6 Ways to Optimize Your Website for The Holidays

The 2016 holiday season is going to be a big one in terms of browsing activity and dollars spent.  Last year saw $3.19 billion in digital sales on Cyber Monday and this year that figure is expected to increase again.  Needless to say, if you’re an online retailer, it’s time to start planning!

We’ve written previously about getting customers to your website during the holidays and boosting sales during the holiday season, but let’s drill down on an important category that falls between these two: optimizing your website for the holidays.  

Once you lead a new user to your webpage the job is to keep them there until they convert into a buyer.  With the holidays, you’ll likely see an increase in website traffic on your site and because of that, it’s imperative that your webpage is in top shape weeks prior to the big spending days (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) to ensure your customers’ visit is as seamless as possible.   

Here are 6 ways to optimize your website for the holidays.  

1.  Create a Strong Brand Message

As we mentioned, the holiday season brings new users to your site for the first time.  That means it’s important to make a great first impression.  Ensure your website is clean so that customers can easily understand what you’re selling, your message, and features on your site.  Here are a few great design tips to implement all year long.   

2.  Shipping    

We’re moving daily into a digital age and shipping is becoming an important decision maker driving purchasing, especially around the holidays.  Most brands are now offering free or subsidized shipping to spur on sales.  This often includes 100% free shipping or free shipping above a certain spend threshold.  The shift was brought on by the fact that 56% of online shoppers will abandon their carts if the shipping costs drive up their order total too much.  Advertise this promotion in the banner of your website so there is no confusion, letting the customer focus completely on your products!

3.  Holiday Section

Create a holiday sale subsection of your website so customers can navigate promotional and in-season items efficiently.  If you want to take it a step further, create a holiday landing page that you direct users to from your advertising campaigns.  

4.  Ensure Items are in Stock

Have a few items sell out last year?  Chances are these will be popular again this year.  Stock up on your inventory now!

5.  User Experience and Mobile Browsability

As we mentioned previously, your website user experience is crucial during the holidays.  Further, mobile sales grew by 35% on Cyber Monday last year.  You can bet this year that number will rise again so ensure your site is easy to navigate for both IOS and Android users!

6.  Exit Intent Tools

The goal is to keep customers on your website for as long as possible and move them through your sales funnel as efficiently as possible.  Exit Intent tools provide a pop-up before a customer leaves your webpage reminding them that they still have items in their shopping cart.  These are hugely effective in battling cart abandonment.  The 2015 holiday season saw website conversion hovering around 5%.  Strive for this figure and if you succeed you’ll know the strategy implemented has worked.  We like SumoMe for this one!


These 6 ways to optimize your website for the holidays will help give you peace of mind during Q4 this year.  

Any other tips?  Feel free to comment below!