In the eCommerce industry, adaptation is the name of the game and as the recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, no business is completely invincible. But with the Holiday season rapidly approaching, it’s time to start considering ways to prepare your eCommerce store for the biggest shopping days of 2020.
Read on to learn more and contact us to enlist the help of our dedicated eCommerce experts to capitalize on heightened online sales without the threat of site crashes, reduced speed, and security breaches.
Site Speed and Security
At the top of our list is ensuring that your site is both fast and secure. As far as site speed, it is a well-known fact that the longer your pages take to load, the higher your bounce rate will be. There are tools available for business owners to leverage in order to find ways to increase site speed without breaking the bank. A few of these tools include:
PageSpeed Insights by Google Main concerns: this provides suggestions like image optimization, enabling compression, clearing browser cache and other important ways to aid site speed.
Content Delivery Network (CDN): this is a system used to deliver pages and other web content to users via distributed servers. Certain platforms like Magento Commerce Cloud, Shopify, and BigCommerce offer a CDN as a standard feature.
Main concerns regarding security include cyberattacks that compromise the safety of customer information. A common threat to any eCommerce store is a DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service). To protect your online business from a security breach like this ahead of time, you may want to consider:
DDoS Protection Software
Check out more information about how site speed can lead to more conversions.
In the world of eCommerce, an online store with a multi page checkout process, is the equivalent to a store with a checkout line that wraps around the building. Just as people will hop off the line and head to another store for their items, shoppers will abandon their online carts and head to another site for a simpler checkout. To make sure your checkout is as concise as possible, preview your existing checkout experience and look for any unnecessary pages, page elements or form fields that are not essential.
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is also an option. A plugin like SalesForce or Zoho will give you a complete summary and review of your user experience to ensure that your checkout is speedy and engaging. Another simple yet very effective strategy is to implement a “Guest Checkout” option to retain users that do not want to be bothered with creating an account in order to purchase the items in their cart.
Optimize for Mobile
With the monumental increase in mobile sales over recent years, preparing your site to be both attractive and functional on multiple devices is crucial. Take care to minimize zooming, pinching, scrolling and clicking to ensure your online store has minimal hindrances to UX and feels just as authentic as both the in store and desktop experiences of your brand.
Leverage social media campaigns and shopping capabilities, enable expedited payment options like the ‘Scan Credit Card’ feature, and generate interest with the help of push notifications with perfectly curated landing pages. These are just a few ways to optimize your mobile shopping experience to accommodate shoppers of all kinds, from the casual couch browser to the mother of two with only one free hand to check off her holiday wish list.
While it does take some time to achieve a top spot in search engine results, there are a few ways to improve the SEO of your online store in the short time before the holiday season:
Rekindle Old Holiday URLs: Consider reviving last year’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday URLs and landing pages by enabling them or redirecting them to more stable URLs to be used for the present and future holiday seasons. When refreshing these URLs and preparing them for the long term, use more general phrases. For example, /cyber-monday-clearance/ will serve you better than /cyber-monday-2020/. Reusing URLs over many years will allow your site to gain more of a presence within that specific page and search.
Enhance Promotional Keywords and Enrich Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: This step requires a bit of research. Look into which keywords are most in use during the various holidays and begin to integrate those throughout your pages. Because customers engage heavily with title tags and meta descriptions while choosing which link they click amongst their search engine results, making sure your title tags and meta descriptions are fit to improve click through rates (CTRs) is a must. More traffic is always a win.
Develop/Reinforce an Interlinking Strategy: Too often a site features a broken link or unclear references to other pages within it. Avoid leaving holiday shoppers confused by implementing a strategy that prioritizes achieving a higher prevalence of links to your main holiday sale landing page. These links will then be better indexed by search engine crawlers. In turn, the pages that are crucial to directing and capitalizing on your holiday traffic will rank higher.
Reinforce Customer Support
An upsurge in holiday shoppers does not come without a rush of questions and concerns. Every purchase will come with its own inquiries about shipping, refunds, products details, and much more. It is essential that your customer service team and framework is equipped to handle this.
Make sure your team is promptly available to interact with your online customers through calls, live chats, and emails. Be sure to update your FAQ page to aid your users as well. In some cases, it may be wise to hire seasonal employees to assist with the heightened work load.
While implementing all five of these holiday eCommerce site preparations may seem daunting with just a few months to go, remember you do not have to tackle this project alone. Our team of eCommerce experts are well versed not only in website design and development, but are also masters of SEO strategy, adept client relationship managers, and most importantly committed to helping you reach your business goal this Holiday season and every season after that. So, be proactive and take a precautionary approach to preparing your site for the holidays both with your business content and with your future development partnerships.
PS Be sure to make the most of all this prep by ensuring your social media marketing is working, too! Check out those tips here!