Holiday season checklist: 85 steps for eCommerce site optimization

Holiday checklist: 85 steps for eCommerce site optimization this season

The holiday season is the most revenue-earning time for merchants. Reports say that the season accounts for half of all the annual sales. So, during this peak traffic season, with rampant running coupons, sales and promotions, and rife competition, your job is not just to attract customers to your site, but encourage them to close sales. Therefore, to excel, every stage of a consumer’s buying journey, from brand discovery, site search, and engagement to checkout, secure payments, fast shipping, active customer support, and easy returns & exchanges requires attention from merchants. 

As it popularly said, preparation is the key to successful execution- we've prepared a eCommerce holiday season checklist of 85 steps to get your site up and ready for peak shopping hours.

So, without further ado, let’s begin.

Monitor previous years’ website traffic to calculate the coming season’s expectations

Measure your previous traffic to predict this season’s expectations,
Then invest in resources that prepare it for the population.

  • Make a list of all your traffic sources (website, webstore, mobile apps, social stores, etc).
  • Measure the traffic over the past six months (for each sales channel).
  • Measure the load traffic during the last holiday season (for each sales channel).
  • Analyze the year-over-year traffic growth, in percentage, between last year’s and this year’s demand (for each sales channel).
  • Percentage increase in last year’s holiday season traffic and site traffic over the past few months (for each sales channel).
  • To calculate this year’s peak traffic, identify your typical peak sales hour and review the load it places on your infrastructure (CPU, memory, and disk place). Multiply this metric by 3 for a reasonable 2023 approximation.
  • Look at your Google Analytics, cart abandonment, and privy statistics from last year to establish a realistic expectation around traffic received, carts converted, and sign ups received.

Once you know how much traffic you might receive this eCommerce holiday season, it’s time to invest in additional resources to meet the peak demand.

Improving eCommerce customer site experiences

Modern-day shoppers want to be able to get what they want easily and with little friction possible. It means you need eCommerce site optimization for better catered shopping experiences and a seamless checkout process. And, here are some of the best ways to optimize ecommerce site:

To Improve Website Speed: During the busy eCommerce Holiday Season, you’ll see increased site traffic. But the question is – are you certain your bandwidth can handle that? To achieve that, you must examine your web hosting infrastructure and analyze historical past usage trends because insufficient bandwidth can slow down operations, resulting in lost revenue. A recent study found that if a site takes longer than 4 seconds to load, one in four visitors abandon the website. Furthermore, a 1-second delay in page load time reduces pageviews by 11%, conversion rates by 7%, and customer satisfaction by 16%.

Invest in your site’s loading speed,
Coz a fast website is what your customers need.

  • Check your eCommerce site’s speed for each page- product search, category list, product details, home page, carts, checkout, content, payment & shipping
  • Check and improve the speed of your hosting provider
  • Optimize image size across various devices
  • Enable browser caching
  • Optimize server response time

To Optimize Homepage

Your site design should already have various search elements, such as a concise menu and a prominently displayed search box. Still, during the eCommerce Holiday Season, you should promote top-selling, high-converting products, and categories right at the top of the homepage. The sooner you can get customers in front of what they want to buy, and you’ll be able to create a frictionless shopping experience for holiday shoppers.

Give your homepage a new look for the holidays,
Mention everything from offers, discounts, coupons to flash sales.

  • Mention the promotional sale with time duration above the fold
  • Optimize your homepage title tag, meta description & images
  • Include primary call-to-actions (CTAs) to make them prominently visible
  • Add seasonal colors and images to spread the holiday cheer

Optimize Checkout & Payment Experience

By the time a shopper reaches the checkout page, they’ve already made up their mind to make a purchase. Making the checkout process simple will keep customers on your site long enough to finish their purchases. You can achieve this by giving them multiple secure payment options to make their checkouts more seamless.

Don’t distract your customers with complicated executions,
Help them with easy and safe payment processing solutions.

  • Allow customers to change carts on the checkout page
  • Allow addition and deletion of products to carts during checkout
  • Allow user access from different devices and save credentials across
  • Allow auto filling of shipping address
  • Integrate with popular and customer-preferred payment solutions (credit card, debit card, eWallets, cash-on-delivery, BOPIS (buy now pay later), Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc)

Optimize for Mobile Experience

Although it may sound obvious, it is important to have an optimized mobile website. And in 2021, over 54% of all eCommerce sales were made through mobile devices. So, you need to ensure that your website is ready for mobile users to window shop and make purchases during the hectic eCommerce holiday season.

Your holiday season eCommerce strategy will be completely futile,
If it isn’t optimized for customers shopping via mobiles.

  • Pick a responsive mobile-friendly template or theme
  • Match your mobile and desktop design theme
  • Optimize pop-ups for mobile

Enhance Product Page Experience

As the name suggests, product pages are designed to give key information about a particular product with descriptive content and relevant images or videos and to make it simple for your customers to make an instant purchase. So, product page optimization is crucial during the busy eCommerce holiday season as it helps create a seamless customer browsing experience across all platforms.

Amazing product pages are a good enough reason,
To grab your customers’ attention during the holiday season.

  • Allow users to filter search results as per price, popularity, new arrivals, relevance, color, size, style, etc.
  • Check zoom-in and zoom-out features
  • Add high-quality and resolution product images
  • Allow one-swipe product check features
  • Add reviews and testimonials to every product page
  • Add coming soon pages to promotions and flash sales

Effective  Holiday Marketing & Promotions Tips

To sell your products most efficiently throughout the holiday season, you adapt your stores to various unexpected changes, whether related to new technologies or promotional strategies. That’s why it’s important to ensure your store is fully optimized and equipped with campaigns and promotional plans before the holiday shopping frenzies. And you can achieve this by using gift cards to upsell at checkout, giving seasonal services, like free gift-wrapping or shipping, or making limited-time deals to add urgency.

An omnichannel marketing strategy is what you need,
To serve your customers on all channels indeed.

  • Create festive sales calendar for holiday promotions
  • Build interactive landing pages for festive sales
  • Run automated email campaigns (welcome emails after sign up, seasonal greetings, confirmation messages, early-bird offers, Black Friday sale, holiday invitation emails, gift cards promotion, abandoned cart emails, last-minute offers, winter deals, Christmas sales, product reviews, Happy New Year)

To Offer Quick and Easy Shipping Solutions

You'll need a well-thought-out holiday eCommerce strategy for where to sell your goods and how to ship and process orders if you want to execute a great customer experience strategy. And to deliver a seamless experience, you should offer a range of delivery options because some customers wait until the last minute to place their orders while others purchase gifts months in advance. And having that option available at the checkout can help them decide to purchase much more quickly and easily.

Improve your shipping experience & fill your customers with amaze,
Make sure that even last-minute gifts arrive in time for the holidays.

  • Allow tracing shipping address of the online product on the map
  • Offer free shipping on all products
  • Inform customers about the status of their orders via emails and messages (order placed, product packed, product shipped, product reached delivery warehouse, & out for delivery)

Better Returns & Exchange Experience

When it comes to returns, the holidays are when you should be a little more flexible for your customers. You can create a flawless return and exchanges process by choosing some automated tools or by including an in-page message that notes any particulars of your return policy or how simple it is. Building trust is the most important thing you can do, so make sure your return policy is fully transparent and fair.

A good return experience in a sales opportunity in disguise,
It forges with your customers’ long-term ties.

  • Write clear product descriptions
  • Choose an automated tool to ensure smooth refunds and exchanges

Cross-check all these holiday checklist 2023 points

During the holiday season, the more you prepare as a seller, the more buyers will truly trust you. And this will result only in happy customers, and you’ll hopefully get lots of repeat business!

And with this, you’re all done with setting holiday season checklist for your eCommerce site to get more conversions this holiday sales 2023. May you make the most of it. Happy Holidays!

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