Every year, more and more consumers turn to online shopping to fulfill their holiday gift purchasing needs. According to research by the BBC, it is estimated that 24p for every £1 spent during the festive period will be spent online. This trend of shoppers turning to online stores for their holiday shopping presents a promising opportunity for small businesses to increase their profits during the Christmas period.
1. Is your system ready for the increased web traffic?
As shown in the statistics above online sales during the holidays are on the rise and you need to make sure your website capable of handling the rush. If your website is down from the increased traffic, your customers can’t buy from you and this becomes a huge missed opportunity. Use a reliable web host for your website and have back up plans in case of emergencies.
This article is worth a read if you want to learn how to stay online and available during traffic spikes.
2. Give your website a lick of ‘Christmas Paint’
Your website is the equivalent of your shop window in the online world. Take inspiration from Harrods and Hamleys who use their shop window displays to drive extra sales at Christmas. Not only do these displays create a Christmas feel among customers, importantly they entice people in. In some cases people make special trips to see them as part of their Christmas routine. Can you recreate this buzz and awe people with a fantastic Christmas web design?
Consider enlisting the help of your web designer/ developer. The benefits of an engaging festive web design are two fold. It helps your user to believe you are prepared for Christmas (and so will be able to deliver on time!) and that your website changes with the times by reflecting the current season. Its a relatively simple way to look professional, efficient and ready for the season.
Here is a great list of some of the best Christmas web designs from last year, from the likes of B&Q, Boden and Harrods.
This website banner from Next’s 2011 Christmas campaign is my favourite. What do you think?
3. Mobile Commerce – is your website mobile ready?
A recent survey has demonstrated that UK online sales through a mobile device will reach £1 in every £5 this Christmas. While the percentage of sales through mobile devices is growing exponentially so is the number of shoppers using their phones to check and compare prices. If you are not ready you are missing an important part of the market both in terms of actual sales through mobile and the customers that use their mobiles to hunt for potential businesses.
The good news is that its relatively easy to enable a mobile version of your website. For example, if you have a wordpress website, with just a single plug – in you can automatically enable mobile users on your website to access a mobile version of it.
Once you have your site mobile ready, consider looking into ways to make it even easier for your customers to shop on their phone.
Here is an excellent article detailing how to enhance your mobile presence