The holiday season is almost always the most profitable time if year for many online businesses. Not only does the last quarter of year see increases in the number of orders, but the average size of the order tends to be much bigger as well. In fact, the majority of retailers make most of the yearly revenue in the last quarter alone. The following are just a few tips on preparing your online store for the holidays.
Preparing Your Online Store for the Holidays
With the day-to-day hustle running your eCommerce business, it’s easy to forget about the fast-approaching holidays. How many times has a holiday come and you realized your never prepared a promotion for it?
We’re here to help! We will discuss the planning ahead and how early to begin, as well as provide few helpful ways to prepare your online store for the holidays this year.
Taking full advantage of these holidays can be extremely tough. Everyday you are in the trenches, marketing, managing, shipping and providing great customer service.
Although this is great, the downside is that for your business there is usually a lack of planning for future events. This usually means missing important holidays, especially for those eCommerce entrepreneurs who are in their first few years. This is why it is essential to plan ahead for the holiday months.
How Early Should You Begin Preparing?
The sooner the better. According to Google Trends, we can actually see that many people started searching “Christmas Gift Ideas” as early as August.
Well in advance of Christmas, this should be a good reminder of why you should begin planning now.
How to Prepare for the Holidays
1. Create a Holiday Atmosphere
Creating an a holiday atmosphere on your website can definitely grab your visitors attention and draw their interests. A few ways to achieve a holiday atmosphere for your website is by changing the store’s design theme using holiday colors, re-designing your company logo to make it look more festive or highlighting holiday offers on your home page.
Another way to achieve this is to update images to reflect the season or change up some of your heading fonts to a more festive font. When doing so, make sure your website looks great on all devices.
2. Have a Secure Website
It is very crucial for online shoppers that your website is secure. Customers’ confidential information such as credit card credentials are being entered and they want to be able to trust that your website is secure so their private information isn’t spread around the internet.
The holidays are a busy time for hackers as well as shoppers. These hackers will try their best to hack your site knowing that it may be vulnerable. Your customers will buy more products knowing that your website is secure.
3. Speed Matters
Customers are impatient, especially around the holidays with last minute shoppers and needing rush orders. 47% of consumers expected a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, according to How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line.
Pay attention to what affects your site speed. You can work with our team here at Centennial Arts on getting the load times faster. This will benefit you, as well as your customers.
4. Focus on Mobile Shoppers
Today, many people are using smartphones and tablets for online shopping and research a lot more compared to desktops, especially during the holiday season. Mobile conversion rates are still much lower than laptops. This is because many online stores do not provide a smooth mobile experience for their shoppers.
A responsive design is necessary for your online store, otherwise you could potentially lose thousands of dollars in sales this holiday season. Google even now takes into consideration how “mobile-friendly” a website is when ranking it.
5. Simplify the Checkout Process
Usually, the online checkout process involves several steps for the customer to check out. Many websites ask users for too much information during checkout, resulting in shoppers abandoning the checkout process all together. Other things, such as hidden costs that the customer didn’t realize beforehand will also cause them to leave.
Many customers will use their smartphones and tablets to research gift ideas, but will actually purchase products using a desktop because the checkout process can be a pain. Also, on mobile there is a slower response time during checkout because of weaker processing power, which leads to abandoned carts as well. Simple is always better.
6. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media is a great way from businesses to share promotions and other content from their site. Products, deals, blogs, etc. can all be posted to engage with your followers.
Your followers can potentially become customers, so it is best to customize your posts to each network to truly see the benefits.
Many eCommerce stores attract a higher rate of traffic during the holiday season compared to the rest of the year. Make sure that your website can handle the holiday rush. Contact Centennial Arts today to start preparing your online store for the holidays.