Christmas is, without a doubt, the biggest e-commerce event of the year and a time when the season of goodwill makes everyone more likely to part with their money.

So whether your customers are on the look out for that perfect gift for their loved ones to unwrap on Christmas Day or they’re a savvy shopper in the Boxing Day sales here are our seven tips for driving conversion rates during the festive season.

1. Deck the halls

Mimic a physical store and rebrand your website to give it a more festive look and feel. Christmas-specific language can have a huge effect on your conversion rates. Using the headline ‘Merry Christmas’ within an email generated almost twice as many clickthroughs than the same email using ‘Happy Holidays’ according to Conversion Voodoo.

If you ship internationally, then take advantage of geo-targeting to only show your updated website to people in countries that celebrate this holiday.

However, whilst it’s great to use lots of Christmas visuals, make sure that you don’t overdo it as you want people to recognise that you’re still you.

2. Bundle up and push gift guides

Pre-Christmas Day people are typically buying for someone else rather than themselves. Make the process easier by creating gift guides. Build category pages for gifts or add filters to existing category pages so that customers feel more confident about the gift they’re buying. In turn this will help reduce the amount of returns post-Christmas.

Customers like a bargain, and retailers like higher average order values, making bundling products a win-win situation. For example, if you notice someone is interested in a particular perfume offer them the brand’s full range of toiletries at a discount.

3. It’s the final countdown

In the build up to Christmas change your deals daily or even hourly in order to drive up impulse buys. Putting time constraints ensures that customers make the most of that offer there and then – everyone loves a deal. 

4. Publicise e-vouchers

E-vouchers are the perfect gift for both shoppers and retailers. They’re not dependent on physical delivery so can be sold throughout the Christmas period and they’re great for gift buyers who are unsure about what their recipients would like. Use this easy sell to your advantage by preparing a specific page to sell e-vouchers as gifts. To make the gift appear more personalised give people the option to include different images and colours for the email or printout. Include information on what you can purchase with the e-voucher, how long the order takes to be processed and if the buyer can choose an email delivery date.

5. Clearly communicate delivery information and your returns policy

Ensuring their gifts will arrive in time for Christmas is one of the key concerns of shoppers. Making sure your website has clear, easy to find delivery information will help put their minds at ease. If you’re feeling generous this festive season then offer free delivery – research has shown that orders with free shipping average around 30% higher value than those that charge for deliveries.

During the festive period providing information about how people can return items becomes even more important so make sure your policies are clear and easy to find. If you have a better than average policy such as free returns then make sure this is highly visible on the sale landing page of your website.

6. Revamp your website for Boxing Day

After the big day shoppers are no longer focusing on gift-buying so plan ahead for post-Christmas shopping and allocate specific budgets to capture Boxing Day peaks. Get your website’s infrastructure ready to go before the holidays so that you can test new features and make any last minute tweaks.

7. Shout about your sale

Advertise your sale before Christmas so that customers remember to visit your website on Boxing Day. Use confirmation pages and emails to place messaging about your upcoming sale bonanza; especially if you offer a discount code or voucher during this period.

The holidays are a happy and busy time for all and a chance to end the year with successful results. However to be in it to win it preparation is key. You need to roll out your new website, Christmas offers, and target your messaging on time in order to drive conversions.

To find out how you can optimise your website even more over the festive period download our whitepaper here.