Tips to Get Your Online Store Ready for the Holidays

The countdown to Christmas 2020 has begun! If it feels too soon to think about holiday sales for your online store, just remember that almost 40% of consumers start doing their gift shopping before Halloween (I know, some people really are that organized).

Christmas will certainly be different this year, and we’ll all have to approach it with a different mindset. But with a little preparation, you can use your store to make the most of the online Christmas season. 

If you’re a seasoned salesperson or this is your shop’s first Christmas, we’ve got the tips you need to get your online store ready for the 2020 holidays.

1. Spruce up your product photography

Sharp images are the best way to catch a customer’s eye. Even if you already have great product photos, consider reshooting them with wintery props and festive backgrounds. For example, if most of your products are displayed outdoors during the summer, this is a good time to change those for a different winter background.

A little product styling, like in this flat lay, can make everyday items look just right for the holidays. (Photo: Unsplash)

You can also swap out your props and photo styling or create a simple festive flat lay (perfect for promoting your products on Instagram). An evergreen branch, gold lights, or a red ribbon can take a regular product and make it look even better for the holidays. Read more about product photography in our guide to creating a DIY light box.

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2. Create gift guides to help customers choose the right product  

As an online store owner, you know your products better than anyone. For Christmas, help your customers by curating holiday gift guides. That way shoppers can buy gifts for everyone on their lists and discover new products they might not have seen before. 

To create an online gift guide, start by creating a few different product categories, then add your products to the right categories. For example, you could create categories for “Gifts for Teens,” “Gifts Under $50,” and so on. 

This is also a great time to build out a more detailed buying guide on your website, one that helps customers compare different products and pick the ones that are just right for them. Here are more tips on how to create a buying guide for your online store

An example of making holiday gift guides using categories in a Jimdo online store.
Help your customers out by creating gift guides using Store Categories.

Tip: Looking for more online store tips? Check out our Online Store Getting Started Guide.

3. Add some holiday decorations to your website

A brick and mortar store puts up holiday lights, wreaths, and Christmas decorations. You can do the same with your website. Here are some ideas for easy holiday website customizations: 

  • Change your website color theme. Just go to your design settings and choose a color theme that has more of a holiday feel. You can always switch it back.
     
  • Add a holiday-themed background to your website. Many free stock photo websites offer website backgrounds that are free to download and easy to add to your website. 
An example of a holiday background on a Jimdo online store.
A free holiday-themed background (this one is from Unsplash) shows that my store is holiday-ready.
  • Dress up your icons, logo, and social media profiles for the holidays. Though normally businesses don’t change their logo, Christmas can be a fun time to add a little humor to your website design, especially since it’s just temporary. Plus, an updated holiday website shows customers that you’re in business and ready for their orders. For more on how to do this, check ou tour Guide to the Best Photoshop Alternatives.
An example of using an online photo editing program to add holiday icons to photographs.
Online programs like PicMonkey and Canva make it easy to add Christmas decorations to your photos, even if you don’t have any design know-how.

If you don’t have a logo yet, use Jimdo’s Logo Creator to get started!

The nice thing about having your own website is that you can make all these changes yourself, and change it back once the holiday season is over. For more tips on how to change your website design for the holidays, check out our Step By Step Tutorial on Customizing Your Website.

4. Get your shop policies and legal text in order

No one wants to think about the fine print around Christmas time. But if you have an online store, it’s important to dot your i’s and cross your t’s when it comes to your website policies and legal texts. 

If you’re based in the EU, we recommend checking out Jimdo’s Legal Text Generator. This is an add-on to your website that will help generate text for your Imprint, Privacy Policy, Refund Policy, and Terms and Conditions in compliance with the most recent GDPR privacy rules

And even if you’re not subject to stricter EU website policies, it’s still a good idea to have your refund policies and other store rules written out in a transparent way for customers to see.

A straightforward FAQ page that answers common questions about returns, customer satisfaction, and shipping times can help give customers more confidence before they make a purchase—helping to reduce returns in your online store.

All of these elements, and more, are important website trust factors that make shoppers feel more confident about buying from your store. 

5. Offer a holiday discount code

There’s a lot of competition around the holidays, with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday….the attention-grabbing discounts are hard to pass up. 

So while you don’t want to offer any discounts that harm your bottom line, even a small discount can make customers feel special and feel like they are getting a good deal.

An example of the discount code feature in a Jimdo online store.
It’s easy to set up discount codes in your online store for different time periods and values.

Another idea is to encourage repeat customers by emailing a special discount code to people who have already completed a purchase at your store. Creating a discount code like THANKYOU and including it in your package or in any emails to customers is a nice way to encourage loyal repeat shoppers.

For more on discount codes in your online store and the strategies behind them, check out How to Use Discount Strategies to Boost Sales.

6. Offer free shipping

Customers shopping for Christmas and holiday gifts have lots of online options, but usually not a lot of time. 

This is a great time for you to offer free shipping in your online store. Free shipping has a lot of benefits, even though it might cost you more upfront. But especially during the holidays, free shipping can be a deciding factor in a competitive marketplace. 

The reason is that free shipping is hard for customers to resist. In study after study of consumer behavior, online customers actively seek out free shipping, will spend more if it means qualifying for free shipping, and in many cases actually prefer free shipping to percentage discounts.

And remember, if most of your customers are in your neighborhood, you can also set up free local pickup in your Jimdo online store.

7. 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 descriptions 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 Christmas approaches. 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.


Christmas can be a stressful time of year for shoppers and store owners alike. But a little investment in time now (while you’re still enjoying your Halloween candy) will make the season easier and more successful for your online store.

Start selling your products online with Jimdo.

Maggie Biroscak
Maggie is a writer and editor for Jimdo. 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, cooking, or reading science magazines.