It might only be November but Christmas is just around the corner and with most high street retailers rolling out the Christmas stock in October, if your online store isn’t already preparing then you could be missing out.
Whilst waiting until December may seem like a good idea if you leave it too late, you’ll be left out all together. Luckily, getting your store ready for Christmas doesn’t have to be difficult, here’s 8 simple ways you can prepare your store for Christmas.
With more people visiting your website over the Christmas it’s a good idea to offer additional payment options or alternative options to the current forms of payment you accept. Accepting Paypal, credit card payment, debit cards and even gift cards mean you can reach out to a larger audience, an audience who may look to other websites if they can’t find a payment method which suits them.
With online becoming the ‘go to’ place to shop for Christmas gifts and supplies, if you’re marketing correctly, it’s likely that you’ll start to see more people coming to your website over the Christmas season so it’s important your website is ready for the Christmas rush. If your website can’t handle an increase in visitors then it’ll run slow and become unresponsive, leading to frustrated customers and a decrease in sales. Be sure to test your speeds and performance ready for the big Christmas rush.
During the Christmas season it’s likely that people will be shopping online for gifts and whilst most people might be happy with whatever they get, there are many who might look to return a present for any reason. Extending your return policy into January means that these gifts can be returned after Christmas, giving people plenty of time to return or exchange unwanted presents.
More visitors means more sales and it’s critical that during the Christmas period your inventory is continually stocked. If you don’t have the stock ready and waiting to be shipped then it’s likely that customers will leave. Planning far enough in advance and keeping an eye on your inventory means that you’ll manage your stock in an efficient way throughout the period.
It’s a good idea to decorate your website for the Christmas season, not only does this show that your website is still active and running in real time, it also adds some fun to your business, capturing the attention of shoppers at the same time. Using images which feature Christmas themes and decorations or even added tinsel to your logo show that your business is in the Christmas spirit the along with your customers.
Don’t forget to make sure your website is optimised for mobile and tablet users, even more people are shopping online for Christmas gifts and it’s important that your website is prepared if you want to keep your visitors on your website. If your website doesn’t run well on mobile devices then it’s likely to put your visitors off and result in them avoiding your website.
If you don’t always have a gift wrap option available in your checkout process then it’s a good idea to include it during the Christmas season. This is an especially important feature for home decor and jewellery businesses as giving the option for gift wrapping and even a note means that customers know they already have a gift boxed up, wrapped and ready for the receiver, making the customers life a little easier.
Christmas can be an expensive time of year, shopping for presents, food and decorations amongst other things can cost a lot which is why free shipping is always a good idea around the holiday season. If it’s possible try and offer free shipping to everyone as both an offer of goodwill and also as an incentive for customers to come back another time. However if you can’t afford free shipping why not try and consider free shipping on items over a certain price such as £20 or £30.
As Christmas approaches you should focus on giving your customers a great all round experience, from the look of your website to the checkout process to your shipping, it all matters and if carried out correctly it means that your customers have a happy Christmas and you get the increase in sales you desire.