That’s right! You are probably checking your calendars as you’re reading this and thinking, “Oh wow, it is only 3 months until Christmas!” The year is definitely sneaking by and like most people, you are probably shocked to see the holiday season quickly approaching. It’s time to start shopping and planning and, in the mix of it all, making sure your website is also ready for the occasion. In case you haven’t quite thought that far into the future or just need a little help, here are some pointers to check over when getting your website ready for Christmas.
- Dress it up a bit! Everyone gets a bit excited around the holidays with all the food, festivities and decorations everywhere you look. Carry the excitement of the season over to your website with some great Christmas images. The following websites provide excellent and free resources:
- [ Toolkit ] Get Ready for Christmas With 100’s of free Vector resources – This site sources Christmas Vector icons, cards, trees and more.
- Christmas Design Toolkit: Photoshop Brushes, Vector Images and Tutorials – This site sources Christmas Vector gift packs, ornaments, Photoshop brushes and tutorials.
- Free Christmas Images – This site provides a plethora of Christmas related images from Christmas trees to gingerbread men and borders.
- iStockphoto (paid website) – iStockphoto is another place to pull your holiday look from, but it will cost you a little money to do so. iStockphoto has everything from photos and illustrations to audio and video on numerous subjects.
- Make sure the site is in good working order. Do a thorough run through of your site’s pages, links, content and buttons to make sure there are no silly grammar mistakes or broken links. The W3C link checker is a great tool to utilise. An increased number of people will be navigating to your site nearing the holiday season, so you might want to be sure some trivial errors aren’t making them want to leave straight away.
- Offer holiday sales. Exclusive coupons and sales just for the season create an urgency to buy because if they don’t do it now, they may not get the deal later.
- Catch them with the homepage. Optimise your homepage to immediately draw interest and giving them a reason to look around longer. Display your current sales and coupons, and make sure it is done in a visually appealing way.
- Expand email and online marketing strategies. Email newsletters offer a great way to communicate sales and reminders to customers and potential customers. Online ads for targeted markets should be upped to promote more awareness. Be sure to write for your target audience, as well as post in places these individuals will frequent.
E-commerce Site Tips:
Christmas for many online retailers is one of, if not the biggest, revenue generating event of the year with the sales run-up starting in November for most. To take advantage of the business booming opportunities at hand, there are a few extra steps that an e- commerce site should take.
- Postage policy should be clear. Don’t let any sticky situations arise because your customers were unaware of how long it would actually take for the product to arrive. Make sure they know the last day they can make a purchase in order for it to get there before Christmas. Having it clearly stated can help you catch more of those last-minute shoppers!
- Promote safe and secure shopping. A lot of people are wary of sharing their personal details online. If you are an online shop, this insecurity can hold you back. Make sure your site’s SSL logo is clearly displayed, and higher up on the page if possible, so that your customers know immediately that you mean business.
We know the holidays can be an extremely busy time for most, so it is best to be proactive when planning and get these steps underway sooner than later. There is, after all, only 3 short months (!!) left on the annual countdown, but if you start now, your website will be ready well before Santa Clause comes to town.