How to Prepare Your WooCommerce Store for the Holidays

You might have already done this. Or maybe you are just starting to dive in. Holidays are fast approaching and it’s time, right now, to get your site prepped for all those online shoppers.

I recently came across an infographic from my friends at Liquid Web. It has some great tips for getting holiday prepared, and I was inspired to elaborate a bit on each of them in this post. Also, check out the end of the post for the cool infographic.

5 Areas to Focus on for Your WooCommerce Holiday Shop Prep

Okay, call up your site and let’s get started.

Optimize Your Images

An online store needs great product images. You may have dozens or even thousands of them. Between WordPress and WooCommerce, there are several files for each image. Uploading high res images and forgetting to optimize them can be a killer when it comes to your site speed. Even those so-called optimized images you may have worked on before uploading, well, they likely can be optimized even more.

Check out Jetpack’s options, especially if you already are using the plugin. But three others are TinyPNG and Imagify.

Doesn’t matter which one you use, just use something because you don’t need anything else fighting your site speed and load times.

Use a CDN (content delivery network)

With as many images we use, even though we don’t have a store, I learned this early on. If you don’t know what a CDN is, in a nutshell, it’s geographically distributed servers that work together to help you provide faster delivery of content. They are also a good security measure for your site and help to reduce the strain on your host’s server.

Jetpack does this for your images but if you prefer another option, Cloudflare has both free and business plans that you might want to check into.

Clean It Up and Test

The fact that I have already recommended some plugins doesn’t mean you need everything on your site. I am an avid believer that quality outweighs quantity, so when it comes to WooCommerce plugins and extensions, make sure you aren’t using a bunch that are not needed.

Just as importantly, you should scrutinize your theme features, the code and your design. As the infographic below puts it, kill everything you don’t need. You can use plugins like WP Disable to help you with performance testing. I also recommend using a managed host that will allow you to move your site over to staging for some of the deep-diving tests you need to run.

Bump Up Your Email Game

One of the most critical pieces is your abandoned cart follow-ups. Another piece is your on-boarding sequence. Both are critical in increasing sales and conversions on your WooCommerce store during the holidays (and year-round as a matter of fact). Jilt is a leader in this space. In fact, you can learn more about Jilt here on our post or listen to Beka Rice on our podcast where she talks about the Science of Abandoned Carts.

Another task to not overlook is a simple follow-up after someone has made a purchase. Here you can learn about a great WooCommerce plugin that will let you send out a heart-felt thanks or even a bonus gift.

Speeding Up Your Customer’s Search

There is nothing more frustrating than a slow search or lousy results. Customers will want to find your products, and it’s your job to make that as painless as possible. Although WooCommerce built-in search is okay, you might want to use Algolia or ElasticSearch to make it even easier for them to find the right product. You can also add attribute filters with FacetWP to get even more refined results.

Oh, and Your Hosting Matters

This isn’t included on the infographic, but needless to say, something worth mentioning. The right hosting can make a huge difference with your WooCommerce online store. And working with someone who knows and understands not only WooCommerce, but the challenges of online retail, is crucial. You may be happy where you are and that is good. But if you are looking to switch over before the holidays hit, don’t hesitate. Or if you are thinking of still getting that first-time, small shop online, better get a move on.

The reason I recommend Liquid Web WooCommerce managed hosting is that they have all the necessary pieces in place that we have touched on. They have experts in eCommerce who understand your needs and will work with you. Whether you have 5 products or 50,000, they have a plan for you. You should certainly check them out and they will take that extra step in helping you get online.

If you want to learn more about speeding up your WooCommerce online store, listen to our podcast here with Chris Lema.

There is a laundry list of things to do to get your online store ready for that holiday onslaught. In fact, there are things in motion that will require your time up to the last minute. With all that you have done and need to do, we wish you the best with your holiday season and your WooCommerce online store.

Preparing your WooCommerce Store for the Holidays

You may also want to check out our post with even more tips: Final Holiday Preps for Your WooCommerce Store

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