So you have your holiday marketing plan in place. Ads are scheduled. Inventory prepared. You’re all set—but are you really?
What about your website? Is it prepared to handle the influx of customers vying for the best deals and sales during the holiday season? Have you thought about how you will optimize your website to run as smoothly as possible during one of the busiest times of the year?
That’s okay. We’ve got you covered. Here are 6 steps to prepare your website for holiday shoppers.
1. Make sure your website is up-to-date.
Sometimes overlooking the basics is the easiest mistake you can make. Take this time to double check that your website includes all of the important basics:
- A clear landing page that effectively communicates what your business does and any holiday promotions
- Your contact information, including address, phone number, and hours of operation
- All of your products/services and their prices
- An awesome About page that humanizes your business
- Social media links
- A clear and concise purchasing system
2. Test it out.
Now that you have your website up-to-date, it’s time to perform a quick quality test to make sure everything is working properly. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and their journey through your website. The most important things to check are:
- The search function
- The shopping cart
- Your website speed
- Your links (check for any broken ones)
Finally, make sure your site is up to the challenge if a lot of traffic comes its way. Check with your web hosting provider to see what resources your website is currently using compared to your selected hosting plan. If your current plan handle can’t handle an influx in traffic, it may be time to consider an upgrade to a hosting environment that is more robust.
3. Make it mobile-friendly.
Having a mobile-friendly website plays an integral part in sales and SEO. This is because more and more people are using their phones to make purchases. Google has even started ranking websites that are mobile-friendly first.
Ensure that your website works on different mobile screen sizes. Look out for these specific functions that sometimes mess up on mobile:
- Hamburger menus
- Image sizes
- Font sizes
- Shopping cart
The holidays are a stressful time for everyone, so even the little things like a mobile website working properly can go a long way to getting business.
4. Have a disaster recovery plan.
Technical difficulties are not uncommon, especially during the busiest time of the year. If your business website experiences an outage during the shopping season, customers will look elsewhere. This is why you need a backup plan in case your website goes down. Ask your web hosting provider about their disaster recovery plans, and have your social media accounts ready to update customers if a problem arises.
5. Advocate your website’s security
There are two things that people value when shopping online: sales and security. Ensure that you have an SSL certificate installed so that customers can have peace of mind when they’re making a purchase from your website. Provide visual proof that your website is secure by placing relevant logos and prominently displaying your commitment to security and privacy.
You can also consider purchasing a web application firewall or a physical firewall for additional protection from unauthorized users. If you’re using WordPress to run your website, look for plugins that provide additional security like Wordfence. Most importantly, follow basic website security 101 and ensure everything that you’re running on your website is up-to-date.
6. Think globally.
If your website is hosted in Canada, but you get a lot of customers from other parts of the world, consider getting access to a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This network optimizes your website performance by allowing visitors from other parts of the world to load your website faster. It works by caching your site’s static files like basic text, images, and videos, and delivers them to your visitors via the CDN location closest to them. For example, if you’re trying to improve your website experience for customers in Australia, you can purchase a CDN location in Sydney.
Good luck preparing your website for holiday shoppers! Don’t forget the true meaning of the season: giving back and practicing gratitude. Holiday promotions are great for business, but they’re also a way of showing customers that you care.
Are you ready for the holiday shopping season? How do you prepare your business for the busiest time of the year?