Over the next 8 weeks Dan Garner, Director of On Tap, takes us through the essential eCommerce steps to get your website optimised for the Christmas period From creating a clear navigation page to preparing for the Boxing Day sales, Dan offers business tips and advice to help your website get the most from the busiest shopping period of the year.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over for 2014 but they are a vital part of your eCommerce Christams strategy. They have seen phenomenal increase year on year, as an online retailer you need to capitalise on this opportunity. Last year, Black Friday was the fastest growing retail day in the run up to Christmas, but is your business ready?

The first thing you need to remember, when preparing your site, is that there will be a different type of shopper visiting your site during these periods. They will be offer led and looking for the cheapest price possible. Ensure that these offers are well merchandised and easy to find. Special offers drive a vast amount of traffic to a website, however your company won’t see the rewards unless it is optimised to handle this. All of your efforts of making a creative and engaging site will fall short if your site doesn’t have the support to cope with days of intense, increased traffic.

Therefore ensure that your hosting provider is made aware of any promotional plans that could suddenly spike traffic to your site and be sure to have that conversation in advance to make sure that your page is robust and secure for a busy period in online retailing. Also have your tech team on hand should any issues arise, allowing you to then make the most of the festive season. But this should all be done in advance; leaving it till the last minute is too late and could mean customers are left disappointed.