It’s about a week to Christmas -- the time when sales are at an all-time high. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been quite fruitful for Shopify stores the world over, what with a staggering $2.9 billion + overall sales across 175 countries during the BFCM weekend.This is proof enough of the power of independent businesses and global commerce.
Regardless of where your store is based and the size of your business, as an ecommerce merchant, you wouldn’t want to miss out on this golden selling opportunity where a mass exodus is turning to their screens for bulk purchases throughout the holiday season leading to Christmas. And why not? This is the time to gift loved ones from family, relatives and friends to colleagues and pets!
If you want to ride in on this huge shopping wave, make sure your site has performance issues under control, loads up fast and offers high-quality products with seamless navigation sitewide for users, besides offering other enhanced functionalities that boost your brand value and improve conversions.
If your ecommerce store wants to have an edge over competitors this shopping season, here’s a checklist for you to catch up on:
1. Site Performance and Ease of Navigation
So you have stocked up on your inventory and know which products to give discounts on. You have also prepared content for giveaways, big discounts and coupons.
But if your store does not look organized or does not load up quickly, the customers will start looking elsewhere. This means the navigation and intuitiveness throughout the site should be easy and consistent.
Too many clicks to reach the destination section, slow-loading images, no customer reviews on your store, page crashing issues or warped images when your site is viewed on mobile can all lead to a not-so-smooth shopping experience for your customers, and you don’t want that, especially when it’s the merry-making time of the year. Use predictive search tools that offer real-time analytics and search boxes on site to help customers easily find what they want to buy and understand user behaviour on your store at the same time.
Buttons like Continue Shopping on Cart Page or an AJAX cart can help your customers easily add products to cart or continue shopping on the product/collection page without having to shift back and forth between cart page and product page. Ensure that customers stay on your store with a simple image editing that compresses your high-resolution images and optimizes page loading speed.
Other features like a customizable Promotion Top Bar in the header promoting exclusive BFCM deals like free shipping, coupons and events or putting your last year’s bestseller BFCM collection on homepage are some ways you can make your site perform better during the shopping season.
2. Relevant Graphics
Graphics related to Christmas such as a festive-looking collection banner or a custom hero header image can further highlight your store and help you attract and delight your customers.
3. Mobile Responsiveness
Check for mobile responsiveness as most shoppers check Christmas deals on their mobiles and tablets. The last-minute shoppers like to look for exclusive offers and gift wrapping facilities for the products they purchase on their mobiles, also because phones are highly personal objects and planning for gifts is best done secretly on personal devices.
You would want to be mobile first in your approach so potential customers can check your store while on the go without facing any site crashes or slow loading speed issues. Offer one-click purchases, responsive designs and great navigational experience throughout your store on mobile and all other devices.
4. Personalized Customer Service
Quick queries need quick replies. A live chat software feature can help you build and nurture a strong relationship with your customers. This option also allows you to offer personalized care and attention to your customers, helping you to have a consistent on-site service. Make sure you have enough customer service staff who can be available at different times throughout the entire day so customers can receive all the information and answers they need anytime, anywhere.
With a huge sale rush as is bound to happen during Christmas, customers may face troubles with payment and local or server issues. If they receive a quick response and immediate help, it may prevent cart abandonment.
Update your FAQ segment on your store and also add a specific FAQ list for the shipping offers, gift cards and mystery boxes for Christmas, which would include questions about refunds, return policies or handling exchanges and queries about the product and deals you offer.
5. More Choices
Offering more control to your site visitors as to when they want the products delivered to their preferred address is one way you can ensure that customers get more value from your store. A Delivery Date Picker option can be handy here, that will help your customers choose preferred delivery slots in the holiday season, This can mean improved conversions and repeat business in the future.
6. Add Urgency and Scarcity with Big Discounts & Countdown Timer
When it comes to holiday or festive shopping, big discounts, free shipping, daily or hourly deals, mystery gift, gift cards, coupons and exclusive personalized deals for loyal customers or first-time buyers are the biggest ways to make your site popular and also earn better conversions and sales.
Highlight these discounts and big saves through pop-ups, attractive homepage banners and countdown timers showing the start and end date of these offers or the number of hours left to grab the irresistible deals.
This sense of urgency and scarcity gives rise to the FOMO effect, where the customers fear that if they don’t buy a product from your store within a certain date and time, say midnight, Christmas Eve, they may not get this deal ever again. Needless to say, it also adds to the excitement.
7. Manage Inventory with Product Labels and product updates
You want to have enough inventory so that you’re able to sail smoothly through the Christmas wave and still don’t run out of stocks after the big sale. With set product labels for Sold Out, New Arrivals, 50% Off, On Clearance and others, you know which products are going to sell off soon and which ones have already sold out so that you can fill your stocks before they run dry. Integrate tools like Shopify Flow to automate inventory management and other business processes without any coding.
8. Social Sharing and Remarketing Campaigns
If you want your customers to share your Christmas-related blog posts, landing pages, giveaways and more on their social media accounts, you can simply make this happen by integrating responsive social sharing buttons on your store for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google Plus.
Remarket to your customers who abandoned their carts during the BFCM and post BFCM period with push notifications and impactful email campaigns to compel them to complete their purchase. Moreover, Facebook ads and Instagram posts with Christmas related sale stories can help you widen your reach during this holiday season.
9. Dynamic Checkouts
Faster and smoother checkouts show that you care about your customer’s time and convenience. With AJAX mini cart and Slide out Cart features, your users can see all the cart items right on the cart icon without them having to visit the cart page.
10. Get customer’s attention right before Christmas
Attract and delight customers and build your customer loyalty program by growing your order values, offering in-cart rewards, automated discounts, gift cards and more redeemable points for a site visit pre-Christmas and prepare for last-minute shipping plans that extend upto Christmas.
Everyone is in a festive spirit around this time and tend to make more purchases than usual, making it more likely for you to increase your conversions and sales. Join in the fun of the merry-making season and plan surprise tweaks to your Shopify store to make it Christmas-ready!
Here’s to the spirit of competition and a successful holiday season!
The countdown to Christmas begins…
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