Preparing Your eCommerce Site for the 2017 Holiday Rush

Hannah Gierosky

holiday 2017.jpgIt may be hard to believe, but the holiday shopping season is right around the corner! And while it may still feel like summer outside, now is the time to ensure that your eCommerce site is ready for December shopping.

By making strategic and tactical preparations now, you can set up your organization to finish the year strong. According to Magento Business Intelligence benchmarks, retailers acquire between 29% and 59% more customers during the holiday months. In preparation for that influx of new customers, Magento has shared a guide of tips and strategies to help capture and convert more holiday shoppers this season.

While there are plenty of tips to be found in the full guide, here are a few places to start:

Update Shipping

Next to finding the perfect gift, having it shipped on time is one of the biggest concerns for holiday shoppers. That’s why it’s best to enable your site to share as much shipping information as possible with your customers.

Make sure your customers know shipping and order cut-off dates, like the last day they can order an item for it to arrive by Christmas. Revealing any shipping fees and delivery details up front will allow your customers to make informed purchasing decisions and minimize their frustration. And, of course, include tracking numbers so that customers can track when their items will arrive.

Leverage Customer Data

Whether you know it or not, your site is gathering tons of data about your customers and their buying habits every day. You can use this customer data to figure out what opportunities and pitfalls will affect your holiday sales.

Did you know that a loyal customer can easily generate more than ten times the revenue of a typical buyer? The Customer Lifetime Value of a dedicated customer is worth nurturing, so use buying behavior to identify those high-value customers. It may be worth offering them a special discount for one transaction to ensure that they continue to shop with you in the future.

Use your data from last year’s holiday season to review which seasonal promotions work best, where you saw the greatest engagement, and what your best sellers were. Using that data, you can set your site up for success for this year. And don’t forget to make sure that you’re capturing accurate data this season to use in the future.

Stand Out With Personalization

With so many other eCommerce options available to your customers, how can you stand out this holiday season? Personalization can make all the difference when your customer is trying to decide between you and your competitor.

If you have a more in-depth understanding of your individual customers’ needs and desires, you can target them even more precisely. Customers are more likely to stick around and browse your site if they see something they like, and those who see personalized recommendations on a page convert 65% more than someone who sees a generic page.

By using tools like related products and cross-sells, you can help personalize your customers’ shopping experience and earn more sales.

Make it Mobile

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: your mobile site is of utmost importance to the success of your business. Having a responsive site helps ensure that your customers have a seamless shopping experience whether they are on a desktop or on their phone. And as social eCommerce is on the rise, it’s even more important to make sure that your customers can make a purchase however they find you.

For more eCommerce tips, strategies, and tactics to boost your holiday sales, download the 2017 Magento Holiday Commerce Outlook guide.

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