Various sale events occur during the year. As a Magento owner, you should be always ready to prepare your ecommerce website for major holidays, but how to achieve this goal in the most efficient manner? Below, you will find an answer to this question. The following post describes how to prepare a Magento website to a sale event with the help of extensions and themes.
So, why is it necessary to change something in a Magento store for some specific events? There are several reasons. First of all, existing customers are always waiting for various sale events. January white sales, Memorial Day sales, Halloween sales, Valentines Day sales, Father’s Day sales, Presidents Day sales, Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday sales, and many many others occur during the year, and if you are not ready for them, then your competitors will get all the cream.
Besides, a well-planned sale event is a great step towards getting new buyers. If you offer better conditions than other ecommerce website in your market niche, get ready to meet new visitors.
It is also necessary to mention that below we will describe a lot of vital changes non specific to certain events. It means that they are universal and will be useful even between sales.
Now, let’s have a look at some Black Friday sale stats for 2015. According to Fortune, a record amount of $4.45 billion was spent by online buyers during two days Thanksgiving and Black Friday: $2.72 and $1.73 respectively. And 1/3 of online purchases were made via smartphones. Looks quite impressive, isn’t it? For further information, check
So, how to prepare a Magento to Black Friday (November 28), Cyber Monday (December 1), the whole Christmas season, and other sale events? First of all, you should implements some changes that are vital for the everyday usage.
Table of contents
Your Magento Website should be mobile friendly. Therefore, we recommend you to choose a modern template that will be fully responsive. The best Magento 2 themes and templates are listed here: Magento 2 Templates And Themes. As for appropriate solution for 1.x, they are gathered in this post: Best Magento Templates and Themes 2016.
Next, you should optimize the performance of your ecommerce website. We have two guides that describe both server-side and application-side improvements here: Magento Performance Ultimate Guide and The Magento 2 Performance Guide. Please note that a sales event dedicated to a major holiday or a special occasion (Christmas, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Valentine’s Day, etc) attracts lots of new visitors hungry for sales. Therefore, your Magento website should be ready for handling additional traffic.
If you don’t want to deal with complex performance improvements (or your ecommerce project is small and it doesn’t require most of them), then we have some good news. There is no need to spend lots of time changing something on your servers or in the Magento installation. To make your online storefront ready for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Halloween, or Christmas sales, simply install the Full Page Cache extension by Amasty. This tool will essentially improve the performance of your Magento website, decrease page load time, and improve the overall user experience. Besides, the extension will dramatically decrease your server load. And if you are wondering what cache crawler should be used along with the module, Amasty has a surprise – it is already included into the FPC solution! The price of Amasty Full Page Cache is $199 but it is absolutely reasonable.
Other Magento FPC modules are gathered here: The Best Magento Full Page Cache Extensions.
The next step towards making your ecommerce website more prepared for the upcoming sale events is related to navigation. The default Magento navigation is extremely far from being perfect, so installing an improvement is vital even if you are not going to participate in any Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas sales. There is a huge list of layered navigation modules here: The Best Improved Catalog Layered Navigation Magento Extensions. The best Magento 2 solutions are available in this post: Improved Catalog Layered Navigation for Magento 2.
We recommend you to use one of the most reliable tools in the whole ecosystem: Improved Layered Navigation by Amasty. The tool adds AJAX into the game, so your visitors can filter catalog pages without annoying reloads. They get the ability to choose several brands to narrow down the selection of goods. Besides, the module adds price filters and sliders, that are also very useful. And your customers can apply multiple filters and multiple attributes for each filter simultaneously. If you are afraid that the Amasty Improved Layered Navigation Magento extension will affect your SEO, we should ensure that the module is absolutely SEO friendly.
To make the existing user Experience even better, we also recommend you to use Amasty Quick View. This Magento Extension enables visitors to view product details right from a catalog page. All the information appears in an AJAX-based popup, so they get all the data without reloads. As a result, purchase decisions are made much faster.
Also pay attention to Amasty AJAX Shopping Cart. The module is designed to improve the default shopping experience, making it flawless and comfortable. After installing the module, your customers will be able to select configurable options and edit items without wasting time on page reloads. A stylish AJAX cart popup, 2 confirmation windows to choose from, and a new way to promote related items are also available with the module. Custom options and configurable products are supported.
Promotions & Gifts
It is hard to imagine Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Halloween/Christmas sale event without special promotions and discounts. The Magento ecosystem offers tons of various extensions designed to add some new features to the default functionality of the platform. We’ve already gathered some best solutions here: The Best Magento Extensions For Extended Discounts And Promotion Rules and Magento 2 Extensions For Advanced Discounts And Promotion Rules.
The best tool to start your exploration of advanced price rules is Amasty Special Promotions. The extension provides the ability to fully leverage advanced promotions, such as “Buy X Get Y With Z% Discount”, “Each Second Item for 50%”, etc. Amasty Special Promotions supports deals with both cheapest and most expensive items. You can even utilize free products as well as skip some special items from promotions. Not that the extension can be used between sale events. You can create promotions that will be active every time as well as ones that will be available only during the Black Friday sale or the Christmas season.
It’s obvious that online shoppers love gifts. Luckily, the Magento ecosystem offers several ways to provide them with free presents. First of all, you can install a free gift module. This kind of extensions is designed to add free gifts to a shopping cart after a certain action has been performed. Thus, you can easily get rid of unpopular items making your store visitors more loyal during the Christmas season, Black Friday, or other sale events. One of the most reliable free gift extensions is offered by Amasty. Alternatively, you can pay attention to the Extendware Free Gift Magento module.
Another kind of modules we’d like to mention in this post is represented by Amasty Gift Card extension. They do not appear in a cart for free, but they allow your buyers to purchase gift cards and send them to their friends, while you can keep track of all purchased certificates. As for special sale events, you can offer gift cards customized for Christmas, New Year, Halloween, Black Friday, or other holidays. Alternative solutions are: Mageworx Gift Card and aheadWorks Gift Card.
The next important step that will help to both prepare your Magento website to various sale events and enhance your market appearance is related to Google Shopping integration. Connect your online storefront to the platform and you will get new customers and increased revenue. This is especially effective during sales, so the upcoming Christmas season is a good reason to install several new modules.
Start with the Simple Google Shopping Magento extension. It offers the easiest way to export your product catalog to the popular shopping platform without any headaches. Alternatively, you can use Data Feed Manager by Wyomind, since it combines all Google Shopping features with 19 sample templates designed to integrate your Magento website with other platforms.
Various Visual Aspects
We’ve already mentioned the necessity to use only responsive Magento templates and themes, but there is one more improvement that should be discussed further in this post: event-related design. In the Magento Christmas Store post we recommend various extensions and templates that help to turn a storefront into a place that informs every visitor about the Christmas season. For instance, you can enable snowfalls, add Santa Claus, turn on decorative lights, and more with
As for Magento templates and themes, you can try Christmas Gifts. It is designed to emphasise the Christmas mood and make your customers engaged into holiday season shopping. The first impression is vital, because people always judge a book by its cover, so don’t lose a chance to attract more buyers with a Christmas-related appearance.
There are also some themes related to Halloween. Thus, the
The reason to use Halloween Magento themes and templates is the same: the appearance you provide when a potential buyer visits your store during the Halloween sale event.
If you are looking how to change the visual appearance of your Magento website for Valentine’s Day, check the VelanApps Seasonal Decorations extension. It offers various Valentine’s Day greetings, 5+ hearts for heart fall effects, moving cupid, and various decorations for header and footer.
As for Black Friday, there is the Black Friday template by WebSoft. Being a one page template, it is extremely easy to install and configure. Ant the template is fully responsive, so you don’t have to be afraid about your mobile visitors – they will get the same shopping experience as desktop ones.
As you can see, there are lots of improvements that should be implemented to prepare Magento for such sales events as Black Friday, Christmas, Halloween, Cyber Monday, Valentine’s Day, and others. Some of them are event specific, while the others will be still helpful in a period between two sales. What other improvements would you recommend? Please, share your thoughts in comments.