Although you may be soaking up the waning days of summer, Thanksgiving and the eCommerce holiday rush are just around the corner.
This year, holiday shopping formally kicks off with Black Friday on November 24, although some analysts believe it could start even earlier. While that might still leave you with enough time to find that great online deal, it provides far less room to get your eCommerce site ready for a spike in traffic and sales.
Why might your eCommerce store need to be improved? For starters, online sales continue to surge, and if you’re not convinced, see this year’s Amazon Prime Day for a…prime example. The eCommerce giant’s U.S. online sales rose 6.1% to $12.7 billion in what could be an early indicator of a holiday season that’s about to burst.
Making sure your eCommerce site not only provides a great user experience day-to-day but that it’s poised for scale when those post-Thanksgiving shoppers arrive is your ticket to higher revenues this fall.
If you’re ready to crush your sales goals and not your storefront this Black Friday (and beyond), keep reading. The following sections offer a closer look at areas where you can make meaningful improvements as well as ways you can get started today! Here’s what we’ll cover:
Preparing for More Shoppers on Your WooCommerce Site
eCommerce websites are dynamic websites, and rightfully so. Shoppers expect to see only products currently available to buy, up-to-date prices, details on the latest sales, real-time cart data, and other dynamic information specific to eCommerce shopping experiences.
These aspects of eCommerce sites mean that as shopping pages load they must use resources from the web server to render the page, much more so than static content sites which can leverage caching more extensively.
The dynamic nature of eCommerce sites and the additional compute resources they require mean mass traffic events like a flash sale (or Black Friday) could create a rush of traffic, and thus, a rush on the compute resources available to your store.
When the compute demand for your WooCommerce site exceeds your resources, your store will likely go down completely or become so slow that no one will be able to reasonably use it to shop.
There are several strategies you can employ to help make sure your store is prepared, including upgrading to a premium managed WordPress platform, offloading dynamic requests to other compute resources, optimizing your theme, compressing your product images, minifying your CSS/JS, and many other techniques for reducing the resources your WooCommerce store needs to load.
To take advantage of many of these approaches, and to ensure your store is ready for the holiday rush, check out WP Engine’s WordPress hosting plans. Our WooCommerce hosting is optimized to increase speed and drive conversions, and site migration is not only free, it’s backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee!
Fine-tune Your eCommerce Funnel
With more traffic online than ever before, online consumers are also becoming savvier, and you may have to work extra hard to stand out and earn a share of their wallets. They know what they want, and it’s important for you to understand the type of eCommerce experience you’re offering to see if you’re falling short.
Do your pages load quickly? Can shoppers easily find what they’re looking for? Are they able to conveniently check out? Determining the answers to these questions is crucial for building an eCommerce experience that’s optimized for engagement, conversions, and revenue.
For some site owners, the answer may be clear—you already know where your site struggles or where it excels. Others may regularly A/B test shopping pages or test for site speed performance metrics, including Google Core Web Vitals, as a way to identify opportunities for improving user experience and overall conversion rates.
One key shopping experience that WooCommerce stores often overlook is the product search experience. 43% of shoppers use product search elements on eCommerce stores and those shoppers are more than TWICE as likely to buy. The problem though is that the default search experience in WordPress leaves a lot to be desired.
This is why it’s beneficial to leverage tools like WP Engine’s Instant Store Search, which is powered by ElasticPress to enhance the search experience for your shoppers. Instant Store Search and similar solutions allow you to offer capabilities like predictive search queries, misspellings & fuzzy matching, and custom search results.
Check out this video showing the difference between a default and enhanced search experience with a WooCommerce store:
Are You Ready for Black Friday and the Holiday Rush?
WP Engine has answered the call for new and existing eCommerce stores by embedding best-in-breed solutions and functionality into all of our WooCommerce hosting plans.
In addition to high-power performance, incredible search capabilities, and pre-built templates that get you to market faster, our eCommerce hosting plans also allow you to:
- Make WooCommerce even better, up to 40% faster, and up to 18% better at driving online sales.
- Effortlessly improve your store’s search experience—43% of shoppers use search and they’re more than twice as likely to buy when they find what they’re looking for.
- Easily migrate your store to WP Engine with our automated migration plugin and 24×7 support.
- Add a CDN and use Cloudflare to help with speed and scale.
- Lean into the dynamic nature of WooCommerce with optimized cart fragments and the option to export old order tables to keep your store lean and mean.
- Improve user experience AND make your store faster with ElasticPress and industry-leading WordPress hosting trusted by more than 1.2 million websites.
Achieve Higher Conversions This Fall!
It may seem like summer is dragging on, but the holiday rush will be here before you know it. Make sure this is the year you’re fully prepared!