4 ways to help your customers this christmas…

Every e-commerce website, no matter what its size or focus, could benefit from an increase in activity over the busy and highly competitive Christmas period. According to research conducted by eBay advertising, 85% of consumers intend to maintain or increase their festive online shopping for 2009, and it’s estimated that online retailers will see an overall spend of £8.9 billion this Christmas. We’ve just passed “ Cyber Monday” – the busiest Internet shopping day of the year, which typically falls on the first Monday of December (7th December for 2009).

  • Add a Christmas Gift Section
  • Provide Extra Delivery Options & Notify Customers of Dates
  • Focus on Email Marketing
  • Offer a Gift Wrapping Service

Christmas Gift Sections

Help your customers find gifts quickly and conveniently this year by adding a Christmas-specific department to your e-commerce website. Anything can be a potential Christmas present, so group your products into handy categories – for example, allow shoppers to sort by price or suggest gifts for potential recipients, ‘Under £20’, ‘For Her’, ‘Stocking Fillers’, to help guide your shoppers towards their ideal products. To make the selection process even easier, you could also consider offering a choice of gift cards or Christmas-themed gift packs.

Delivery Options & Dates

Provide clearly visible information to your customers regarding your Christmas delivery schedule, and make sure you offer the latest delivery deadlines available to you. Many shoppers leave Christmas shopping until the last minute, so it’s important to provide shipping as close to Christmas Eve as possible. The worst thing you can do is deliver late!

You might also expand your range of shipping options over the festive period to deal with demand – for instance, if you don’t currently offer a Next Day courier service, consider catering to last-minute shoppers and implementing one for Christmas.

It’s suggested that free delivery influences almost half of online purchasers – so you may want to offer complimentary shipping when customers spend over a certain threshold. Christmas is a hugely competitive period, and free shipping could consolidate a customer’s decision to purchase from you rather than another Internet retailer.

Focus on Email Marketing

As months turn into weeks and weeks turn into days, Christmas time seems to get closer and closer without us even realising. Try using our easy to use email marketing software, EmailTool, to send out mailshots and reminders – even though Christmas will probably see an influx of new customers to your retail website, it’s important not to neglect your existing ones! Email newsletters containing seasonal content – from Christmas gift ideas to festive promotions and discount codes – will encourage your email subscribers to make a return visit and subsequently a Christmas purchase.

Keep reminding your customers how close Christmas is… and, more importantly, how many Christmas shopping days remain!

Gift Wrapping Service

The weeks leading up to Christmas are hectic for a huge number of stressed shoppers, and taking Christmas gift-wrapping out of the equation for them could easily lead to a sale for you. If offering free gift-wrapping for your products proves prohibitively expensive or time consuming, you could always offer the service as a freebie with purchases over a certain value, or as an inconsequent additional cost per item.

As an even greater incentive, think about offering a varied choice of gift wrap to your customers, and displaying previews of your Christmas paper or even pre-wrapped and beribboned gifts on your website.