- Sep 03, 2021
- by Paris Backston
Guide Part 3:
Getting ready for the holiday shopping season and looking to make some changes to your site? Well look no further, we have a list of great optimizations to help you thrive during Q4. Read more to learn about how we recommend you tweak your online store for success!
1. Improve Your Online Store’s Loading Speed
Having a fast eCommerce site is key for conversions in 2021. These days 47% of customers expect a website to load in two seconds or less. Here are a few steps we recommend you take to speed up yours:
- Choose the Right Hosting Company and Hosting Plan
Choosing the right host for your site is an essential part of speeding up your website. Our turbo plans at A2 Hosting are 20x faster with 99.9% uptime! Once you’ve found the right host make sure you’re on the right sized plan for your needs. Don’t run your large eCommerce site with heavy traffic on a shared server because it may not be able to handle the amount of resources you’ll need, especially on heavy traffic days like Black Friday. We recommend a VPS or Dedicated plan if possible.
- Uninstall Useless Plugins
We all have them, those plugins that we downloaded months ago and never once used. Well, now it’s time to finally get rid of the dead weight and get that site speeding again. If you’re not using it, get rid of it and save some room for other necessary parts of your website.
- Remove or Compress Large Photos and Videos
I know, it’s hard not to love those big, beautiful photos, especially when selling such great products!. The trade-off is that loading those images can drastically slow down your site. We recommend either getting rid of them or compressing them so they take less time to load. This way you can save some resources for all the potential customers you’ll have looking at them. Here’s a checklist on how to get your images ready for the web.
2. Optimize Your Checkout Process
It’s important to spruce up your checkout process. Here are few tips we recommend to make it as effective as possible:
- Add some urgency by including a count-down clock at the top that specifies how soon your sale is ending.
- Avoid adding in surprise costs at the end like large shipping fees. Extra costs are an issue for 60% of cart abandoners according to Optinmonster.
- Include multiple payment options. BigCommerce found that this can triple the conversion rate of your store.
- Highlight your security with a trust seal. You can purchase this with a paid SSL Certificate with A2 Hosting!
- Ask for your customers’ payment information last. You want to give them some time to make sure they trust your site and have all the details of their purchase in order before they start giving you their private payment information.
- Ideally use a single-page checkout process. You want it to be relatively straightforward with as few steps as possible. The worst thing is to have so many extraneous steps that you lose a potential conversion midway through the process.
- If you’re currently running a single-page checkout, declutter your form, and only have your customers fill out the most necessary information.
- If you’re running a multi-page checkout try adding a progress indicator at the top of it! That way your customers can count down their progress rather than guessing how long it’s going to take to actually be able to buy from your store.
At the end of the day, you’re always going to lose some of your customers during the payment process no matter how well your cart is optimized. To try and convert this lost traffic follow up with those potential customers by sending abandonment emails with special discounts. This will serve as a great reminder of your store while also giving them some incentive to purchase from it.
3. Give Some Love to Your Sales Team and Instructional Content
While your customers are perusing your site they are bound to have some questions, so it’s important to make sure your sales team has all the answers. Make sure they’re experts on your business and know your products from top to bottom. Now’s the time to implement some in-depth training so by the time November and December come around they’re ready to dominate.
To help your team out you can also go through and make sure your website content is working with them rather than against them. If you have good information all over your store this will help your customers find their answers before they resort to your online chat boxes. Here are some elements to make sure you include or edit for clarity:
- Great product description
- FAQ sections
- Contact us page
- Ways for customers to reach your team:
- live chat, phone numOptimizing Your Way to the Holidayser, email, ticket system etc.
- Social platform links for customers to check out or reach you there
4. Capitalize on Heavy Traffic and Grow Your Email List with Lead Gen Tactics
Lead gen, lead gen, lead gen. It’s always important to keep building your mailing list with potential customers. With all the traffic you’re bringing in from the holidays, now is a perfect time to implement some new tactics! Here are some ideas:
- Add a place on the homepage where they can enter their email to gain access to special mailing lists (like a newsletter)
- Implement pop-ups with places for them to submit their emails in return for different deals or discounts
- Create an interactive quiz or tool that requires them to enter their email to get the answers
- Create special contests where you can only enter by giving you their information
- Provide gated offers or informative content that require an email to access
- Offer free trials so you can collect more than just their emails
Optimizing Your Way to the Holidays
Now that your marketing plan is set, you’re technically up to date, and your eCommerce store is optimized you’re ready to sail into Q4 and capture all those holiday conversions! If you’re looking for more information on how to get ready for the holidays keep checking our blog for more guides and expert advice on preparing your eCommerce site! We’ll be running a guest blogging series where experts from our team inform you on topics from the best way to make sure your site is secure to common types of fraud to look out for as your conversions keep rolling in. If you’re looking for hosting with speed, support, and security to make sure your eCommerce site is up and ready to handle all that holiday traffic, make sure you check out our discounted turbo plans!
Interested in learning more? Get access to The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your eCommerce Website Holiday Ready.