The holiday season is right around the corner. With most businesses experiencing some level of seasonality, one thing is certain: the period from Thanksgiving until December 31st is colossal for eCommerce.
eCommerce revenue is 30% greater in the months of November and December compared to non-holiday months. Holiday shopping days offer 50-100% more revenue than shopping days throughout the rest of the year. Annually, holiday revenue, amounting to a time span of about a month and a week, account for almost 20% of total annual revenue.
What implications do these numbers mean for your eCommerce business? It means that eCommerce businesses should prepare their websites to maximize revenue and return. There are numerous issues to target when preparing your website for the holiday season.
Here are a list of them:
Last Thanksgiving, more than 50% of on-line traffic was mobile traffic. It is imperative to ensure your website is mobile friendly and a great solution is implementing a responsive theme. Responsive designs are favoured by Google because it utilizes less resources while being optimized for numerous screens and devices.
The Checkout Process
Do you find that some of your potential customers start a shopping cart but never finish their purchase? We would recommend evaluating your shopping cart and streamlining the checkout process. You want to make sure your shopping carts display information that can reassure customers of their purchases. This can include information such as ratings, reviews, future offers etc. Another option to look into may be One Step Checkout in order to offer ease of use and save clients and yourself a few steps in the checkout process.
(A Study on the Official Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics e-Commerce website by Google Website Optimizer)
An important characteristic of any website is scalability. With over 13 million page views per minute last Cyber Monday, how will your website and server respond once you have an influx of traffic? With the holiday season increasing on-line traffic annually and eCommerce sales still increasing, you can expect to face a higher number of visits on your website. If you want to make the most of this, allocate some effort towards quality assurance and ensure that your website can handle the increased traffic. Magento Enterprise implementation may be something to consider due to its higher performance and unparalleled scalability.
With all that extra revenue and information passing between websites, it is important to minimize risks. A huge risk in the eCommerce world is security and access to private information that your customers input. As soon as a customer believes they can’t trust the security of your website is the same day you most likely lose that customer. Just last year Home Depot had a security breach of more than 56 million credit card accounts. Make sure you’re staying up to date with the security patches and that your website is not exploitable.
Promotion and Content
Promotion and content is critical for a successful Holiday season. There are key dates to be wary of including: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Green Monday and Christmas. Each one is associated with different trends. Thanksgiving and Black Friday seem to be more popular for mobile traffic. Green Monday is the second Monday of December and is associated with free shipping or shipping deals. Implementing cross-selling and up-selling in your eCommerce platforms is also likely to have a positive impact on the average order value of each sale.
Now that the holiday season is right around the corner, it is a good time to employ and invest in any last minute changes that will lead to a positive impact on the bottom line. Make sure to ask the right questions from your development partners or Magento agency and that is “What can and needs to be fixed now that will prepare me going into the Holiday Season?”