Holiday shopping in the middle of a pandemic means more people than ever before will be flocking to eCommerce websites to avoid unnecessary trips to the mall. According to Forbes, eCommerce sales are going to “explode” this holiday season, testing retailers’ online strategies for accommodating such a high volume of shoppers.


Hopefully, your website is ready and you’re feeling confident about the weeks ahead. If not, here are five actionable ways to prepare for holiday traffic.


Improve site speed. These days, 40% of consumers will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. This means that your holiday sales will take a hit if your website isn’t up to speed. We recommend using Google’s Page Speed Tool to evaluate performance and determine specific areas of improvement to increase site speed.  


Streamline the checkout experience. The average shopping cart abandonment rate for eCommerce is nearly 70%—and likely even higher during the holiday season. Shoppers don’t want to be slowed down by a frustrating checkout process, so we recommend making it as easy and intuitive as possible. Does your checkout experience span multiple pages? Simplify it. Do shoppers need to create an account to make a purchase? Allow them the option of checking out as a guest.


Boost security. Cybercriminals are on high alert during the busy holiday shopping season—which means you should be, too. With so many people entrusting you with their important personal data, it’s imperative that you provide them with a secure shopping experience. Display those security badges prominently on your website to signal that people are safe shopping on your website.


Optimize for mobile. Experts predict that mobile shopping will reach $314 billion in 2020, representing 44% of eCommerce sales. Although many of the strategies you use to prepare your website for holiday traffic will carry over to mobile, there are certain optimizations that will need to be made specifically for this platform, such as using responsive website design and enabling mobile transactions.


Ready your customer support. More website traffic usually means more questions as people search for the perfect gifts. You may need to bring in temporary help for the holidays to deal with the increase in customer support volume. We also recommend beefing up your FAQ page in anticipation of common questions. This will help alleviate the burden on the customer support team.


On behalf of everyone here at ZiftrShop, we wish you a successful holiday eCommerce season. If you fall short of your sales goals this year, let’s talk about how ZiftrShop can position you for success in 2021.