Tips to Prepare for the Online Holiday Shopping Rush
The holiday season is important for most retailers – but this year, the holiday shopping season is going to be more impactful than most. Some online businesses might rely on this upcoming holiday season to reverse negative effects still lingering from the first half of 2020.
With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the upcoming holidays, ensuring a successfully busy holiday season in 2020 is more important than ever. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your eCommerce business is ready to welcome a surge in business.
1. Conduct an SEO Audit
Whether or not your business should actually invest in eCommerce SEO services as part of your marketing strategy is one thing, but to get there, you need to know where you stand.
A comprehensive SEO audit will give you real-time, quantitative insight into how your website is performing and whether or not it can improve, and where it can improve. Our SEO audit process uncovers a huge range of information about your website performance, including but in no way limited to how site structure can be improved, how speed can be increased, where there is duplicate content to remove, if your website has broken or toxic links and much more.
2. Boost Visibility with Seasonal PPC
Pay-per-click advertising and SEO are two of the biggest components of digital marketing. Whereas SEO is geared towards long term gains in organic traffic, PPC can offer short term wins if done properly.
With careful keyword research and landing page optimization, PPC advertising can be one of the most viable ways to vie for competitive, high volume keywords. During the busy season, when a lot of online holiday shopping is taking place, getting in front of your target audience can be a challenge, and PPC, when properly implemented, is one of the most effective ways to ramp up traffic to your eCommerce website right away.
When customers are rushing with last-minute shopping and your ads get in front of them, you should expect to see a commensurate increase in conversion rates.
3. Optimize for Site Speed
Site speed is not just important because it affects SEO. Site speed is also tremendously important at this time of year because you will be dealing with harried, busy customers who have a purpose in mind: to get the gifts they need and to get moving.
At best, customers wait around for just a bit more than two seconds before bouncing. If anything, their patience will decrease during the busy season, which gives you two excellent reasons to optimize your site for speed.
Poorly sized images or too many apps and plugins can all affect page loading speed, but there are a lot of other factors as well. To learn more about some of the factors affecting site speed, or best practices to keep website speed up, contact a member of our team.
4. Redesign in Advance
Design and development work can have a profound impact on the user experience of your eCommerce store, but they also have the potential to be time-consuming. Everything from checkout process development to navigational improvements to product page tweaks or even a full redesign can impact user behavior and enhance the shopping experience, but if you’re going to do it, do it ahead of time.
You don’t want to be doing work on your website during a time when there is a huge amount of traffic going to it, because any bugs will become more apparent. It might be worth it to redesign your site, but get the work done before you expect it to make its greatest impact.
5. Engage with Customers on Social Media
If your organization isn’t active on social media and doesn’t have a good reason for it, it’s time to turn that trend around. Social media is a great way to connect with customers, build brand credibility and trust, and provide valuable content. It also has great potential to be a very cost-effective form of content marketing when compared with other traditional forms of advertising.
In addition, social proof is highly valuable to shoppers who are seriously thinking about a purchase. The overwhelming majority of online shoppers utilize social media and social proof, and if your eCommerce site is lacking, now’s the time to change that.
Utilizing social media as a form of communication is also a great way to personalize the shopping experience and get the word out about promotions. Advertising on your social media accounts is effectively costless when compared with other avenues. Actually, it can make you money – that’s the purpose.
The checkout process is a critical point in the sales funnel, and all too many potential customers are lost to shopping cart abandonment. In addition to optimizing your checkout experience with a one-page version, if possible, you should follow a few best practices.
- Set up a guest checkout, because there are shoppers who will bounce if they need to create an account, even if they had the intention to purchase otherwise.
- Be up-front about costs before customers begin the checkout process. No one appreciates hidden fees, however justifiable they might be. Disclose them right away, whatever they are, and avoid them where possible. Truthfully, fewer and fewer customers are willing to pay for shipping, which only a few years ago was seen as a reasonable and justifiable cost of online shopping.
- Have an SSL certificate to ensure that your transactions are secure. If you use another (or an additional) method for security, make sure they are advertised. Most shoppers will be looking for the little lock by your URL indicating an SSL and a secure transaction.
- Advertising your return policy will help to boost confidence in the process, and confident customers are more likely to buy than customers with doubts.
Whether you’re most interested in a PPC campaign, Search Engine Optimization, or design services, we can help your eCommerce business get in gear for the busy season.
We also specialize in design and development to help improve our customer’s businesses on a variety of different platforms. Whether you’re looking for BigCommerce design services, help with your Magento store, or need the assistance of Shopify Plus designers, we can help. Just pick up the phone and give us a call at 855-643-2269 and we’ll get to work figuring out how your online store can be made better before the holiday shopping blitz. Come Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’ll be ready.