Christmas is just around the corner and for many websites it is time to get ready for the busiest shopping season of the year. To help, we’ve put together six ideas that will ensure you have everything in place to make the most of this important part of the retail calendar.
1. Hark back to last Christmas
We can all learn lessons from the past and one way to be more successful this year is to look at what ideas worked well last Christmas. Look over last year’s data and find out which products sold the best; which marketing techniques had the most impact; and which content was the most visited. You can then update these and use them again, knowing that they’ve been tried and tested. Remember to look at what didn’t work, too, that way you can avoid repeating any mistakes.
2. Get your Christmas sections online now
People are already shopping for Christmas, so the sooner you act, the quicker you can start benefitting. Ideally, you should start by creating your Christmas landing pages. These should link to the seasonal products you’re selling and to any special promotions you are running. Make sure they have a festive look and feel that customers will find attractive.
Remember to check that this section is working fine, i.e. that the pages load quickly, display properly on all devices, that all links are working and that there is seamless navigation between your Christmas section and the rest of the site.
3. Offer gift cards
Gift cards have become highly popular Christmas presents as they give the recipient the freedom to purchase the item of their choice, even if they need to pay a little extra themselves. From a website’s perspective, they are cheap to purchase and post and easy to implement. Perhaps more importantly, they make Christmas shopping incredibly simple for the card’s purchaser, removing the need to search endlessly for the right gift – all they have to decide on is the card’s value. This makes it an appealing present and one which is likely to be a popular seller.
Gift cards are also ideal for non-retail companies, such as beauty salons, hairdressers and restaurants. You can’t wrap a haircut or a meal, but you can wrap a gift card that pays for them.
4. Give your customers good deals
Christmas is expensive, so anything you can do to offer a great deal is going to be attractive to your customers. There are many options you can choose from, including discounts, BOGOF offers, multi-buy reductions, free gifts, free wrapping and free delivery.
Sometimes, you can increase overall sales by offering special discounts on highly popular products. These tend to attract higher volumes of visitors, some of whom will purchase other goods besides the ones being discounted.
5. Make a feature of your delivery options
At Christmas, its always important to remember that you’re in competition with Amazon, eBay and many other major companies that offer some products with free shipping. Free shipping is a big attraction because you know exactly what you’re paying while you’re still on the product page. When customers don’t see the cost of delivery until the checkout, the hike in price can come as a shock and lead to abandonment. Even if you have to charge for delivery, make sure your customers know about the cost (or cost options) right from the outset.
At the same time, you also need to make it clear what the last day for orders is if people want their goods to arrive in time for Christmas. If you don’t, and presents arrive after the big day, you’ll have lots of unhappy customers leaving poor reviews and sending their goods back. You may also break a few children’s hearts.
6. Spice up your website with Christmas themed content
Bricks and mortar stores go to great lengths to create the right ambience for Christmas as it gets people in the mood for buying. Online stores can do this by adding lots of Christmas content. These can include ideas for great gifts, most popular Christmas products, seasonally themed images and tips that relate to your products (e.g. 10 ways to decorate your house for Christmas or 10 best outfits for a Christmas party).
Competitions are useful too, helping to keep customers engaged and perhaps even getting them to sign up for emails. A good example is offering a prize for the best caption to a funny Christmas image or asking customers how many hidden elves there are in your Christmas section.
The revenue generated in the lead up to Christmas is often critical to the survival of many retail businesses. Hopefully, the ideas provided here will help your site attract more customers and drive more of those much-needed conversions.
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