With Christmas just around the corner it’s important to get your online store ready for the holiday rush.
Internet shopping continues to rise year on year, so here are my top tips for getting your store ready for what could be your most lucrative quarter.
Check your store. Is it ready?
Start by looking at the products on your store. Optimize images and give your site a festive feel. Images will play a big part in capturing the attention and hearts of shoppers. If your product photos are low resolution or have poor lighting, maybe it’s time to re-shoot them ready for the holidays. You might not want to upload them yet, but careful planning will take the stress out of what is going to be a busy time.
If you use an eCommerce website builder or platform, why not choose a festive store design to entice your customers. Freewebstore has some great designs to choose from - and they're all free. Best of all you can easily switch between your Christmas design and your January Sale design at the click of a button using the Saved Designs Feature. A word of warning though - if you have a high customer base, don’t make drastic changes to the navigation or layout right now. This can cause disruption to customers’ shopping flow. If the site has drastically changes from what customers are used to, it could cause confusion, frustration and lead to abandonment.
Check what your users see
Check your website. Does it load well? Is your url or domain memorable? Are all the links working? Does your site work on all devices? Make sure all your images load and check your stock levels. You don't want any ‘out of stock’ products appearing on your store as it may look as though your store has been abandoned or out of date.
Are your product descriptions accurate and of a good length? If they aren’t, online shoppers may be wary of buying from you. Do you use custom urls for your categories? All of this careful planning helps build up your SEO which will boost your Google rankings making it easier for shoppers to find you.
In response to Google’s decision to mark HTTP pages as unsafe starting October 2017, websites which do not have SSL encryption enabled will be marked as "Not secure" in Google Chrome. This could have a damaging effect on your sales if you don't have an eCommerce website that is fully SSL secure.
Here’s an example of what your customers will see without you having an SSL enabled:
This is an example of what your customers will see if your website is SSL protected.
Freewebstore now offers ALL customers a free SSL. Find out more here.
Make checking out easy
Your customers are going to be busy leading up to Christmas. Don’t have them abandoning the checkout process out of frustration. After succeeding in the hard work of getting them there, losing conversions due to a complicated or lengthy form is far from ideal. Use a checkout that allows you to take payments directly on your store.
Monitor your stock carefully
Choosing the amount of stock you need over Christmas can often be difficult, especially if you are investing in seasonal products. On the one hand, you don’t want to miss out on a share of the market, but on the other you don’t want to be left with surplus stock in January that you can’t sell. Look at what sold well last year. Finding a pattern could make ordering your stock each year much easier, so make sure you keep a note of everything...good luck!
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Article originally published: 21/09/16, Modified and Updated: 14/11/17