Black Friday weekend is done and dusted! For retailers, that can only mean one thing – the festive shopping season is well and truly upon us. While shoppers are busy belting out Mariah Carey and warming their hands on candy-cane coffees, retailers are starting to roll out those Christmas campaigns they’ve been planning since spring.
After a year of lockdowns, it’s safe to say that most of this year’s Christmas shopping will be done online. In fact, ecommerce is gearing up to have its biggest year yet. But with more competition than ever, brand’s will have to pull out all the stops to cut through the holiday noise.
To help you capitalise on that seasonal splurging, here are our eight top tips for maximising your sales in Christmas 2020.
1. Create a Christmas landing page
Around the holidays, brick-and-mortar stores get dressed up to the nines. Tinsel, trees, pretend presents, festive songs blasted from the store radio – it all blends together to create a warm, magical feeling for anyone that walks through the door. But with limited options for in-person shopping this year, it’s up to online stores to recreate that festive fuzziness.
One of the easiest ways to get online customers in the holiday spirit is to create a dedicated Christmas landing page. Something that guides them through your festive promotions with ease, giving them all the info they need – in a brightly wrapped Christmas package.
Here are some best practices for creating a landing page that’ll put your customers in the gift-giving spirit.
Make it easy to find – First things first, it has to be easy to find. Use a themed header image to link to your Christmas landing page directly from your homepage, and include extra links in your navigational menu. For example, if your brand’s regular menu includes categories like ‘Men’ and ‘Women’, simply add ‘Christmas’ as another category.
Display your promotions prominently – Shoppers have a much higher purchase intent in the lead up to Christmas, so a well-timed deal is an easy way to bring those festive sales flooding in. Whether it’s a 3-for-2 deal or a free gift when you spend over a certain amount, make sure your brand’s promotions are front and centre on your landing page.
Highlight your bestsellers – Your bestsellers are bestsellers for a reason. Use your Christmas landing page to showcase your most popular products, with plenty of immersive lifestyle and product imagery to really capture their attention. By highlighting the very best your brand has to offer, you’ll be able to tempt those new visitors to delve a little bit deeper.
Use videos – Video is a great tool to keep your landing page fresh and engaging. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to get buyers in the holiday spirit (just look at how excited everyone gets about Christmas adverts). But it doesn’t have to be a big-budget trailer – just a few festive-themed lifestyle and product shots will do. Cut them together with some festive music, and voilà! Just make sure you optimise the file size to keep your landing page loading nicely.
Link to gift guides – Your Christmas landing page should act as the hub for your brand’s various Christmas collections – such as ‘Gifts for her’, ‘Gifts for him’, or ‘Gifts for the home’. Rather than linking to your regular product categories (e.g. Men, Women, Accessories), direct customers to these themed collections, giving them a quick and easy way to browse your most giftable products.
Keep it simple – Your landing page should be festive and fun, but it’s important not to overdo it. Make sure to use whitespace to leave the focus on the products themselves, and include plenty of clear calls to action to catch your customers eye and move them along the shopping journey.
2. Festive design touches
A Christmas landing page is a great place to start for your seasonal design changes – but the festive spirit doesn’t have to stop there. Once the 1st of December rolls around, feel free to spruce the rest of your site up with virtual Christmas decorations. A seasonal logo, baubles, jingle bells, wreaths of holly – these small, festive flourishes are great for adding a touch of merriment to your site.
Remember, the goal is to recreate a little of that in-store magic. To really wow your customers, try animating some of these holiday features. Things like slowly falling snowflakes, twinkling stars and jingling bells are a wonderful way to make your site feel like a truly magical place to shop this Christmas.
And the changes shouldn’t stop with design – festive language can go a long way, too. Loop your copywriters in to brainstorm some impactive, on-brand seasonal messaging, whether that’s headings, banner copy, social posts, or just small tweaks to your store’s micro-copy.
3. Create gift guides
Convert more customers this Christmas by creating inspirational gift guides, packed with unique present ideas from your product range.
Not only are gift guides an endlessly useful resource for your existing customers, but they’re also great for capturing new organic shoppers. Every Christmas, millions of high-intent shoppers head to Google for inspiration, searching for things like ‘Gifts for her’, or ‘Gifts for Dad’. They’re primed and ready to buy – they just need a few ideas. Make sure you’re ready for them.
These guides should be shoppable category pages – such as ‘Gifts for her’ and ‘Gifts for him’ – and should include a festive header image and some inspirational copy. But you can also create complementary gift guides on your blog – for example, a post titled ‘Gifts for her: Our top picks for 2020’ that links to your overarching ‘Gifts for her’ category page. This gives you a chance to showcase some of your brand’s bestsellers – plus, it’s great content for sharing on your socials and emails.
4. Utilise wishlists
Whether it’s saving gift ideas for later or creating their own Christmas list, wishlists are an endlessly useful tool for customers that aren’t quite ready to buy. But despite their usefulness, hundreds of big-name brands neglect to include wishlists on their sites, leaving their customers to bookmark items they want to revisit later. Not only is this a poor user experience, but it’s also not an effective way of capturing sales – if someone has thousands of bookmarks saved in their browser, your product is unlikely to stand out.
If you haven’t already, think about implementing a wishlist feature to give shoppers a chance to save gift ideas for a later date. There are dozens of different wishlist apps to choose from in the Shopify app store, so have a look at some reviews and see which one works for you. Ideally, the app should include a way to email the wishlist to a friend.
5. Free stocking fillers
With your shoppers already primed to purchase, Christmas is a great time to think about increasing your store’s average order value.
One effective way to encourage customers to spend more is to offer a free gift – or ‘stocking filler’ – once they hit a certain spend threshold. Because Christmas shopping can be an expensive time for customers, offering a free gift can offset that dreaded buyer’s remorse with a feeling of reward. Whether they keep the gift for themselves or pop it in someone’s stocking, it still feels like a win.
If you do decide to offer a free gift, make sure your product pages and shopping cart let customers know how far away they are from qualifying for the promotion. This is a good chance to do some cross-selling. By showcasing similar and coordinating items on your product pages, you can give customers a quick and easy way to qualify for your free gift – and give your average order value a nice little boost.
6. Themed promotions
After a slew of Black Friday deals, customers will be accustomed to bog-standard promotions. Entice them with something a little different by giving your offers a festive spin, like seasonal promo codes or the free stocking fillers we mentioned above.
If you’re ready to go all out with your festive deals, consider doing an advent-style or ‘12 days of Christmas’ promotion. Aside from making your discounts a little more magical, these themed promotions are great for building anticipation towards the big day, giving customers a bit of that wonderful excitement they’d normally find in physical stores. It also gives them a reason to keep coming back to your store – even after they’ve purchased.
Not every customer will engage with every new offer, but having a range of different daily promotions gives you the chance to mix up your offers to suit different needs, interests and budgets. Plus, it gives you a great reason to email customers every day and keep your brand at the forefront of their mind.
7. Sell gift cards
Gift cards are a good idea year-round, but at Christmas, they’re an absolute must. Despite this, a surprising number of brands don’t offer gift cards, and the ones that do are often guilty of burying them in their site, making them impossible to find unless you’re actively looking for them. Not only is this annoying for customers, but it also leaves a potentially huge amount of money right there on the table.
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to launch gift cards on your online store. By giving your customers an easy way to give a gift without the hassle of actually choosing one, gift vouchers are a lifesaver for busy shoppers.
Gift cards also have the dual benefit of improving your brand awareness. Think of it as a business card with money on it – you’re directing the recipient straight to your online store. If they’ve never purchased with you before, you’ve got the chance to turn them into a loyal customer.
Make your gift cards easy to find by including links to them from your top navigation menu and your site’s footer. You should also link to them from your Christmas landing page.
8. Highlight your delivery cut-off date
Make sure your shoppers get their order in time for Christmas! By highlighting your store’s holiday delivery cut-off dates, you can ease any barriers to purchase for those anxious buyers. Plus, it’s a great way to build urgency as the big day approaches.
If you offer free delivery, it’s also a good idea to showcase those details in your Christmas promotions. In one of the most expensive times of the year, free delivery can be a nice sweetener for first-time customers. Make your returns information nice and prominent too, so gift-givers can rest easy if they happen to miss the mark.
Christmas in 2020
These ideas should help add a little sparkle to your festive promotions this year – but remember, it’s not just about landing the sale. To keep customers coming back, you have to give them a flawless shopping experience – from first contact all the way through to checkout, and beyond. Luckily, we can help with that.
Get in touch today to find out how we can help you nail your customer experience and smash your sales targets in 2021.