The holiday shopping season is upon us and some of the best eCommerce sites are already rolling out their holiday marketing strategy aimed at bringing customers to their store and through their checkout process. Last year’s biggest eCommerce day, Cyber Monday, saw $1.735 billion dollars change hands from desktop computer users to eCommerce stores - an 18% increase from the year before. This trend, when combined with the growth of mobile eCommerce sales, is expected to continue through this year’s holiday shopping season.
The sharp increase in visits and orders needs to be accounted for before the holiday shopping droves begin to inundate your store in early November. Hiccups, whether staffing or technology related, are real disappointments to eCommerce visitors eager to get their holiday shopping completed from the comfort of home. Your website’s server resources and backend processes must be equipped to handle the new traffic because the price of failure during the holiday season is a difficult blunder to recover from. Read on to learn how the best eCommerce sites prepare for the holiday shopping season.
It is imperative to monitor your server’s performance leading up to and during the high-traffic holiday season. Holiday specific shoppers begin visiting online stores in large quantities as early as the first week of October and your server’s resources must be able to handle the uptick in requests. An eCommerce server that can’t keep up with the requests will either render store pages too slowly for customers to fight through, or worse, display a 503 Error (Service Unavailable). Both situations result in a decrease in revenue and a countless number of missed conversions.
The holiday season may be your business’s busiest couple of months during the year. Your store’s order processes must be scalable in order to convert the large number of visitors eager to spend their money. If your order process isn’t fully automated (meaning staff members process individual orders through the backend) make sure your store has enough manpower to push through the influx of November and December orders. Orders can’t be shipped until the order process is finished, so the importance of ensuring your team has the extra hands necessary to get orders accepted can’t be overlooked.
Take advantage of the extra traffic by completing more, and higher valued, conversions by using different types of promotions. Some of the best eCommerce sites will offer a ‘Free Shipping’ promotion during the holiday season as a way to differentiate themselves from the competition. This is often coupled with a guaranteed deliver by date which assures customers, even the procrastinators, that they can still receive the products they order before their big holiday. Be sure to display your store’s cross-sell and up-sell products prominently on your product pages or within the cart. Suggesting other products to visitors on their way to check out is a great way to increase the value of each order placed on your website.
The holiday shopping season will be gone in less than two months - is your eCommerce website ready to hit the ground running? If not, contact us today.
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