Is your ecommerce store ready for Christmas?

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Christmas is just around the corner by retail standards! The countdown started long ago! Have you done everything to make sure that your online store is optimised to take advantage of the opportunities the festive season brings? According to the BBC, December 2013 saw a huge increase of 19.2% in Internet purchases compared to Christmas 2012, the fastest increase in four years! Furthermore, Econsultancy found that the majority of people in the UK did more than half of their Christmas shopping online. 2013’s online Christmas spend amounted to £91bn, and according to Internet Retailing it looks set to reach £107 bn this year! Thus all the more reason to make sure your ecommerce business is Christmas ready for this year!

Christmas blog ecommerce

Your website

Your online store needs to be optimised for Christmas search engines! You want potential customers to see your products first when they are surfing for gift ideas. Read our recent article on SEO and Google Keyword Planner for tips on how to get your business up towards the right end of search engine result pages. Also check out our article on how to spruce up your product pages to help you get those final all important clicks. You also need to make sure that your store will be able to handle the huge (hopefully ;)) increase of customers during the Christmas season! Make sure your infrastructure can manage the extra traffic, and test aspects such as load time and check out speed. Speak to your hosting company if necessary. An increase in customers will also mean an increase in questions and queries for customer support: so make sure your team is ready for this! While customers need to be able to speak to humans on the phone, you may also want to consider adding a live chat solution, such as iAdvize, to your site for quick responses. Don’t hesitate to add a bit of Christmas sparkle to your web design!You don’t have to go all out with dancing elf GIFs in a sea of red and green, but a little touch of Christmas to get people in the mood can’t hurt!

Ecommerce Christmas blog

Marketing and advertising

You should be creating a build-up and buzz to the Christmas sale period well in advance. Sending out a newsletter to your database is a simple way of doing this, consider adding a promotional code so you can track effectiveness! You should also consider personalising your offers for your customers, use the data you have on them such as age, gender and buying history to suggest gifts that match their profile. Learn from last time: which products sold and which didn’t, ditto for last year’s strategies! Decide which products you want to push and gather reviews and create blog posts about them. Get social and create a social media strategy with a Christmas countdown! A festive themed competition is also a great way of getting info on potential customers and thus names to add for 2015’s marketing list!

Stock and logistics

It is essential to make sure that you have all items stocked up! When reordering for the festive season take into account not only what did well last year, but also any trends that you might have seen going on at the moment. Make sure you clearly display information relating to postage costs, latest order and delivery dates.

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Kathryn Bird