How to Prep Your Ecommerce Site for Holiday Traffic

Holiday shopping can strain your ecommerce site without the right prep. This guide provides 8 smart strategies to convert customers and boost seasonal sales.

The holiday shopping rush represents a can't-miss opportunity for online businesses. But despite the onslaught of potential buyers, it's all too easy for gift browsers to bounce from your site if it doesn't deliver the expected ecommerce experience

Explore some ways to engage the holiday shopping elves this season by preparing your online presence based on buyer preferences.


8 Ways to Prepare Your Ecommerce Site for Holiday Shoppers 

These 8 strategies set the stage for a successful holiday season, even if it's your first year as an ecommerce operation.

1. Set Objectives Before You Start

Carefully consider what exactly you want to achieve at your ecommerce store this holiday season. For example, you may want to expand awareness of your brand, increase your website traffic, or see higher sales revenue compared to last year. The subsequent steps in this list should account for your specific goals so you'll see measurable results when the dust settles in January. 

2. Test New Tech Early

If you plan to make major overhauls to your online presence before the holiday season, start as early as possible. You'll want to take the time to test any changes thoroughly before you go live with upgraded features designed to improve the user experience. When time is too short, stick to small changes that make a big impact, such as emphasizing strong security measures.

3. Launch Special Landing Pages 

Roll out your holiday marketing campaign in style with a landing page that guides customers straight to your desired CTA. The page should aim for clear conversion while reflecting your brand's characteristic messaging, tone and appearance (with a festive twist, of course). 

Emphasize the value proposition for the customer, whether that means substantial savings or bonus gifts with each buy

Take a templated approach if you're short on time - the important thing is to reduce potential friction so you can engage your customers for a quick purchase decision. You don't need to know how to code to give your ecommerce site an impressive new look that wows your target audience. 

You'll also want to take your new look to your site's social media pages. Sprout Social reports that 98% of customers plan to shop from their social feeds during the holiday season.

4. Update Product Photos

If you don't have photos for all your products, adding them is an easy upgrade that can transform your ability to convert customers. Aim for professional images that show off your merchandise from its most attractive angles, with attention to features that set your offerings apart from the competition.

5. Look at Historic Holiday Data

When planning your seasonal marketing strategy, take a close look at your company's performance from around the same time last year. Metrics to review include website traffic spikes, the number of new customers, buyer behavior, most popular pages and products, the total sales and other data that supports your objectives for this year's campaign. 

If you don't have these numbers at hand this year, you can upgrade to to make sure next year you have the robust reporting our intuitive Pay Dashboard can provide.

6. Speed Up Your Site

Data from Kissmetrics indicates that your site has to load in a single second or you risk losing your audience. The study estimates that 79% of browsers will bounce without return if they have an unsatisfactory online shopping experience - and nearly half will tell their friends not to buy from your brand.

Boosting your page load speed can encourage conversion, increase traffic to your site and help your business rise in search engine rankings. Above all, faster websites deliver a better user experience, a cornerstone of ecommerce success. Easy steps to take include enabling compression, clearing the site cache, removing troublesome plug-ins and optimizing your images. 

If you use Google, check out PageSpeed insights for information about how to improve in this area. While you're at it, don't forget to optimize your mobile experience. Many customers will be shopping from their devices this holiday season, and you want to make the process as easy as possible.

7. Connect After Cart Abandonment

It's an all-too-familiar scenario for online retailers. A customer fills their cart, then leaves your site before completing the sale. The Baymard Institute estimates that this phenomenon occurs in a staggering 70% of ecommerce site visits. Fortunately, you can turn cart abandonment into conversion with a strong strategy.

Industry publication InStore reports that an email reminder can convert about 10% of browsers who've abandoned their shopping carts. You may want to send multiple messages in various channels, especially during the holiday season when people get easily distracted. Adding value in the form of a coupon code can result in an even better conversion rate with this technique.

You can also reduce the rate of cart abandonment by removing potential distractions from the checkout process. As mentioned in the landing page section, each page should guide browsers directly to the intended action (purchase, subscription signup, return to abandoned cart). Anything that confuses potential customers can result in a bounce. Don't forget to add a guest checkout option in case they don't want to take the time to sign up for an account just yet.

8. Incorporate Real Reviews

Testimonials from satisfied customers can convert buyers who aren't as familiar with your brand. People generally feel more comfortable making that first purchase after reading reviews from real people, especially when they identify with the reviewer and their needs. 

You might even want to add a few testimonials to your seasonal landing page where they'll make the biggest possible impact.

The Benefits of Using as Your Payment Service Provider 

You need a foolproof way to accept payments before the holiday rush arrives. provides a full-service infrastructure you can set up in just a few minutes. 

You'll be able to accept multiple ways for your clients to pay, catering to their preferences and in turn reducing your bounce rate. You can even customize your checkout page so it fits perfectly with your site's seasonal vibes.

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The Bottom Line: A Happy Holiday Season for You and Your Customers

You can optimize your opportunity to profit from the holiday ecommerce rush without depleting your entire marketing budget. These 8 tips provide a smart starting point to make the most of the season and meet your established sales objectives. reduces the risk of losing customers to a challenging checkout process. You can personalize your checkout process m so it matches your branding, improving customer recognition and awareness while building trust. 

We'll also protect you and your customers from identity theft and fraud with our commitment to high-level industry standard security measures.

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What's the best way for an ecommerce business to accept multiple payment methods? makes it easy to accept multiple payment methods at your ecommerce shop. During our easy onboarding process, simply select credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets, and other options you plan to offer. Every transaction benefits from our Level 1 compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

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How do I get my website ready for the holidays?

To prepare your ecommerce website for the holiday season, remove all barriers that could prevent your customers from making a purchase. The entire process, from browsing your catalog to receiving their products, should be as smooth and seamless as possible. Review every page for possible friction, like slow loading or missing logos.

How do you prepare inventory for the holiday season?

Look at your sales data from the previous year to see which items sold well so you can order the proper quantities. Start early and reach out to your suppliers so you'll be aware of any possible snags. Consider clearing out old items with a big sale before the seasonal rush. Make sure your ecommerce site has optimized descriptions and attractive, professional photos.

How can I make sales during the holidays?

Engage your customers during the holidays with a value proposition that stands out from the crowd. Once they see how they can save with your seasonal offer, you'll need to deliver an exceptional ecommerce experience that effortlessly guides your customers through the purchase process.

What's the best ecommerce holiday marketing strategy?

An omnichannel marketing strategy allows you to appear across outlets this holiday season. Not only do you meet your audience where they spend time online, you'll also give them the opportunity to buy from your brand on every channel. Delivering a consistent experience with streamlined payment offers the ease and convenience that customers expect.

Meet the author
Andrea Miller
Andrea Miller has been a writer and editor for more than two decades. Specializing in business and finance, she has written for some of the major websites in the financial sector. Outside of work, she spends most of her time with her family and enjoys hiking, yoga, and reading.
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