Most online sales start a few days before the holiday season and peak up just as the holidays begin. While traditionally Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year are the times around which most sales happen, new data reveals that there are also sales peaks occurring on Singles’s Day and Black Friday.

Month-wise, both November and December are the two biggest months in terms of sales volumes, with customers preferring to buy mostly on Mondays and Thursdays between 8pm – 9pm.

Keeping these trends in mind, it is worthwhile to evaluate whether your online store is robust enough to cater to peak customer demands. If not, then it makes sense to engage with an experienced Magento development company and prepare your online store for the holiday season.

Recommended below are some steps that you can take in this regard:
Prepare Your Website In Advance By Engaging A Magento Development Company

Analyze past data and compare with current trends
An analysis will help you determine what works and what doesn’t. For this you need to ask arm yourself with data around:

– Most successful campaigns.
– Most popular products.
– Days that see most traffic and reasons for it.
– Revenue earned.
– Average order value.
– Popular keywords.
– Performance of competitors.

Prepare your site to handle traffic spikes
There is a huge traffic during the holiday season and you must check with your website host whether your site can handle the spike without crashing.

Modify the look of your website to gel with the holiday season
To improve user experience, the Magento development company will:
– Add a countdown timer to the header.
– Change the banners in the headers to promote your holiday season sales.
– Change the elements on your website to motivate your customers to keep coming to your website and placing orders.

Optimize your website for mobile devices
This will enable your customers to browse through your products easily and make a purchase on phones and tablets.

Improve your website’s navigation
A well crafted website will motivate your visitors to stop by and shop. For this, you can work on work on the search function of your site and ensure that it is well-optimized and configured. For this the Magento development company will:

– Highlight the search field.
– Provide an option for auto-complete.
– Optimize it for mobile devices.
– Provide a filter on search results page.
– Add a price option to your search results page.

Build category pages focused on the holiday season.
The Magento development company will build category pages to enable you make offers for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or say Gifts for Men, or Gifts for Women, Gifts for Mom or Dad and so on.

Build heatmaps on your site
Heatmaps will provide you vital statistics such as where a visitor actually clicks on the website, beyond just information on visitor source and pages visited. This will help you optimize the layout and elements on your home page, product pages and category pages.

Improve your marketing communication
Increase your social media presence
Publish holiday-focused blogs and articles, share your Black Friday promotions with your followers, take their views, invite them to contests on Facebook or Instagram and offer them exclusive gifts.

Build your advertising plan and allocate a budget for it
Prepare the ad copy and final ads well in time to run PPC campaigns on Facebook and Google AdWords and keep an extra budget for the holiday season.

Sharpen your email marketing reach-out
Build an email marketing strategy that works well throughout the year and scales up well to meet holiday season spikes in demand. Clean and optimize your email list, send them reminders and remember to include deadlines in your promotional emails. Utilize order confirmation emails and shipping emails to up-sell your products.

Leverage onsite retargeting campaigns
Try using onsite retargeting to build a healthy email list. Using well-timed popups are a big help here and enable you to easily get your visitor’s contact information. Other ways to capture email addresses are:

– Offering discounts and incentives to your visitors.
– Offering them a free eBook that is relevant to them.
– Building a subscription based campaign.

Optimize your content marketing strategy
Look at ideas that give a boost to your holiday season sale and motivate visitors to come and shop online. Create articles and blog posts that gel with your campaign such as shopping tips, gift guides for family and friends, holiday guides and cooking recipes.

Take your customer service to next higher level
Scale up your team
Be ready to scale up your customer service team during the holiday season since your shoppers will reach out to you with queries related to product information, delivery options, and shipment. You should be available to handle the queries of your customers.

Integrate live chat or chatbot
Generation Y prefers to interact via live chat to get quick responses on their queries. You can integrate live chat or a chatbot by putting a button in the bottom right corner.

Highlight shipping and delivery details
The most important question before Christmas that every customer wants to know: when will the product arrive?
Your customers would like to know about shipping and delivery dates of your products. For this, you must ensure that delivery times and shipping costs are clearly mentioned for all products. Include options for local pickup or curbside delivery.

Mention the conditions of return
It is a best practice to highlight return conditions, so that customers can return the products easily and increase their trust and confidence in your services. Typically during the holiday season when people are buying for others, they can make a mistake in size, color or quantity.

Focus on special promotions
Gift-wrapping services
Gift-wrapping is an excellent way to upsell and offer add-on services to your customers. Your clients will be ready to take these offers as it increases the overall value of the purchase, and also saves them time. You can include the option to add a special message.

Offer gift cards
Offer your customers the option to buy gift cards for their family or friends. Gift cards also help boost sales, because people are likely to spend more than the value of the card.

Offer free delivery/ shipping
Free delivery/ shipping motivates your customers to buy more during the holiday season and all year round. You can also set a free shipping limit over a certain price to motivate customers increase their order value.

From the above pointers, it is clear that it makes sense to engage with a Magento development company as they have an experienced team of designers, analysts and developers to enable you quickly make your online store ready for the holiday season.