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December 11, 2013

7 Christmas Tune-Up Tips for Your Ecommerce Site

Holiday shoppers expect a lot from ecommerce businesses. Not only do they have higher-than-normal customer service expectations, but they need their items shipped quickly, and they expect a flexible after-Christmas return period.

60% of Canadians will be doing some kind of online shopping this year which is good news for ecommerce, but bad news if your website fails to measure up to the competition. Although it’s too late to make any drastic changes to your site, you do still have time to make smaller adjustments that could strongly impact your site’s success. To help you get started, Graphically Speaking has assembled a list of last minute website tune-up tips to help your site stay competitive.

Extend Your Return Policy

Gift-giving is one of the most stressful parts of the holiday season. Help alleviate that pressure by advertising your company’s flexible post-Christmas return policy. Make sure to extend the date until at least mid-January, and advertise it clearly across your site as well as in the checkout section.

Do Some Reconnaissance

There’s no better way to keep an eye on your competition than by signing up for their holiday newsletter. It’s a simple way to see what kind of deals and strategies they are utilizing. Not only will you be able to offer similar or better deals, but you can keep an ideas’ list for next December.

Create a Christmas Section

Streamline your visitor’s attention by creating a Gift Ideas’ page and advertise it on your home page or through a call-to-action button in your navigation. You can categorize gift ideas for men, women and children, or group them by price. As Christmas approaches, increase the holiday focus by highlighting special deals and promotions. This is also a great opportunity to optimize those new pages for important seasonal keywords. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to research relevant and high volume phrases and consider targeting less competitive long tail keywords.

Encourage Visitors to Revisit

By promising promotions and sales on a daily or weekly basis, you can encourage visitors to revisit your site. Sales on certain products and offers of free shipping or gift wrapping could encourage repeat customers. Let visitors know about the ongoing deals on your website or in your email marketing campaigns.

Step Up Your Email Marketing

Stepping up your email marketing does not necessarily mean that you should send out more emails. Instead, strategize carefully and offer valuable information about your products. More people are willing to sign up for company emails during the holidays so make sure to advertise your newsletter prominently and give your visitors a compelling incentive to sign-up.

Update Your About Us Page

The About Us and Contact Us pages are two of the most important pages on any ecommerce site. First time visitors want to ensure they are buying from a reputable company that is easy to get a hold of should something go wrong. Make sure your information is up-to-date, spelled correctly, and easy to find in your navigation. Providing a physical address, staff profiles and a history of your company all help to inspire trust.

Test Your Site for Speed

40% of users will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. Make sure to test how long it takes to load different sections of your site using desktop computers, tablets and mobile devices. If you find any loading irregularities, consult with your technical team to try and improve your site’s overall speed. Depending on the content management system you are using, you may be able to find useful speed-up tips online.

Although this is not a comprehensive list by any means, these seven tips for your ecommerce site could help you attract more loyal shoppers and increase revenue. When the holidays are over, consider hiring an internet mearketing/SEO firm to help you prepare for next Christmas and the time in-between.

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