The Online Retailer’s Guide to Holiday Prep

| By: Sasha Butkovich

With summer in full swing, retailers are already looking ahead to the holiday season. Now is the perfect time to assess your ecommerce or omnichannel operation and make improvements for the sales rush late in the year.

Deciding where to begin can be a challenge. Here, we outline a few key areas of focus. By answering these questions about your own retail operation, you can start finding solutions that will maximize ROI and produce meaningful, measurable results this holiday season.

1. Does your SEO strategy need a tune-up?

Don’t let your SEO strategy take a backseat. During the holiday season, SEO can be an impactful, cost-effective way to bring in new customers looking for that perfect gift. Through discovery and analysis, retailers can utilize their findings to develop an SEO optimization strategy that will drive revenue.

2. Are you overdue for usability testing?

Usability testing is a great way to measure the strengths and weaknesses of your ecommerce site’s user experience. Determining customer pain points through a site review can help shape a brand’s strategy for holiday upgrades. Do customers get stuck at the checkout, or get lost in the mobile experience? Is the site search not giving personalized results? These are just a few examples, but answering these will help you know which projects to push through development right away.

3. Is your marketing strategy a mess?

Developing a marketing strategy for the holiday season can be overwhelming. Email marketing is a powerful tool, but how will you grow your list? Social media is all the rage, but how much will you spend, and on which platforms? What is your landing page strategy? Utilize analytics to determine which options are best suited for your customers and your brand. Focusing on ROI is a good starting point for creating a results-driven holiday marketing plan.

4. Do you need a content and merchandising audit?

Featuring the right content is crucial at the holidays. Evaluate the copy, media, and content strategy from a brand, educational and support perspective. Ensure that everything is clear and helpful, and supports your overall branding and objectives. New and returning customers don’t have time to waste at the holidays, so make every message meaningful and relevant.

5. Is your site ready to handle increased traffic?

Traffic spikes during this peak sales season can be unpredictable. Even small lulls can impact revenue in big ways. Review site functionality, security, and front-end to back-end data to make sure everything operates at peak levels. Load testing is another important component, which will demonstrate how many concurrent users your site can handle. Take any and all measures to ensure your site is fast and won’t crash under high traffic. Don’t give shoppers an opportunity to spend elsewhere when your site goes down!

6. Has it been a while since your last analytics review?

It can be easy to get buried in analytics without a clear picture of what the numbers mean. Reviewing analytics now can help determine that picture, and inform how you should move forward leading into the holiday season. Benchmarking, analysis and measurement plans, and heatmap reviews are all great tools that will show customer behavior and help in planning your overall holiday strategy.

If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” Corra can help. Email hello@corra.com to get started.

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Sasha is Marketing Copywriter at Corra, a New York, Los Angeles and London based digital commerce agency creating unified commerce experiences for fashion, lifestyle and beauty. Corra’s ecommerce strategy, design and technology professionals are trusted by retailers of all sizes to implement and support the Magento Enterprise and hybris platforms.