Many people start decking the halls months before the holidays. Others prep by baking, planning events or getting their Christmas card game in order. For eCommerce site owners or managers, the pre-holiday prepping involves a different set of tasks. Find out more below about how to prepare your eCommerce site for the holidays.
5 Ways to Prepare Your eCommerce Site for the Holidays
Everyone’s hoping for a rush this holiday season and e-retailers are definitely poised to capitalize on the fall and winter shopping seasons. Many people are still wary about stepping into crowded stores due to the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues plaguing physical retailers in 2021 have potentially more people turning to the internet to order gifts and other holidays.
At NMA, We Work For You™. Whether it’s credit card processing advice from the high-risk payment experts or updates on eCommerce trends, our goal is to help you manage your payment processes and successfully manage your eCommerce site.
This is why we’re offering five tips for getting your site ready for the upcoming season. Check them out below and get started!
1. Ensure Your Site Is as Speedy as Possible
Holiday shopping can be fast-paced, especially during the Cyber Five. Online consumers have high expectations when it comes to site performance any day they shop with you.
If your site doesn’t load in less than a few seconds, especially on mobile, many people will bounce. That means they’ll navigate away—possibly to the competition to do their shopping on another site. Even if people don’t immediately bail, average conversion rates go down 4.42 percent for every extra second it takes your pages to load.
Take time early to prepare your eCommerce site for the holidays by testing it via Google’s Page Speed Insights. Make updates where possible to improve speed based on Google’s report for your URL.
2. Plan and Launch Your Marketing Early
Shoppers may be plentiful during this season, but so are competitors. Make sure you stand out from the crowd by planning and launching your marketing campaigns early. Here are just a few things you may want to include in your holiday marketing strategy:
- Social media. Make a social media editorial calendar and decide what days you want to post and on which platforms. Create all your content ahead of time. Otherwise, you might put it on the back burner when the rush hits. Being prepared before the holidays start lets you easily keep up with posting without stress.
- Email marketing. Develop some email drip campaigns to remind existing and formal consumers about your shop. Consider offering a coupon code or download to entice people to sign up for your newsletter so you can market to them throughout the season.
- Ensure your site is discoverable by investing in updated SEO. Strong product descriptions, blog posts and buying guides are all content that can support search engine optimization.
- PPC and social media ads. Pay to get well-targeted messages in front of shoppers right when they’re looking to make a purchase.
3. Review and Update Your Shipping Options
No checklist on how to prepare your eCommerce site for the holidays is complete without mentioning shipping. Check over your shipping policy and ensure you offer options that work for holiday shoppers. The ability to gain free shipping often spurs shoppers to add more to their cart to meet a minimum requirement, for example, and last-minute Christmas shoppers may appreciate an option for expedited shipping.
While you’re at it, find out what the shipping deadlines are with each shipping type. Add enough time to those dates to account for order picking, packing and processing so you can provide realistic order deadlines for consumers that want an item to arrive by Christmas. Publish that information clearly on your site, including on the home page, product pages and shopping cart pages. This helps consumers understand when they should shop and create a sense of urgency that helps you convert browsers to buyers.
4. Test Mobile Versions of Your Site and Any Apps
A good consumer experience drives up sales, supports customer loyalty and increases positive word-of-mouth marketing. Take time to prepare your eCommerce site for the holidays for all users, but pay special attention to mobile versions.
Mobile shopping accounts for more than 30 percent of eCommerce sales. Ecommerce shops can’t afford to ignore such a growing section of their audience.
5. Ensure Your Credit Card Processing Is Compliant and Secure
Before you ramp up for the holidays, ensure your credit card processing solutions are up to the task. It’s always good to review laws and rules about surcharges or other specifics. After all, falling afoul of compliance once is bad, but heavy traffic over the holidays could lead to multiple issues if you’re not careful.
Look over your credit card security processes while you’re at it so you can confidently let consumers know you work to safeguard their data. That can be critical to making consumers comfortable using their credit cards on your eCommerce site. One Experian survey indicates almost a quarter of people have been a victim of holiday identity theft or fraud, so consumers can be understandably nervous.
Taking just a few actions to update and clean up your site before the holidays can have enormous benefits to customer service and sales. And many of these efforts, such as increasing page speed or ensuring secure credit card processing, will continue to serve your site well into the New Year.
About NMA. NMA is a merchant advocacy group dedicated to reducing or eliminating the unnecessary fees associated with accepting credit card payments. Since 2004, NMA’s payment processing solutions have been delivering tailored solutions, best-in-class customer service and high-quality service offerings for businesses across multiple industries. Whether it’s high-risk or low-risk, brick-and-mortar or e-commerce, NMA will create the best processing experience for your company. For more information, visit us at our https://www.nationalmerchants.com/ or by calling (866) 509-7199.