Get your website ready for Christmas!

Christmas website promotion hints and tipsAvoiding all the cliches on how fast time is flying by I will jump right into it today. Its Christmas people! That means alot of different things to different people, to me it means avoiding town, malls and Christmas music. I have yet to get sick of decorating for Christmas though – I love decorating for the sake of it – it must be the designer in me.

Some of you may not know but I grew up in retail. Because of that I know how big Christmas is – how it can make the rest of year possible and how it is definitely not a holiday. If the conversations on facebook are anything to go by online shops these days are really coming into their own. People will buy the all their presents online to avoid traffic (the vehicle kind) and the Christmas shopping madness – and the awful Christmas music that comes out EVERY year (scroooge). For this reason if you have an online shop you need to be looking at what your customers may be wanting out of it – and how you can introduce products to them that suit their needs, making the money you need to get through the rest of the year.

Here is a list of things you can do right now:

*Go through your products and segment them into groups – example groups could be: Budgets, sports, hobby, father, daughter ect. Create a page that recommends a list of products for each segment, link to it from your home page, your newsletter, facebook page, twitter account ect.

*Use your “related products” the part of the site. When your in the backend of your site within the product details page and you can often choose what other products people may like – that then appear on the product details page on the front-end of your site. Start relating them by your segments – be it price, sport, craft type and the like. Keep the ideas flowing for your customers, they will appreciate it.

* There is a little less money being splashed around these days. People becoming more careful with what they spend.  They still want to buy gifts but now its more important to get something the recipient will actually want – not a gift that will go straight to the Salvation army in the New Year or be used to be given back to you the following year! Vouchers are getting pretty popular for this very reason. So promote them on the homepage and throughout the site.

* Email Newsletters – Nothing annoys me more than newsletters that offer me no value whatsoever – its just news about the company when really right now I have shopping to do, work to finish and BBQ’s to go to. In this busy time Newsletters can be useful or a hindrance. Giving away information and special offers make a difference in how many people will open and actually read your newsletter without hitting delete.  Its here you can help by giving ideas on what to get people – offer them rewards, list gift ideas give them the odd discount code, let them know your Christmas opening hours and wish them a Merry Christmas. To coin a phrase think “outside in”. Make the time they took aside to read your newsletter count!

* On the blog. Use your blog to create not only news about your company, new products or product reviews but news about the season and whats going on over Christmas. Even create gift idea lists for “the father in law”, “the sister who lives far away” not only linking to your products but even other sites that have products that compliment yours, this is not only good to your reader and the other company – but will create goodwill that may end up in links back to your site – which is all good for google! The point is to create a buzzing festive atmosphere on your sites with great content.

* Buying local. For all sorts of reasons people are doing this more and more. If you have local products, organic products, free range – anything thats a buzz word being used and people care about – make sure you more that just mention it in the small print. Its a BIG selling point.

* Social Networks – If you have a Facebook page or Twitter thing going on. Use them! A few ideas: Post one day only specials, facebook competitions, ideas for gifts, cool links to anything online your customers might like… the point is to get them seeing your logo on their feed so they remember you when its time to shop. Its a fine line, but be careful not to overdo it so they don’t hide your updates! Outside in, outside in!

* Seasonal changes to the site. Every site does something different to promote the season. Banners, specials, Merry Christmas’s at the end of auto emails. Anything like this is awesome and gets people in the mood to shop. Just make sure you write yourself up a list of exactly whats been changed and when its all over take it down – remind your web designer to take it down, make sure that stuff is not up halfway through January…. even worse November the following year!

Alright I have bombarded you with enough tasks to do! Have a great Christmas. If there is anything I can help with let me know!

Christmas Tree Ornament Tutorials

Reporting from Christmas Land in Te Puke. We have driven up to a warmer, wetter climate. Kylie’s Mum and Dads place. There is a big tree in the living room with a Christmas village and railway tracks complete with a Christmas train. There are lights outside on the trees and shubs with Santa’s sleigh being pulled by reindeer on the roof.

Today I have put together some of my favorite tutorials for christmas tree ornaments.. or ones that can be used for that. Some I would love to make for the tree next year. This may be the last post before the new years, busy holidaying. Wish you all a Merry Christmas and Wonderful New Years… I am off to the beach! Been hankering for some swimming for awhile… Love a NZ Christmas!
ornaments
1.Christmas Birds 2. Pom poms (for garlands and hanging off the tree.. plus little “flowers”) 3. Dragon Boats 4. Circus theme Christmas Tree decorations on “design sponge”, the very cool topper on “once wed 5. Fabric pom pom garland (could use for anything) 6. For the knitters, little sweaters (thanks to buzzy bee) 7. Mini Terrariums

Little note to add: Twentycentmixture has just put together a really nice list of ornament ideas and Tutorials!

feature-studiohome
O and I was featured on Studio Home! Yay! Thanks lots Julia!

How to add tabs to virtuemart 1.1.3 and joomla 1.5.10

For a website I am working on using Joomla and Virtuemart I needed Tabs in the product details area. Here is what i found and it worked with very little hassle. 

1. Install and activate these plugins:

Magic tabs

In magic tabs  plugin manager select the default mode to be “ID” and save.

Scriptgrator

Just activate

2. In your product description have you content divided like so:

{magictabs mode=manually}
TAB 01::Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetuer nec eu magna consequat volutpat. Ut porttitor purus hendrerit nibh id sit id ultrices eu netus. Et eros cursus Sed sit adipiscing Vivamus ut magna Nulla nibh.
||||
TAB 02::Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetuer nec eu magna consequat volutpat. Ut porttitor purus hendrerit nibh id sit id ultrices eu netus. Et eros cursus Sed sit adipiscing Vivamus ut magna Nulla nibh.
||||
TAB 03::Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetuer nec eu magna consequat volutpat. Ut porttitor purus hendrerit nibh id sit id ultrices eu netus. Et eros cursus Sed sit adipiscing Vivamus ut magna Nulla nibh.
{/magictabs}

 

tabs in joomla virtuemart
tabs in joomla virtuemart

 
Viola! I will start blogging on my website adventures now and then I have decided. Really getting into the cool jobs now, so would like to share what i find for those that may find it useful.

A little update of things

I have moved into a new place in the last two weeks. It was an epic effort of moving alot of stuff. I used to live in a house I rented, furnished and stocked with kitchen stuff including a dedicated studio. To ONE room in a friends place, with the idea of doing the house thing again in a year or so. Lets just say, it involves storage and alot of effort and organising. I could not of done it without Kylie and help from friends with larger vehicles 🙂 But i still sit behind the computer most of my days and occasionally see lovely links and tutorials that i think.. “must blog about that”.

Here are a few..

  • Craft 2.0 coming to christchurch! Yay yay. Now I hope to give you guys a sneak preview of some friends work, so stay tuned.
  • Clever Bastards, a New Zealand based online shop selling handmade nz artist’s goods! Don’t forget Felt for that too, sell your own things, has the etsy feel to it
  • Studio Home, A blog I am loving for its NZ flavour and delightful posts
  • Wardrobe Refashion: I have asked to post here and got accepted! I have yet to write a post as the acceptance came mid move. Will be thinking about it this weekend. But basically you choose time where you will buy nothing more new clothing wise and you adjust/work with what you have already got. YIKES! But I thought this would be a great motivation and learning curve to get comfy and happy in sewing again.. i used to do quite a bit without thinking about when i was growing up, but now i’m grown up, I’m all scared to experiment!

Right thats me! Enough blabbling! Sorry no piccies today…