How to Prepare Your E-Commerce Website for Holiday Retail

How to Prepare Your E-Commerce Website for Holiday Retail

Carl Addoumieh

Thursday, October 14, 2021

The holidays are a joyous time of year, with so much to anticipate. But for retailers, the holiday retail seasons comes with the added pressure of preparing your eCommerce website to ensure a smooth and successful season. This holiday season, we’ve compiled some tips from industry experts that will help you prepare for what lies ahead.

Analyze and learn from previous holiday seasons

The preparation for a successful campaign starts by analyzing last year’s eCommerce and marketing data. Understanding what worked and didn’t work can help you create better campaigns this time around and show new ways to meet customer needs.

Here are some questions you can start looking at:

  • What campaigns worked for you best (or worst)?

  • What were the most and least popular products?

  • What were the most obvious website traffic times and days?

  • What did your competitors do?

  • What was the return on investments on your ad campaigns?

  • Which pages and keywords worked best?

Get eCommerce Inventory Organized

The National Retail Federation announced this year that online sales are expected to increase by 10-12%. That means eCommerce companies should plan on shipping at least 10% more products than last year. Ensure you’re properly stocked and can reorder inventory quickly when necessary; don’t let customer demand catch you flat-footed in early December.

Your inventory availability on the internet should mirror how much you have in your physical store. That’s why it is essential to establish a monitoring system integrated with your micro hubs and warehouses. This helps your website reflect what the customers are looking for as if someone had walked into one of these stores.

Create strategic holiday marketing and promotions

Standing out during the holiday shopping season is difficult. With many stores competing for attention, you have to offer something that will make your products stand apart from others.

Some advice for your marketing campaign:

  • Start early and plan ahead of time

  • Build strategies that encompass your product and customers

  • Build integrated marketing campaigns across platforms

  • Maintain your omnichannel strategy

  • Make use of paid advertising and email marketing

  • Keep testing and analyzing your campaigns

Make sure your eCommerce website can handle the holiday rush traffic

84% of customers make their first purchase on their first visit to the website, so you need to make sure that your website is set for a great customer experience. You don’t want to experience a website crash during the peak of the holiday season, so it is important that you ensure your site can handle any traffic spikes. The best way for this not to happen?

  • Check with your web host that their servers can handle the expected traffic

  • Execute 3rd party integrations that have proven to be buggy

  • Test your website and its speed on different tools

Optimize your site for mobile commerce

The popularity of mobile commerce is continuing to rise. In 2020, it made a whopping 169% increase due in part to the pandemic and people’s continued shift away from using computers for apps on their phones or tablets. This trend resulted in 8 out 10 customers preferring an app over accessing websites via a web browser.

So, unless you want to miss out on a major number of customers, make sure your website is optimized for mobile and if you have an app, make sure it is bug-free.

Use the Opportunity to Create Return Customers

Returning customer tend to spend 67% more than first-time customers, so creating opportunities for your customers to come back is highly profitable. 42% of shoppers say they prefer retailers who remember their preferences. So, make sure to add the technology needed to optimize your website for your customers. You can also create a discount for newsletter subscriptions, a coupon after the first purchase, or other return opportunities with your customers that would build trust and drive them to return to your store.

Ensure your customer journey to the last-mile

Over one-third of customers would avoid shopping online and decide to shop in-store due to slow shipping methods; 55% of shoppers say they will be more loyal if fast shipping is offered; 8 out of 10 shoppers say that sustainability is essential for them when shopping online. So, how can you combine the three? The answer is Packaly!

Packaly is a last-mile delivery company that’s driven by sustainability and technology. With Packaly, you can offer your customers the option for completely CO2 neutral express service along with same-day or next-day deliveries based on their preferences.