The holiday shopping season has started. The big spike may not have happened yet, but people are browsing and many people are buying already. Here are some quick wins to make sure your site runs smoothly and shoppers can find what they need.
1. Add Easily Findable Links to Your Holiday Promotions
This seems like a no brainer, but many retailers will rely on homepage banners to direct shoppers to their holiday offerings. This (incorrectly) assumes that people will land on your homepage. Search makes every page a homepage and you need to make it easy for people to get from any place on the site to your best offering.
See if you have a spot in your top navigation, or consider adding a little link box above your left-nav.
2. Make Sure Page Merchandising Reflects Stock
With the use of mobile devices expected to be heavy this year, and the ease with which shoppers can go elsewhere, its important to minimize unnecessary browsing and clicking on your site. Your category page merchandising should factor in stock status along with popularity and other factors to make sure that visitors get to pages with something they can actually buy.
3. Use Mobile Input Types to Make Shopping on Phones and Tablets Easier
A few quick edits to your form code will give mobile shoppers customized keyboards on their devices for entering email addresses, phone numbers and URLs. Less clicking around and faster input = faster checkout completion and newsletter signup.
4. Update Site Search Suggestions/AutoComplete
Make sure that your site search is serving the best result for your top queries. Start by doing searches on your top keywords from last year, and then see about assigning a specific result to deal with plurals and misspellings of them. Most site search packages will give you options for selecting the page that shows for certain queries, as well as, weighting the results.
5. Update All Your Sitemaps & Feeds
This might be on automated, but do a spot check to make sure old URLs are not still present in either your XML or HTML sitemaps. Now is also a good time to make sure that RSS feeds and other XML-based feeds (like for marketplaces) are properly formatted.
You can probably think of a dozen other things to do this holiday season. If you’ve been working your plan since September, then congrats. But if you are behind the shopping curve, then hitting these quick wins will ensure that you are maximizing the opportunities from whatever traffic you acquire.