How To Prepare Your WooCommerce Store For A Holiday Sale

One of the best times of the year to boost your sales and increase conversion rates with your WooCommerce store is during the holidays. However, if your store isn’t prepared for an increase in traffic and orders you can be faced with a disaster. At the same time, if you fail to market your products and services effectively or provide convincing offers to your customers, you can end up very disappointed and lose out on business at the hands of your competitors.

Optimizing your online store is extremely necessary. Yet, the process is not entirely simple. If you want to succeed, you’ll have to think beyond creating the perfect banner, putting together the right words for your social media posts, or coming up with the right promotions.  

In this article, our WooCommerce development experts will share some helpful tips to effectively prepare your WooCommerce store for a Holiday sale, guaranteeing you can provide the best possible experience for your visitors.

Prepare For Extra Traffic During Your WooCommerce Holiday Sale

No matter how much time and money you spend on your marketing and sales promotions, you won’t get the desired results if your website isn’t technically capable of handling the increased holiday traffic. 

When your website has more traffic than its equipped to handle, the loading speed of your website will suffer. For this reason, speed optimization is essential.

Additionally, in order to prepare for a WooCommerce holiday sale season security and performance optimization are recommended. Otherwise, you might be subject to lost sales, security breaches, wasted marketing investments, and disappointment.  

Improve site security
Improving your website’s security will allow you to protect against fraudulent transactions, exploit weaknesses in your site, and improve how it handles the increase in traffic.  

Here’s are some of the ways you can improve your site’s security,

  • Run a malware scan with a free malware scanner tool. 
  • Set up a firewall to protect against unauthorized access.
  • Make sure SSL is active on your site and error-free.
  • Be sure that all plugins and themes are up-to-date to fix security vulnerabilities and any bugs that you may be unaware of. 

If you’re really serious about your business’s safety, you can take it a step further and work with our WooCommerce development experts to professionally optimize your site’s security

Optimize Loading Speed

If your store is even a little sluggish you’ll lose your potential customer before they even see those amazing offers you spend hours agonizing over.  You have only 3 seconds for your page to load before you lose them. And when you have an increase in traffic with more people visiting your store the loading speed will be affected if you aren’t properly prepared. If you are anticipating your traffic to scale in the upcoming months, investing in WooCommerce performance and speed optimization services ahead of time is always the best choice.

Running a performance test will help you to determine which elements on your page need attention.  There are some free speed tests such as google PageSpeed insights that will provide you with all the information that you need to optimize your page speed and keep your customers on your site.

Here are some of the common causes of slow loading pages:

  • Image sizes that are too large. Optimize the sizes of your images using plugins such as Pngyu.
  • Unused plugins that are still active. Disabling any unused plugins will improve performance.
  • Caching is not setup. This is how your web server delivers pages to your visitor faster. If your hosting provider does not provide this, use W3 Total Cache. 
  • CDN is not setup. This will geographically distribute your website based on the visitors location for quicker loading time. CloudFlare is a CDN provider. 

Latest Version Of PHP and MySQL

Keeping your WooCommerce store updated with the latest technologies is essential to improving features and bug fixes. It’s what keeps everything running efficiently and securely. While this should be part of your monthly updating, you will definitely need to have the latest version of PHP and MySQL to prepare your WooCommerce store for the holidays.

Hosting Server Capacity

Your hosting service needs to be reliable and offer scalability options. Talk to your host and see if they are going to be able to handle a heavy load.

Create Irresistible Offers
The holidays might mean more customers, but they also mean more competition. So, if you don’t put together the right offers, your store’s sales might just get lost in the thousands of other promotions during the holiday season.

Thankfully, WooCommerce and the many WooCommerce extensions on the market make it easy for any online business to set up attractive offers and apply marketing tactics. 

Here are some of the options you can use to your advantage, available with WooCommerce:

Bundle Offers
When you bundle products together it often attracts customers. You can easily bundle several related products for a discounted price that entices your potential customer to purchase the products they want at a discounted price. 

The goal is to create bundles that have a greater perceived value. This will increase user engagement and sales. When putting products together for your bundle you’ll want the products that are related at a comparatively lower price. 

Some WooCommerce extensions you can consider:

Countdown Timer
The fear of missing out is one of the greatest motivators to make a purchase. And it is certainly one you can capitalize on during your WooCommerce Holiday Sale. This is why using a countdown timer is so beneficial. A countdown clock gives your potential customer a sense of urgency to purchase the product before the price increases. 

It’s easy to add a countdown timer to your WooCommerce store using one of the are many WooCommerce extensions available, including the Sales Countdown Timer for WooCommerce plugin and YITH WooCommerce Product Countdown extension.

Email Campaigns
Email campaigns are still one of the best ways to reach potential buyers and market your products and services.

By sending personalized emails to your customer based on the products theyh’ve purchased from you already or the items they have previously abandoned in their carts you’ll easily see an increase in your sales. Emails are also the perfect tool to promote your seasonal sales and update subscribers about your latest offers. 

In order to effectively apply email marketing techniques, you’ll need the right email management tools and to closely track your customer’s actions. There are plenty of email marketing extensions for WooCommerce that offer this ability, making the process of automating your marketing efforts way easier. 

Offer Free Shipping

There’s no better way to supercharge your Holiday sales than by throwing in “free shipping”. Everyone loves free shipping and there’s no better time to offer it than during the holidays. Not only does it increase your sales, it will boost your average order size and increase customer loyalty. When you develop trust with your customers you get the chace to build a relationship with them.As a result, they will be more inclined to purchase from you again and again in the future. 

Implement Marketing Strategies

You can spend thousands of dollars getting visitors to your store, but if you don’t have an effective plan to convert that traffic into leads and sales then, you’re wasting your money. 

Getting the visitor to your store is only one-half of the battle. It’s keeping them there that is important to making sales. Even after making a sale, there are plenty of ways to entice your customers to add value to the order and offer your customers more of what they are looking for using upselling and cross-selling plugins.

Sales Funnel

When you utilize a sales funnel it’s like having a salesperson on your website 24 hours a day 7 days a week turning visitors into loyal customers. A sales funnel helps to simplify the customer journey making it easier for your customer because there is a solution mapped out for each stage of the potential customers’ decision process giving them the gentle nudge they need to make the purchase.

Cart Abandonment Email Campaign

Cart Abandonment is a common issue for any ecommerce store. There might be hundreds of different reasons why they chose to leave without purchasing. However, one thing that you need to know is that you can create an email campaign that will remind them that their cart still has their items and is ready to be purchased. Just because they abandoned their cart doesn’t mean you’ve lost out on the sale. 

When you send a personalized email reminding them of the items they still have in the cart you re-engage them. This often results in getting the sale. This can all be done automatically and reminders can be sent within 30 minutes of the cart being abandoned. 

Provide Discount Codes or e-Gift Cards

Discount codes and WooCommerce gift cards can be used in conjunction with all aspects of your Holiday marketing campaigns whether it’s offering an additional discount to purchase items customers have abandoned in their cart or purchasing a gift card as a gift for the holidays. 

Here are some examples of how you can use discount codes,

  • Provide a great incentive with last-minute sales.
  • Take advantage of people’s fear of missing out with flash/hourly sales.
  • Offer a massive discount for a short period of time using a countdown plugin.
  • Add free shipping coupons.
  • Offer an additional discount code for when customers purchase multiple items together. 
  • Give a small free gift code with any purchase.
  • Giveaways are a great way to drive sales and bring attention to your store. 

Simplify Your Store’s Checkout Experience

Optimizing your WooCommerce store checkout is one of the most crucial aspects of your customers buying experience. Abandoned carts and low conversions are just one indication that your store’s checkout process might not be up to par. You have the potential to increase your conversion, reduce abandoned carts and increase your sales by optimizing your checkout with these simple steps. 

Make sure your CTA button is visible 

This might seem like an obvious step, but many stores are lacking this. They shouldn’t have to look for the button to add products to the cart, it should be visible at all times. 

Provide a clear understanding of the product in the details

Not only does this help with the purchase of the product it also reduces refunds as well. By providing basic information such as dimensions, colors, and any other important details about the item you reduce the questions they have and make the decision to purchase easier for them to make.

Be transparent throughout the checkout process 

If you want to maximize conversion rates, being fully transparent is the way to go. Don’t wait until they are on the final page to show any extra costs. This should be clearly stated from the beginning to the end. This includes your return policy, money back guarantees and shipping costs. 

Explain the shipping timeline

Your customer should never wonder about the shipping details. The uncertainty will destroy your conversion and customers buying from your competitor. Be sure that the shipping details are clear, provided with options and they are able to choose the shipping method. 

Take some time to know what your shipping options will be, return policy and how you will layout all of the details for them so they do not have to search for the answers. 

Simplify the payment form

Your store’s payment form has the highest impact on your conversion rate. This is something that you’ll want to be sure that you’re getting right.  It will reduce abandon cart issues and increase your revenue by reducing the clutter, and confusion.

Diversify payment methods

Today there are so many different payment options like PayPal, ApplePay, BitCoin and more. While you cannot offer every single option available, it is important to offer the major payment providers such as PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, Stripe. While paying with a digital currency like BitCoin is an option and one that would likely be used the majority do not expect it or use it. 

And today online retailers shouldn’t be asking for a ton of information about the customer, you simply ask for essential information only. This is beneficial as it will speed up the checkout, and protect the users’ privacy, which is extremely important to the customer.  

Enable guest checkout

There is a large percentage of potential buyers that will not continue with the purchase if they are required to create an account. When you enable a guest checkout you’ll reduce abandoned carts, and gain a new customer.  

Make it easy to come back and complete the purchase

Things happen, and not every abandoned cart is a lost customer – maybe they don’t have their card at the moment, ordering during work and their boss walked in or a number of other reasons. This is why it’s essential that you make it easy for them to come back and buy items left in the cart.

This can be achieved with save cart content for later. This helps the customers complete the transaction when it is more convenient for them. 

Ensure cross-device functionality

If your WooCommerce store isn’t optimized for various device browsing your missing out. Nearly 70% of people who make impulse purchases from their phones. And these same buyers will surf the Internet switching between multiple devices such as their laptops, tablets, and smartphones. If you’re not catering to these people you are missing out on a ton of customers.

Eliminate distractions from the checkout process

We are all easily distracted, but your checkout process should be free of unnecessary distractions. This means no popups, distracting layouts, forms with way too many input fields or multiple CTA buttons. These things overwhelm the customer and cause them to leave the page. Create a minimalistic layout that only contains the most important checkout details – order reviews, shipping instructions, and payment details. 

Common checkout distractions include things such as multiple CTA buttons, distracting layouts, any kind of pop-up offer, forms with too many input fields, and similar.

Must-Have Plugins for a WooCommerce Holiday Sale

  • WooCommerce Bundled Products offers a great way to increase the size of each order with tempting discounts when you purchase products and/or accessories. The interface is simple and makes purchasing effortless for your customers. But it’s more than just bundling, it can also recommend related products as well. Cross-selling has proven to be successful.
  • WooFunnels is a sales funnel plugin that helps to increase order values and create loyal customers. WooFunnels makes setting it up simple with pre-built sales pages and checkout templates that have already proven to be successful. This allows you to quickly set up your sales funnel with enticing offers. Along with up-selling and follow-up email marketing features making this a great marketing tool to have in your WooCommerce plugins arsenal.
  • WooCommerce One Page Checkout helps you to simplify the checkout process with a single page that allows them to add/remove products to an order and complete payment without leaving the page. There’s no codes to learn, and you have built-in templates to choose from to build a minimalist checkout page. 
  • Save for Later for WooCommerce plugin makes it easy for your soon to be customer to come back and purchase the items they left in their cart. They do not have to be registered users to come back and pick up where they left off.  

WooCommerce Holiday Sale

Optimizing your WooCommerce store for the holidays is an essential aspect of your store’s success. It’s not a matter of should you, it’s about how should you. 

Preparing for holiday sales requires making a detailed-oriented plan focused on improving your customers’ experience, utilizing plugins that will help you achieve your goals, and optimize your website’s security and speed to facilitate the purchase process. 

It’s these changes and improvements that will increase your conversions in the long run.

If you’re like most businesses you lack the knowledge and time to effectively execute the right steps. Our WooCommerce development experts can help you prepare for any major sale by optimizing your WooCommerce site and customizing your store to suit your specific needs. We can also offer you consultation to figure out where you can make improvements and changes, and help you configure your store to be the most successful.

Give us a call today, and tell us what you want to achieve and get you on the right track. 

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