It seems every year the holiday retail season starts earlier and earlier, with retailers dubbing November 1 as the new “official” start of the season. “Grey November” is the 3-week lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday – two days that no longer the kick-off point of the holiday season, but are now at the mid-point. With holiday sales starting weeks earlier, now is the time to make sure your eCommerce site is equipped to handle the holiday rush without scrambling or committing common eCommerce holiday pitfalls. For some of our clients, though holiday is just 25% of the year, it can represent almost half of their annual revenue.
Here’s a -threepoint checklist of common mistakes to avoid to make sure your online retail site is geared up to have a prosperous holiday season and delight your customers on the most important days.
1. Site load and speed: Can you handle the rush?
Site traffic and engagement are two things that every brand wants to increase during the holidays – but site load times and lags are not something that should increase with it. Without proper planning, load spikes can slow down your site’s performance and bring down the quality of the customer experience. At worst, unplanned traffic surges can disrupt service on your entire site and hours of crucial holiday sales can be lost because of overload.
Understanding your environment and testing for load capacity under test stress conditions to know at what point performance degradation happens. Finding an eCommerce platform that enables these tests natively and can scale up to holiday load is crucial for a successful winter retail season.
2. Is your Site in Order?
With more customers shopping your site entering through email promotional links, social media, URLs, PPC ads and other entry points, dead links and 404 pages are bound to happen. Make sure that you have a strategy in place to encourage customers to keep shopping, even if the promotion they were enticed by has expired.
The Disabled Products module for Magento 2 sites lets you choose a selection of related products to show a customer automatically when the shopper enters through a dead link. Providing shoppers with more choices will decrease the likelihood of site bounce and help them complete the customer buying cycle. Learn more about the module. >>
3. Finding a Trusted Partner
Your team cannot be everywhere, every time. Working with a trusted eCommerce partner can ensure that if problems do arise, they can be addressed quickly. A few hours of down time can easily turn into more than a few thousand dollars in lost revenue, and leave a bad taste in your customers’ mouth. Make sure you have a continuous support system set up with an eCommerce partner that has developers on-hand to handle technical problems that may be out of the scope of duty for your team.
Holiday is the most important time of year for many online retailers. Want to audit your site for efficiency and effectiveness before the big season? We can help. >>