It’s no secret that online sales get a significant boost worldwide during the holiday season. According to Practical Ecommerce, “American consumers spent $19.62 billion online over the five-day period from Nov. 23, 2017 (Thanksgiving) through Nov. 27 (Cyber Monday).”
As the countdown to Black Friday begins, you’ll likely notice a large increase in traffic to your online store. This is something to get excited about, as long as you’re ready. Follow the advice in this guide to ensure you get the most out of the holiday season this year!
Plan Website Updates Accordingly
Thinking about adding new apps to your Shopify store? Be mindful that some apps require code to be added to your theme. This code can cause technical errors if something is added incorrectly, so be mindful of what’s being changed on your store when adding new apps and services. The last thing you want is a technical failure on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Hold Off On Editing Your Website Theme
The holiday season is the worst possible time to change your website theme in e-commerce. Consumers have become familiar with your current website, so altering it drastically can confuse and upset them while costing you sales. Something as simple as moving the navigation menu can frustrate shoppers. If you’re planning any significant changes to your website theme, wait until after the holiday season.
Instead of making major changes, focus on communicating your holiday sales and promotions to customers with popups, landing pages, and other content on your website. One popular website change is renaming product collections for the holidays. Names like “Gifts for Her” or “Black Friday Specials” can make it easy for consumers to shop on your site.
Check Your Website Speed
Nobody likes waiting for a website to load, not even Google. In fact, Google has confirmed that website speed is a ranking factor when it comes to search results. “2 seconds is the threshold for ecommerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half second.” says Maile Ohye, from Google. As an independent e-commerce retailer, it’s important to remove any and all barriers that would keep a customer from making a purchase on your website. Website speed is usually the first barrier you’ll need to deal with.
Wondering how fast your website is currently? Check out Pingdom to check your website’s current speed and determine what might be slowing down the loading time.
Here are some common reasons your website may be loading slow:
Large image files
Too many apps loading at once
Slow website hosting
Beef Up Trust
Building trust on your website is a year-round task, but it becomes especially important during the holiday season. The most effective and efficient way to build trust on your website is by using trust badges/seals. These are simple images displayed throughout your website that reassure shoppers that your site will keep their payment information safe.
Multiple reports have shown that payment security is a major concern among consumers shopping online. Trust badges are the perfect remedy to help shoppers feel safe and confident when buying from your store. The right trust badge can increase your sales by 11%!
Optimize for Mobile
According to a recent report from Salesforce, mobile devices are expected to drive over 60% of e-commerce visits and over 40% of orders during the holiday season this year. It’s obvious that as an independent e-commerce retailer, you must ensure your website is optimized for mobile shoppers.
Wondering if your store is already mobile-friendly? Check out Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to make sure.
Here are some things to consider when preparing your website for mobile sales:
Make sure your font sizes are appropriate for mobile devices
Try to avoid using too many popups
Optimize page loading speed
Conclusion: Preparation Predicts Outcome
The overarching theme of our advice here is to start preparing now. Maximizing your BFCM campaigns is a process that will take a few weeks to fully complete. Begin the early stages of preparation as soon as possible to ensure you’re taking full advantage of the holiday season.
Preparing your website for increased traffic is only the first step. Check out our other holiday season content for more tips and tricks on generating sales in Q4.