How to Optimize Your E-Commerce Website for the Holiday Shopping Season

The holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and if you have an e-commerce website, now is the time to make sure it’s primed and ready for an influx of traffic. Not sure where to start? Keep reading, we’ve rounded up some tips to help you create better online shopping experiences this holiday season.

When It Comes to Retail, E-Commerce is King

It’s no secret that more and more people are doing their shopping online. In fact, e-commerce has been steadily growing over the past decade, with studies showing that between 2008 and 2018, online retail sales grew from $262 billion to $2.86 trillion. And this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon—by 2026, it’s estimated that online sales will reach $8.1 trillion.

There are a number of reasons why this shift to e-commerce has occurred. For one, it’s simply more convenient than traditional shopping methods—you can shop from the comfort of your own home, and goods can be delivered right to your doorstep. In addition, there are often more choices and better deals available online. And with the rise of mobile shopping, people are now able to shop anywhere, at any time.

For businesses, this shift to e-commerce presents both challenges and opportunities. For example, you need to make sure your website is optimized for search engines, easy to use, and that checkout is simple and seamless or you risk losing potential customers. The benefit to diversifying your retail business into the e-commerce space is that there’s a whole new world of opportunity (and a larger pool of potential customers) out there for businesses that are willing to embrace the change.

If you’ve already started to shift attention to e-commerce and online retail, here are a few things you can prioritize now to ensure you’re ready for the bulk of the holiday shopping season.

Make sure your E-Commerce Website is mobile-friendly

In today’s digital-first world, it’s imperative that your website is mobile-friendly. More and more people are doing their shopping on their smartphones, and if your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re likely losing out on a lot of business. Luckily, making your site mobile-friendly is relatively easy to do. If you’re using WordPress, there are a few plugins you can use, like WPtouch or WPTap Mobile Web Plugin. Alternatively, you can use a platform like Shopify, which automatically optimizes your site for mobile.

Try these easy changes to make your site mobile-friendly:

  • Use a responsive theme
  • Use large, easy-to-click buttons
  • Eliminate pop-ups
  • Use clear and concise text

In E-Commerce, site speed matters

When potential customers land on your site, you want to make sure that it loads quickly. If it doesn’t, there’s a good chance they’ll click away and take their business elsewhere. Not sure how your site’s speed is holding up? Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to find out.

There are a few things you can do to improve your site’s speed, like:

– Optimize your images

– Minimize HTTP requests

– Use a content delivery network

– Implement browser caching

Make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for

When potential customers come to your site, they should be able to easily find what they’re looking for. That means having a well-organized product catalog and clear navigation.

If your products are organized by category, make sure those categories are front and center. And if you have a search bar on your site, make sure it’s prominently displayed so customers can easily use it to find what they need.

Can Your E-Commerce Website Offer Free Shipping?

One of the best ways to increase conversions during the holiday shopping season is to offer free shipping—especially if your competitors are doing the same. Free shipping has become the norm in e-commerce, so customers expect it. If you can’t afford to offer free shipping on every order, consider offering it on orders over a certain amount or only shipping items that are in stock (to avoid any delays).

Shipping can be a touchy subject. Here are a few things you can do to make it better for everyone. 

Make it easy to view order status updates

  • Provide tracking numbers if possible
  • Consider season shipping discounts

Drive More Sales with Seasonal Promotions

Everyone loves a good sale, so take advantage of that by running promotions on your site during the holiday season. You can promote specific products or offer discounts sitewide. Just be sure to clearly advertise any promotions you’re running on your homepage or in ads so customers know exactly what they’re getting.

Here are a few tips to help you build better promotions for your e-commerce business this holiday season.

Create targeted holiday campaigns and promotions

To really drive sales during the holidays, you need to create targeted campaigns and promotions. That means thinking about who your target audience is and what they want. For example, if you sell clothes, you might want to run a promotion on winter apparel like coats and scarves. Or if you sell gifts, you might want to do a gift-guide promotion, featuring a selection of your best products.

Use engaging visuals and compelling copy

The holidays are the perfect time to get creative with your promotions. Think about ways you can stand out from the competition and really capture customers’ attention. The photos, videos, and copy you use in your campaigns should be engaging and relevant to your target audience.

Remebmer, the goal is to slow the scroll and get potential customers to click through your promotion into your e-commerce website.

Make sure your campaigns are mobile-friendly

With more and more people doing their shopping on their smartphones, it’s important to make sure your campaigns are optimized for mobile. That means using images that look good on small screens, short and concise copy, and large, easy-to-click buttons.

Segment your email list and send personalized messages

If you have an email list, this is the perfect time to segment it and send targeted messages to different groups of customers. For example, if you sell products for kids, you might want to segment your list by age and send different messages to parents of infants, toddlers, and school-aged children.

You can also segment your list by location and send messages that are relevant to customers in different parts of the world. For example, if you have customers in the Northern Hemisphere, you might want to promote winter products like coats and boots. But if you have customers in the Southern Hemisphere, you might want to promote summer products like swimsuits and sandals.

Personalized messages are more likely to get opened and clicked on, so this is a great way to increase conversions during the holiday season.

Make it easy for customers to purchase from your site

Once you get customers onto your site from organic or paid promotions, you want to make it super easy for them to make the purchase. Focus on creating a user-friendly checkout experience with clear and concise copy, easy-to-understand pricing, and no hidden fees. You also want to make sure your site is secure so customers feel confident entering their payment information.

If you can make the purchase process as smooth and easy as possible, you’re more likely to increase conversions and drive sales this holiday season.

Is Your Site & Marketing Strategy Holiday Rush Ready?

The holiday shopping season is almost in full swing, which means now is the time to make sure your e-commerce website is ready for an influx of traffic. Make sure to spend time reviewing and optimizing your site to make the most of the year-end boost that this time provides many online retailers.

Stuck on where to start? Get in touch with one of our digital marketing experts today to get expert eyes and insights on how you can get ahead of the game this holiday season.