22 Ways to Prepare your Ecommerce Store for the Christmas Rush

Despite the damage caused by the pandemic, we’re expecting Australian Christmas retail sales to grow 2.8% to $54.3 billion this year. Aussie ecommerce sales grew 80% during the first eight weeks after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic. While online sales have returned to more normal levels, analysts are still expecting strong demand for online shopping in the lead-up to Christmas, as many shoppers avoid the Christmas shopping crowds in favour of more socially distanced online shopping. And it seems safe to say that the major part of the Christmas spending will go to ecommerce stores that are well prepared to handle the surge. If you haven’t optimised your ecommerce store for the Christmas rush, it’s not too late!

Here are 22 things a good SEO Company in Melbourne can do over the next couple of days to capture and convert more traffic through your ecommerce store and make this the biggest Christmas ever.

Quick Keyword Research and SEO

Take a quick look at the keywords that have driven your traffic and conversions over the past year, as well as over the previous Christmas season. These are the keywords you should target in your SEO services and paid advertising efforts. Here’s what to do:

1. Log into your Google Search Console and dig out the search volumes for the last 12 months (Performance>Open Report).

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2. Shortlist the keywords that have been driving you the most traffic.

3. Also look at your keyword performance in Google Analytics.

4. Use Google Keyword Planner, AHREFS or another keyword research tool to determine the search volumes and difficulty for each of the keywords that you have selected.

5. Focus on voice queries and list down the long-tail keywords people may use to find products or services like yours.

6. Make a final list of all keywords and use them to optimise your sales pages and product descriptions as well as to run paid search campaigns.

Optimise Your Store for Conversions

Let’s hope your SEO team has done a good job and you’re receiving a lot of traffic from Christmas searches. The next step is to convert these visitors into customers. Take the following steps:

7. Offer free shipping: Free shipping is the most powerful incentive to shop online according to nine out of ten consumers. It can increase conversions by 25%–40% and boost the average order value around 30%.

8. Create a sense of urgency: Offer time-barred discounts or display limited stocks to exploit the ‘fear of missing out’. Using FOMO on your sales pages can boost your conversions by 40%–200% .

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Amazon uses FOMO to push holiday deals.

9. Upload high-quality, HD photos and videos while paying attention to site loading times.

10. Offer exclusive Christmas deals and discounts along with free returns.

Optimise Site Speed

Decreasing the site loading time can increase conversions significantly. Almost half (47%) of online users expect your website to load in 2 seconds or less. And a one-second delay in the loading time will pull down conversions by 7%. Here’s what needs to be done:

11. Get some technical help to optimise image sizes and accelerate your site loading speed.

12. Reduce the number of HTTP requests and remove or minimise Javascript and Flash elements.

13. Make sure you have a high-quality hosting that can handle the rush of Christmas and New Year shopping.

14. Reduce the number of redirects, enable compression and use browser caching.

Recheck Your Site’s Mobile Experience

One in four shoppers in Australia purchase items from their mobile phone and almost half of them (48%) shop via mobile at least once a week. You may lose customers this Christmas season if your ecommerce site doesn’t display properly across different mobile devices.

15. Make sure you’re using a responsive theme. If your site is old or outdated, take the holidays as an opportunity to start redesigning it.

16. Calls to action, text and buttons should be prominent and clearly visible on smartphones.

17. If you haven’t implemented AMPS (Accelerated Mobile Pages), now would be a good time to start.

18. Be careful when using images and simplify navigation to increase site speed and usability.

Optimise Your Checkout Sequence

No matter how well you have optimised the website, the sale finally comes down to the checkout sequence. The average shopping cart abandonment rate is around 70%, which is a big issue for ecommerce websites. Take the following steps to streamline and smoothen out your checkout page:

19. Include multiple payment options: Some 8% of customers abandon the checkout because they don’t find the payment option they want.

20. Avoid surprise costs: Payment should be the last step in your checkout sequence as people may feel uncomfortable if you ask for payment information upfront.

21. Use live chat to answer last-minute customer questions and allay concerns that may keep the customer from buying or cause them to go to a competitor.

22. Highlight customer reviews and other trust signals such as testimonials, guarantees and returns policy. Use trust badges such as SSL seals, symbols and icons that portray security.

Ready to Sell?

So, are you ready to claim a bigger share of the Christmas sales this year? Even if you only implement a few of the steps we have covered above, you’re likely to see an uptick in traffic and conversions. Of course, since you’re going to be busy processing all those Christmas sales, why not let the experts optimise your site for you. eMarket Experts is one of the most awarded SEO and digital marketing agencies in Melbourne. And we’re ready to turbocharge your ecommerce store just in time for the Christmas rush.