With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, now is the time when you expect to start receiving out of office emails in your inbox as your colleagues and partners start their breaks early. As an eCommerce Manager, especially if this is your first Christmas, it can feel pretty daunting being left as the last one standing and being the safeguard of your eCommerce Store. That’s why we’ve put together a few tips to help you prepare your website for Christmas so you can relax and enjoy a mimosa by the beach.
Forewarned is Forearmed
By this stage of the year, you probably have your marketing plan carefully laid out and your beautiful EDMs and social posts all lined up and scheduled. If you haven’t, don’t panic, there’s still time! Start by mapping out your key dates which you think will drive the most traffic to your site and share these with your web developers and server support. This means they will be aware of your promotional activity and may make suggestions to help optimise your plan.
At MindArc, we take a low-risk approach to all development work completed in the month of December and advise our merchants to steer clear of any large changes to process or functionality. Avoiding any major changes to your site’s code means that your website will be in a much more stable position over the Christmas period. If you manage your own eCommerce functionality, try to resist the temptation to install any last minute apps which promise to double your Christmas sales to avoid any unforeseen impact.
Who ya gonna call?
The most important thing is knowing your escalation path. If you work with an agency, make sure you ask and understand what the Christmas Support options are. Be sure to understand what the SLA’s are around response times and hot fixes so you’re not left in the dark if something does happen. Communicate these SLA’s to all stakeholders in your business so you all know what to expect if you do require support. If you do not use cloud hosting, follow the same steps with your hosting provider.
If you do not work with an agency but receive support from your eCommerce platform, reach out to your contact there and ask if they have any recommendations for site stability over Christmas.
Shipping & Returns
Around this time of year, customers tend to be doing last minute panic orders for friends and family. The biggest thing which will stop them from clicking PAY NOW is a lack of information. A panic order is only a panic order if it’s guaranteed to arrive on time and if you can guarantee you’ll accept it as a return if the recipient doesn’t like it. Make sure this information is prominent on your website, this way your customer will feel reassured and the path to purchase will become clearer.
A lot of merchants use a timeline to show their cut-offs for delivery over the festive season.
Once your pass your final day for shipping, that’s the time to start promoting your online gift cards as an EXTRA last minute gift.
If you have any questions, please ask! Get in touch with us today to find out more about preparing for peak sales and planning eCommerce strategies.