Last holiday season, global e-commerce revenue shot up to $108.2 billion. This figure exceeded initial revenue forecasts by more than a billion dollars. In 2018, you can expect revenue figures to surpass all previous estimates. If you run an e-commerce store, the question really is not about how you are going to make more sales, but how you will manage all the shoppers who will try to make the best of available discounts and coupons this shopping season. If your e-commerce store runs on Magento, you are in luck. There are several ways to handle holiday rush, and make sure that you are prepared for the sharp increase in online sales.
1. Create a holiday vibe on your website
One of the most important things you can do to enhance sales and prepare your website for the holiday season is to create a holiday vibe. Make sure that you greet your web visitors with banners and pop-ups wishing them good luck and happiness during Thanksgiving Day, Halloween, Hanukkah, and Kwaanza. Christmas is around the corner too, and it helps to create content, media, and campaigns around these holiday themes.
A good metric to test would be post-click signals, which would help you to evaluate the probability of your content to fulfill users’ intent.
2. Update all the product details and description
One of the biggest reasons why companies feel unprepared for sharp growth in web traffic during holiday season is, their product descriptions and metadata are not updated. It is important to update content, ensure that all the latest information of the products are displayed, and that you have uploaded high-quality images that are compressed, so that pages load quickly. Product descriptions should be written with the holiday theme in mind, and should entice customers to buy their favorite products for their friends and family. This is also the time to ensure that your product descriptions are search engine friendly.
3. Make sure your website loads quickly
A lot of things may be slowing down your website. Research shows that a slow loading website is one of the primary reasons for cart abandonments and reduced revenue. This study points out the fact that any website that loads slower than 2.5 seconds stands to lose traffic. When your Magento store experiences an increase in the number of shoppers, it may not handle the web traffic very well. Conduct an audit of your website, fix all the bugs, and ensure that it runs quickly.
Most importantly, upgrade your Magento website to its latest versions of Magento 1.9.3 and 2.2.0.
4. Hire temporary staff to manage holiday sales queries
Most Magento stores and other e-commerce stores notice that during the holiday season, they witness a steep increase in the number of calls made to their customer service centers. In fact, not attending to customers’ calls quickly can result in reduced revenue. An excellent way to make sure that you handle extra sales queries is by hiring temporary staff who will handle customer service for you. Temporary staff can help reduce the load on your existing customer service agents during the holiday season, and respond to customer queries without burdening your existing staff.
In the US, retailers hire close to 700,000 temporary staff during the holiday season to meet extra demand.
5. Focus on your best products
It is always better to sell high-priced goods when there are more shoppers, so that you earn a higher share of revenue. Your marketing efforts should focus on selling products that are high-end. In other words, consider focusing on up-selling more than cross-selling. Now is the time to make sure that shoppers are tempted to buy expensive products that fetch a higher revenue than products that are priced less.
Nearly 8% of products sold online will be returned, and this could be a great opportunity to up-sell higher-priced products. This will directly boost your revenue figures. Make sure to use marketing techniques that tempt those who return products to purchase more expensive products by highlighting benefits.
Be prepared for the exponential increase in web traffic
As you can see, most e-commerce stores will register a steep growth in web traffic during the holiday season. Magento stores are no exception, and it is important to make sure that you have the latest version of Magento running on your website. In addition, ensure that you update your web copy to reflect holiday mood, and create content based on holiday themes. Make sure that your product descriptions are updated, and that your website loads quickly. In addition, consider hiring temporary staff to provide customer service during the holiday season, so that your permanent staff doesn’t feel overburdened. Last but not the least, focus on selling and promoting high-revenue products, so that your revenue-share increases.