5 Tips to Make Your Web Store a Holiday Favorite
It happens every year, the brief window of time when shoppers emerge in droves and raid the world of retail in search of the latest products and most attractive promotions. It’s the holiday shopping season, and in today’s multichannel environment the lines at brick-and-mortar stores are dwindling as more consumers transition to the digital realm.
The key to a successful online selling season is advanced preparation: Implement the right e-commerce platform to support your specific business needs, create a mobile strategy and train your call-center staff accordingly.
Here are five tips to help prepare your online storefront for the holiday season:
1. Don’t make major changes to your web store. This rule applies to technology, infrastructure and design. Evaluate your platform, features and functionality after the season ends. Postholiday testing will help you identify what worked and what didn't in preparation for the following year. All system advancement and upgrades should be performed before September to avoid disruption to your site during prime shopping months. Site outages and broken or misdirected links will drive away consumers and sales.
2. Expect and be ready for increased traffic to your site. There are a number of tools available that perform IT network simulation. Simulate maximum traffic to ensure that you have adequate network, storage and server capacity and account for special holiday deals and promotions. Then provision your network and infrastructure to manage the additional traffic.
3. Provide a consistent cross-channel shopping experience. Consumers use multiple devices (e.g., smartphones, laptops, tablets) to browse and compare products and make purchases. It's imperative that you implement a robust e-commerce platform that can integrate multiple devices and consumer touchpoints. Your platform should have the ability to recognize what type of device a consumer is using in order to present the content in a usable manner. Reduce the number of graphics, avoid Flash and keep the number of clicks to a minimum.