By Pete Bingham
At the start of December, the air fills with the scent of mince pies and gingerbread oat milk lattes, and the high streets and shopping centres of the world are transformed with Christmas decorations. The festive season grips us and begins to cast its enchanting spell.
While a whopping 35% of weirdos have managed to do all their Christmas shopping before Black Friday, most of us start in December, and a few of us (mainly the dads) leave our online shopping as late as is humanly possible.
Which means despite a bunch of super organised people showing us all up for being rubbish, there are many online shoppers looking to bag those last-minute presents before the last posting dates of 18-19th December (UK).
In the spirit of the season, we bring you 12 actionable eCommerce enhancements—a gift-wrapped collection of strategies to boost conversions and infuse your website with all the warmth, charm, and commercial frenzy of the festive season.
Remember, we’re dealing with the last two weeks of the Christmas rush here, so offering gift wrapping could really save someone’s bacon and make the difference between your website and a competitor’s. It’s a bit more work at your end, but you could always hire an elf, right?
Optimise the placement (and design) of your CTAs to stand out amidst all the festive offers. Use compelling and Christmas-themed language to encourage visitors to take action, such as “Shop Now for Holiday Deals” or “Give the Gift of Perfume This Christmas”. Those shoppers in a hurry are often short on ideas as well as time, so they’re after inspiration; give it to them.
While many websites start their Christmas email campaigns early in November, most neglect a follow-up, or consider the last-minute shopper. But if you can catch someone’s eye in their inbox with a sweet last-minute promo, you might make their Christmas wishes come true.
Always worth it, this one. Remind your visitors when the last shipping date is to guarantee delivery. Not only with a banner on your homepage, but also via email marketing, paid ads, a Christmas countdown, on product pages, on checkouts… basically, anywhere sensible. Similarly, make it explicitly clear if a product will not arrive in time for Christmas. After all, Santa can’t deliver on time if you’ve missed the postal deadline, can he?
This can apply to so many things over Christmas, whether it’s offering a faster delivery service (e.g., courier for last-minute gifts) or optimising your website so it serves up a snappier experience. As we get closer to the big day, a shopper’s patience tends to wear thinner, so make it snappy! On Dasher! On Dancer! On Prancer… etc.
Find out how our expert marketing team can optimise your website to boost sales whatever the time of year!
Create dedicated landing pages tailored for the Christmas season. Highlight special offers, limited-time deals, and gift guides that cater specifically to Christmas shoppers. Ensure these pages are as Christmas-y as possible, easy to navigate, and that all your key products are well highlighted. Again, the last-minute shopper needs inspiration and guidance here; help them out.
Implementing countdown timers or using limited stock notifications can create a sense of urgency and encourage visitors to make a purchase. In addition, using paid ads, or email marketing can be particularly effective here to drive those last-minute Christmas shoppers. We’re not trying to trick people with fake scarcity here—that’s for people on the “naughty” list—we just want to guide them towards timely decisions.
If you can spare an elf, ask them to man the website live chat over the Christmas period. If you can’t, consider investing in a cheery chatbot to answer as many frequently asked questions as possible.
Further to the last point, make sure you have all your FAQs in a sensible place. Have a dedicated delivery page, and update it for the Christmas period. Invest some time in adding FAQs to popular product ranges; all of this will free up your elves to keep working on fulfilling orders.
Remember that the last-minute Christmas shopper is stressed, short on time and low on inspiration. There’s also a very likely possibility they will jump at the offer of recommended products to accompany ones they’ve just put in their baskets. New gloves? You’ll want the matching hat for those… and so on.
Despite being short on time, the last-minute shopper will still be wary about making impulse purchases from a new website, or one that looks untrustworthy. Inspire that trust by showcasing customer reviews, displaying trust badges, accreditation, secure payment icons etc. If everything looks above board, they’ll be happy to purchase. If you believe in Santa, you get presents, right?
Enhance the post-purchase experience by sending personalised thank-you emails, offering related product recommendations, or providing discount codes for future purchases to encourage customer loyalty. If you saved their Christmas this year, you might just make it to their “nice” list next year.
As we enter the last few weeks before the big day, remember to keep the momentum going. Don’t stop until that last postal day, and even then, keep going – after all, the ultimate customer for any eCommerce business is a loyal, returning customer. Save someone’s Christmas this year and reap the rewards for the rest of next year, and beyond.
Part of The Digital Maze Group