For some, the Black Friday-Cyber Monday preparations are just beginning, while others are already planning for the most magical time of the year. But just like the battle for the last bargains at the rummage table, the competition for the best Christmas set-up in e-commerce is traditionally fierce. Starting early with planning and Christmas promotions is worthwhile, because a third of people buy Christmas gifts as early as November, as Statista found out.
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With so many brands competing for Christmas business, it can be hard to attract your target audience to your shop. Thoughtful planning in advance makes it easier to increase traffic volume and turn your online shop into a revenue generator. But enough words, after all, there is little time left in the Christmas season! Here are 13 tips on how to make your shop a Christmas experience for your customers!
By the way: As a Shopify merchant, you already have the perfect basis and don't have to fear traffic peaks. The load balancers in the background and the cloud-based infrastructure ensure that your shop keeps up. You are not yet on Shopify? We can help you with the migration!
1. Ghosts of christmas: look into the past
If this isn't your first Christmas, be sure to dig through old (digital) records from last Christmas season. In them, you are guaranteed to find key information that will be useful for this year. E.G.:
Do you have the contact details of your previous customers? If so, this could be a good opportunity to re-acquire them and direct them to your shop with a voucher.
Which products sold particularly well last Christmas? This information will help you decide which items or categories you should highlight in your shop this year.
How many products did you sell last year? Use this data to prepare your stocks and eliminate possible supply bottlenecks from the outset.
Which marketing measures were a flop last year and where did the advertising budgets pay off? If you evaluate this, you can focus your investments directly on the right channels this year.
2. Every day in the customers' minds: Advent calendar in the online shop
Digital advent calendars in the online shop can be THE solution for steady traffic and high engagement. There are new surprises in 24 doors that sweeten the Christmas season for customers and that you can share in your newsletter and on social media channels. This gamification approach ensures that prospects check in with you every day to see what the advent calendar has in store for them. In the best case, the advent calendar is the first thing users see on your website. In parallel, you can make a post on Instagram every day and open the door here as well.
Not sure what might be hiding behind the individual doors? Here are some ideas:
Free shipping for one day
Presentation of a product (possibly at a special price)
Presentation of a Christmas bundle
A gift with purchase
A competition that is not linked to a purchase
Voucher and discount codes
50% off express shipping (especially suitable just before Christmas)
3. "XY best Christmas gifts": Work with product recommendations
Christmas is a time for inspiration. Many online shoppers are indecisive and don't know what to give their loved ones. You can provide crucial assistance here. Present products that would be suitable as Christmas gifts directly on your homepage. To really be a good support here, you should select products for this that are particularly popular and that were frequently bought by other customers last year. In this way, you create a feeling of social affirmation among your users and at the same time increase the fear of missing out on a good gift.
It can also be useful to work with tags and filters to offer your prospective buyers the possibility to filter by price or to display only gift ideas for men or children.
4. "Gifts for Grandma & Grandpa": The perfect gift categories
Of course, not only is working with lists helpful, but also creating gift categories for specific target groups can help your customers find the ideal gifts. You have the choice: either make a clear cut in your side menu during the Christmas season and limit yourself to gift categories such as "Gifts for Women", "Gifts for Men", "Gifts for Grandma & Grandpa" or "Gifts for Children" or keep your current categories as well as menu items and add a "Gift World" item that has individual subcategories. Just don't make your online shop too cluttered! Most people don't have much time to go through several paths to get to their destination. Keep it simple.
Also important: Hide products that are sold out or out of stock or move them to the end of your categories. Nothing is more disruptive to the shopping experience than browsing through pages and pages of out-of-stock products.
5. O you happy product bundle
Hardly any other holiday sees gift sets snatched from the hands of sellers as quickly as at Christmas time. For online shoppers without an idea or time, product bundles are in fact the easiest way to get a good gift and have to invest a minimum of effort to do so.
For you as an online retailer, this has another advantage: you can combine top sellers with products that may sell less quickly throughout the year. In this way, you promote the sale of so-called slow sellers and offer gifts that are guaranteed to be sold quickly. After all, even if the buyer doesn't personally like one of the products in the set, there is always a chance that it will suit the taste of the gift recipient.
However, there are a few simple rules when bundling products that you should follow:
Sell the product sets at a discounted price or
Do not offer the products you want to sell in a bundle for sale individually.
Make sure that the products in the set fit together thematically and stylistically and do not drift apart completely. For example, a set of a pink lipstick and a blue eye shadow is just as likely to cause questioning looks as a bundle of a lantern and a computer mouse.
Reading tip: Product bundles have also led to sales success at Shape Republic. Read here how the Latori team realised these in the online shop.
6. The most famous reindeer in the world? Good delivery and return information does the trick!
There are some things your customers should not miss when browsing your shop - for example, the last possible date for ordering so that delivery before Christmas can be guaranteed.
Make sure that it is impossible for your customers to miss this deadline. With a pop-up, a permanently visible notification banner or a notification directly in the shopping cart, you ensure that your customers know whether their order will arrive on time. Knowing that delivery is possible before Christmas can convince your last-minute customers to complete their purchase and opt for your brand instead of browsing the competition again. Moreover, the famous FOMO plays into your cards here as well - customers now know that you don't have forever to make a decision because delivery times are limited.
You should also be very transparent when it comes to delivery bottlenecks or shipping delays. If an order won't arrive in time for Christmas, communicate that honestly. After orders have been placed, let customers know where the delivery is currently located. Tracking codes should be a given by now. If deliveries do get delayed, let your customers know that you are still working hard to deliver their order after the holidays. A little honesty (and possibly compensation in the form of a voucher) helps to win trust (and long-term customers).
7. Offer gift wrapping
Especially for online shoppers who want to give gifts to friends or family members they can't see in person at Christmas, it's a pleasure to find a gift wrapping option in the online shop. Talk to your fulfilment provider well in advance to make this special offer possible. Whether you charge customers for this or offer it as an additional USP as a free promotion is entirely up to you.
8. Offer digital gift vouchers for self-printing
We are all not immune to this: a Christmas guest has announced himself at the last minute or you have simply forgotten to buy a gift for a dear person in the Christmas rush. To avoid long faces under the Christmas tree, you can offer your customers gift vouchers that are suitable for self-printing. You will get an additional bonus point and the gratitude of your customers if you offer a choice of two to three different designs so that the gift does not lose its festive character despite all the spontaneity.
Promote your digital vouchers very prominently on your homepage and in social media a few days before Christmas in order to benefit from the last spontaneous buyers at a time when other shops are already making a beeline for Christmas business.
Especially from the time when you can no longer guarantee a Christmas delivery, you should adapt your pop-up, your notification line or your start page slider and point out this option.
The Latori team has already realised vouchers and gift shops for clients such as Babbel. Contact us if you want to optimise your offers with us! Contact us if you want to optimise your offers with us!
9. Make it Christmassy - on the blog and on social media.
Get your target group in the mood in good time and offer Christmas ideas on Instagram, in your Facebook posts or your blog posts. These can be as simple as tips for wrapping gifts, fancy Christmas recipes or your products staged as gift ideas. How-to videos on YouTube, Facebook, as IGTV or as TikTok (depending on the target group) are particularly effective.
10. Whether it's FAQ or live chat: make shopping more contemplative with customer service.
The holiday season means a significant spike in orders. Make sure your team is prepared for the rush with seasonal staff, contingency plans and Christmas-specific protocols. A live chat can help online shoppers with questions that arise. If you don't have the capacity for such things, at least make sure your FAQ has all the important information about shipping, returns or products that need explanation. Informed buyers are happy buyers!
11. Smartphones never sound sweeter... Mobile-first at Christmas
On the suburban train, in the lunch break or on the couch in the evening while watching a Netflix series - the search for gifts occupies many people at different times. It is also no longer a secret that the smartphone is often used as the main medium for online shopping. So make sure that your online shop, landing pages and Christmas offers are presented properly, especially on the mobile device: everything should be clear, concise, responsive and easy to navigate. User-friendly checkout pages are particularly important here to secure sales.
12. Run Retargeting Campaigns
You know those customers who bought from you last year at Christmas time? Collect these customers in a separate email list and send Christmas newsletters to convince these buyers to buy from you again this year.
In addition, you should also target the people via social media ads or Google ads who have already bought from your online shop this year or at least in the last few months. Then create a remarketing funnel that leads these contacts through different ads with different offers at regular intervals. This audience of already-warm contacts can give your Christmas sales a great head start. Additionally, here are some ideas for your ad design:
Include Christmas keywords in your ads.
Mention the date that guarantees delivery before Christmas.
Link to your Christmas offers and categories in your ads.
Create urgency in your ads with timers.
Run your ads even on Christmas Day. Last-minute shoppers will then find their way to you faster.
13. Create a follow-up plan for the time after Christmas.
Don't leave your Christmas customers unplayed after the holidays, make sure they remain loyal customers next year. By turning them into repeat buyers, you will ensure that the time and investment you put into your Christmas campaigns will pay off even more.
And now get to work! Do you need support with the implementation of advent calendars, bundles or other Christmas ideas in your Shopify shop? Contact the Latori team today without obligation!