- The US retail industry faces challenges in the 2023 holiday season, but online sales are expected to increase with AI’s influence on global spending.
- Website speed is crucial for customer satisfaction and conversions, with a 0.1-second increase in speed leading to an 8.4% boost in retail conversions.
- To prepare for the holiday season, conduct a performance audit, implement a powerful CDN, and optimize your website speed to handle increased traffic and demands.
As we head towards the holidays, the US retail industry can expect a bumpy ride to the 2023 finish line. According to Deloitte’s 2023 Retail Industry Outlook Report, challenges such as market volatility, labor pressures, and supply chain constraints are rampant, based on high inflation, instability in Asia, and the aftermath of the pandemic. However, online sales are expected to increase again this year, with Salesforce predicting artificial intelligence (AI) will influence $194 billion in global online spending.
Keep Up with the Joneses
With this increase in buying, companies can expect a corresponding rise in website challenges. To keep up with competitors, it’s crucial to ensure your website can provide a satisfying customer experience, and to do that, adequate website speed and performance is essential. Research shows 82% of consumers say a website’s loading speed impacts their purchasing decisions. Forty percent of shoppers won’t wait more than three seconds for a site to load, and a survey by Deloitte shows that a 0.1-second increase in site speed increases retail conversions by 8.4%.
Bring Your Site Up to Scratch
So how can you bring your organization’s website up to scratch in time to handle the increased traffic and demands of the 2023 holiday spending season? Here are a few things you can do.
- Conduct a Performance Audit
Start with a comprehensive website performance audit to identify areas that need improvement. Use tools to measure loading times, identify bottlenecks, and assess the overall user experience.
- Implement a Powerful CDN
Purchase and deploy a powerful content delivery network (CDN) that stores cached versions of your website’s static content, such as product images, scripts, and stylesheets. When a user visits your site, the CDN automatically serves these files from the server closest to their location, reducing latency and loading times.
- Optimize Website Speed
- Boost Mobile Responsiveness
Ensure your website is fully optimized for mobile devices. With an increasing number of users shopping on their phones, a responsive design is crucial for retaining customers and driving conversions.
- Update Product Pages
Review and update product pages to provide detailed descriptions, high-quality images, and customer reviews. Optimize product titles and descriptions for relevant holiday keywords to boost visibility in search results.
- Enhance Online Security
Strengthen website security by obtaining an SSL certificate to encrypt customer data during transactions. Communicate your website’s security measures to build trust with shoppers.
- Create Holiday-Themed Landing Pages
Design holiday-themed landing pages to showcase your promotions and featured products. Use festive graphics and compelling copy to create a seasonal atmosphere.
- Provide Promotional Offers
Prepare attractive holiday promotions and special offers to entice shoppers. Create a sense of urgency with limited-time deals and free shipping during the holiday season.
- Design Email Marketing Campaigns
Build an email list and design targeted email marketing campaigns. Segment your audience based on preferences and shopping behavior to send personalized offers and promotions.
- Build Social Media Engagement
Ramp up your social media presence and engage with your audience through holiday-themed content, giveaways, and contests. Leverage influencers to reach a broader audience.
- Streamline Checkout Process
Simplify the checkout process to reduce cart abandonment. Implement a one-page checkout, guest checkout option, and offer multiple secure payment methods for a seamless experience.
- Improve Customer Support
Ensure your customer support team is ready to handle increased inquiries and concerns during the holiday season. Implement live chat support to offer real-time assistance to shoppers.
- Prepare for Inventory and Fulfillment
Make sure your inventory is well-stocked, and your fulfillment processes are optimized to handle the surge in orders.
- Monitor Website Performance
Continuously monitor your website’s performance throughout the holiday season. Be prepared to address any issues promptly to ensure a smooth shopping experience for customers.
By following these steps and implementing the necessary optimizations, your organization’s website will be ready to handle the increased traffic and capitalize on the opportunities of the 2023 holiday spending season. Get your CTO’s buy-in for your ideas with a calculated approach.
Empowering Conversations with Your CTO
Your CTO is responsible for the technical aspects of your company’s infrastructure, and their concerns might differ from yours. They may prioritize factors such as reliability, scalability, and security when evaluating CDN solutions.
Take the time to understand their concerns and be prepared to address any questions they may have. Focus on the tangible business benefits of optimizing your website and explain how a CDN can improve website speed, leading to higher conversion rates and customer satisfaction.
Present a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of deploying a CDN that shows potential revenue gains from improved conversions, reduced bounce rates, and increased customer retention. Compare this with the investment required for implementing the CDN, showcasing its long-term value and return on investment.
Download our Whitepaper:
Get a Cachefly CDN Free Trial
Experiment with improvements well before the holidays with this attractive offer to test our CacheFly CDN risk-free. A 2-week trial with the first 30 days free allows your technical team to evaluate the CDN’s performance and see its impact firsthand. This trial period enables your CTO to make an informed decision without any upfront commitments.
CacheFly’s reputation as the fastest CDN solution for two decades is backed by solid evidence and the satisfaction of real customers. Discover how we can help you reach your 2023 holiday revenue goals today.