18 Tips to Prepare the Magento 2 Stores For The Holiday Season [2019]

18 Tips to Prepare the Magento 2 Stores For Holiday Season [2019]

According to Adobe, direct website traffic is the biggest driver of holiday sales at 25.3%

You would want to make the most out of such a huge number (as much as you can!), isn’t it? And, for that, you would want to make sure that your store is not only optimized to host this enormous traffic but is also strategically up to the mark to attract more sales.

The holidays bring a dramatic increase in the website traffic now that shoppers prefer online shopping of gifts for their friends and family. Instead of last moment preparation that results in a panic attack, I have prepared a checklist that any Magento store owner can follow way ahead of the season to enjoy the holiday season in terms of sales!

Don’t be late to prepare the Magento 2 stores for holiday season as here’s all that you have to do, sorted!

18 Ways to Optimize the Magento 2 Stores For The Holiday Season:

  1. Optimized Home Page
  2. Optimization for holiday keywords
  3. Optimized Load Time
  4. Do not make a compromise with the security of the store
  5. Mobile Optimization
  6. Inventory Management
  7. Revised Shipping & Payment Methods
  8. Actively Participate in Social Media
  9. Takeaways for Holiday Email Marketing Campaigns from Magento
  10. Make the Most Out of Retargeting
  11. Have no Place for Customer Complaints about Live Support
  12. Optimized “Thank You” Page
  13. Leverage Urgency
  14. Write a blog
  15. Revise the Return Policy if Necessary
  16. Revise the product suggestions
  17. Efforts to Reduce Cart Abandonment Rate
  18. Exit Popups may help you!

Here’s your 2019 checklist to prepare the Magento 2 stores for the holiday season:

  1.  Optimized Home Page

    Offer a pleasant designed home page that echoes the holiday spirit! Showcase all the special deals and discounts that you are offering in an attractive and sorted manner.

    Very often, visitors don’t know what they want. So, the store homepage is the best place to give them ideas!

    Use relevant images, update the content and design the home page that makes the visitors realize that you offer products that would delight their holidays!

  2.  Optimization for holiday keywords

    For holiday shopping, the search patterns change drastically and accordingly, Google optimizes their search result. Your store content must be holiday-optimized. Identify the keywords or hashtags like deals, best, cheap, offer, discount, etc. Once you have the list of such keywords, optimize the meta data, URLs, image alter tags and content of the webpages that are the target for sales.

    You may use the tools like Google Trends or Google Keyword Planner and narrow down the research by relevant months to find the most popular keywords.

  3.  Optimized Load Time

    The fast site speed must be a priority in your efforts to make your store holiday-ready. Owing to the tough competition that you have to face, poor load time is going to cost you a fortune.

    Not only is Google concerned about the speed factor for ranking but it is also essential for the smooth shopping experience. Use tools like  WebPageTestGTMetrix, or Google PageSpeed Insights to keep a check on your site speed.

    Refer tips to speed up Magento 2 store for a quick checklist.

    Also, you may use the FREE Magento 2 Defer Parsing of Javascript extension to automate the defer parsing of Javascript in the store.

  4.  Do not make a compromise with the security of the store

    In an Accenture report, 62% of holiday shoppers said they were concerned about online shopping security.

    They are not to be blamed for this, owing to the frequent reports of the consumer data breach. Hackers keep a watch for holiday seasons’ hike in the number of transactions and you have to prepare the store to outplay such spams.

    Opt for the best Magento 2 Security Extensions and educate your team about the ways to secure your Magento 2 store.

  5.  Mobile Optimization

    These statistics show how much you need to focus on mobile optimization to reach a global customer base.

    According to Justin Smith, CEO of OuterBox,

    1. 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months
    2. Almost 40% of all eCommerce purchases during the 2018 holiday season were made on a smartphone.
  6.  Inventory Management

    Quick tips for inventory management for holiday season:

    1. Try to avoid out of stock situation
    2. Check the history of bestsellers, and repeat that success by promoting them and managing their stock accordingly
    3. An organized warehouse for more efficiency
    4. Streamline your pick, pack, and delivery process
    5. Study the current trends to stock up the popular items
    6. Prioritize the top overstocked items for featuring them in your first festival blast
    7. Offer small over-stocked items as a free gift with a large purchase or in a discount to lure the shoppers for more purchase
    8. Automate the reorder process to reduce the chances of backorders
  7.  Revised Shipping & Payment Methods

    With proper shipping strategy in place, get rid of on-time package delivery anxiety for you and your customers! Missing the delivery on time of a special gift your customer was wanting to give to his/her loved ones, you lose a customer forever.

    Hence, communicate with shipping carriers, define and make sure the implementation of the shipping strategy, have an ample amount of raw materials for packaging, and to be ahead of your competitors, you might as well offer discount or free shipping service!

    Check excellent tools for optimizing shipping process in Magento 2 store.

    When it comes to payments, make sure you offer convenient payment methods that prevent customers to abandon the carts due to the absence of favorable payment method.

    Study your customer base, the region they come from, and their popular and trusted payment gateways. If possible, integrate those payment methods with your Magento stores. You can check various payment gateway integration tools with Magento 2 here.

  8.  Actively Participate in Social Media

    Social media is where the customers spend maximum time when online. Making the most out of these social media audiences can help in your promotional efforts. Analyze the age group of your audience and decide the platform where you need to work. Organize social media campaigns prior to the holiday season to create an atmosphere of urgency and attractive prices.

    During the holidays, be active on social media to not let the potential customers forget you over your competitors. You know why it is important. If not, check these statistics:

    “Younger shoppers are 34% more likely to use their mobile devices whilst in-store.” – Conversant Media
    “50% of holiday shoppers’ online purchases were made on their smartphones last season.” – ThinkWithGoogle
    “30% of consumers say they would make purchases through Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat.” – Forbes
    “Facebook followed by Youtube and Instagram have the most influence on purchasing decisions according to internet users in the United States as of October 2018” – Statista

    And, do not forget to share the pictures of your products and how it will bring value to your customers’ life, as the visual appeal of what you share is always effective!

  9.  Takeaways for Holiday Email Marketing Campaigns from Magento:

    1. Include customer-first service policies in Emails
    2. Mention the discounts in Emails
    3. Offer sales on different categories to keep the potential customer curious and keep him checking for your Emails
    4. Include personalized content in Emails (this is most important!)
    5. Make sure the Emails are mobile-friendly
  10.  Make the Most Out of Retargeting:

    With the immense competition, particularly for holiday season, it is quite common for the potential customers to switch from your site to another tab and completely forget about your product in the middle of the varied products and attractive offers he is presented with!It is essential to actively engage with the potential audience. Any user leaving your site without purchase is a loss! You have already spent time, effort, and investment to get them to your Magento 2 store.

    With retargeting, the customers, who had already engaged with your brand once on your store, would keep seeing it everywhere on other websites and social media. This would boost the click-through rate by 10 times according to Invespcro!

    Retargeting can help overcome this loss when a user has bounced to another site or abandoned the cart. Taking the game one level up, with dynamic retargeting combined with a discount or special offer, you can ace that holiday deal!

    “Retargeting and Email are cash cows around the holidays” – Annie Cushing

  11.  Have no Place for Customer Complaints about Live Support

    Holidays are the time when your store is flooded with the traffic of all types, loyal customers as well as the first-timers. You need to ensure that the visitors landing on your Magento 2 store for the first time find it comfortable to shop. If they have any doubts, they should get instant help, because, after all, it’s all about the best shopping experience!

    If you already have the feature of live chat support but you think it may fall short when traffic increases, get help ahead of time. If you do not offer live support, now is the time to implement it.

    Want to implement a free solution for the live chat via Facebook in your Ecommerce stores? Check Magento Facebook Chat and Magento 2 Facebook Chat extensions to integrate your store with the Facebook messenger. Offer a preferable chat platform to customers with ease!

    Owing to the popularity of WhatsApp, you may also opt for Magento 2 WhatsApp Contact extension.

  12.  Optimized “Thank You” Page

    Thank you page is a great opportunity to nurture the customer relationship that is just created. Keeping in mind the holiday season, you can add the coupon codes that you are offering or lure the customers to subscribe to your newsletters for updates about other exciting holiday deals!If the implementation in Magento 2 is too much for you, try the already developed solution, Magento 2 Success Page extension!

  13.  Leverage Urgency

    Creating and promoting time-limited offers radiates a sense of urgency. Customers who see the flash deals or soon expiring sales may experience the fear of missing out. Leverage the FOMO and add a countdown timer to increase the demand for whatever you are offering!You would like to include terms like “hurry up”, “few hours left”, “offer ends tonight”, etc.

    Nobody would like to miss out and hence the ball is in your court!

  14.  Write a blog

    An E-commerce store without a blog is bound to lose most of its audience as blogs are a way to build a repo with readers who are also a potential customer base. You could write a detailed blog post about how you are planning to celebrate the festive season with offers and discounts.Do not forget to optimize this blog with holiday special keywords!

    According to Corey Wainwright at Hubspot, blogs are beneficial in these many ways:

    1. Drive traffic
    2. Convert traffic into leads
    3. Establish authority
  15.  Revise the Return Policy if Necessary

    According to Return Magic survey last year, 72% of consumers say they would spend more and buy more often with merchants that make the return experience simple!Make the return process easy, streamlined and free for customers this holiday season in your Magento stores!

    Is your return policy friendly enough that helps build trust and loyalty? Because easy returns are the key to repeated sales.

  16.  Revise the Product Suggestions

    The popular products round the year might not be what people want during the holiday season. You might benefit from displaying products suitable for gifts in the recommendation section.Also, irrelevant suggestions might hurt your business. Ensure that your store is not displaying Christmas gift ideas around Halloween days!

    Additionally, show related products, best sellers, or top-rated products in the recommended products. The visitors are looking for gifts and you just showcase them in the front display!

  17.  Efforts to Reduce Cart Abandonment Rate

    Cart abandonment means all your efforts to bring a customer to cart in vain!To avoid that follow this checklist to reduce cart abandonment rate during holidays:

    1. No mandatory registration (with the competition piling up during holidays, people prefer switching rather than registering! )
    2. No surprisingly extra costs at checkout
    3. Free shipping for holidays!
    4. Single and clean checkout page
    5. Flexible payment options
    6. Retargeting (as I said earlier)
  18. Popups, when implemented correctly, help you grow your mailing list, promote products, or engage visitors on social media. You might not want to display popup on regular days but everything is different for the holidays!Attractive popups with just the correct content can make the visitors leave their Email ID with you, making easy to leverage it for marketing purpose! Because everyone wants discounts and you pop it to them in an attractive manner!

    If you are confused about the right strategy for popups, all you need is the correct tool. And Meetanshi just has one! Check Magento 2 Popup

As we are talking about discounts and bonuses for holidays, I have some bonus tips for my readers too!

Bonus Tips to Prepare the Magento 2 Stores For This Holiday Season:

  1. Continue your off-page SEO efforts
  2. Make it easy to shop in your Magento stores as much as possible. If required, use tools that aid in checkout enhancements for your store.
  3. Allow customers to add reviews about your products. People tend to shop items that are reviewed by the majority of consumers
  4. Ensure that online reviews are in good shape. Bad reviews are adversely going to affect sales. All you can do is timely complete the orders successfully and continuously improve the customer experience to avoid bad reviews.
  5. Try opting for multi-channel selling
  6. Study the last years’ data around the holiday season for clear insight to effectively shape your marketing campaign.
  7. Use the latest Magento 2 version for optimized performance. If your Magento 2 store is not in the latest version, it is high time to upgrade it before the holiday season. For any help with upgrading Magento 2, check Magento Upgrade Service

I guess the store owners have enough time still to implement the above checklist to optimize the Magento 2 stores before holiday seasons to arrive!

Excited for holidays? ✨

Me too!! 😍

I would say happy holidays but I want my readers to read this blog quite ahead of time to implement these Ecommerce holiday strategies that are going to boost the sales 🚀

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Sanjay is a co-founder at Meetanshi. He is a certified Magento developer who loves creating Magento E-commerce solutions. When he is not engrossed with anything related to Magento, he loves to play cricket.

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