xmas3Every year during the first week of August, the Monetate Strategy & Insights (S&I) team meets in a well-lit room at the back of the office. They dust the cobwebs off their favorite festive holiday mugs, pour a generous serving of hot apple cider, nibble at gingerbread cookies, and discuss a topic that will soon be on everybody’s mind.

The title of the meeting:

Ecommerce optimization for holiday (Q4) conversions.

It’s the planning meeting for the document that will eventually become their annual Holiday Prep Guide for Retailers.

It’s full of handy advice for ecommerce retailers, including holiday testing and personalization best practices, clever suggestions to maximize sales for omnichannel businesses, segmentation strategies, conversion-rate-boosting merchandising tactics, and more.

Please, let us save you from the terrible outcomes that will visit you should you become a holiday procrastinator.

One of the big questions we tackle in the 2016 version of the guide is something we get asked about a lot:

Should I test my website during the holiday season?

Our answer: an emphatic yes. Just be smart about it.

Erin McElwee, a conversion consultant at Blue Acorn, told us that:

“Our clients are worried about code freezes and testing over the holidays, but we typically recommend that they continue testing, since the holidays generate more site traffic than any other time of year. If you’re looking for advice specific to holiday testing, I recommend reading the new Monetate 2016 Holiday Prep Guide. It’s filled with the latest tips and information to drive conversions and ensure that your holiday season goes smoothly.”

The 2016 Holiday Prep Guide covers:

  • Key dates you need to be ready for the holiday rush
  • Improve the holiday gift buying experience
  • How often do first-time holiday shoppers become long-term customers?
  • Avoid common mistakes made by ecommerce retailers