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Getting your business ready for Christmas

Written by Hamish Braddick on October 28th, 2010.      0 comments

Christmas is pretty much around the corner now so it's a great idea for you to start preparing your business and website so you can make the most of the busy sales period.

We have a few tips to help you stay ahead of competition:

1. Research the competition

It pays to spend some time finding out about your competition. What are they doing? What products are they pushing? What extras are they offering? This will give you an idea about what everyone else is doing and maybe give you a chance to think of something that others haven't already thought of doing. Even looking at similar companies overseas to see what they have come up with can be really insightful – you might be able to localise something someone has done successfully.

2. Make sure you spend a bit of time on your website as a customer

Go through the motions and check that everything works - and even better if you can get a friend to do it. Set them objectives and watch them use your website and get their feedback. There is nothing worse than having someone visit your website and go through the process of making a purchase decision and then getting an error. Check all your processes and pages so you can rest easy knowing that there won't be any last minute hiccups.

3. Use email newsletters

Email newsletters are a great way to inform your customers about special Christmas offers and new product releases. Even if you don't have an ecommerce site, you can run specials on your services and tell people about it via newsletters. Therefore, if you don't already have a newsletter, it's well worth investing in one before the holiday period so you can take full advantage of all the benefits it can offer. Make sure that you also give every website visitor the chance to sign up to the newsletter even if they don't purchase your products or services – have a clear area on your homepage where they can sign up for updates from you.

If you'd like to enquire about Zeald's Email Marketing package, drop us a line and we'll give you all the info you need to know.

4. Introduce special offers

Once you have a newsletter in place, you can use it to create all sorts of great Christmas related offers. Maybe a countdown to Christmas with an offer each day – like a 12 days till Christmas campaign or if your products or services have mass appeal, you could even try approaching one day sale websites such as Grab One or 1-day sale to ramp up sales.

Also create urgency by letting them know the last day for ordering their presents to have it delivered it in time for Christmas. This will remind them to get in before the rush and it will make it easy for you to handle the delivery schedules.

5. Use social media

Remember to use social media and blogs to promote your offers. Social media is a great free tool you can use to grow your community so you can effectively promote your products and services.

6. Give your store or premises a festive make over

It doesn't have to be drastic, even a few subtle additions can give it a bit of the holiday cheer. Same goes for your website, have a few festive images and maybe update your logo to create a bit of a holiday theme.

7. Add vouchers

If you don't already have vouchers available, it's a great time to introduce them to your store and your website. Lots of people struggle to think of the perfect present so vouchers are a popular option for Christmas.

8. Free shipping

If you have an ecommerce or ecommerce+ site, free shipping around holiday time will give your visitors an incentive to order from you. If you don't want to offer this on small purchases you can set a certain value, maybe free shipping on orders more than $50 or $100. This might even motivate your users to spend more to qualify for the perk.

9. Gift wrapping

Gift wrapping and Christmas card could add a nice touch to your ecommerce business as well. You can do it for free or maybe include a small Christmas card along with the gift and charge a small amount. But think about the bigger picture and the fact that you could be giving yourself the edge with a small perk like this.

10. Think about the late shoppers

There will always be people that will leave Christmas shopping right till the end so offer some form of last minute pick up or an urgent delivery system.

11. Offer gift ideas on your website

Create gift idea sections such as 'by gender', 'by type' and 'by price' making it easy for your website visitors to find what they are looking for. You could even have categories like 'for chocolate lovers' or 'for someone that has everything'. That way you will increase the chance of your website visitor finding the right product on your website.

12. Extend your return period

Holiday period can be very busy and and some people do buy gifts well ahead of time so add a nice touch and extend your return or exchange period. This will help make your visitor feel more at ease when purchasing online or even in your store.

 

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Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest website design and digital marketing agency in New Zealand and has recently made moves into Australia. This is the Zeald story …

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