Don't hate us too much for talking about Christmas in October! Yet the cards and gifts have slowly started appearing in the physical shops. You may feel like it is far too early to prepare for Christmas. However just like the shops, as an eCommerce trader, you must also begin to get ready for the holiday season. Christmas is the most profitable time of year for eCommerce stores so it is absolutely vital that your Shopify store is ready to go and maximise any conversions. Our eCommerce and Shopify experts have helped many clients through this frantic period. Here are our top 9 tips to get your ecommerce store ready for Christmas.
Make Sure Your Website Is Running Quickly: Traffic levels at Christmas times are notoriously high. Your Shopify site must be able to cope with higher levels of activity as usual. Many seasonal online shoppers use the internet to escape the stress of the shops. Therefore they will becomes increasingly frustrated if your website becomes slow and does not load promptly. You may need to simplify your site temporarily to ensure load speeds are as quick as possible to reduce conversion drops. A Shopify expert web developer can help diagnose why your Shopify store is taking a long time to load and fix any problems, so get in touch with Shopify Builder today.
Make Sure Your Website Is Stable: Not only can slow loading speeds reduce conversions, other faults in your eCommerce store are likely to make customers click off. Make sure that you are regularly going through your checkout process and analyse how your website is working. It is also important to keep coupons and offers up-to-date. You are likely to have launched promotions during this busy period, if customers cannot get the discount or offer they have been promised then they are likely to go elsewhere.
Add Some Seasonal Design To Your Website: Now we do not mean that you need to redesign your website and turn it into a sea of red and green. Yet some small Christmas details will make your website look up-to-date, polished and encourage those Christmas shoppers. You need to keep in mind that not every shopper will want to be bombarded with Christmas designs. Many of your customers may not celebrate the holiday or take a more traditional view. Therefore creating a Christmas section or page on your website is a great idea to keep the content separate. It also makes it quick and easy to revert your website back and launch your Boxing Day sale.
Create Product or Gift Bundles: If your range of products allows then create bundles to promote as gifts. For instance if you are an ecommerce clothing store you may want to bundle a t-shirt, socks and boxer shorts as a gift buy. For the ladies shoes and tights might go down well. These are attractive options for customers who want to shop easily and efficiently. In Shopify you can create complete new product pages for the gift bundles. You may need some help from a ecommerce web developer to aid you with constructing and promoting these offers throughout your store.
Keep Customers Informed About Delivery: Customers are incredibly sensitive to delivery and returns information at Christmas time. They need to know how and when their goods are going to be delivered and whether they can be returned. Most stores maximize their sales by being as flexible as possible around Christmas time. By offering more delivery options than usual, you are giving the customer more options and therefore will maximise conversions. Weekend and courier delivery and great options to add to your store during this busy time. Also extended return times will put the customer's mind at rest when considering a purchase from your store. Consider extending return periods well into January. A count down to guaranteed Christmas delivery on your website is advisable to avoid any confusion.
Gift Wrapping and Gift Receipts: Can you offer a gift wrapping option? Or send the order with a gift invoice? Customers may want to send the gift straight to the recipient and will want these options considered. If you do not currently offer these services then it may be time to look into if it is a viable option for your ecommerce store.
Not Just A Time To Sell: Selling is important for the Christmas period, though capturing your audience for the upcoming year is very important too. You will automatically get the marketing details from your sales which can add to your e-newsletter lists. Whilst your website if busy, there are other clever ways of harnessing visitor information. You could enable a email pop-up with a percentage discount as a reward. Make sure your Mail Chimp is on top form and the application is synced with your Shopify store to save you and your staff time.
Christmas Is The Time to Give: So why not host a give away? Games, quizzes and seasonal advent calendars work extremely well on social media channels. Many shoppers will be feeling the pinch around this time of year and are more likely to take part in competitions. This is a great way to data capture from even more potential customers and add their details to your 2015 marketing lists. It is also a nice way to give back to your loyal customers. Click here if you need advice on running an ecommerce giveaway.
Keep Your Customer Service Levels High: It is essential that you are on point with your customer service at this time of year. Social media means that customers can complain very publicly. If you ruin a customer's Christmas with a unexplained non-delivery then it is likely that you will receive a barrage of abuse on Twitter or Facebook. Backed up by a whole host of family and friends who will also hear about your terrible customer service. Although you cannot be help fully accountable for the Christmas postal service, by responding to enquiries and offering gestures of apology, you may save yourself an extremely angry customer. We are not recommending that you spend the whole of Christmas Eve and Day glued to Facebook, but definitely take a quick check to resolve any issues. After all ecommerce never sleeps!