready for the Holidays and 2019 with Quadshot

The Quadshot Digital team is well-versed in the best practices for WordPress web design and eCommerce sites. Learn more about our services, then contact us to get more information on how we can help support your business.

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