6 Ways You Can Prepare Your Website for Holiday Shoppers Now
‘Tis the season for online shopping! The countdown to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season is officially on and consumers everywhere are making a list and checking it twice to hunt down the best deals, discounts, and free shipping rates. As retailers prep for the flood of sales, they’re also taking care to ensure their websites are equipped to handle the incoming traffic. While this means readying the backend for orders, testing for site speed, and making last-minute adjustments to landing pages, there are plenty of other ways a small business can spruce up their site for shoppers right now.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to begin optimizing your site for customers! These easy tips can help simplify your site for the season, ensuring that the shopping experience for one and all is seamless.
Make sure your site is mobile friendly
This means checking in to see if everything runs smoothly on mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. A few key areas to keep in mind are the site’s speed and how easy it is to find and use navigational features like search boxes and menus. Optimization should always be at the forefront of your website’s holiday prep plans because it’s the key to having either a positive or negative shopping experience. If a site is clunky, hard to navigate, and slow, then customers will leave it for a site that is sleek, organized, and fast. By ensuring your site is desktop and mobile friendly, you’ll be able to retain customers who will make more purchases and increase sales.
Prep your home page carousel
Most small businesses have a carousel —a rotating display of the site’s content—featured front-and-center on their home page. If you haven’t done it already, now is the time to switch out your existing carousel images with any holiday promotions you may be running, such as a flash sale or information on points for a rewards program. Start with the most crucial image you want customers to see when visiting, like a graphic with Black Friday promo codes, and go from there. Link all images to the appropriate landing pages and remember to remove outdated graphics as the season progresses.
Keep copy and design elements consistent
How compelled would you be to shop on a site where one paragraph of text describing a product was written in a black 9 point Times New Roman and the next paragraph was a 25 point bright green Bauhaus font? Rather than cramming holiday cheer at customers, keep all of your copy and design elements consistent. Opt to use a limited color palette and make sure the colors and fonts for all text, headers, and subheaders are aligned.
Amp up your newsletters and e-blasts
For the best possible ROI and site traffic, savvy businesses are prepping their newsletters and email blasts to their email lists. Keep the content inside short and sweet, the graphics engaging, and conduct a little A/B testing. You can segment out emails into batches, sending them out at varying times or using different subject headers, then track the performance of both email segments and see what customers open and click on the most.
Get seasonal via social media
Break out your editorial calendar and spread some good cheer with your social presence! Add new cover images on Facebook and Twitter and monitor all @ mentions to your social handles to address any issues or concerns a customer might have with your site. (PSA to make sure you have easily visible contact information in your bio too!) Create a fun, engaging holiday-related contest with a specialized hashtag to generate strong contributor content, write blog posts with a holiday-themed twist, and regram great customer experiences on Instagram to get everyone in on the fun.
Don’t neglect your app
Got an app for your business in addition to a site? Take a little time to make sure it’s fully updated and working, especially if it’s an app that customers can use in-store to make payments or place orders for pickup.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.