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Get your Magento Web Store ready for Holiday Rush

Updated on December 24, 2021

6 Min Read

The holiday season is just around the corner. We all know that people around the world are in a festive mood. Why not cash in on this golden opportunity?

Beware! Most of the Magento-based ecommerce websites tend to slow down by unconventional spikes in online traffic trends.

Are you ready to cope up with the unprecedented traffic hike? Not yet! Don’t worry.

Ecommerce Holidays

Here are 11 important tips to bolster your ecommerce website’s performance and customer engagement.

1. Estimate your server’s projected capacity

One of the major things you need to keep in mind during the hustle and bustle of holiday season is the overall capacity of your server. You will have to do some estimation exercise here. If you have already handled a traffic hike in the previous holiday season, then you must be well aware of the trends. Keeping a track of past trends will greatly help you to make somewhat a right guess about how much user traffic is predicted to land over to your ecommerce Magento website. And most importantly, keep a backup of your server resources. I would suggest you see into your Web Analytics software for past data.

2. Streamline and optimize your Magento site

Magento websites tend to slow down due to the influence of huge traffic influx during the festive holiday season. A 1-second delay can see a 7% decrease in conversion rates. This means you will be losing money. Surely, no one would like to see this happening. In order to streamline your website, you need to check and improvise on the speed of your website. Shun out any performance hurdles that increase the overall page load time. Use a caching mechanism. Optimization will also help your Magento e-store to rank better on search engines.

3. Improve your Magento store’s front-end and back-end interface

In order to get most out of your Magento e-store, you have to work on the improvement of front-end and back-end interfaces. Get rid of any bumps beforehand. Beware! It’s better to keep a backup of your server before making any tweaks in the Magento back-end or front-end. One of the most important steps you should take is to clear up your database and cache.

Secondly, you have to get rid of all the products and extensions that are not in use. Thirdly, you have to reindex your products effectively. Furthermore, you should be able to compress the output of the query. For better front-end performance, you should also merge CSS and JS files.

Using expires headers with parallel downloading is yet another good option to improve the front-end of your website. For more information, read the e-book, 11 Definite Ways to Speed-up Optimize Magento Websites.

4. Load Testing and Application Performance Monitoring

Imagine a situation, where the number of visitors on your e-commerce website has exceeded your prediction and expectations. This is where the real test of website sustainability begins. To counter such scenarios, you need to do load testing of your site. For load testing, you need to create a simulated environment and test the variations in user traffic spikes to ensure that website runs smoothly once the real time traffic is monitored.

Monitoring the whole website activity is yet another important factor that comes into play when website performance is at stake. You need to monitor server performance like Varnish Hit Ratio, APC Hit Rate, Memcached Fill Ratio, etc. It’s better to have a contingency plan in place before any operational mishap.

5. Using CDN and Page Caching

There are situations, where you need to use static content and static pages on your Magento-based website. You can do this by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). With the use of CDN, you get the opportunity to make use of global data centers, where all of your data is kept and if an international user posts a request, it is catered by the data center located nearest to the user.

For a breathtaking speed and performance of your Magento website, you need to load off CSS stylesheets and Javascript files. This will help you engage concurrent customers during the festive holiday season. Caching static pages is yet another step that you can use to make your e-store faster. You can use Varnish for this purpose. Plus, Magento 1.9.x do not support Varnish. For a remedial solution, please read our solution.

6. Boost up your SEO, organic, and social search

You do business to make your presence felt in the market. Same holds true for online businesses.

What’s the point in it to have a fabulous Magento store with awesome products, but no one knows about your website?

This is where you need to develop a strategy to get your e-commerce website rank higher in search engines. You will have to optimize your e-store so that people take notice of your website. Let your website content do the talk. Remember, search engine optimization is not dead. Social media websites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+, are a great tool to get your Magento website ranked in top search results. Once you launch your product, get it reviewed. Getting positive product reviews from your customers is really a good practice to boost up your website’s traffic.

7. Get interesting website design

Appearance is one of the most important aspects of your ecommerce website. Get your stores designed in such a way so as to give customers a pleasant look to the homepage and other landing pages. Get a good user interface developed for your site. Going for animated website design is yet another good option. To get more traction, you should use relevant images and videos.

Remember the saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Take a scenario of the Christmas season, for example, if you want to attract customers, you will surely use images of Santa Claus, Christmas Tree, etc. Using GIF images is another feasible option.

8. Make your web store mobile responsive

Most of the ecommerce websites, including eBay, Walmart, Amazon, etc. have gone mobile. Follow the suite. Almost 29% of holiday shopping orders are booked and sold via a smartphone or any kind of mobile device. Keeping with the ongoing trend, you should make your ecommerce website mobile responsive.

So, you have to develop an ecommerce site that is super optimized for mobile platforms. This strategy will also help you engage a large number of global customer base. To taste more success, it is recommended that you should opt for mobile friendly templates that can cater for different types of mobile screen.

9. Put a flawless Order Fulfillment strategy

What will you do if you don’t get your order delivered on time? You will get disappointed.

Chances are that you will not consider buying any other product after such a delaying experience. This is what actually happens when you opt to shop online. And think, if it is a holiday season, it will be too bad of an experience. This is why Magento-based ecommerce websites should have a robust and flawless order fulfillment and delivery strategy in place, well before the holiday rush starts.

If this strategy requires you to revamp your whole ecommerce website’s infrastructure and functionality, dig deep and do it. If this requires you to abandon extra extensions, shun them. If you want to hire additional staff in order to streamline the order delivery process, go for it. Nobody is stopping you from taking steps that you like.

10. Provide discounts to loyal customers  

A happy and satisfied customer is one of the best assets that you can count on in the long run. The universal mantra, customer is the king, holds true even today. One of the biggest advantages of having a trusted customer base is that these customers will do the marketing for your brand and the ecommerce website.

In order to enjoy success on the basis of customers’ word of mouth, you have to give some kind of leverage to your long standing customers. Back them up with discounts, deals, and coupons on specified products, or a lucky draw. Otherwise, you can also ask them to refer your e-store to others. Providing discounts and deals relevant to holiday season, will surely boost up user traffic on your site, which will eventually result in turning your e-store into a money churning business.

11. Check out your Hosting Provider

Just as a slow website is a bad website, a cheap server host is a bad host. Getting a reliable and trusted hosting service within a reasonable cost range, is a tricky business.

Most of the hosting service providers pretend to give you all what you want! But that’s not true.

These so-called cheap hosting service providers tend to provide you with shared hosting where you need to share your site’s resources with other websites. This holds true for Magento ecommerce websites.

Remedy?

If you really want make the best use of hosting service provider, you should look out for reliable, trustworthy, and agile hosting provider. May be it will cost you a bit more, but  that’s not a big deal as this one decision will bear impact on all your future endeavors. One thing to check out whether hosting provider’s worth using or not, read out the terms and conditions section in full. Ask the host if it will provide you an agile 24x7x365 customer support? Go into the agreement once everything is clear enough.

Bring your Magento store to Cloudways

Magento-based ecommerce websites tend to catch up most of the online user traffic, as it is the premier content management system for developing shopping carts and online stores.

Get ready for the festive holiday season in advance.

Need a tweak? Need a complete revamp?

Come to Cloudways and make your Magento-based websites 100% faster.

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Cloudways is a European MSP that provides custom cloud design, deployment and management solutions on leading cloud providers.

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