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Is Your Magento E-commerce Store Prepared for the Holiday Season 2018? Here is Your Survival Checklist!

Is Your Magento E-Commerce Store Prepared For The Holiday Season 2018? Here Is Your Survival Checklist!

The holiday season is nearing! Demand is on the high. Business is about to flourish. But is your Magento eCommerce website ready to generate those profits?

E-commerce has been on the rise and you don’t want to miss out on this holiday season. Last year during the holiday season, there was a staggering $108 billion dollars spent on holiday sales in the US alone. It amounted to 20% of their total gross revenue that year. With the rise in the population of the millennials and increasing usage of smartphones, this year’s holiday season is going to break records in e-commerce sales.

U.S. online sales revenue on Thanksgiving and Black Friday over the years.Courtesy: www.statista.com

The inventory is stocked. The products are ready to be displayed. You know which product to place on your homepage and marketing emails. The delivery plans are all set. Will that be enough to face the top competitors in the industry head on? Unfortunately, the answer is a big NO. But the good news is, we have a checklist to put everything in order and ensure your website is ready!

Strategic List

Analyze your Magento store’s earlier holiday stats.

Your past is your best friend. Before you start strategizing this year’s holiday plans, review your previous years’ stats. See where you made more profits. Find out which areas need more attention. While devising holiday strategies you don’t have to start from scratch. Replicate what gave you more results and improve areas that were lacking. In addition, come up with innovative ideas to stay ahead of your competitors.

Let the world know what’s in store

Announce your holiday plans to your customers prior to the holiday season. The best and most efficient ways are to use emails and social media. Don’t underestimate email marketing. A well thought out email campaign with pleasing content will go miles in engaging your existing customers and bring new ones. As far as social media is concerned, 5 per cent of the retail shopping traffic will be driven by social media. Instagram will hold the top spot compared to other social media platforms in driving retail traffic. The visual appeal of your brand’s product is very effective on Instagram.

Plan Ahead

Make sure your inventory and delivery plans are up to speed to meet your customers’ demands. Customers nowadays put a lot of emphases not only on the quality of products but also on the service the company provides. With top players like Amazon and eBay pushing the limits, customers expect the same everywhere. Make sure your customer service department is prompt. Also, set a maximum retaining period for your customers’ shopping carts. We don’t want an idle shopping cart, especially during a holiday season.

Reward your customers

Offer coupons and promotions to your customers. Reward your customers with exciting offers and promotions. Giving additional incentives while promoting a new product goes a long way. It’ll also help your web-store to stand out amongst your competitors. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte in 2016, 77% of holiday shoppers are influenced by promotions and coupons. Now that’s a number you can’t ignore!

Sell Holiday Gift Cards

Holiday Gift Cards are a great way to exceed the duration of your high online traffic period. Once the holiday gifts are exchanged and the boxes are opened, a gift card guarantees that a customer will purchase something on your website. Statistics show that 59% of the customers purchase more than their gift card value.

Flaunt your reviews

Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to discounts and customer reviews, it is the customer reviews that is the most helpful in converting a click to a sale. A VigLink survey says that 70.6% of customers feel that customer reviews are the most helpful when making a buying decision. Pricing and discount details come second. So make sure to get as many customer reviews as possible for a product and showcase it for your shopper to see.

Make your Magento website compatible for mobiles

Having a mobile-friendly website is an absolute necessity today regardless of what season it is. Holiday shoppers will buy more on mobiles than any other device. 46% of all orders placed will be through mobile phones and 68% of all your online traffic will also be through your mobile phones. It easily overtakes other devices like PCs, tablets, and laptops.

Create relevant content

It’s not as easy as it sounds. Creating relevant content is key to convert your website clicks into sales. Some shoppers don’t buy in October. Some shoppers prefer to do last minute shopping in December. There will be a fair amount of sales outside the cyber five as well. Make sure your content is suitable for all occasions. Keep updating it and make sure to remove expired promotions.

Technical List

Let’s say you’ve checked all the boxes. Let’s say all the strategies are in place and you’re raring to go. Will your website be able to handle the load? Will it slow down when the traffic increases or will it crash? Here’s the good news. You don’t have to worry about such things. We have a technical list for you to follow to keep your site in its optimal state.

Create an appealing and elegant user experience

With the eCommerce holiday season coming up, customers should be provided with a fitting and thorough description of your products or services. For an e-commerce store, highlighting your key product is the first thing you should be doing. It should be easy to navigate. User flow should not be affected by any obstacles. A user should be able to find the details he or she is looking for in as few clicks as possible. Make sure navigating around the website is simple and CTAs are present on every page to promptly guide the customers.

Onsite Search

On-site search is the most preferred product finding method used by customers as its faster than navigating through the category and product pages. Also, searchers are customers with clear intent and converting them is easy. So make sure your site has a fast and responsive faceted search implemented.

Have a failover strategy

Discuss with your System Integrator and have a plan outlining who will be the point person(s) helping with your “Disaster Recovery Strategy” and share your plans with your solution and hosting partners so that everyone knows what to do in the worst case.

Perform Load test under peak load conditions on your Magento Webstore

Review your store’s previous holiday stats and create a projection of sales for the current year. Based on that, conduct a load test to test your system for capacity to handle concurrent users in both browsing and buying scenarios

Make sure the website operates quickly and smoothly

Make sure your website is fast and responsive. Use Content Delivery Networks. With a CDN in place, the server located closest to your site’s visitor responds to the page request with the least latency. Offloading static pages, Javascript files, images and CSS style sheets have proven to help you serve more concurrent users with increased efficiency during the Holidays and advances your website’s overall responsiveness.

Schedule heavy admin activities

Avoid re-indexing or flushing cache through the admin panel during peak traffic periods.

Add features for interaction

Add live chat features to your web-store. Customers are prone to have doubts while purchasing. Live chat can be used to aid potential customers with their buying decision or for current customers who require support with a product they have already purchased.

Disable features, not in use

Make sure your Systems Integrator disables the Magento features that aren’t being used, things like wishlists and gift cards can adversely affect performance when they aren’t in use.

Every e-commerce website out there is competing for your potential and existing customers. Stay on top of the game by devising an early holiday strategy and give timely offers. Unsure if your Magento 2 website is holiday season ready? Talk to us now and our in-house experts will make sure your website excels this holiday season!

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