Maybe you aren’t sipping hot cocoa or singing along with Mariah Carey yet, but it’s definitely time to take a closer look at your holiday ecommerce strategy and prepare your store for the holiday.
Before the holiday rush hits, ask yourself: “Is my Shopify online store ready to handle a flood of festive shoppers?” If not yet, we can help you implement some ideas. See the best tips to unlock the full potential of peak shopping season this year.
Take the most of Shopify features for holiday online sales
Based on Salesforce holiday shopping predictions, 2023 will be the year of keeping loyal customers happy. Once you gain their trust and have them on board, your e-commerce store cannot lose it. So, prepare the groundwork first. Your Shopify store needs to work as smoothly as velvet Christmas pudding. You can’t let for any shortfalls.
Express checkout for impatient online shoppers
In the busy holiday season, time is of the essence. Your customer has found the perfect gift, but the checkout process is longer than their patience. It might be the reason why they decide to buy somewhere else.
Thankfully, among Shopify Plus development features are those that can easily speed things up and guarantee the users a hassle-free shopping journey.
- Activate the Express Checkout option in your Shopify checkout settings. As this option stores customer payments and shipping information, it is particularly useful for returning customers. Without re-filing the information, they can complete the purchase.
- Go to payment settings and set up dynamic checkout buttons. It enables branded payment methods, such as Apple Pay, PayPal, or Shop Pay, that allow skipping the cart and proceeding directly to the payment method from a product page.
For example, iPhone or Mac users who access your online store will automatically see the Apple Pay button as a payment method.
With these features incorporated into online stores, you can optimize your website performance and easily handle the holiday rush.
As Shopify says, these options can help you convert even 15% more than your competitors! A smooth and efficient shopping process boosts sales and results in higher customer satisfaction.
Gift Guides for the clueless buyers
Not everyone has a clear idea of what to gift their loved ones. A lot of holiday shoppers are actively seeking inspiration even two months ahead. Check out this chart – it highlights how the search for “gift guides” on Google skyrockets at the beginning of November each year.
Search engine marketing in ecommerce businesses isn’t a lie. Gift guides are like the North Star for lost shoppers. Point your target audience in the right direction, and they’ll be grateful (and more likely to buy!).
A well-structured gift guide aids past and existing customers in their shopping journey. It’s your chance to showcase the variety and depth of your products.
Categorize your products and create holiday gift guides with particular themes. Ideas like “Holiday Gifts for Dad” or “Luxury Gifts for Her” can appeal to many shoppers.
|🎁 Use Shopify’s customizable product tags to add new product categories and provide customers with personalized product recommendations on your website and in your gift guides.
Same as Sephora, dedicated landing pages for gift guides would be ideal as the users can filter by gift category, price, product, etc. But if you do not have enough time or resources to create a new landing page, you can add gift ideas to your emails as well.
Once your guides are ready, promote them through your marketing channels. An engaging email campaign highlighting these guides can be a great way to drive traffic to your store.
Boost holiday sales with Shopify Apps
Shopify App Store provides almost 8,000 tools designed to improve the functionality of your e-commerce store. You may find them particularly helpful to strengthen your marketing campaigns. To shine bright this holiday season, equip your Shopify store with these solutions.
Holiday pop-up window for special deals
Pop-ups can be intrusive, but what if they’re sprinkled with a bit of holiday cheer and an exclusive deal? Suddenly, they’re as welcome as a warm hug on a cold day.
Why pop-ups? Especially during the festive season, a well-timed and attractively designed pop-up window can capture your visitors’ attention and encourage them to explore more. They can become a valuable tool to boost engagement and sales.
|🎄Implement holiday-themed pop-ups on your Shopify store. These can offer limited-time deals, exclusive holiday coupons, or even a sneak peek at upcoming holiday specials. Make sure they’re not too intrusive. A little animation, some snowflakes, and a jolly message can make all the difference.
Do you need app recommendations for festive pop-ups?
- EcomSend – this app comes with a drag-and-drop editor, letting you craft pop-ups that perfectly match your brand’s vibe.
- Wisepops – a fantastic tool for creating pop-ups that offer unique discount codes, cart recovery options, and more.
And if you need any help with integrating your store with Shopify apps, or you need some custom solution, you can always rely on Shopify app development services. They handle all technical aspects for you so that you don’t have to worry whether the store will withstand the incoming traffic.
“Buy Now, Pay Later” for undecided customers
BNPL customers spend 40% more per transaction than traditional customers. Does this justify considering this feature for your Shopify store before the holidays?
With giants like Apple introducing Apple Pay Later, this trend is rapidly expanding its footprint and moving it beyond just e-commerce to brick-and-mortar stores as well. When customers see that you’re attentive to their financial needs, it fosters trust and potentially translates to increased loyalty and repeat ecommerce business.
Based on the Square e-commerce report, savvy Gen Z and Millenial shoppers expect BNPL options to become standard. So if they’re your target audience – it’s time to give it a try.
How to bring the BNPL feature to your Shopify store? Explore third-party services that offer BNPL integrations tailored for Shopify. Names like Afterpay (USA & Canada) or Klarna (Europe) might ring a bell.
Personalized product recommendations with AI
Well, the 2023 holiday marketing strategy would not be completed without features powered by AI.
Users crave a shopping experience that feels tailored just for them. With hundreds of holiday offers, AI is something that lets you make your customers feel seen and valued with personalized user experiences.
Look at the data – it’s evident that as technology advances, the demand for personalized shopping experiences is on the rise. So, your customers will definitely appreciate these marketing efforts.
Artificial Intelligence helps today’s online retailers deliver an optimized customer experience. It can do something that we just cannot – recognize user behaviors and preferences in real-time and, based on this data, create product lists that resonate deeply.
|💌 When you have products that match with the holiday spirit or winter vibes, now’s their moment in the spotlight. Shoppers tend to make spontaneous online purchases of these seasonal products.
Use Shopify’s advanced AI integrations to personalize product suggestions so that every visitor feels like your store was designed just for them. Features like “Perfect Gifts for Your Loved Ones ” or “Gifts Based on Your Browsing History” can speak to diverse shopper personas and customer expectations.
Here is our favorite e-commerce app that uses artificial intelligence. Worth checking out.
- Prodport – it’s a tool that allows you to implement customized images, titles, and descriptions on product pages to tailor each shopper’s experience.
- Luigi’s Box – this solution gives your users personalized product recommendations and helps them find desired products faster.
Attract and retain customers during the holiday shopping season
The holiday season is a golden opportunity to not only gain new customers but also to thank the ones you already have (such an approach definitely saves money). Here’s how you can make the most of this festive period.
Social proof for trust
During December’s fever, shoppers are overwhelmed with choices. Further, if they buy gifts, they cannot ask a close friend or family member for advice. So, what is a better way to influence their decision than with some good peer persuasion?
Social proof, in the form of reviews, ratings, and testimonials, can be this gentle push a potential customer needs. It’s like having a friend whisper, “This is a great buy!” right in their ear.
|🎄 Integrate a review system into your Shopify store. Encourage past buyers to leave reviews by offering them a small discount on their next purchase. Display these reviews prominently on product pages.
Ever noticed how different sites place a huge emphasis on user reviews? For example, rhode store shows reviews on each product page. This isn’t just for show. It’s a proven method for Shopify conversion rate optimization that can directly impact ecommerce sales.
Holiday-themed content marketing to engage
All heartwarming holiday ads have something in common. They use storytelling, evoke emotions, and create a joyful atmosphere. Not without a reason. These are values that sell themselves during this time of the year.
Content marketing can be your tool to achieve that in your store. As part of the holiday marketing strategy, craft blog posts, videos, or infographics that revolve around the holiday theme.
|💫 Start a holiday blog series on your Shopify store. Not only does this provide value to your customers, but it also improves SEO and drives organic traffic to your site. Share this content across social media channels to increase its reach.
However, the content on your online store isn’t limited to blog posts. In the same way that in-store businesses prepare holiday decorations and play holiday music, you should take care of the entire digital setting as well.
For its new 2023 Christmas collection, Zara Home, for example, used dark green accents in its store to create a Christmas-like atmosphere.
Wish list feature to stir up the need
The holiday season is a whirlwind of emotions and desires. Shoppers often come across products they adore but aren’t ready to purchase immediately. There is, however, you can do to delay their decision. A wish list feature that acts as a digital bookmark for those desired items.
The beauty of a wish list lies in its subtlety. It’s a silent hint, reminding returning customers of what they once wanted. As a reference point, they help shoppers keep track of possible gifts for themselves or their loved ones.
As Shopify understands the importance of this feature, it has made it relatively straightforward. While this ecommerce platform doesn’t have a built-in wish list function, there are several highly-rated apps in the Shopify App Store.
Implement effective marketing strategies and holiday promotions
The holiday season is the perfect time to get creative with your marketing. Think about what your customers want and plan special deals or offers that’ll catch their eye. Remember, it’s all about making your store the go-to place for holiday shopping.
Holiday-specific products and sets
The holidays are a time to give and to make loved ones feel cherished. With holiday-specific products, shoppers are not just getting a product, but a curated experience, a story waiting to be unwrapped.
|💫Offer personalized options for your holiday sets. Allow customers to engrave names on products or choose the items they want in their gift box. This personal touch can make your offerings stand out.
These holiday-centric offerings require a blend of creativity and strategy. Analyze your previous sales data, and identify past holiday best-sellers. With this insight, you can be certain that you’re building on successful products.
For example, if you sell skincare, offer a “Winter Care Package.” Promote these exclusive sets on your homepage and through email marketing. Exclusiveness not only appeals to holiday customers but also adds a touch of novelty to your offering.
Email marketing campaign as a holiday reminder
The notorious abandoned online shopping carts. Retailers’ worst nightmare. The customer added the item to the cart. You almost have the sale, but then…life happens.
A phone call, a buzzing oven timer, or a baby crying. There are many things that can distract your customer from completing a virtual purchase.
But you can prepare your shop for such scenarios and automatically send the customer an email, e.g., right after they have left their checkout. Each such Shopify email contains a link to the cart so that customer can go back to their shopping with a click.
|💌 Craft a series of friendly, festive reminder emails that push customers back to their forgotten finds. Your message should be light, cheerful, and perhaps – offer a tiny incentive to influence the decision.
The follow-up emails can also remind customers about the limited time to make the purchase before Christmas. “Nothing lost. Santa’s Sleigh is still waiting. Finish your purchase before he takes flight! 🎅🏻”
Gift-wrapping for a complete experience
The holiday season is often painted with images of beautifully wrapped gifts hidden under a twinkling tree. Give your customers the same experience and offer them free gift-wrapping.
To offer gift-wrapping on your Shopify store, first create a ‘gift-wrap’ product in your Shopify admin. It allows you to present it as a free service. Then, integrate this option on your cart page by adding the provided Shopify code snippet to your cart template.
If you want to offer other gift add-ons such as personalized gift messages, gift notes, etc., think about implementing an external tool, such as Wrapped.
|🎁 Choose wrapping materials that align with your branding while also reflecting festive vibes. Incorporate your brand subtly through a logo sticker or a branded ribbon.
Note: Eco-friendly wrapping materials are not only better for the planet but also resonate with a growing audience of eco-conscious shoppers. It sends a message that your brand cares about the world in every aspect.
Prepare your Shopify Store for increased traffic this holiday season
Just as you prepare your house for the holidays, your ecommerce store also needs some tune-ups. How can you plan for the influx of eager holiday shoppers to give them a seamless online shopping experience?
Responsive customer service ready for traffic peak
Imagine shoppers, cart full, but with a pressing question. If left unanswered, frustrated customers might just abandon the cart and move on. Your customer service is their guiding star during such moments.
Before Christmas, customer inquiries and concerns tend to spike. So, it’s going to be even harder to answer all their questions. Equip your store with appropriate features to guarantee the best customer experience.
|🎄 Boost sales on your Shopify store with 24/7 chat support to reduce customer service team workload. Think of it as having a friendly store assistant, always ready to answer lost customers about such prompts as order status. If it’s possible, add some holiday sparkle to the chat widget.
Responsiveness means valuing the customer’s time and providing a seamless shopping experience. Especially during busy holiday seasons like this.
Ecommerce site speed checkout
Just as shoppers are about to purchase the perfect gift, they’re left waiting for pages to load. Yikes! That’s not the holiday spirit you’re aiming for.
The holiday season is going to be a real test of your Shopify store performance.
Here’s the good news. With a few tweaks here and there, your Shopify store can be the digital equivalent of the North Pole’s most efficient workshop.
What is the game plan to maximize your Shopify speed store?
- Optimize images. Those high-resolution product photos look great, but they can slow things down. Use tools like Tiny to compress without compromising quality.
- Limit redirects. Each redirect is a pause in the shopping experience. Keep them minimal, especially during the checkout process.
- Mobile optimization. Ensure your ecommerce website loads quickly, especially on a mobile device. Use tools like Hyperspeed to check mobile commerce performance.
Remember to smooth out your site’s navigation. Be mindful of your plugins, and consistently keep an eye on how your site’s performing. Need a hand with that? The Shopify speed optimization service is on standby, ready to supercharge your store for the peak shopping days.
Early Bird specials to manage holiday hustle
Your Shopify store performance is one thing, but packing the orders and delivering them on time is another. But what if you could smartly spread out this rush? Keep the flow of shoppers steady and avoid a sudden surge.
How to do that? Launch Early Bird discounts or exclusive products for shoppers who start their holiday shopping in advance. Besides boosting sales early in the season, this also helps manage inventory and logistics better.
Such an approach has multiple benefits.
- It reduces the strain on your website infrastructure and ensures smooth performance even during high-traffic days.
- It allows you to manage inventory better and gives you insights into popular products and time to restock if needed.
- It’s a brilliant marketing tool. Customers who feel as if they are being treated with urgency and exclusivity will make holiday purchases faster.
Analyze and learn from your performance
Every click, every sale, and every interaction on your Shopify store during the holiday season is a goldmine of information. After the holiday, take a moment to see how things went. Look at what worked and what didn’t. Every holiday season teaches you something new. Use that knowledge to make the next one even better.
Holiday season success defined ahead
For Shopify store owners, the holiday is a critical time that can make or break annual sales targets.
But success is sweeter when it’s planned. Before the holiday rush begins, set clear goals and metrics for your store.
|📊Define what success looks like for you – whether it’s a specific sales target, some new subscribers, or a set amount of repeat customers. Track these metrics using Shopify’s analytics tools and adjust your strategies accordingly to stay up-to-date and on course.
What metrics should you pay closer attention to during the holidays?
- Average Order Value (AOV): Are customers spending more or less than usual? This can guide your promotional strategies. If you notice a spike, it could be indicative of successful holiday promotions or a broader product selection resonating with your audience.
- Cost of Delivery (COD): This includes all shipping costs related to getting your product into the hands of your customers. It’s crucial to keep an eye on this to ensure profitability, especially if you offer free shipping during the holiday.
- Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): Paid ads might be more aggressive during the holidays, understanding your ROAS can help gauge the effectiveness of your holiday campaigns.
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): With potential increased spending on marketing during the holidays, understanding how much it costs to acquire each customer is vital.
The fact that your team has clear goals motivates them. Everyone knows what they’re working towards – creating a unified, motivated front ready to tackle the holiday challenges head-on.
Wrap-up of holiday ecommerce strategies
With the right strategies, tools, and insights, you can turn this holiday period into a memorable and profitable chapter for your business. So, as the holiday bells begin to ring, with all these strategies, your Shopify store will be ready to turn festive shoppers into loyal customers. 🎄