Preparing Your Online Store For The Holidays: Site Testing
In order to draw in holiday shoppers and boost sales, merchants often run flashy contests and promotions. Most merchants see successful results from promotions, but the degree of the success can be exponentially increased with some forethought and pre-promotion testing. If a store is unprepared or inefficiently designed, merchants can lose significant revenue both in the short and long term. That’s why in addition to being a necessary piece of your overall online strategy, testing your online store becomes especially crucial during the holiday season.
Here are three simple ways to to make sure your online store is optimized for the holiday boom!
TESTING TIP: Conduct A/B (Split) Testing for Holiday Promotions
Think outside the box. Your testing can include as many variations as possible without severely diluting your test audience.
For example: Before Medalia Art, an online store that sells Caribbean and Latin American art, ran their holiday promotion, they performed A/B testing on the best location for the promotion announcement.
The banner for the promotion appeared on the sidebar and at the top of the page for each half of the test. Yet, the test wasn’t meant to measure how many customers clicked on the promotion. Instead, it was meant to measure which version of the homepage produced a lower bounce rate and the results fell heavily in favor of the homepage with the banner at the top (60 percent bounce rate) versus the sidebar version (76 percent bounce rate).
TESTING TIP: Use A/B (Split) Testing For Holiday Redesigns
Just like brick and mortar retailers, it’s a great idea for you to add a little holiday flair to your online store to put customers in the holiday ( and spending) spirit. But don’t take our word for it! Make sure that the additional bells and holly have your customers feeling cheerful and not distracted by tracking conversions and bounce rate with A/B testing. Sending a fraction of visitors to your standard site and the others to your seasonal design will make it easy to determine the best aesthetic for the season.
TESTING TIP: Hire a third-party provider for load testing.
If you’re having problems with slow loading times or even if you just want to ensure your site will handle a larger-than-usual amount of holiday traffic, ﬁnd a third-party service that offers load testing. Load testing services stretch your site to the limit to ensure you’ll handle huge spikes in traffic when holiday shoppers pour in. Load-testing tends to pay for itself by spotting site-performance troubles and issues, before they cause customers to their abandon carts. If you want to conduct test loading times yourself, make sure to download our free eBook choc full of holiday optimization tips.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jimmy Rodriguez is CTO and co-founder of 3DCart, developer of an e-commerce suite for businesses of all sizes. As an authority on e-commerce best practices, Jimmy combines more than 8 years as an e-commerce developer and web programmer with SEO, social marketing and business intelligence
The above is an excerpt from 3dcart's FREE eBook "12 Days of Online Shopping". Download your copy today to automatically receive a $75 Google Adwords certificate & $100 Amazon Ad certificate and be entered to win one of 20 $100 Google Adwords certificate!