Did you know that there are over 1 million stores that use WooCommerce for their online sales? Perhaps you are one of them and are looking for tips and tricks to boost your seasonal sales.
Look no further than here; in this article, we will tell you everything you need to know to optimise your seasonal shopping sales.
Evaluate the Current State of Your Website
With the holiday season starting reasonably soon, you’ll need to be ready to hit the ground running. The best thing you can do for your website right now is to focus on how your store is running.
It is not too late if you don’t have a store running, but you’ll need to hustle! There are many great eCommerce options through WordPress. However, we do recommend WooCommerce for several reasons.
Some of these benefits include:
- It is free
- It is customisable
- Many payment options
- More than 400 plugins
However, that is not the only thing you should evaluate. Even if you have an online store, you should still check the state of your website.
Is Your Website Up To Date?
Have you performed an update recently? An out-of-date website, plugin, or extension is one of the leading causes why a website can crash. If your hosting platform is up-to-date and other aspects of your website are not, it may cause some issues while they try to connect with each other.
Think about creating a staging site for the holidays. If you are unfamiliar with the term, a staging site is a version of your live site that allows you to test updates, new plugins, or other changes to your site before making them live.
You can have a staging site all year round, but having one for the holidays can prevent a lot of trouble.
Can You Convert the Traffic Into Sales?
Lots of traffic on your site is excellent and essential, but it is just the first step into creating sales. If your website does not have a clear call to action, you will lose many potential customers.
There are other reasons why your website is not converting sales. For example, website speed, checkout, and an easy user interface are equally important.
If a mobile website takes more than 3 seconds to load, 53% of consumers abandon the website. Of course, it goes without saying that those who leave your site before it is loaded never become actual customers.
So what can you do to fix that? First, you can perform a speed check of your website. Google will give you a diagnostic and pinpoint the items you need to improve.
Secondly, you can check some of your images. A website that has large images will load slower, including graphic art, videos, and gifs.
Another factor that can contribute to poor website speed is the response time of the server. You can use caching for temporary storage to allow your website to respond to user requests. It will enable your hosting platform to quickly respond to similar requests within a short period of time.
An outdated and complicated checkout section can deter your customers from going through with the sale. You can customise your WooCommerce checkout for an optimal user experience!
A quick tip for testing out your checkout flow is to buy something yourself. Try to eliminate unnecessary clicks and pages. Allow for guest checkout and display a progress indicator so that your customers can see how many steps they need to follow.
Many customers will leave a site if they are unable to navigate it properly. Eliminate fluffy content, annoying pop-ups, and complicated steps throughout the shopping experience can do the trick.
However, your overall web design is important. Don’t forget that your competitors are just a click away, so if your interface is not user-friendly, your customers will leave and never come back.
Is Your Online Store Stable?
Your hosting plan allows a certain number of users on your site. You might be ok with your current bandwidth on average days. However, come when the holidays come, can your site handle more users at a time?
You can check with Google Analytics for the history of your site. Pay close attention to your busy periods in the past, and you can estimate the amount of traffic you can expect during the holidays.
If your server cannot respond to a large amount of traffic, you run the risk of your site crashing. Alternatively, your site may slow down to the point where your potential customers leave.
Ready Yourself for Trouble
It is always best to be overprepared for something, especially if your livelihood depends on it. Unfortunately, the internet and technology are sometimes unreliable, leaving us stranded in the worst times. So make sure your backup plans have a backup plan.
The best thing you can do for your business is to have a backup and recovery strategy. There are several backup plugins that can aid you in preparing for disaster. Alternatively, check with your trusted hosting company to see if they perform regular backups.
The Best Timeline to Prepare Your Store for the Holidays
If you don’t have your online store set, you should get to that immediately. Either hire a team that can set it up, or have your team focus on setting up the store.
By the end of October, you should evaluate the speed requirement of your website. Remember to check in with Google Analytics to set a reasonable expectation for holiday traffic. Consider a more extensive plan if your server does not have the bandwidth to deal with the expected traffic.
By the end of November, you should also implement the plan that was discussed with your hosting provider. Remember to discuss the speed of your website, the temporary storage called caching, and a good recovery plan if anything goes amiss.
Don’t forget to set up a staging site to test all the new updates and changes you are looking to make to prepare for the holidays.
Lastly, make sure that all the changes align with your brand and that you have a clear call to action. Less is more in the online world, so don’t try to complicate things with unnecessary add-ons.
What About the Back of House?
A well-run website is essential, but don’t forget that you and your team need to be ready to fulfil the seasonal shopping sales.
The holidays are a great time to create a loyal customer base. If your customers are happy with your services, from the moment they visit your site to the moment they receive your product, then you can be sure that they will come back.
A few things to remember for smooth back-of-house operations is to keep your stock filled. Again, check the history of your sales both in peak times and off-peak, and aim to have at least 30% more inventory than your expected sales. That way, you can ensure that you won’t run out, even if there is an unexpected climb.
Organisation is vital when it comes to smooth operations. If organising is not your forte, designate a trusted team member to keep track of your inventory. However, do not forget that inventory is only the first step in fulfilling an order. Remember that you’ll need an efficient packing station, a good shipping service, and a reliable team.
A great way to stay organised is to integrate your inventory with your online store. If you are running a brick and mortar store as well, make sure that both sides update the inventory automatically to avoid selling items that you no longer have in stock.
Finally, make sure that you are updating your customers with tracking numbers, confirmation notifications, and any other updates. Since COVID, many shipping companies have struggled with delivery time, so make sure you keep on top of it and notify your customers should the be any delays.
Are You Ready to Spend the Holidays With WooCommerce?
Get ahead of the game and prepare yourself, your online business, and your team for the busyness ahead of you. Seasonal shopping can boost your company in profits, reputation, and brand awareness. So don’t miss out on this yearly opportunity.
WooCommerce and WordPress are excellent platforms to display your online store. However, you may need a little help here and there. Check out our services, or contact our team to find the best hosting plan for you.