Is Your Website Ready for the Holidays?
It’s the time of the year when our Christmas trees are decorated and we’re shopping gifts for the near and dear ones. But is your website prepared for the holiday season to come. For your online business to handle the holiday season rush, there are few considerations to make to ensure a better customer experience. It is essential to plan beforehand of the various possibilities of the achieve more conversions and greater success.
Here is what we suggest, out of experience, you must do for your website to handle the holiday rush better:
Step One: Check the Engine
Firstly, you must ensure that the website is running smoothly. It is like checking tire pressure before a long trip or analyzing if the car needs oil change to ensure that the car is ready for the ride.
For your website:
- Analyse past data
Depending on how long the business has existed, you will have valuable data in hand to help plan your holiday season. On basis of the traffic and conversion over the last year and before around the same time, you can analyze an approximate expected traffic and maybe also the traffic boost you experience each year from the last.
- Test Your Website Speed
The conversion rate depends on a lot on your site speed. People are more likely to abandon the transaction if they have to wait to long and tend to look for another website that is faster and smoother. Moreover, better site speed is more likely to rank higher in search engines. To find problems, you can test your site with Google PageSpeed Insights to get recommendations from Google for better performance.
- Load test
While you must ready your site for the expected traffic, it must also be ready to handle any unexpected sudden traffic. You might just have a product that suddenly gains popularity over the holiday season. However, you wouldn’t like your website to create bottlenecks or crash during unexpected traffic surges. You can determine how the system will behave during peak as well as normal traffic expectations using Load Testing.
- Mobile Optimization
Most shopper are now switching to browsing and purchasing on mobile devices. Your website must thus be optimized for mobile so as to not lose out on potential business. You can utilize Mobile Usability Report from Google to find problems that you need to correct.
Step two: Avoid new roads
Don’t we always rely on the route we best know when driving to someplace? That way, we know the time the journey will take, and of any gas or food stops in the way thus minimizing any uncertainty linked to taking a newer route.
Similarly, though you want to make changes to the website before the holiday season to accommodate the rush, you must best avoid dealing with new vendors, adding new entry points, or using an entirely new optimization method. With the holiday rush on your head, you are hardly left with time enough to test these newer changes in a live environment.
You do not want to affect your conversions negatively with any changes that were attempted to make the website better for customer transactions.
Step Three: Have everyone use the same map
For the holiday season to be successful, it is vital that all departments are using the same map to get to the ultimate destination and are on the same page.
Thus, your IT department, customer service, marketing departments, and sales need to be on the same page for a better approach to the season. All departments need to aware of their overall goals and the required contribution from their department to achieve them. The goal is to provide a great overall customer experience and all strategies should flow in that direction.
For example, if the marketing team is at the job of creating enticing videos to attracts buyers, the sales team should be well aware of any offers or messages and the IT team must be aware of how those videos are expected to affect the site performance and optimize the site accordingly. Similarly, the customer service department must be aware of all sales promotions and policies to help assist the customers better. There can be a miscommunication with customers, especially when there are queries about peak day promotions or any time sensitive coupons.
The Bottom Line
If your business relies on holiday seasons for better transactions, the time is now to act on your website and prepare it for the holidays. It is essential to review your plans and ideas as every right step will only leave you with more money as you enter the new year.