The holiday season is upon us and while it might be late, it is never too late to make sure your website is ready for the Christmas rush. After all, the holiday shopping season represents nearly half of the average retailer’s sales revenue.
This means that the site not only needs to be easy to navigate but that the systems used are robust enough to handle payments, and importantly, to get everything out on time. With that in mind, here are some suggestions to make sure the website is ready for the holiday push.
Step 1: ‘Tis the Season, for Promotions
One good thing about the holiday season is that almost everyone is shopping. Why not? Gift giving is in the air and as the saying goes it is better to give than to get. However, there is a challenge – making sure the website stands out from the rest.
Given that problem, small business owners will want to consider running holiday promotions as a way to not only drive traffic to their sites but also to convert visitors into dollars. Sure, they want to do this year-round but in the holiday season as every store – online and offline – is running some sort of promotion to get people in the door.
The first thing to do is decide on the promotion strategy for the season. This starts by thinking about what works best to get people to the site and then convert them into customers. Analytics are a wonderful thing! Look at demographics and buying behaviors as this will gives insights into what works best.
From there, measure the cost and the impact of certain promotions. Maybe it is free shipping or guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve – either way, look at the impact of these giveaways and how to make them operational.
Another thing to remember is that even if the business is a service such as a restaurant or a barber shop, this doesn’t mean that you can’t run promotions for the holidays. Instead, look at creative ways to get people to spend some of their holiday time with you.
Step 2: Be Inspired
Or better yet, look to inspire customers. This might include a gift or some token of appreciation for visitors and customers. Doing so is a great way to show that you are thankful for their patronage. After all, the holidays are a time to give thanks.
Beyond this, review product and pricing strategies. Consider offering low-price versions of core products to stimulate add-on sales or you can even add special SKUs that are only available for the holiday season.
An example of this would be an online jeweler who releases special designs for Christmas and removes them as soon as the holiday is over. Doing so gives customers added incentive to make a purchase.
Step 3: Team Up
If you are a child of the 70’s then you remember the Justice League. The lesson here is that the superheroes (i.e. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, et. al.) were even more powerful when they joined forces.
If it worked for these superheroes, then why not do it too? This could be as easy as joining forces with another local business to share traffic between the websites. Maybe it is a suggestion to buy something which might compliment what the customer bought from one site, or maybe it is by offering combined shipments.
Step 4: Make Sure Your Site is Working
Given that the holidays are so busy, check that everything is running smoothly during primetime. Be sure to audit the links on the website or reach out to a pro to do it. Don’t forget to check out the shopping cart and check out functions as any problems here will cost real money. Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Step 5: Add a Holiday Theme
The opening scene of A Christmas Story shows downtown of the fictional Hohman, Indiana (actually Hammond, Indiana) all dressed up for the holidays. While a lot has changed since the 1950’s, there is something to be said about getting into the holiday spirit. A Christmas theme to the website works wonders. Then make sure this special theme helps to highlight promotions and other special items for the season.
That’s it, five steps to get any website ready for Christmas. These tips will help to make the most of the busiest shopping season of the year and this will ensure that you have a very, Merry Christmas with family.