5 Tips to Optimize Your E-Commerce Site During the Holidays
The final six weeks of the year — Thanksgiving through Dec. 31 — are the most important for retailers, as robust sales can result in many closing their books in the black. For those who depend on an e-commerce site to deliver added holiday revenue throughout the season, ensuring that your site continues to operate effectively is of the utmost importance.
With more than 2 million online merchants in the U.S., consumers have a plethora of shopping options. Couple this with the findings that consumers will wait an average of up to 10 seconds for a website page to load before abandoning the site and visiting another and the need to optimize your site becomes imperative. Retailers should take the following measures now to ensure they're prepared throughout the holiday season:
1. Minimize updates. Minimize site updates over the holidays. If critical updates are required, they should be done during off-peak hours (between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. EST).
2. Test, test and test again. Design changes should also be kept to a minimum and avoided if the site can go without them. If updates are made, test those changes before they go into production. Add software that allows for testing in multiple browsers, as there are a number of popular options available. Create and use a test page, never a live page and keep the backup of the original page in the event there are issues with the new page when it goes live.
3. Upgrade rich media solutions. Now that Adobe has announced it will begin phasing out support of Flash, take advantage of other rich media solutions like HTML5.
4. Organize data. Do your best to make sure your data is clean and indexed. Any bad data could introduce negative changes.
5. Keep open communication. Always make sure your supplier's support contact information is available and know when they're accessible. Surprisingly, most merchants don’t know they can contact their providers 24/7 for assistance.