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Prepare your online shop for this Christmas season

Christmas is nearly upon us, and as you will be aware as an online shop owner, it’s crucial to make sales this season. The way consumers are influenced to buy products is constantly changing, as is the way they search for products to buy. In this article, we will go over the main ways you can optimise your online shop for the 2016 holiday season. christmas ecommerce statistics

The basics

Before we focus on how to optimise your site for the holidays, we need to make sure that your basics are in order. So here is a quick checklist for your online shop.

  • SEO: If your site is on page 10 of search results in Google, how is anyone going to you’re your products? By doing SEO, you’ll optimise your site for search engines. Start by doing keyword research and check that your metadata, site content and page titles have the keywords that people search for.
  • Active social media: it’s free and it works. Market your products and business on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. It’s no use just having a social page and not using it though. You need to get followers and post interesting content that your fans like and maybe even share.
  • Clear and captivating categories: Just like Goldilocks, you’ll want not too many product categories, but not too little either. Your customers expect to see just the right amount of categories, guiding them to where they can find the product they’re looking for.
  • Inspiring images: Consumers nowadays expect multiple, high quality images of products when buying online. Make sure your photos show varied angles, that you’re using effective lighting and that all your photos have a consistent style.

Holiday-themed landing page

Get visitors in the mood to buy Christmas presents by updating your landing page with some Christmas flair. You could ask your designer to update your header image, create snowflakes on your site or to create a Christmas version of your logo. More importantly though, is the content of your landing page. Make sure that everything online shoppers want to see during this season is visible above the fold. Include helpful information, like a shipping table for Christmas deliveries and a dedicated category with the most popular items for the holidays. If you’re doing anything special, like bulk discounts, make sure that you show this clearly.

As an example, this is the homepage of St Eval Candle Company. They have added a dedicated Christmas page as the third page in their navigation menu, showing that, at the moment this is their most important service page. The image slider on their homepage is also updated for the season, as it’s showing options for Christmas-themed candles.

landing page christmas st eval

Advertise in the right areas

With ad blockers becoming more mainstream, banner ads and pop ups are increasingly less effective. You should think about investing in advertising that cannot easily be blocked, like social media and Google AdWords. If your target audience exists of mostly women, advertise on Facebook and Pinterest. Are you targeting a younger audience? Focus your efforts on Instagram and YouTube advertisements.

Another way to advertise is pay per click advertising using Google Adwords. Optimise your pay per click ads to target popular search phrases for this season like “Christmas presents for him”, “cheap stocking fillers”, “best toys for Christmas”.

Below you see the search results for “cheap stocking fillers”, and as expected, there are many advertisements from small and larger online shops and many Google Shopping results as well. google cheap stocking fillers

Optimise your online shop for mobile search queries

Micro-moments are the type of search queries that consumers do on the go, using their smartphone. These moments can be queries such as: “I want to know”, “I want to go”, “I want to do”, and “I want to buy”. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and imagine what queries they might use in the holiday period to find your products.

The “I want to buy” search is likely to be a comparison search, trying to find where to get a product at the best price or best quality. When you make sure your products are optimised for SEO and have them on Google Shopping as well, customers will find it easier to find your online shop when querying this information.

Another example of a micro-moment especially good for online shops, might be when Christmas shoppers realise they cannot find a certain gift in the stores. The popular toy might be sold out or they cannot find a specific gift. They will pull out their mobile and start searching for “product name” combined with “next-day delivery” or “online”. Just look at this Google search example for one of 2016’s most popular Christmas gifts, the Hatchimals toys. hatchimals buy online search results

That’s all

We hope these tips helped you optimise your ecommerce website for this 2016 Christmas season!
Good luck selling!

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