The holiday rush is around the corner and 2016 is about to come. With Black Friday behind us and Cyber Monday upon us, it is about time Magento store owners started prepping up their stores for the XMAS season! There is still time for merchants to get their stores ready and to help them, we reached out to some of the most influential Magenticians and asked them a simple question:
What is your best advice to Magento Ecommerce Store owners this holiday season?
We were not able to gather all the answers, but the ones we got were amazing! Magento experts from around the globe shared some of the most valuable tips for ecommerce store owners. So, if you are ready to garner the benefits of the Holiday Season 2015, then go ahead, read, and implement!
Certified Magento developer and E-commerce/Magento consultant
“Make sure your hosting is ready for what’s coming. Notify the hosting company before hand with the expected number of visitors. Also, prepare your shop before hand. Make sure all code changes are done, texts are added and pictures updated so the shop can run as is during peak moments. Invalidating cache to update your description while it’s busy is the worst thing you can do.”
Certified Magento developer and Certified Magento Solution Specialist
“Make sure that your page scales well! You should have a good caching strategy: Use a proper cache and session storage like Redis and use a full page cache like Lesti Fpc. For bigger sites, Varnish is the way to go. Needless to say that you should also have a decent web hosting provider with great server performance.”
Trainer at Magento
“Watch your monitoring software and log files closely. Be on top of any issues that arise. Every second your store is down is costing sales. Keep a close eye on your performance and do your best to anticipate spikes in traffic. See where your server usage is at before you send out email blasts or other promotions. If it is higher than you would like, scale up your servers before you send the promotion. Last but not least, have a great holiday season!”
Magento Trainer, Developer and Consultant
“There is no one size fits all answer. 🙂 Probably it would be some measure to increase scalability, or otherwise some clever marketing. In all cases, the first step would be to analyze the current situation to figure out the best, most cost effective way forward.”
Magento Frontend Developer
“Customers don’t want to buy only big and expensive gifts. So make some free shipping rules if you can do. If you make special price actions for products, (not only for products you want to get rid of) make them for products your customers want and need. Also, some short price rules for the whole shop on sundays are great. I have seen shops that double their sales with 5% or 10% actions on sundays as customers have more time for shopping on Sundays.”
SR Magento Developer
“My advice from a hosting perspective is to ask their sysadmins in advance about the site’s performance and optimize their environments with software like Varnish and memcached to speed up the site without overloading the servers. Using CDNs is always a good choice. Don’t wait until a week before XMAS to do this!”
Web Developer at Sitewards GmbH
“Preparation is key. You know this time of year is coming for 365 days before hand so do something early.
1. Make sure you have a good team with enough beer/cake.
2. Check your server health. Is it powerful enough or can it scale.
3. Validate all support emails and phones are correct. If there is a problem make sure people can still get processed the old fashioned way.
4. Have you got enough stock?”
Support Team Lead at Magento
“My best advice is to plan ahead. It’s usually a bad idea to implement site updates so close to the holiday season. By now, merchants should have a code freeze and any recent changes should have been thoroughly tested to handle the holiday traffic.”
CEO of Fire Bear Studios
“I think two of the most important things for the holiday sales are performance (pages load time) and mobile view.
Therefore, I recommend you to perform load testing first. This way you’ll make sure your store can handle lot of concurrent visitors.
Besides, you can use Full Page Cache extensions along with Cache Warmers. It is also possible to implement CloudFlare as CDN – this step will decrease your server load and increase security. And don’t forget to make full QA testing of your mobile site. It should not only look good, but be stable and fully featured on both phones and tablets. Chrome Dev Toolbar is a very useful solution for that – Have a good holidays ;)”
Owner and CEO of Netresearch
“In my honest opinion, merchants should focus on customer lifetime value. Win the customer this season and make money in the years to come. Customer service is key.”
Cloud Solution Architect Magento
“Verify that Adobe Commerce or Magento Opensource are updated to the most recent version. There are constant product enhancements published by Adobe. These changes pertain to product features, performance, and security levels. Making sure you are using the most recent version will ensure that you have the greatest version to support your busy selling season.”
“Prepare materials for each of your communication channels to promote your special holiday offers (banners, emails, push notifications, social networks, ads)
Another great tip I would suggest – do not to deploy any changes to your website a week before and during sales.”
WeSupply Labs Co-founder
“Start gathering quality data with the new Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible in order to start collecting historical data that will be useful in the next years. In GA4, Google uses AI to provide valuable insights and in order for it to work, it needs historical data. Next year when the Universal Analytics is discontinued, you don’t want to switch to GA4 and have no data to compare to. Also look into the GA4 server-side solution to overcome Ad-Blockers and Cookie-Blockers, as it might offer you and your company a significant competitive advantage in the coming years.”
Magento Master Maker 2020
Care about your customer
“Reward your customers with a great shopping experience and let them know about the benefits and advantages of purchasing on your website.”
Adobe Certified Expert-Magento Commerce Business Practitioner
“I recommend testing the functionality of your website. Before the holiday season commences, you must conduct a website test drive. Verify whether your website is ready to take over the load of the holiday shopping rush. Make sure all the CTAs work well. Ensure that the site navigation is smooth and straightforward. While testing the website elements, keep in mind the customer’s viewpoint.”
Client Acquisition Specialist @ Navigate Commerce
“Well, in simple words, no proven things always fit best for the store! Ensure your server has enough resources to handle the heavy traffic; caching and cron must be well managed. Observe the previous holiday season reports and be ready. Wait to add any additional features. Stabilize what you have! Help and satisfy shoppers with their needs. “
Here are the short, important learnings that you can keep in mind.
- Merchants should focus on Customer Lifetime value.
- Analyze your website load times to ensure lower abandonment rate.
- Have a scalable Magento hosting partner to help you manage the traffic spike
- Take special care of your support and ensure all support systems are working fine and in proper order.
- The best of all: Have fun around the holiday season!
Now, it is your turn! Share your valuable tips for online store owners by using the hashtag #MagentoRush15 and we will pick and share the best ones. And, don’t forget to share this post with your friends to share the spirit of the Holiday Season! Happy Holidays! 🙂
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Abdur Rahman is the Magento whizz at Cloudways. He is growth ambitious, and aims to learn & share information about Ecommerce & Magento Development through practice and experimentation. He loves to travel and explore new ideas whenever he finds time. Get in touch with him at [email protected]