The holiday shopping season is right around the corner.
Before you trim the tree, get the house ready for the Holiday guest, or even rush out for that black Friday sale; take a few moments to get your business’ website ready for holiday shopping and online buyers. The holiday shopping season is not only the biggest time of year for brick and motar retailers, but also a big time for online holiday shopping.
No matter what your product or service there are a number of things you can do to optimize your site for more online holiday shopping during this potentially profitable season and even more important make your products and offers irresistible to holiday shoppers.
#1 Update Product Photos
How often do you update your products photos on your website? I see many businesses that have a set it and forget it approach, don’t be one of them this year. Update your product photos to show them in a festive light for the holiday shopping season. For example show products under a tree, next to a fireplace, or a holiday ornament. Help your online shopper see what a perfect gift your product would make.
#2 Run a promotion
Another simple idea is to run a promotion for the holiday shopping season. There is a series of big shopping days coming up: Small business Saturday, Black Friday, cyber Monday, and make sure you take advantage by offering a special package or nice discount on your products or services.
#3 Offer a holiday themed freebie for to grow your opt-in list
Even if the holidays are usually a slow time for your business, it can be a great time for list building. Offer an opt in freebie that has a holiday twist, for example: a holiday or new year prep guide, special year-end report, or even tie in a promotional discount they can use for holiday shopping like 10% off for signing up.
#4 Post your holiday hours
It’s natural you’ll need time to get your own holiday shopping done, so set your hours of availability in advance and post them on your site. Whether you are an online retailer, consultant, coach, or brick and mortar store, posting your hours helps you and your clients plan better and reduce holiday stress.
#5 Include an “order by date” so last minute holiday shopping shoppers orders arrive on time
I have to admit I’m a last minute shopper, and every year I pass up shopping on a few sites just because I don’t know if my order will arrive on time. Avoid the stress of last minute orders and angry customers who couldn’t get their product in time by posting an order by date. This isn’t just for Christmas, I have this problem on Halloween when costume shopping, Thanksgiving when buying special spices, and of course Christmas trying to get that last gift. Any big day you think you clients may be pressed to get their product beforehand post the date, this is the best passive customer service step you can make during the holidays. Even if you offer a services post a schedule by for holiday appointments.
#6 Refresh other photos on your site
I know we talked about product photos and spicing them up for holiday shopping, but don’t forget the rest of your site’s photos. Show pictures of you, your staff, and customers in a warmer cozier setting. Pictures of people in short sleeve shirts and tank tops in December are a dead give a- way that you haven’t updated your site in a while (unless you are in FL). Also, add in a few holiday photo opportunities like the office holiday party or give back community service event, this the heartwarming time of year and your business should be too.
#7 Offer gift certificates
Whether you offer a product or a service gift certificates are always a perfect gift giving option. Who wouldn’t love the gift of a free coaching session, batch of cookies, or logo design? Gift certificates can be created for just about everything. Whatever you decide to offer for the holidays make sure your gift certificates are displayed prominently on your home page. You also want to announce them in your newsletter.
Editor’s Holiday Shopping Tip: Consider giving a few gift certificates away to your existing or loyal customers.
#8 Post a holiday greeting
Revise your about/welcome message or make a separate page to wish site visitors a little holiday cheer and send well wishes for the New Year.
#9 Blog about the holidays
The holidays are the time of year when everyone is looking for something new and different to make it special or easier. Do a blog post with a new holiday project or recipe, holiday shopping guide, or even holiday relates tips (hint hint, you’re reading one here ). Whatever it is make it related to your niche and add a little holiday twist.
# 10 Add holiday keywords to your website, metatags, alt tags and key words
During the holiday shopping season consumers often do keyword searches for items specific to the holidays. Boost your holiday SEO and make sure you incorporate key holiday and gift related words into your tags and descriptions. For example if you sell sweaters add a meta tag that says “holiday gift sweaters”, if you offer wellness classes add a tag that says “new year wellness”.
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