Ecommerce Holiday Prep: Plan Ahead. Way Ahead.
The winter holidays are still three months away, but here at Elevate we’ve been in the spirit for a while. This summer we launched our Holidays in July campaign to remind current and prospective clients that the busiest time of the year for ecommerce is fast approaching. Last year Cyber Monday sales outpaced those on Black Friday by more than $1.5 billion and overall holiday ecommerce sales growth is expected to reach over 15% this year. It’s more important than ever for retailers to ensure their sites are up to par and ready to convert. Elevate outlined eight milestones for retailers to keep in mind when preparing for the holiday season:
- Identify Your Goals
- Identify Site Improvement Opportunities
- Create a Holiday Landing Page Strategy
- Launch Your Pre-Holiday Site Optimizations
- Begin A/B Testing
- Finalize Your Holiday Marketing Plan
- Launch Your Final Holiday Site Optimizations
- Prepare for High Traffic Surges
While each milestone includes its own set of tasks, the high-level overview illustrates the fact that retailers need to identify their business goals for the season, understand what pain points exist that could hinder those goals, optimize, and adjust as necessary. We piggybacked off the familiar “Holiday in July” theme for this campaign not just because it allowed us to use fun images of Santa in a swimsuit, but to highlight the most important (and often overlooked) issue for ecommerce holiday planning: it takes time. Planning needs to start months in advance!
Changing a website’s UI and UX can be a big undertaking, but the massive impact of these changes is often overlooked for holiday optimizations. It’s important to analyze, test, and get it right before holiday shoppers swarm sites in order to ensure the best season possible. With sales on the line and conversion ROI meaning more that ever, ecommerce retailers need to get the holidays right. Optimizing is usually more than just a graphic or copy adjustment, so allocating multiple months to land on the perfect version of a site is recommended for all ecommerce retailers.
Check out our full Holidays in July report, complete with suggested timing over the next few months for sites to get in to tip-top shape. Although it’s almost October, it’s not too late to get started for the season — we don’t want your commerce site getting coal this year!