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The Kong Academy provides actional hints, tips and guides to making the most of your eCommerce store.

Is your eCommerce store ready for Christmas?

Kong Academy - How to sell online

Here we take an indepth look at particular topics of interest to beginner and established webstore owners.

Is your eCommerce store ready for Christmas?

Julian James

We’re all familiar with the end-of-year rush. Those projects that need finishing, the endless parties and catch-ups, and the family obligations. With everything going on, it can be hard to fit in time to go gift shopping.

Little wonder that many of us are heading online to get our gift lists sorted – we can shop without heading to a store, dealing with crowds, or waiting ages in line.

Here’s how to appeal to seasonal shoppers in a way that’ll have them singing your praises.

Get your store into the festive spirit

Take a page out of the books of bricks-and-mortar retailers by giving your store a seasonal makeover.

Curate your listings
Curate your product listings so that those most applicable to the festive season get prime position on your site. Make shopping a simple, one-click endeavour for your customers by creating new “Gift”, “Christmas gift” or “Best Seller” categories, along with suggested product bundles that can become beautifully packaged gift-sets.

Give your titles a seasonal twist
Next up, give your product titles a festive makeover. If you sell candles, your dark green candles are now “Holly” candles. Round ones are “Baubles” or “Ornaments”. Cinnamon or spice scented candles are perfect for the table at Christmas dinner – so give them a new name accordingly.

Jazz up your product copy
Once you’ve reworked your titles, jazz up your product copy to show why your products have seasonal appeal – and to whom. Perhaps they’re great as a gift for a friend or partner, or as festive decor for when the relatives come to visit. Paint a picture for your customers.

Offer best-in-class customer service

End-of-year shoppers are short on time – and all about convenience. They’re less likely to browse around, and more likely to ask those pressing questions in order to know whether to hit “buy”.

Be speedy in your responses
Leaving your customers hanging at this time of the year just means they’ll head elsewhere. Be prompt in responding to questions and queries. Try a live chat service such as the one offered by Zopium for an easy real-time response solution.

Update your FAQ
Not everyone will take advantage of a live chat option, but an FAQ page is a great way to provide helpful answers in an easy-to-peruse format. Touch on topics such as gift-wrapping options, payment methods, seasonal offers or discounts, and most importantly whether a product will arrive in time for Christmas. Make sure the FAQ page is in your main navigation so that visitors can easily find it.

Be patient and helpful
Going that step further to look after your customers is paramount at this time of the year. Many of your seasonal shoppers might not have happened upon your store outside of the festive season, so this is your chance to convert a new subset of visitors to repeat customers. For a deeper dive into how to do this, check out our primer on customer service

Manage delivery time expectations

Making sure a purchase will arrive in time for the big day is a key factor for seasonal shoppers. Create a “Christmas Delivery Times” page outlining the delivery services you offer. Outline any purchasing deadlines customers need to adhere to if they want to guarantee in-time delivery.

Tip: Add these deadlines to your product descriptions, too. It works for bigwigs like Amazon!

Update your returns policy
Now’s the time to ensure your returns policy is up to date – and easy for your customers to find. A customer-friendly, considerate returns policy helps build trust with your customers, which is especially important if you’re dealing with new customers at what might be a stressful time of year for them. Knowing that you have their back if needed will encourage them to take the plunge and click “buy”.

Tweak and improve your store

You’re likely to see an increase in traffic over the festive season, so make sure your store is putting its best foot forward. Check off these quick tips to ensure yours is doing what it needs to do:

  • Is your store easy to navigate? Create new categories and re-arrange your products if needed.
  • Are your product descriptions first-rate? Ensure they offer an overview as well as features and benefits. Head here for more tips.
  • Are your social links up to date? Add your social media profiles and encourage customers to follow you.
  • Have you updated your design to suit the season? Change your banners and include festive decorative highlights.

Let the crowds roll in

All of the above tips revolve around a key element of eCommerce success – looking after your customers. By making things easy, showing how your products can improve their lives – or those of their loved ones – and emphasising great customer service, you’ll build trust with your customers. And the sales will follow.

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