Last week we started a countdown of 12 store tips that can get you ready for a successful holiday shopping season in no time. We started with your store setup and customer service tips, and today we’ll continue with promotion and sales.
Days 7-9: Time to promote!
Day 7: Fill out all your SEO settings
Today, take a few minutes to fill out the SEO settings for your website and for your store product pages. By now you probably know some of the keywords that apply to your store or your product. You can think of these as the words people would type into Google to search for products like yours, perhaps something like “cashmere sweaters” or “gifts for teenagers.” (If you don’t know which keywords are right for you, take a quick step back and learn more about keyword research).
For each product page, click on the SEO tab in your Site Admin to access the SEO settings. Then, fill out the Page Title and Page Description using clear descriptors. Your Page Title should contain the name of your product. If you have space, add a category it belongs to as well. Search engines will automatically add your business or website name (that you’ve set as your Site Title), so you’ll have something that looks like the example below:
After you’ve filled out these settings, put a Large (H1) Heading Element at the top of each product page, and type in the product name.
For more SEO hints for your product pages, check out this blog post. We also have SEO tips to optimize your entire website.
Day 8: Create special content and images for the holidays
You decorate your house for the holidays...why not dress up your website as well? Instead of untangling Christmas lights and climbing on ladders, all you need to do here is update a few parts of your website and social media channels.
You can create a holiday-themed banner using free programs like Canva, Over, or Snappa, and then upload that image to your website as a background or as a Photo Element. You can also use this type of image to make your social media profiles more festive.
If you’d prefer more professional help, check out the services from 99designs. For example, you can get one of their designers to create a holiday-themed social media page for you, starting at $49!
It’s easy to make a holiday-themed graphic for your website. We made these examples using Snappa.
Day 9: Reach out to bloggers writing holiday gift guides
While your website is one of the best places to show off your products, remember to also get in touch with bloggers who might be putting together gift guides. Now that you’ve got your product pages all set and looking spiffy, start sending links to bloggers as soon as possible.
When it comes to pitching, it really pays to do some homework. Bloggers are usually busy and inundated with requests, especially as the holidays approach. The more you can customize your pitch to the blogger’s interest and show that your product is perfect for their website and audience (and not just yours), the better. Make your pitch personal, and talk about what makes your product special. This is also where having really good product photos will pay off. The blog Create & Thrive has some more helpful pitching tips here.
If it doesn’t work out for the holidays, never fear — starting a good relationship with bloggers now will pay off down the line if they feature you at some point next year.
Days 10-12: Increase your sales
Day 10: Offer free shipping
Free shipping is, hands down, one of the best ways to fill your customers with the Christmas spirit. Almost half of all online shopping carts are abandoned because customers feel like the shipping costs are just too high. So by offering free shipping, you eliminate one of the most common reasons that visitors might leave your store without making a purchase.
Studies also show that free shipping converts customers better than discounts, even in cases where the discount is worth more than the free shipping! There’s something about seeing that “free shipping” offer that people just find irresistible.
To adjust shipping costs in your online store, go to Settings > Store > Shipping Costs. Here you can set up free shipping and even set up a price threshold for free shipping (let’s say, orders over $50), which can in turn encourage people to spend a little extra money in order to qualify. To learn more about some free shipping techniques and calculations, check out this blog post Increase Online Sales with Free Shipping.
Day 11: Run a Black Friday or holiday saleIn the US, you’ll run into a lot of competition for shoppers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but you can consider doing other types of holiday sales as well. Think about a quick Flash Sale or a “Beat the Crowds” sale before Black Friday.
It’s easy to set items for sale in your Jimdo store. Just go to each Store Item Element you want on sale and reset the Price and List Price. Set the list price at the item’s original price, and the price as the sale price. When you do this, Jimdo will cross out the original price in your store and display the sale price.
For more details and steps on running a sale, check out How to Run and Promote a Sale Online.
Day 12: Create a holiday discount code
If you’re a JimdoBusiness subscriber, you also have the option of creating discount codes especially for the holiday season. There are tons of different ways to use discount codes. You could incorporate them into a larger sale, or use them to reward your social media followers.
Another great use for discount codes is to encourage repeat business. Set up a “thank you” discount code and include it in your store’s Confirmation Page or in Order Confirmation Emails. That way, a customer will receive the discount code on their next purchase in your store, and might lead them to come back for a few more gifts.
To set up a discount code, click on Store in your Site Admin and then click on the Discount Code tab.
To adjust your confirmation emails, go to Settings > Store > Emails and Text.
Phew! 12 days, 12 tips, and by now your online store is all spiffed up and ready for the holiday shoppers. Here's the full list:
- Day 1: Create product pages
- Day 2: Add more product photos
- Day 3: Set up gift guides
- Day 4: Be available for customers
- Day 5: Make an FAQ section
- Day 6: Send a customer survey
- Day 7: Fill out your SEO settings
- Day 8: Decorate your website
- Day 9: Reach out to bloggers
- Day 10: Offer free shipping
- Day 11: Run a holiday sale
- Day 12: Create a holiday discount code
Are they any other tips you’ve used on your own ecommerce store? Let us know in the comments.
Content Editor at Jimdo
Maggie joined the team to craft the voice of Jimdo for all products and marketing channels. In her previous work, she edited for organizations covering the environment, cities, and sustainable business. When she's not adding serial commas, you can find her camping with her husband, cooking, and reading New Scientist.