Get Your Ecommerce Site Ready For the Holiday SeasonI don’t know about you, but I hate to see Halloween decorations the day after Labor Day or Valentine’s Day candy immediately following Christmas. There used to be a separation of the seasons and their corresponding holidays.

Not anymore.

Today, by mid-summer the sweaters and snow boots are being stocked on the shelves in anticipation of the first snow flake—when it’s ninety degrees and sunny outside.

What does this have to do with your ecommerce site?

Quite a bit actually.

I am sorry to report that even though today is the second day of school for many children, if you haven’t started thinking about the busy holiday season, you’re almost out of time!

Yes, I said almost out of time.

By the beginning of September, there’s not enough time for a major overhaul of your site—or even enough time for a minor face lift. Now is NOT the time to pop the hood on your ecommerce site’s navigational structure or attempt to roll out a new instance of faceted search or a product configurator. These big changes are best started in January when the holiday shopping is done and you don’t risk losing sales if you site doesn’t perform as intended.

So, what can you update right now?

Good question. At this point in the game, the best information to spruce up is your content for your most popular items or the items you plan to promote during the year-end season.

In the next few weeks you may consider updating the following information on your ecommerce site:

  • Product descriptions on key products. If you have a few products on your site, give each product description a once over with fresh copy. If you have many products on your site, choose your best performers for some sprucing up.
  • Product images for key products. Much like the copy noted above, this is the time to fix those few so-so images or upload a fresh image for your most popular items.
  • Holiday sales promotions. If you plan to offer targeted holiday promotions (and I’m sure you do) during the final months of the year, now is the time to make sure they are created and implemented properly on your ecommerce site.
  • Year-end sales or promotions. Have a series of 2011-specific items that you want to clear out to make way for the 2012 stock? Now’s the time to make sure that your promotions and pricing are enticing enough to make that product move.
  • Banner ads or promotional images on your site. Got some promotional images on your site that need updating? If your home page banner is still promoting your Labor Day sale, make sure that you have a holiday banner—or series of banners—waiting in the wings to get your shoppers excited!
  • Test, test, test! This is the perfect time to run a few test orders through the system. Is your checkout process working as intended? Are your promotions working properly and giving the correct sale price?

While it feels like the holidays are still AGES away, it won’t be long before they’re here. Make sure your site is ready to meet the holiday rush by freshening up your site content and making sure that your promotions and check out work now. It will save you a lot of headaches—and missed sales—in the future.

Ready to learn more about how to make your ecommerce site a success? Check out the on-demand webinar, Ecommerce Website Best Practices today!