top tips to get ready for Christmas

Kevin Lopez | 30/11/15

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For most businesses, Christmas is a prime selling time, but this also means that the Christmas season is the most competitive time for your business. Some of your competitors have probably been planning their Christmas campaign for a year – right after the last one – choosing what works well and what could use some improvement.

Fortunately, starting late does not mean you have less chance for success. Here are a few ideas to make your business stand out and boost your traffic and sales.

1. Work on your discount strategy

Christmas is all about gifts, which translates to lots and lots of shopping, and what every shopper will be looking for is a bargain. You will probably have a well-planned out calendar of discounts and special offers targeted at specific segments of your market. Perhaps even include some free shipping. But just as important is having an effective plan to let your audience know about the amazing discounts you’re offering. Marketing experts suggest that businesses should call out free shipping, discounts, and other incentives in strong, clear language, and message the same incentives on landing pages and across social networks. You may also need sponsored ads to enhance your visibility.


2. Adjust your Christmas marketing strategy

The online market will be bombarded with loads of discounts and offers at this time of the year, so you need to promote your offers aggressively – putting them out there at regular intervals. Some things to consider include:

•           Social media advertising – As more people take time off work over the holidays, you can expect a lot more engagement over social media, especially if you have great content

•           Content sharing strategy – You need to start creating a large following early to make more sales during the holidays. You should actually create a comprehensive year round calendar for content sharing (or in the last couple of months leading up to Christmas) to have a strong online community that you can sell to.

•           Paid promotions – This may be a great way to target new markets based on demographics and interests.


3. Customise an eye-catching seasonal shop front

As the festivities draw near, customers will be expecting to see Christmas designs both online and offline to know which shops or stores are stocked for Christmas shopping. Gathering as much attention as you can depends on two key elements:

•           The functionality of your Christmas design – this impacts how customers use your website. You may choose to create a unique Christmas category with its own items and distinct design, but if it varies too much from the standard layout, customers may get confused thinking that they deviated from your website.

•           The style of your Christmas design – every change in design must be aimed at enhancing user friendliness and optimising functionality. But this time, you must also consider giving your customers a different look from what they’ve become accustomed to, as well. Though the styling should be moderate to avoid confusing the customers.

Changing the design of your website does not have to be a complicated task. It can be as modest as styling your shopping cart, decorating the price tags, or styling the checkout process to add a little festive touch.

Finally, you need to evaluate your site. Ensure that your website is optimised for potential buyers using a mobile device to visit your site; you have high quality images to entice shoppers; the checkout process is easy and straightforward; there are out of stock options to redirect shoppers when you run out of certain products; and that your website can handle traffic spikes.

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