Get your online shop ready for Christmas Part 1

In the months leading up to Christmas we will be sharing our in-depth knowledge of ecommerce, to help you get the best out of your online shop and make sure you are prepared for the Christmas rush.

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As a web shop owner, it’s during the autumn months that you should start getting ready for the peak shopping months of year, October through to mid-February.

Sales for nearly every type of web shop increase during these months as consumers scramble to fill their presents quota for friends, family and loved ones.


Check your product range

October is your last chance to take a critical look at your product range so:

  1. Identify your best selling products and increase your stock holding of them. There’s nothing worse than building a momentum of orders into December only to run out – and there will be no time left to order more from your suppliers.
  2. Take a look at last year’s sales to get a reference: Which products sold well, which didn´t?
  3. Familiarise yourself on current trends. Is there a new product that has the potential to be one of the high-flyers in this year’s holiday season? Then put at least a small number of it on your online shelf. That way you may benefit from increased search traffic.
  4. Start working on your product presentation. Keep in mind that during holiday season a lot of potential customers’ don´t buy for themselves but for family members or friends. If they know little or nothing about your products they may need additional information. Be ahead of your competitors by offering this additional service with advanced product descriptions or additional product photos.


Consider Delivery times

Fulfilling orders during this period is especially important.  Consider your last delivery date for orders placed close to Christmas.  With services such as the Royal Mail they do not ‘guarantee’ delivery with 1st or 2nd class post, or even with Recorded Delivery.

  1. Set last delivery dates and make sure you have this well advertised across your site and in customer communications so that there is no last minute disappointment
  2. Try offering 24 hour Special or courier delivery and charge a reasonable premium on postage costs – most customers are happy to pay extra if they know their gifts will arrive in time for the big day.

Keeping your customers informed at all stages is key to maintaining a good reputation for your web shop.


Preparations for Christmas campaigns

Consider whether you want to do a special marketing campaign during Christmas season to increase customer loyalty. For example, you could attach an already stamped Christmas card to all orders that you send out during the Christmas period. Customers can use it to send on to friends and family. You could even add an incentive in the card to make sure it gets passed on.

If you decide for such or a similar campaign, now is the right time to prepare. Ask for an offer for the production of the card at your local design agency or printing house. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that you’ll have to pay a premium price for the production.

Another idea to present your shop to customers in a likable way is to use a special packaging with Christmas motifs and your logo. Again, do not wait too long before starting with the design and production.

Don’t forget to check back for the next instalment of Prepare your online store for Christmas… coming soon.

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