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We are officially one month out from Cyber Monday, the ecommerce equivalent to Black Friday. Although it’s getting a little close, there’s still time to tweak and optimize your store to make cash registers jingle this holiday shopping season. To make sure your stocking is stuffed with moolah this Christmas, here are 30 last-minute tips to help you sell more this holiday shopping season. Also, check out our FREE Holiday Ecommerce Guide and Calendar, for more in-depth tips and tricks to sell more.

30 last-minute holiday shopping season tips

1. Deck your site with seasonal cheer. Don’t forget to decorate your site. Customize your banner to reflect the season. Even small tactics like adding slight changes to the logo or changing the color of buttons and borders can make a huge impact.

2. Give your coupon codes some holiday spice. Change your coupon codes to a seasonal theme like SANTA20 for a 20% off coupon. Not only will customers remember them, it also helps better leverage the feeling of the season.

3. Offer gift cards. Gift cards are quick, easy gifts that people love—especially last-minute shoppers. Simply create a product for your gift certificates and display them as a featured product.

4. Overpack the sleigh. You don’t want to run out of your top selling items during the biggest shopping season of the year. Check through your sales history, find the top performers, and be sure you have more inventory on those products than you expect to need.

5. Be sure to bundle the partridge with a pear tree. While you have customers on your site, get them to spend more with some upsells and cross-sells. Look for related products like accessories, or items that are frequently purchased together, and then promote these on each product’s page. You can also use these same items to create gift baskets.

6. Get visions of Google Shopping feeds to dance in their heads. Store owners dream of Google Shopping because it put their products front and center in the search results. Not only do these mini Product Pages increase visibility at a low cost, they also lead to higher conversion.

7. Verify when Santa Claus is coming to town. Before you get too wrapped up in the holiday season, confirm the absolute final dates for regular, two-day and overnight shipping with your shipping provider. Use these dates plus any necessary fulfillment time to determine when your last order deadlines are and then communicate those on your site.

8. Hang your images, optimized with care. A slow site can turn off customers. Make your site fast and compress images. You can optimize file size using free tools like http://www.smushit.com/ysmush.it/ and https://tinypng.com/.

9. Mind the small print. Want your images readable? Use JPGs for photographs containing little or no small text, and PNG for images containing small text that must be legible.

10. Be the ghost of customer’s past. Encourage repeat business by emailing targeted exclusive deals to past customers in your email list. Give them a reason to stop and shop with you.

11. Don’t let JavaScripts steal Christmas. Too many external JavaScripts can really weigh down page load time. A slow site can lose customers. Only use scripts that you absolutely need.

12. Stuff your stocking with shipping supplies. Not only is the holiday season the busiest time of the year for ecommerce, it’s also the busiest time for shipping. Be sure you have all your shipping supplies bought and ready to go before the rush happens. You don’t want to run out.

13. Drop a little holiday cheer into each box. Personalize every order this holiday season by adding a handwritten thank you note or a special touch that only your shop can provide. This will make the unwrapping experience a memorable moment of delight.

14. Backup everything. During the frantic holiday season everyone is in a rush, and a simple mistake can take your entire store down. If you have backup files we can get you set back up in minutes instead of hours or days.

15. Hire more elves. As entrepreneurs, sometimes we think we can take it on—but if Santa needs some extra help, so do you. Think about getting more customer service reps to man social media, live chat, and phone. Also, you may want to add some extra hands for packing and fulfilment.

16. Wrap it up! Want to increase your Average Order Value? Give customers the option to have their purchases gift wrapped for a few dollars more. Just make sure you have enough elves.

17. Add a cup of good cheer to product descriptions. Product descriptions don’t need a full bottle of holiday spirit, just enough to help push potential buyers to conversion. Think about adding guiding descriptions like, “perfect holiday gift for the snowman in your life.”

18. Make your navigation so bright, it’ll guide your customers right. Make it as easy as possible for customers to find and buy gifts. You might think your current categories make sense, but simplify them even more with special categories like “Gifts for Men” or “Holiday Clearance” can make it even easier.

19. Don’t get run over by a reindeer—or upset customers. Make your holiday shipping, return, refund, and exchange policies clear and easy to find. Be sure to include cutoff dates and extended return policies. This will help ease customer concerns and win sales.

20. Add a spoonful of testing so the site doesn’t go down. While preparing for the holiday rush, be sure to run stress tests to make sure everything is functioning. Ask your friends to try setup they way you want. Stress testing will make sure an avalanche doesn’t happen in the blizzard of holiday sales.

21. Let it show! Let it show! Let it show! A late gift is about as fun as a lump of coal. Set proper expectations and put your shipping deadlines everywhere. This includes in hero images, banners, email marketing promos and PPC campaigns.

22. Make your keyword list and check it twice. If you haven’t already refreshed your PPC campaigns and SEO keywords for the holidays, do that now. Add words like “gifts” and “presents.” For example, “Great reindeer gifts for the holidays” if you normally sell things for reindeers.

23. Give Santa milk, cookies, and free return shipping. Santa doesn’t want to have to leave the North Pole to pick up gifts that kids don’t want, and your customers shouldn’t have to pay for return shipping. Put gift givers at ease and let them know that returns get shipped for free. Throw in a bonus gift card or discount and make it a Christmas miracle.

24. On Dancer and Prancer, on Donner and two-day shipping. Last-minute shoppers need last-minute nudges to buy from you instead of going to the mall. Let them know that you offer two-day shipping and guarantee their package will arrive on time.

25. Show the Ghost of Promos Yet to Come. The best way to drum up interest in your Cyber Monday sales is to offer previews of what’s to come. Show off your sales items on your blog, in your email campaigns or on banners. Be sure to include any discounts or coupon codes. Remember to make it an event!

26. Go tell it to the bloggers. Print publications have a long lead time, so it’s probably too late to be featured in their holiday lists—but it’s not too late for bloggers. Find bloggers or YouTubers in your niche and send them some samples. In your pitch, give them examples of wishlists on which your items might be featured.

27. Hang mistletoe now for a January kiss. Add a little incentive for customers to return in January by including a gift card or discount code with holiday purchases. For example, if they spend $100, they get a $10 gift certificate. This will help nudge them to becoming a repeat costumer in the new year.

28. When in doubt, give us a shout. Don’t stress about the holidays. Call our support ninjas 24/7 and let them help you.

29. Plan to take it all down. Don’t be the guy on the street who leaves his Christmas decorations up well into February. Plan a date to take down all your holiday alterations—and stick to it!

30. Just breathe. When you start to feel stressed, just stop, take a second, and then breathe. Picture yourself on a calm beach, drinking a margarita. Remember, you’re doing this for your dreams–and it’s only once a year!

Leave a Comment
  • Kate Dillon

    After thinking about it a bit longer, I think I understand. I would create a new coupon code after the purchase is made and make it available for one use. I would then include the code on a gift certificate document that I create. Thanks again for the idea!

  • Kate Dillon

    Thanks for replying, Jessica! I definitely use the Featured Products feature, so that’s not a problem.
    I’ve created coupon codes before, so I know how to do that also. Would you suggest that I create a gift certificate document that would be emailed to the buyer that includes the coupon code? And, what would prevent just anyone from using the code? Thanks again.

  • Jessica Malnik

    @disqus_EAbpoP6uUg:disqus: Sure, this is actually pretty simple to set up. First, you want to make sure you have a few featured products in your store. Here’s a step by step guide for how to do that. https://support.bigcommerce.com/questions/978

    From there instead of creating a gift certificate, I’d personally suggest creating individual coupon codes. If for no one reason, it’s easier to track as well.
    https://support.bigcommerce.com/questions/1728

  • Kate Dillon

    Great article! I especially love the idea of creating a featured product for gift certificates. However, I can’t figure out how to do that. Any advice?

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