eCommerce sites see an influx of traffic around major shopping days, so it’s smart to shore up your website in anticipation of Cyber Monday and the holiday shopping season. Because the bread and butter of eCommerce companies is the online buying experience, improving website performance should be a distinct part of any eCommerce marketing plan. Anything that inhibits the movement of people through your conversion funnel – like a glitchy website or lackluster content – can cause downstream issues and ultimately impact your bottom line during the biggest sales period of the year. Here is a checklist to help you ensure that you are ready for increased site traffic, as well as increased sales.

eCommerce Website Pre-Holiday Checklist

Invest in a CDN

The first step to handling increased site traffic is to get a CDN. A CDN is a group of proxy servers around the world that will help deliver your site content faster to people in those areas. Improving site speed helps to reduce friction for buyers. The faster you site loads, the faster people can shop, making everyone happy.

Back It Up

The last thing you want to deal with during the busiest time of year is an outage. If something happens and your site does crash, whether from increased traffic or otherwise, you’ll have a fall back. A backup guarantees that your site can be restored to its previous state and any down time will be minimal.

Keep Everything Up to Date

Once you have a backup in place, make sure that your theme and all of your plugins are updated and that you’re running on the latest version of WordPress, WooCommerce, or what have you. You want to leave no room for security vulnerabilities while people are entering their payment details.

Check Your Page Loading Speed

While the CDN can help deliver your site content faster to shoppers around the globe, you still want to make sure that pages don’t take ages to load. We recommend checking PageSpeed Insights to determine how quickly your site loads, both on mobile and desktop. Because page speed is so important to user experience (five seconds can seem like a lifetime to online shoppers), Google puts a huge emphasis on site speed in SEO as well. If your site lags behind competitors, Google will place them above you in search results.

Here are some of the main culprits for a slow or unstable site:

  • Heavy CSS JavaScript use
  • Poor server/hosting plan
  • Large image sizes
  • Too many plugins

Consider Your Content with a Fresh Eye

If you don’t have engaging content, you won’t see a lot of website traffic. Some improvements to consider would be to update images or copy to something current and modern. While trends come and go, they can have an impact on seasonal sales. You don’t want to be left in the cold this holiday because your site images are outdated and a competitor’s content is more appealing. The presentation of what you’re selling really does matter, as it’s as much a part of the buyer journey as the checkout process.

Make the Most of Cyber Monday

If you’re in the eCommerce business, then we probably don’t need to tell you that Cyber Monday is the biggest eCommerce selling day of the year. (Last year’s Cyber Monday raked in a record $10.8B USD.) Here are some data points that can help you optimize your site before Cyber Monday 2021, which falls on November 29 this year:

  • Clicks on the sites of digital retailers went up by 46% on Cyber Monday in 2020, so you should be prepared for an increase in traffic close to or in excess of that number.
  • The last four hours of Cyber Monday accounted for 25% of the day’s revenue, which means you can expect a short-lived spike in site traffic later in the day.
  • Last year, 37% of Cyber Monday sales were made through smartphones, so make sure your site is optimized for mobile. (And just so you know, Google now puts more weight on mobile compatibility than any other metric when ranking your website.)

To make your Cyber Monday a smashing success, make sure your marketing plan considers the more technical aspects of your website (and don’t forget to leverage your free Google toolkit as well). At RFDM, we have experts who can assist with both the tech side of your eCommerce site, as well as content and digital marketing strategy. Contact us for a free consultation for your eCommerce business.

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