Online shopping has seen a significant boom in recent years. It is easy and comfortable. Therefore, e-shops have been stepping up their game and offering better prices, free shipping or excellent customer service. The situation gets even more rough before Christmas.
Christmas time is coming closer. For most customers it means looking for presents which they will eventually buy in the last moment although they’ve done some research ages ago. For sellers, it means heavier traffic for their e-shops and more interactions with customers.
Christmas shopping season is the most profitable time of the year – shoppers spend much more money than they usually do.
Learn what steps to take to prepare your online shop for the Christmas shopping fever.
1) More liberal policies
First of all, you should consider the ways of helping shoppers decide to buy Christmas gifts for their loved ones from your e-shop. You need to minimize the obstacles that make clients hesitant to buy.
- Free shipping. Offer free shipping on online orders during Christmas.
- Return policy. Consider more liberal conditions to return and exchange goods during Christmas season. Make sure your clients have more time to return or exchange goods they have purchased. Many people buy gifts they would like to get, not the person they buy them for, so the person receiving the gift will have to return the unwanted present.
2) Payment methods
Christmas shopping season is the ideal time to consider additional payment options for your e-shop.
Let’s say you normally accept credit and debit cards payments or payment on delivery. But what about PayPal? There are many shoppers who prefer this kind of payment method, especially due to security issues. It’s nice and profitable to meet their expectations. Even this "small" change can lead to a significant increase in sales.
Before making a purchase, customers tend to have questions related to products, payment methods, shipping, return policy, etc. Let your customers help themselves and find answers on your website, so that they don’t have to contact your customer center. FAQ is a great source of information for clients and a great way to avoid increased workload of your customer support center.
WOW TIP: Special Christmas FAQ section – provide your clients with answers to common questions:
- What are your business hours during Christmas?
- What is the waiting period?
- How much does shipping cost?
- What is the return policy during Christmas shopping season?
- Can I cancel my order? How soon do I need to do that?
- Do you offer Christmas discount coupons? How can I get one?
- Can I buy Christmas gift cards?
4) No significant changes
Many customers start to look for Christmas gifts two or three months before Christmas. However, that doesn’t mean they buy them immediately. Often they just save the items into a wish list to be able to find them later.
That’s why you shouldn’t change your e-shop’s structure, rename your products or make similar significant changes during the Christmas shopping season.
5) Christmas Gifts section
Shoppers buy Christmas presents for people they love. However, they may not be sure what to look for. Use the opportunity and prepare a special Christmas section for your customers and create different categories, such as for him, for her, for parents, etc.
Inspire your clients with special Christmas catalogue and help them quickly find the perfect gift. Display the Christmas Gifts section on your homepage and add it to your menu for easier navigation.
6) Responsive e-shop
Make sure your clients can shop from all kinds of devices – not just computers, but also smartphones and tablets.
62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device.
People have been using smartphones and tablets to view products, look for offers, research information, read reviews, compare prices or buy products. Having a mobile responsive website is key to attracting younger customers (teenagers) who are constantly online.
7) Think about high-quality omnichannel customer support
During Christmas season, your customer service will feel the increased traffic as well. You should provide consistent customer support to your clients through all communication channels, e.g. social networks, live chats, email or phone.
Staff up for the Christmas season and prepare for more inquiries from customers to answer them quickly and efficiently and help them solve the problem. There’s nothing worse for a customer than waiting several hours for an answer.
The longer the customer has to wait, the more likely you are to lose them.
8) Social media
Don’t forget to manage your social media channels and make them interactive, it’s as important as a high-quality customer service. It’s also a great way to stay in touch with clients.
Your Facebook or Instagram accounts must be active! During Christmas season, you may expect more comments and reviews on your business profiles. Some will be positive and others will be negative – make sure you respond to both. Reply to each and every comment and instruct your staff to respond in a professional way.
Plan your content on each channel you use. Refresh your old content and inform your clients about special Christmas offers, gift vouchers, free shipping and other things that can be useful for shoppers.