Avoiding 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!