Guide to Getting Your Online Store Holiday-Ready

Xi Digital Published on 01 Dec

The last few weeks of the year are the busiest time of the year for online stores. With virtually everyone making holiday shopping lists and wishlists, it's arguably the most important time of the year for your e-commerce business. To maximize holiday success, your e-commerce store must be able to be found online and must also be designed to facilitate conversions.

Here's what you need to know about getting your online store in tip-top shape for the holidays. 

Building the Foundation: Create an E-Commerce Website

custom web design and developmentMost online retailers run their business via a branded website, but many online stores and small businesses sell their products online through social media platforms like TikTok shop, Amazon, or Facebook Marketplace. While all of these platforms and many others are viable options to conduct business on, it's a good idea to build a centralized hub for your store that belongs to you. In the past, some third-party platforms like WordPress and Instagram have been known to crash when updates are running, or there is an unexpected surge in traffic. During the busiest time of year, it's vital that you run your business on a platform that will allow you to generate sales reliably. 

Working with a web design agency like Xi Digital allows you to customize your e-commerce website design to suit your product offering. When you build your online store with Xi Digital, you will completely own your website and be confident that it will keep running all season long. This means that even if your other platforms go down for any reason or any amount of time, shoppers will still have a direct way to access your website and products.

Ensure Your Website Is Conversion Rate Optimized

With shopping at the top of everyone's to-do list, a natural surge in traffic to online stores occurs in November until the end of the year. To make the most out of increased website visitors this time of year, it's vital to have your website audited by a digital marketing agency or expert to ensure that it is optimized for conversions. Without the proper elements that funnel visitors through your website, they may leave before they convert. Essential components for conversions on e-commerce websites include shipping and return policy, reviews, calls-to-action, forms, customer service phone numbers, trusted payment processing, easy navigation, and more. The best conversion rate optimization for your e-commerce website design will depend specifically on your product offering and industry. You can maximize your sales online by tailoring your website design to your target customer's ideal experience. 

Generate Traffic to Your Website

Once your website is designed and launched, you must bring visitors to the platform to generate sales. Digital marketing strategies are a tried and true way to quickly increase traffic, especially during the holiday season. Paid advertising, whether it be Google Search Ads, Shopping Ads, Meta Ads, or any other type of sponsored content, is the fastest way to put your store directly in front of potential customers. Search ads are a type of pay-per-click advertising that allows your website to show up at the top of the page for key search results from already interested audiences. Display ads, video ads, and social media marketing allow you to build your brand awareness, retarget previous website visitors, or target audiences similar to your existing customers, which expands your overall reach and increases conversions online. 

Taking Your Store to the Next Level

Holiday Banners & Landing Pages

If you're running holiday promotions and sales, you want to convey that feeling immediately through holiday designs, whether that means updated banners or holiday-centric landing pages. Not only will this highlight the time of year, but it will also continue the messaging and experience that started from other channels on your website for a more unified visitor experience from one platform to the next. Banners and promotions can be featured on your most important website pages. The strategic placement lets visitors quickly identify and engage with special holiday offers. To enhance this approach, you can incorporate countdown timers that create a sense of urgency, compelling visitors to act swiftly to secure limited-time deals. This combination amplifies the perceived value of promotions and infuses the holiday shopping experience with excitement. 

User-Generated Content (UGC) & Customer Reviews

Encouraging customers to share their thoughts on specific holiday-themed products not only helps build trust but also aids potential buyers in making informed decisions. This dual approach, leveraging both UGC and individual reviews, adds authenticity to your brand narrative and enhances your customers' overall holiday shopping experience. To leverage your customers' voices on your e-commerce website, work with your development team to create the functionality to leave reviews under individual products or product categories. You can also create a UGC video gallery where new customers can scroll through your products in use by real people. 

Highlight Featured Products

Featuring products on your e-commerce site during the holidays is a straightforward strategy that significantly impacts customer engagement and sales. Highlighting best sellers, new arrivals, and staff picks provides a curated shopping experience, making it easier for customers to navigate through the multitude of options. It streamlines decision-making for shoppers, helping them quickly identify popular items, recent additions, and trusted recommendations. This simplifies browsing while capitalizing on the festive season's heightened shopping activity. By showcasing a carefully curated selection, you enhance the visibility of key products, increasing the likelihood of conversions and contributing to a seamless and efficient holiday shopping experience for your customers.

The Aftermath: Post-Holiday Engagement Plans

Building a strong online store with a modern e-commerce website design approach can take your business far beyond the holiday season. A well-designed and thought-out e-commerce website powered by a robust digital marketing agency creates a solid foundation for long-term sales generation. Xi Digital is a leading digital marketing agency that can help you analyze your holiday performance, extracting insights through analysis of your traffic data and audience to help you curate tailored strategies for search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, and social media marketing to enable a long-standing source of traffic and business for you. 

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