A storm emerges every year right around the time Halloween has ended and Christmas music starts getting played on the radio, a storm we like to call shopping season. Since the advent of Black Friday, consumers have become programmed to start shopping earlier every year.
Now that October has arrived it’s the perfect time to make sure your website and social media platforms are optimized for holiday traffic. This year you’ll want to have everything ready by the time the first buyers begin browsing online, here’s how:
1. Make Sure Your eCommerce Is Secure
Online shopping has continued to rise in popularity over the years due largely to its convenience and savings. The problem for many smaller websites is their inability to make the customer feel secure in making online transactions. To avoid lost sales make sure that your entire site is secure (SSL compliant).
2. Implement A Design That Reflects The Holiday Season
Shopping during the holiday season has just as much to do with immersing ourselves in the holiday experience, as it does actually purchasing merchandise. Before we could shop online our annual tradition has always been to shop in large box stores where the décor is laced with Christmas lights and feel-good music.
In order to activate the nostalgia of your buyers, it’s important you offer the same holiday experience on your website. Subconsciously buyers sense the potential for holiday sales when businesses take the time to convert their storefronts to match the season.
3. Switch To A Mobile Layout
The largest shift we’ve been witnessing in the online space is the amount of users who have gone from using mobile and desktop, to mobile-only. Data has shown that the amount of mobile-only shoppers is above or nearing 50 percent for top retailers.
Many websites stand to miss out on some serious business this holiday season if those users have trouble navigating their website. Not to mention, websites who haven’t made the switch are also getting penalized in Google’s search results.
4. Test Your Site’s Speed
The importance here cannot be stressed enough. According to KissMetrics, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Shopping can feel pressured enough as it is, having the extra anxiety of a page not loading is terrible for business.
To improve the speed of your site head over to GTmetrix to detect where your site might be bottle necking.
5. Host Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals
Prior to the arrival of the two most popular shopping days on the planet, ramp up to these events by announcing deals weeks before people are ready to shop. Have them download discount codes and coupons as reminders. A good way to prepare your audience is displaying these deals as banners on Social Media so every time someone visits your page they’ll be reminded of the upcoming sale.
6. Contact Your Web Host To See How Your Site Is Handling Traffic
It’s a good idea to check up with your web host on a regular basis to see how well your site is handling traffic. Most sites that are hosted on a shared server are estimated to handle 30,000-40,000 unique visits a month. If you’re nearing the edge of your bandwidth it’s incredibly wise to upgrade during the holiday season to avoid bouncing visitors who could be ready to make purchases.
7. Make Products Easily Shareable on Social Media
Your customers have a lot to offer on the marketing end of the business. People still rely on word of mouth when it comes to gift recommendations, and if you allow your customers to share your gifts on Social Media as recommendations their friends are likely to add the gift to their list.
8. Get On Pinterest and Make It Your Social Priority
More than any other Social Media network, Pinterest is all about creating boards that cater to shopping. By adding Pin It buttons to your photos you’re also allowing users to add your items to their own boards.
You can also implement Rich Pins, which automatically add important information like the item’s description, price and availability. Rich Pin’s is also great for keeping a customer interested in a product with their Gift category feed; a feature that notifies a user who pinned an item that has since