The holiday season is the perfect time for retailers to boost their annual sales and increase revenue. It’s important to optimize your website for the holiday season to avoid losing customers frustrated with their online experience. Here are a few tips for preparing your website for holiday traffic.
Ensure that your server can handle the increase in holiday traffic.
During the holidays, your website will likely experience a sudden influx of visitors, and you may need extra bandwidth for this surge in traffic. Your server should be flexible enough to handle a holiday spike.
Most online shoppers are in a hurry and don’t have the patience for a site that loads slowly. They will quickly move on to another retailer if they experience a delay. In fact, one study suggests 40 percent of visitors will move on if load times are longer than 3 seconds. Your site should work at top speed for your holiday season shoppers.
Work with your web host to make sure changes to meet increased traffic can be made quickly and autonomously to avoid downtime during the shopping season. LightHouse Graphics can help ensure your site is prepared for an increase in holiday traffic. And if any unexpected problems arise, we’re here to support you and quickly get you back on track.
Increase your security.
Security is a major issue facing online shoppers. Consumers want to be sure their online transactions are safe. Use the most recent encryption technology to secure their personal information. Your website should have an SSL certificate, which will reassure shoppers that your site is secure.
Check that your information is up to date.
At this busy time of year, it’s essential that your customers know when, where, and how to find you, especially if you have a brick-and-mortar store. Many stores add additional hours during the holiday season. Check your website (and any referring sites like Facebook and Yelp) to make sure your hours, address, and contact information are current.
Hire extra online staff if necessary.
During the peak shopping season, many retailers offer a live chat feature to cater to their growing number of online shoppers. Long wait times to speak to someone are a huge turnoff. You may need to up your online staff to help you cope with increased demand. Leave plenty of time to train new staff on how your company operates. Consider outsourcing temporary staff online to take care of your customer service needs.
Spruce up your site for the holidays.
If you are adding a holiday-specific theme to your website, keep load times in mind. Sites that take a long time to load will frustrate customers, especially those shopping on mobile devices that may not be able to handle large themes. Your festive theme must be optimized and compressed as much as possible.
Consider adding a holiday-themed exit-intent popup to retain first-time visitors who are about to leave the site. Rather than lose those precious leads, entice them with a great offer. An exit-intent popup is able to track when a visitor is about to leave your website and will send them an offer such as a discount or an invitation to subscribe to your email list in return for a discount.
Do not change your entire site’s functionality.
Last-minute changes to your website’s functionality may frustrate new and existing customers, especially when they have to deal with unfamiliar interfaces and bugs. Customers are looking to get what they want and leave. When implementing changes, ensure enough time to test any new systems so that you can know what works and what doesn’t.
The holiday season is without a doubt the most profitable time of the year for most businesses. In fact, it is estimated that most retailers make at least 40 percent of their annual revenue in the last quarter of the year alone. Make sure that your website is ready for the holiday season.
Need help preparing your website for the holiday season? LightHouse Graphics can help. We specialize in several areas of online presence, including website design, social media marketing, and content creation…just to name a few. If your business needs assistance in any of these areas, contact us. We’d love to work with you.