How To Prepare Your E-commerce Store For Christmas

Prepare your store for the busiest time of the year with these tips from our team.

It’s the time of year to enhance your customer’s experience on your e-commerce store. As we enter a holiday season very different to the last, customers are more than likely already shopping for Christmas, and this means you’ll be welcoming both new and existing people to browse your products and make a decision to purchase. According to Deloitte, e-commerce holiday sales are projected to grow 11% to 15%, compared to the 2020 season. So how can you prepare for this potential increase? In this blog, we highlight how you can best prepare your e-commerce store for Christmas. 

Start with the basics 

Having a stronger focus on your online store this time of year is vital for business. It is likely that if your business falls under a holiday-focused vertical e.g. toys, fashion, gifts etc, people will access your store more than at any other time in the year. At a basic level, your team should ask themselves the following questions:

  • Is our inventory stocked?
  • Is our inventory correct?
  • Is our website able to handle increases in traffic?
  • Are third-party systems e.g. plugins, apps working correctly?
  • Are my website’s Core Web Vitals up to standard?

We advise asking a team member to run through some test transactions to ensure there are no bugs in the purchase process. We also advise checking in with your hosting provider to ensure all mechanisms are in place to handle an increase in traffic. If you’re a valued support client, Matter’s team of QA specialists are able to action this for you. 

Focus on simplifying the customer journey 

Customers want a simple and efficient checkout process. According to a survey by our partner Fast, 86% of U.S. shoppers say they have added an item to their online shopping cart only to abandon it before checking out. One of the main reasons for cart abandonment is that the checkout process takes too long or is too complicated. 

Simplify your checkout process by:

  • Implementing a one-page checkout option
  • Enabling guest checkout so users don’t always need to have an account to checkout
  • Offering a variety of payment options
  • Letting shoppers select their preferred shipping option (Try our partner ShipStation for an efficient shipping solution)

Provide excellent customer support

An increase in traffic will require an increase in customer support. Customers may want to find out more about your products, shipping rules, Christmas deals, etc. 

Customer service can be divided into pre-preparation, such as ensuring you have an updated FAQs section, terms and conditions, a clear shipping notice e.g. clearly stating the last day of shipping to arrive before Christmas day (public holidays included). As well as having staff on hand for more timely communication e.g. Live Chat. We can recommend our partners Gorgias or Justuno for enhanced e-commerce customer service. 

Prepare your store visually

Just as brick and mortar stores carefully map out the positioning of their products during the holiday season e.g. move products to a feature at the front of the store, similarly this can be achieved on an e-commerce storefront. This process is called Visual Merchandizing and you can read more about this here

Some visual merchandising techniques we like to use are:

  • Promote sale items to the top
  • Hide out of stock items
  • Move specific products to the top of the global sort order
  • Move specific products to the top of the category
  • Change the order of products on a global and category level

Check out our BigCommerce Visual Merchandizer app in the video below.

Take an omnichannel approach to selling

According to BigCommerce, “omnichannel marketing is a strategy that aims to create a seamless shopping experience from the first touchpoint to the last.” An omnichannel approach to selling means incorporating elements such as abandoned cart emails, marketing campaigns across multiple channels such as Google, Facebook and Instagram, and remarketing strategies that allow you to reach your customers at various touchpoints. 

Some omnichannel techniques we recommend are:

  • Connecting your e-commerce store to Facebook and Instagram
  • Turning on abandoned cart emails
  • Connect your store to the Google Merchant Center
  • Work on email automation flows after purchase. We can recommend Klaviyo as a tool for email communications

Optimise your conversion tracking

Optimising your conversion tracking will help you gather data on your website performance for this year and as well as generate a guideline for the years to come. Conversion tracking optimisation includes tasks such as setting up e-commerce conversion tracking on Google Analytics, using Google Tag Manager to map other conversions e.g. made a call, signed up to the newsletter.

Using a tool like Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager allows you to access information such as how users found your site, if they made a purchase, how they interacted with your site etc. Read here to learn more about Google Analytics setup.

Our team at Matter would like to wish you all the best this holiday season. We’re always here to answer any questions you have about the world of e-commerce. Get in touch with us here.