Online Shopping Season Is Here. Is Your Website Ready?

Nov 19, 2020

Is Your Site Ready For A Huge Online Shopping Season?

As we head into December 2020, pandemic fears are still high in portions of the world. With people reluctant to leave their homes, retailers have shifted their focus toward online sales. According to Digital Commerce 360, “U.S. online sales for September increased 43% year over year, reaching $60.4 billion.” 

If September’s numbers are any indication, this holiday season may be the biggest ever for online shopping. Is your website ready for primetime?

Below are five things that you can do now to make sure your eCommerce store cashes in this holiday season.

1. Review Your Website on Mobile

This year, U.S. mobile retail revenue is expected to rise to “339.03 billion U.S. dollars¹,” up from 268.78 billion in 2019. That’s a 26% increase year over year. When you couple that with the fact that 82% of internet users in the United States have used their phones to shop online, that’s potentially a lot of lost sales if your website’s not performing well on mobile. 

Below you’ll find some easy ways to review your website on mobile.

Google Mobile-Friendly Test

It’s so easy to test how mobile-friendly your website is with this tool that it’s in the name. Simply visit the Google Mobile-Friendly test site, type in your website’s address, and press the “Test URL” button. Within a minute or so, you’ll receive your site’s results along with a mobile screenshot.  

Open Your Website On Your Phone

Checking your site on your own seems so simple, but it’s beneficial. Open a browser on your mobile device and visit your website. From there, do the following: 

  1. Click all of the links.
  2. See if the text is readable.
  3. Visit all of the pages.
  4. Scroll through each page
  5. Turn your phone sideways and repeat steps one through four.
  6. Bonus Step: Borrow a friend’s phone that’s different from your own and repeat the steps above.

¹ Mobile retail e-commerce sales in the United States from 2013 to 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars) – Statista

Checking your website on mobile is a great way to know if it's ready for online shopping.

“89% of global consumers check online reviews as part of their online buying journey, and 49% of global consumers consider positive reviews one of their top 3 purchase influences.” - Trustpilot

2. Check Your Website Speed

With ever-increasing internet speeds, same-day delivery, and videos on-demand, we’ve become accustomed to getting what we want fast. Therefore it should be no surprise that people don’t like waiting for a slow-loading website. 

Check out this statistic from Neil Patel, “if an e-commerce website is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.”

See how fast your website loads with this simple tool by Pingdom.

Need to speed up your site? Here are a few simple things you can do today to increase your website’s speed:

Reduce Image Sizes

  • We recommend keeping your web pages around 3 to 5 MB in total.

Choose a Better Website Hosting Platform

  • If your website is built on WordPress, we recommend using WPEngine.

Utilize Browser Caching

  • Using a caching tool speeds up your website by saving portions of it to a visitor’s browser. Caching eliminates the need for a visitor to download all of a web page’s files every time they visit it.

3. Add More High-Quality Images

People want to see what your product will look like when it arrives at their house. Show them by including high-quality pictures on your product pages. The best product pages have multiple views at various angles and in different contexts. 

Let’s say you sell computer speakers, show them in use on a beautiful wooden desk, and don’t forget to include pictures of the connections in the back along with shots of the speakers from above.

4. Setup Your Products for Google Search (Structured Data)

Want to make sure your products appear in Google Searches? You’ll need to speak their language using structured data (also referred to as schema). 

“Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content; for example, on a recipe page, what are the ingredients, the cooking time and temperature, the calories, and so on.” Understand how structured data works – Google

For an online shopping website, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with product markup. Using the correct markup language allows your products to show up in product-rich snippets. Check out the screenshot below to view what these snippets look like in a Google search.

Your product page must include the following information to appear in a rich snippet: 

  1. Name
  2. Image
  3. Price
  4. Currency
  5. Availability
Note: Only the Related Items feature of a Google search requires product availability. 

Here is a link to the full guidelines for a product listing: Structured Data Product Guidelines

Person online shopping on laptop for coffee makers


5. Show Reviews On Product Pages

In 2020, most people are not going to trust your product description at face value. You’ll have to give them social proof that your product meets their needs. The best way to do this is to include reviews on your website and product pages. Reviews build trust with potential customers, and most people check them before making a purchase. 

According to a report commissioned by Trustpilot, “89% of global consumers check online reviews as part of their online buying journey, and 49% of global consumers consider positive reviews one of their top 3 purchase influences.” 

If your products don’t have many reviews, you’ll have to ask customers to leave them. We’ve found the best way to ask for reviews is by emailing clients after they receive their purchase. You want to “strike while the iron is hot” and when your product is still top of mind with your customer. 

Is your website ready for primetime?

The holiday season is approaching fast, but there’s still time to prepare your website for what might be the largest online shopping season ever. We hope that you found this article helpful. 

Please subscribe to our email list for more information like this and drop us a line if you need help preparing your website for the 2020 holiday season.

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We are Fable Heart Media, a digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, FL, that focuses on driving measurable growth and obtaining results for our clients. Whether you own a small company or lead a marketing team, our team can help you achieve your business goals. We love creating stunning websites and writing awesome blogs, but for us, nothing tops the feeling of watching our clients grow online due to our marketing partnership.