If you’re operating an ecommerce store, then this holiday season is going to be a real money-making opportunity for you. However, the competition will be tough and your ecommerce store needs to be optimized to not only stand out but also handle high traffic volumes as well. It is especially difficult for startup online companies because of their limited budget and resources.
And that’s why this article has been written as a solution to address all your ecommerce problems for the holidays. The holiday season has officially begun, so it’s best to prep your online store for your customers right away. Just follow the given marketing ideas below and your online store can stand a chance against stiff competition during the holidays.
Choose a Better Host
Because of their limited budget, startup ecommerce stores often choose the cheapest web hosting plan. Granted, this may help them save up on their investment at first, but websites that run on cheap web hosts are prone to crashes during high traffic spikes.
A great ecommerce store is only as good as its web host, which is why I recommend you use a credible web host provider such as Cloudways, Nexcess or MGT-Commerce. Not only do they provide supreme caching abilities, but they also scale your server’s size in order to cater to high volumes of traffic.
Pick a Better Ecommerce Platform
Apart from selecting an efficient and scalable web host, it is just as important to ensure that online stores are powered by a strong and user-friendly platform. For this, I recommend choosing Magento. It offers flexible freedom in customizations and control over an online store. If you wish to run a store with a more personalized experience, Magento is the one to opt for.
Utilize High ROI Marketing
Gift guides and Facebook ads are excellent examples of high ROI marketing. If you can create well-made Facebook ads that are well-targeted, not only will your brand image improve, but you will be able to convert quality traffic into likely sales.
Improve Your Ecommerce Store’s Speed
Nowadays, a fast-loading website is a global standard for ecommerce sites everywhere. It is a crucial factor for driving traffic and maintaining a high search engine ranking. If there is even a three-second delay in your site’s loading speed during a transaction, 40% of web visitors will bounce and opt for another online store.
For Magento-powered stores, Amasty’s Full Page Cache is the one you need. Not only does this plugin improve your store’s loading speed, but it also leads to better conversions as well as high search engine rankings.
Use Responsive Design
According to a report from Marketing Adept, mobile sales had accounted for 27.9% of total sales on Black Friday in 2015. Therefore, you must ensure that your online store has been optimized to be user-friendly for mobile users. Some customers would often complain about not being able to view all the important elements on a screen, images not being rendered well and more.
By not optimizing your ecommerce store for mobile devices, you could be missing out on large potential sales. What’s worse is that Google penalizes sites that are not user-friendly. So you have to adopt a mobile-first approach if you wish to succeed in your holiday season sales.
Use High-Quality Product Photos
As the infamous saying goes; a picture is worth a thousand words. Similarly, high-quality images of your ecommerce store’s products are vital in converting quality leads into potential customers.
You should take plenty of screenshots for one of your products from multiple angles to give customers a better view of what they’re buying. You can also show several different screenshots of the same product in different colors and materials as well.
However, while it is important to use high-quality images, it is also wise to ensure that your online store’s speed is not affected as a result.
Make a Page About Gift Ideas
Customers are usually planning on buying several gifts for the holidays because of the limited time they have, so they need lots of gift ideas as well. So why not make a page full of gift ideas for your customers? It will make it easier on their end from doing all the planning.
You can also show a holiday-themed banner, for instance, Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas on the gift idea page that redirects customers to the landing page. Just to make the deal even sweeter, you can also offer exclusive discounts and deals as well.
Update Online Store’s SEO
If you want your ecommerce store to have a better chance at ranking higher on search engines and gain better visibility in the eyes of your customers, then you have to improve its SEO. Unfortunately, it takes time to get SEO updates to take place. That’s why it is better for you to begin optimizing your website three to four weeks in advance.
Once it has been optimized, take a few minutes to inspect the backend of your website and ensure that your website’s title tags, meta descriptions, image ALT tags and everything else are up to date with your focus keywords.
Offer Free Shipping
Most of the times, customers hate to pay to have their products shipped especially during the time of great merrymaking that is the holiday season. Leaving this as it is will discourage shoppers from ever buying your store’s products. So the alternative for this is to offer free shipping or shipping discounts for certain products.
Make Purchasing Easier
One of the most annoying things that customers experience during a checkout process is having to fill out various fields and forms. This, as a result, ruins an online store user experience.
So if your checkout process is anything like this, please replace it with a one-page checkout. Ensure that this page includes all additional costs such as delivery charges and taxes. Also, remember to display multiple currencies to foreign customers.
Hopefully, all of these ideas are enough to get your online store fired up for the holiday season. By having a fast, efficient and reliable online store, you can rest assured that your holiday sales will go smoothly. If there is something that you would like to add as a suggestion, I’m willing to read it in the comments below.