With the Christmas season being one of the most (if not the most) manic times of year for online shopping, it makes sense to get your eCommerce website ready for this expected influx of browsers and shoppers. Here we have compiled five key tips to help your website survive and thrive.

1. Consider Upgrading your Server
With excess traffic comes an excess of stress on your website server. Pre-empt this by changing from a shared server to a dedicated server. In this way, your website should have enough space and breathing room to handle this increased traffic and activity without buckling under the pressure.

2. Invest in Extra Stock
If a potential customer is looking to buy multiple items from your online store only to find out that one or two items are not in stock, there is a very real chance that they will leave your website and shop with a competitor instead. Prevent this by ensuring that you have enough stock to cater to your expected demand.

3. Highlight your Policies
It comes with the territory that when selling goods, you can expect to have to deal with returns and refunds etc. To keep your stance on these elements abundantly clear, it makes sense to increasingly highlight them on your website during the Christmas season. The addition of a simple circle image on your online shop pages with the words “Extended returns until January 2017 – click here for more info” can help keep your customers in the loop to avoid disappointment.

4. Customer Service
In tandem with the above point, increasing your customer service visibility during this time is also a great idea. This can save a potential lost customer if for example they can chat to an agent about what size an item is or as to when their delivery can be expected. As such, for the months of November to January you could add a live chat feature to your website to facilitate this.

5. New Year Sale
If you find that you have invested in too much stock or have some left over after Christmas, kick-start a New Year sale to attract sales shoppers. A sale such as this is also a way to gain some revenue and keep things tiding over nicely. Therefore you should not experience such a drastic drop from the high of Christmas shopping to the low of January.