Preparing Magento for the Holidays

The holiday season is a crucial time for every e-commerce site.  Almost everyone will do a sizable chunk of their annual business in November, December, and January.  Heading into a season like that, site preparedness is of the utmost importance, and touches on several different aspects of your site’s front-end and back-end to ensure a profitable year.  In this post, we’ll review several of the elements you should consider to ensure your Magento Store is prepared.

Optimize the Basic Shopping Experience

Now is the time to go through the flow you expect the average customer to take in going from visitor to buyer and ironing out any hiccups in that process.  Everything, including how buyers find your site, search individual products, pick the style they want, and finally checkout, should be tested again and again until you feel you have a process that feels smooth.  If there are any parts that are slow or occasionally buggy, what can you do to eliminate or minimize those disruptions?


Recognize that like you, your competitors are going to be working hard to get every customer they can, and that makes SEO very important.  How easily are customers finding your site?  What types of customers are you drawn to your site, and how?  How can you distinguish yourself from competitors?  Take the time to review your keywords and phrases, refresh content, review your images, and check your performance through google analytics.

Mobile Responsiveness

Similar to getting dialed in on your overall shopping experience, you should take the time to review how your site performs on a variety of mobile devices.  How easy is it to view and select products, then checkout?  Any step of this process can cost you a sale if it doesn’t work smoothly on a phone, like entering card information or reading product reviews.

Extensions and modules

Your site includes a collection of third-party services to provide the full suite of functions you require for a rich shopping experience.  Are all of those extensions up to date?  If not, then they may break the purchase workflow, and even lead to security vulnerabilities.  If it is the latest version, are you taking advantage of the latest aspects of those services?  For example, as gift card and loyalty program extensions become more sophisticated, you’ll want to leverage those aspects. 

International customers

Being online means you can reach customers from all over the world.  Is your site set up to do that properly?  How does it handle shipping and taxes to different countries?  Are those costs reflected properly in the purchase process?  If you offer customer service or chat functions, are they prepared to handle international visitors?  Mobile responsiveness is also crucial for providing a stable site experience for these customers.

Payment Providers

There are a slew of different ways for your customers to pay for their orders.  PayPal, Amazon, Stripe, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and credit cards are just the most common varieties.  Which of these payment methods do you accept?  Are any of them easier to use than the others?  You don’t need to be able to accept all of them, but you should have a sense of which ones are most common on your site to avoid missing out on sales.  If you want to expand the range offered on your site, make sure you prioritize the ones that are possible to set up and test thoroughly before the holidays.  It’s good to offer several options, but if it keeps breaking, it’s more likely to hurt your business, not help.

Holiday Prep is Worth the Investment

Taking the time to review your Magento site in all of these different ways and then take action on the results can still yield a positive return for your business if you start now.  Mobile responsiveness, SEO, and basic site performance, are just some of the ways your site should be prepared to handle an influx of business.  The upfront cost will be well worth it if its backed by a solid understanding of your business and capable developers.

At Watermelon Web Works, we are well-practiced in helping our clients get prepared to have strong holiday performances.  If you are interested in hearing more about how we can help you refine and strengthen your site, we’d love to speak with you.

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