Between 29 to 59 percent more customers are acquired during the holiday season. Is your eCommerce store able to handle this increase in traffic? To ensure your store is ready when the holiday rush hits, consider the following six improvements:
Your website host can have the greatest impact on how it performs this holiday season. If your plan does not have the right amount of RAM and is unable to handle the increase in traffic, or if you do not receive the proper support, your sales may suffer a big decrease. While switching hosts is not advisable this late in the season, now is the time to improve your plan. Things to consider:
· Test to determine if your host can handle larger queries.
· Inquire about how surges of traffic are handled by your host.
· Is your server dedicated or shared?
· Make sure your SSL certificate will not expire.
· Inquire if a CDN is available.
Unnecessary data is sometimes stored in your database. This data includes things you will likely never use, like post revisions, logs, and spam/trashed comments. For a quick and easy database cleanup, consider using the WP-Optimize plugin. Utilizing this plugin will provide your store with an instant speed improvement.
Each year, mobile shopping experiences a drastic increase. In fact, almost half of the traffic stores saw last Cyber Monday came from smartphones, which generated close to 30 percent of revenue.
If your site is slow they will leave and try one of your competitors. This means, regardless of screen size your site must be responsive. To test your store speed, consider the following tools:
· Think with Google – is excellent for new speed testers.
· A free site scan from Microsoft – is excellent for experienced store optimizers.
· GTMetrix – for in-depth details on what is slowing your store.
Also, consider compressing images, as larger ones can slow down web pages.
To make user testing work, you must navigate your store in the same way the customers does. The following tests are recommended:
· Purchasing, from product viewing to check out.
· Account creation
· Password recovery
· Coupon codes or other discounts
· New page functionality, such as landing pages
· New products functionality
· Any other small or big thing you can think of.
Before the holiday rush is upon you, it is important to make sure everything is up-to-date. Taking care of any conflicts or bugs now means they will not present an issue during the busy season.
Also, if you are using Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and/or Facebook remarketing, it is important to make sure your conversion tracking and pixel implementations are working correctly.
Finally, our suggestion is to freeze the store. This “code freeze” is a where no major changes are performed to a production environment. This means, no adding of extensions or plugins, modifying of shipping rules, or adjustment of CSS, unless of course in the cases of an emergency.
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