Online merchants must manage holiday traffic effectively

Many retailers’ e-commerce portals are unlikely to have been able to handle the festive season surge in orders, although there are some quick adjustments merchants could make to keep shoppers happy, PaymentsSource advises. 

First, retailers should verify with their website hosting provider that they have sufficient bandwidth to cope with online traffic that could be triple the usual volume.

Research shows that nearly two thirds of online shoppers will wait no more than five seconds for a web page to load, so merchants should switch to lower-resolution images and graphics to boost load times.

Online shopping via mobile devices visits will likely exceed laptop- or desktop-based searches for the first time this festive period, so websites should be optimized for mobile browsing.

For retailers that also have bricks-and-mortar stores, adding a “where to buy” locator to the online shop can bolster in-person purchases. In 2016, one third of shoppers said the ability to buy online and collect in-store was a decisive factor in completing their purchase.