Optimizing Your Magento Commerce Site for the 2019 Holiday Season
September 5, 2019
Just as you would prepare a traditional brick-and-mortar store for the all-important holiday sales season, preparing your eCommerce site for the crush of online visitors is also important. Read on for tips that Merchants who use Magento Commerce should consider employing to ensure a robust digital holiday season.
Preparing Your Digital Storefront
Keep Your Digital Storefront Secure
The holidays are a critical time for your business and bad actors know this. Ensure that your digital storefront has the latest security by running your site on the latest version or patch of Magento Commerce. This includes the technical stack and your extensions, such as PHP, Fastly, and ECE Tools. Find out more here on how to upgrade Magento Commerce and at our Release Information page for notes on the latest version of Magento Commerce.
Another way you can make sure you’re adopting the best-possible security posture ahead of the holidays is to utilize Magento’s Security Scan tool. And we recommend taking a moment to read our article on Security Best Practices to make sure your team is employing our full set of recommendations.
Improve Sales with Your Store Configuration
Make sure that you’re taking advantage of recommended best practices in store management. These include Advanced Pricing, Staged Content, and Price Rules. Find out more in our article on Best Practices for Store Configuration.
Don’t Let Changes Go Unnoticed
As your digital store rapidly prepares for holiday sales, your Search Engine Optimization can get left behind. Make sure your team is taking advantage of recommendations for Magento Commerce site SEO, which can be found in our article on SEO Best Practices. For additional tips and tricks read our post on “eCommerce SEO: How to Optimize Product Pages.”
Optimize for a Fast eCommerce Site
Speed is a critical aspect of a well-run digital storefront. All those lovely images that help customers online to make a purchase decision can sometimes slow down your site. Make sure they are a net-benefit to the sales process by utilizing image resizing so that your site loads as fast as possible in our article on Resizing Product Images. You can also speed up Magento Commerce sites by up taking advantage of Full-Page Caching.
Take Advantage of Online Video
Product videos are a great addition to the sales process online. Find out how to utilize these for your Magento Commerce Site via our article on Adding Product Video.
Share the Rainbow
If your products come in a multitude of colors, customers are more likely to buy if they can imagine the product in their preferred tone or pattern. You can find helpful tips and methods for including differentiated imagery in our article on Swatches.
Keep in touch with Magento
We always recommend that you confirm your contact information listed under Account Settings within your Magento Account login is current and that you’ve shared your organization’s key technical contacts with your Magento Customer Success Manager. These steps help us to alert the right people in your organization to known security or technical issues.
Preparing Your Cloud Infrastructure
Update to the Latest ece-tools Package
Ensure that your cloud environment is updated to the latest version of ece-tools to take advantage of the enhancements delivered in our deployment tooling. Recent releases have made improvements like improving the local development experience, speeding up the deployment of static content by up to 4x, and adding self-service capabilities that enable our merchants to be more productive. See the ece-tools release notes for all of the recent improvements.
Prepare for Heavy Traffic
Heavy traffic or spikes in orders can prevent your site from smooth and responsive operation during the most critical periods. If you use Magento Commerce on our cloud infrastructure and anticipate periods of heavy traffic in the upcoming months, we’re here to help with robust support. We recommend that your team review the full set of information on how to let us know if you anticipate heavy traffic via our article on Holiday Readiness for Cloud Capacity.
Don’t Let Deployment Get You Down
It’s important that visitors can shop uninterrupted during the holiday season, but you may also need to push changes to your production environment. Did you know that it is possible to configure your project so that the customer experiences zero downtime during these deployments? One of the best ways you can practice good cloud infrastructure management is to utilize Zero Downtime Deployments. Check out the steps laid out in these articles to ensure that your customers engage with a live site, regardless of your deployment routine. (Zero Downtime Deployment for Magento Commerce 2.2.x; Zero Downtime Deployment for Magento Commerce 2.3.x)
Back Up Your eCommerce Site
Employ proper back-up management to prevent a time-consuming environment roll-back. A Snapshot allows you to back up and then restore specific environments at any time, which can be a cost and time saving back up should something go wrong. Because Magento environments deploy as read-only files, a Snapshot restoration can bring your environment back quickly. Read the following articles on how to create and, if needed, use Snapshots. (Snapshots and backup management for Magento Commerce 2.2.x; Snapshots and backup management for Magento Commerce 2.3.x)
Monitor Your Performance
As you speed up Magento Commerce, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on performance. We recommend that Magento Commerce customers who utilize our cloud infrastructure management system take advantage of services like New Relic and Blackfire to monitor site performance.
As we approach the holiday season, planning ahead, aligning your teams, and laying the groundwork will pave the way to a successful year-end. Visit our DevDocs and our User Guides to find more information. Interested in more ideas to get the most out of the holidays? Check out our blog on strategies and tactics for the holiday season.
Optimize For Sales
While you’re at it, download the full Journey of a Gift guide for more information about how Magento and ecosystem partners Nosto, Algolia, dotdigital, CyberSource | A Visa Solution, PayPal, DHL, Zendesk, and Happy Returns can help you finetune each stage of the customer journey so you can capitalize on the holiday season.