Preparing Your Online Store for the Holiday Season
When the holidays arrive, hundreds of companies start preparing for the popular shopping days. It takes a lot of time and effort to get ready for the holiday shopping season, so if you aren’t working to get your website ready you could miss out on a lot of sales. If you want to learn more about how to prepare for the holiday season, and why it is so important to make preparations in the first place, please continue reading.
Why You Need to Prepare for the Holidays
The holiday season is the most important time of year for all kinds of online entrepreneurs. There are plenty of holidays that involve giving gifts at the end of the year, and as a result millions of people will be shopping for things to give as gifts. The holiday shopping season is great because you can use it as a way to sell some of your most popular items to a wider audience of people. This can help you make those yearly profit goals that you might be struggling to reach.
This is why you cannot simply go into the holiday season without making preparations. If people are having trouble using your website, they will simply click off and try to find a better store. Ultimately, the higher amount of traffic means nothing if only a few people actually buy your wares. The holiday shopping season can be your most profitable sales period, but only if you prepare ahead of time.
Decide Which Shopping Days You Should Participate In
During the last quarter of the year there are a lot of holidays, and plenty of people will be buying things to prepare for those holidays. You cannot realistically participate in every one of these holidays, as trying to prepare your store for every major shopping day can become very stressful. As a result, you need to determine early on which shopping days your store should participate in.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two days you should absolutely take part in, as these are some of the biggest shopping days of the entire year. If you are a smaller company, you might want to think about participating in Small Business Saturday. These are three big shopping days you can participate in during the holiday season, but are plenty of others you can take part in. Just try not to overdo it, because you don’t want your business to get in the way of your personal health.
Test Your Website’s Traffic Capacity
One thing you can do to prepare your website is to test its ability to handle a large amount of traffic. There will be a lot more people shopping on your website during the holidays, and if your website isn’t prepared to handle the influx of traffic it will suffer from performance issues. People expect websites to run smoothly, especially on big shopping days, so if your website isn’t running properly you could lose a lot of customers.
To test your website’s traffic capacity, you can use services like Load Impact to simulate an influx of traffic. This can help you see if your website performs well under stress. 40% of people abandon online stores that don’t load in a few seconds, so you need to make improvements if your website isn’t loading too quickly. If your website is having issues, try speaking with your web host to see if you can get a bandwidth increase.
Improve the Checkout Process
Many customers will leave your store at the checkout page if they have issues with how it is set up. If too many customers do not complete their purchases, you will not be seeing good profits at the end of a big shopping day. If you don’t want people to leave your website without buying anything, you should try to make the checkout process on your website as simple and flexible as possible.
The first thing you should do is decrease the amount of screens that customers have to go through to finish the checkout, as this will help simplify the overall process. In addition, you should offer other digital payment options in addition to the standard credit card option. Many people use services like PayPal to buy things online, so you don’t want to turn these people away. Finally, try to include trust indicators on the checkout page, as customers are less likely to click off during the checkout process if they can trust your company.
Logicblock can give your online store a wide variety of payment options at checkout, including credit card, PayPal and Amazon Checkout payments.
Ensure Smooth, Quick Shipping
During the holiday shopping season, a good amount of the products you sell will be given as gifts to others. Some people like to shop for these items late into the holiday season, so you want to make sure your products are shipping out quickly so they can make it to their destinations on time. If your packages aren’t getting to customers on time, they will be displeased with your services and may not return to shop in the future.
Make sure you properly display shipping information on the checkout page so customers will get a good idea of when their items should arrive. Check with your shipping providers to make sure they have been consistently delivering packages on time. If you feel that they have had issues in the past, it would be a good idea to find different providers.
Hire Some Extra Help
If you have some extra money lying around, it might be a good idea to hire some additional help during the holiday season. It is nearly impossible to handle the holiday traffic by yourself, since some customers may need help with making returns. It wouldn’t hurt to pay a couple extra people to help you take care of things during the holiday shopping season.
You should try to get some people who can help you out with things like customer service and returns so you can handle other important matters. You could also pay someone to help you come up with a good marketing campaign that can promote your sales. It is usually a good idea to get some additional help during the holidays so you don’t have to worry about doing everything yourself.
Are you looking for some other ways to get ready for the holiday shopping season?