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Xmas Xlist: Get Your Online Store Ready for the Holidays

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CHRISTMAS! Snow’s coming down, 

CHRISTMAS! I’m watching it fall, 

CHRISTMAS! Thanks to COVID restrictions, 

CHRISTMAS! I can’t go to the mall. 

And so it is, Christmas 2020 is almost upon us. 

If the trends from the last few years plus the pandemic effect pan out as expected, it’s going to be a record year for eCommerce sales. 

Is your online store ready for the holidays? Follow Zyro‘s Christmas checklist to find out. 

1. Do an inventory check 

You need to make a list, and you need to check it twice. 

Knowing what inventory you have left before the Christmas rush, and working out what you expect to sell, will help you know what you need to order ahead of time. 

Be sure to contact your suppliers and find out what their plans are over the Christmas period. Remember, you’re not the only one with extra pressure around this time of year, so it pays to be prepared. 

2. Calculate how many days you need to deliver products

Christmas countdown stockings

On average, Santa spends 0.0006 seconds in each home he visits, maxing out at speeds of 5,083,000 mph. 

Unfortunately, neither UPS nor FedEx yet offer services at those speeds. You need to know how long it’ll take to get products to customers in time for Christmas. 

Check with delivery companies their expected delivery times, and then remember to clearly communicate this to customers. 

You can even make longer delivery times part of your marketing message to create a sense of urgency to buy. 

3. Get your website in shape

Santa works flat out just one night each year, then kicks back and allows his indentured servants to carry the load the other 364 days a year. 

This means that it’s crucial he’s in peak shape during his busiest time of year. And so should your website. 

Getting the right look isn’t all you need to be doing with your website, you need to make sure that the infrastructure is up to standard. Downtimes will cost you money. 

  • Double-check hosting. Is your hosting provide going to give you the right amount of bandwidth if you enjoy a sudden surge of traffic?
  • Check your website for downtimes. Has your website been going offline unexpectedly? Root out the cause of this, and make sure it’s fixed. 
  • Assess load speeds. Impatient Xmas shoppers cannot wait, nor sure you expect them to. Make sure your site is lightning fast 
  • Perfect your conversion paths. Can visitors to your website make a purchase in the fewest clicks possible? 

4. Redecorate for the holidays

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It’s pretty hard to erect a Christmas tree in a website, but thanks to the Christmas miracle of web design, you can create a very festive vibe for shoppers. 

  • Deck your homepage. Don’t be scared to celebrate the holiday season with bold decorations throughout your homepage. 
  • Walk in a winter wonderlanding page.  Create Christmas themed landing pages for visitors, directing them to gift ideas. 
  • Produce Christmas creatives. Get ready for Christmas marketing with themed creatives that echo your decoration. 
  • Think about emails. Consider redesigning your automated emails to reflect the holiday spirit. 

5. Consider offering deals 

Sure, Black Friday and January sales are either side of Christmas, but that doesn’t mean that Christmas itself can’t be a sales event. 

Giving customers a small percentage off during the holiday season will make them more inclined to shop with you, and leave you better off in the long run. 

You could also consider offering free shipping or prize draws as further incentives. 

Even if you’re planning something big for January and have just enjoyed a big Black Friday, there’s still value in offering a little Christmas promotion. 

6. Think about gift wrapping 

Loads of shoppers will purchase gifts for people they won’t see this Christmas, so offering a gift-wrapping service is a nice option for customers. 

Offering a choice of wrapping and offering cards and personalized messages will help make gifts feel special and customized. 

Gift-wrapped presents

As well as wrapping gifts on behalf of customers, you should consider other elements of packaging that might give the gift game away. Try not to include labels or receipts that explain the contents of the parcel. 

7. Start communication a few weeks before

There’s no point following all our advice up until now unless you’re going to give your customers plenty of notice that your Christmas is going to be huge. 

If you want to maximize your traffic and sales in the run-up to Christmas, then you should be starting to message your customers and potential customers as early as is reasonable. 

  • Act soon. Don’t let the other online retailers get the drop on you. Encourage shoppers to buy early and shop with you. 
  • Target key channels. Email is obviously important for existing customers, but don’t forget to think about where your potential customers can be reached. 
  • Keep your messaging consistent. Whatever channels you’re targeting, you should be using the same tone and voice everywhere. 
  • Remember to personalize. Where possible, make sure that your offers and messages are tailored to specific customers. 
  • Make unique creatives. Christmas, if nothing else, is a time for creativity. Take the opportunity to make some really outstanding ads. 

8. Plan your timeline

The most important advice that we at Zyro can offer, and this is from personal experience, is that Christmas arrives way sooner than you’d expect. 

You really need to plan your time out strategically to make sure you’re not wasting a mine.

As we publish this article, there’s less than a month left until Christmas day. If you don’t make every single one of those days count, you’ll be missing out on sales. 

We wish you the very best of luck in the coming holiday season, and of course, a very merry Christmas. 

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Written by

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Duncan

Duncan is obsessed with making website building and eCommerce accessible to everyone. He explains the best tools and the latest digital marketing trends in ways that are clear and engaging. His focus is on supporting the sustainable growth of small to medium-sized enterprises. When not writing, he enjoys deep sea fishing and endurance cycling.

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