Posted by Iman Sadreddin, Senior Director, Commerce Development, NetSuite
For online retailers, appealing to a global audience brings its share of rewards and challenges. One area that’s sometimes overlooked or rushed into is the need to tailor ecommerce websites to capitalize on the varied busy seasons throughout the year. If you haven’t placed a high enough priority on getting your ecommerce website ready for busy seasons, it’s easy to fall prey to one or more common mistakes, which will likely negatively impact the boost in ecommerce sales you were hoping for. Being aware of potential pitfalls and how to resolve them is pretty straightforward. Below are a few of my own observations and recommended solutions to help you avoid getting tripped up during your busiest times.
Images – When you’re hurrying to highlight a seasonal theme, you probably spend your time choosing and perfecting images and logos to give your ecommerce site just the right look and feel. However, in the rush to add large, bold images, online retailers often forget to fully optimize or properly compress those images. The result is slow load times which may push shoppers to competitors’ sites instead. Fortunately, there are number of open-source tools you can use to optimize images such as Caesium and ImageMagick.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – You’re busy adding seasonal and descriptive metatags and keywords and creating additional links to third-party websites, all with the aim of using SEO to help drive more traffic to your ecommerce site. But as you scramble to do all this important SEO work, make sure you’re not working in isolation from what your websites already have in place. If you don’t pay attention, you run the risk of potential SEO content duplication and the incorrect set up of URLs, which again, may lose you customers if they aren’t being directed to your websites. Do make sure as part of your preparations for busy seasons that you set aside time to carry out a proper review of your overall SEO picture.
Content Reuse – The same holidays come around every year so it’s tempting to reuse old content. What seemed appropriate last time around might not prove to be as effective this time. Try to avoid content reuse as much as possible. Instead, always consider the previous years seasonal content as a starting base for improvement and updating or, if you do have the time and opportunity, start fresh.
Seasonality –Seeing seasonal items in stores long after a holiday has ended can be confusing for consumers; the same is true online. As you craft your online experience, commit to both a starting date and an endpoint for when you will go live with the content and when you will remove it.
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