Get ready to unwrap ten essential tips for maximising your Christmas eCommerce success. From turbocharging your website for a seamless shopping experience to elevating customer service with savvy chatbots, our playbook is packed with strategies for a holly-jolly online store and festive conversions.
Join us as we unwrap each tip, ensuring your eCommerce store sleighs the holiday shopping season.
How do I Prepare my eCommerce Store for the Holiday Season?The festive season isn’t just a time to deck the halls—it’s a golden opportunity for you to delight your customers. Of course, you can’t achieve this at the drop of a hat. You’ll need to plan and prepare your eCommerce store for the holiday shopping ahead - here are 6 tasks to help you get started.
Optimise the Heck Out of Your WebsiteYes, this may seem obvious, but it’s a core element of ensuring a positive online holiday shopping experience for your customers. Because without your website, what have you got?
Remember that you’ll be receiving higher volumes of traffic at this time of the year, so it’s vital that you take steps to ensure your website can keep up. Ensure to run tests to determine your website's speed performance and overall responsiveness.
You can achieve this by compressing images to reduce file sizes, removing Shopify apps that no longer serve your store, ensuring your hosting service is quick and reliable, and changing to a Shopify theme (like Turbo) that’s faster and more responsive. You can also simplify your checkout process or introduce features like one-click checkouts.
Get Your Customer Service in Shape
Customer service has become a crucial aspect of any online business, regardless of the time of year. However, with the festive season, your store will experience higher traffic levels and likely more customer queries asking clarifying questions about your products.
Live chatbots can be an excellent tool to assist with this, like Gorgias. When loaded with common FAQs and solutions, these bots can help answer a customer’s questions in seconds. Complex issues that can’t be answered can be filtered out and sent to human customer support team members to be resolved.
By reducing friction and making the experience seamless, you can enhance your customers’ overall experience, leading to higher conversion rates.
Communicate Shipping Deadlines & Return Policies
During Christmas time, customers need to know if their orders will arrive in time to be placed under the tree. Be sure to clearly communicate the last date they can place an order to receive their purchase in time. This will prevent customers from experiencing disappointment.
You can also consider offering priority shipping at an additional cost (while increasing your margins simultaneously). Similarly, consider offering extended return policies during the Christmas period. This will give customers extra peace of mind when purchasing from your store.
Review & Update Your Inventory
There’s nothing worse than adding a product to your shopping cart only to reach the checkout process and find out there’s no stock. This will result in highly frustrated customers, and you can bet that they’ll very quickly leave your store and find a similar product somewhere else.
Trying to win back these customers will be challenging and costly - so it’s better to avoid these frustrations altogether.
To avoid this, review your inventory levels in advance. Identify your popular holiday items and ensure you have ample stock. For low, out-of-stock or discontinued products, remove them from your product page. Alternatively (and a better alternative, in our opinion), you can set up the ‘Notify Me’ function flows in Klaviyo.
Product Descriptions & Imagery
While your product descriptions and imagery should always be at their best, it won’t hurt to review things in the run-up to Christmas.
Ensure product descriptions provide both SEO value and compelling copy that clearly demonstrates the features and benefits your product can offer them.
High-quality images can also help to boost sales, as they can assure customers that your store is credible and trustworthy. Lastly, align your catalogue with seasonal changes and evolving trends to ensure relevance and appeal.
Make Sure Your Trust Signals Are On Full Display
Trust signals are integral in the customer buying journey as they instil confidence, reduce perceived risk, add credibility and encourage purchases. At this time of the year, customers don’t want to purchase items they aren’t 100% sure about.
Additionally, you could incorporate product videos to offer customers an even better view of your product - Videowise is a great choice for this. These videos will help clear customers' minds of any worries when making their festive purchases.
Tips to Boost Conversions During the Festive Season
When it comes to strategies that will help you boost your bottom line, you might automatically lean towards discounts or Christmas promotions. We’re here to tell you that there are other ways you can boost your conversions during the holiday season, such as gift guides, loyalty programs and more.
Create Gift Guides
Remember, most festive season shoppers are browsing for gifts for their friends and loved ones, which can often be a challenge for them—this is where you come in. Providing customers with gift guides allows you to categorise your products as you see fit (such as top-selling products or gifts for girlfriends), and these guides will inspire customers and help streamline their online shopping experience.
Lean on Your Loyalty Program
We all know how crazy customer acquisition costs are nowadays. Leveraging your loyalty program is a great way to boost your Christmas eCommerce sales while steering clear of acquisition.
Considering implementing strategies such as:
- Special holiday rewards
- Double or triple-point promotions
- Early access sales or promotions
- Gifts or surprise rewards
- Referral rewards
- Holiday themed challenges
Doing this will not only help to boost your sales and conversion rates but will also result in higher customer satisfaction—it’s a win-win.
Offer Flexible Payment Options
Many shoppers are feeling the economic pinch this year, making them more open to buy now, pay later (BNPL) payment options. By making this option available, you can help customers stretch their purchases into smaller, more manageable instalments. If you’re implementing this while competitors aren’t, you can bet that it will help push many customers over the conversion threshold.
Get Your Email Marketing Campaigns Ready
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—to send personalised campaigns. Yes, believe it, folks, email campaigns can (and will) prove vital at this time of the year.
For example, you notice that Linda was eyeing out a lovely, festive Christmas jumper a few weeks back but didn’t buy it. On December 1st, you could send her a personalised email reminding her about the jumper she took a fancy to and mention that, now that Christmas is just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to buy. She clicks through to your site and completes the checkout process.
Boom! Sale in the bag.
Apart from this, you can send email campaigns reminding customers about the gorgeous gifts your store has in stock, or if those potential customers aren’t converting just yet, you could let them know about your extended return policy and free shipping updates to attack those conversion-critical questions. Of course, having checkout and abandoned cart flows will also be a no-brainer.
How Can Blend Help You Win The eCommerce Holiday Season?
So there you have it, all the tips and tricks you need to prepare your eCommerce store for a successful festive shopping season. Need some help sleighing your holiday game? We’re here to help! Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help you.