9 Ways to Transform Your Online Store for the Festive Season

9 Ways to Transform Your Online Store for the Festive Season
Bring the festive lights and the magic of a holiday window display to your digital storefront this year.
by Cathie Ericson Aug 24, 2020 — 3 min read
9 Ways to Transform Your Online Store for the Festive Season

With shoppers more likely to stay home this Christmas shopping season, iconic traditions like extravagant window displays might be less prevalent. But that doesn’t mean sellers can’t bring the magic of a Christmas store window display to their digital storefront.

Just like a Christmas window display beckons customers into a store, a festive first impression on your website can encourage shoppers to linger and experience that holiday glow while they browse.

Here are nine design tips to help you deck your pages and turn your online store into a festive wonderland.

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1. Give your logo a holiday makeover

Adding a Santa hat, jingle bells, or other winter season touches are easy ways to update your logo while still maintaining your eCommerce brand identity.

If those traditional elements clash with your brand aesthetic, you can still infuse an understated holiday flair by swapping out your regular colours for more jewel-toned or metallic colours.

2. Redo your homepage to call attention to your holiday offerings

Just as you traditionally position your best seasonal merchandise in your window display, redirect the flow of your website to make it easy for shoppers to find what they’re looking for. Clean website direction can help shoppers on a tight timeline get in, find what they need, and get out.

Create easy-to-find pages that contain your gift guide, gift suggestions organised by price point or type of recipient, special offers, and seasonal merchandise.

And of course, highlight your gift card offerings on every page to provide a way for visitors to address a long gift list while getting the recipient exactly what they want and making online shopping easier during the festive season.

It’s easy to go overboard throwing tinsel, Christmas trees, stockings, and glitter all over your website. But think about a physical Christmas window display: Most visual displays start with a theme, like the 12 days of Christmas or holiday movie classics.

Replicate that concept by choosing an umbrella idea for your website, and infuse it throughout your graphics, copy, and visuals.

4. Create a version of the countdown calendar

You probably remember eagerly opening your advent calendar as a kid to reveal a trinket or piece of candy. Harness that spirit of anticipation by creating an online version of the advent calendar where shoppers can open up a daily surprise, like a clue to a word puzzle or a joke.

You can also connect it to purchase activity by allowing participants to “unwrap” a daily discount or special offer that will appeal to customers looking for a bargain.

5. Use the “10 shopping days left” construct

Create a sense of urgency and turn browsers into buyers by reminding visitors how many days they have left to shop and make holiday online shopping more fun.

A blinking holiday calendar will grab their attention, or if your brand personality lends itself to humour, use a meme or holiday movie icon. You can also keep the “x days left” idea fresh by updating it with different versions, such as “x days left until Giving Tuesday” or “x days left for free on-time shipping.”

6. Update your product images with festive touches

Just like a Christmas window display might show merchandise spilling out of a stocking or mannequins sporting Santa hats, you can add festive flair to any of your collections with updated images.

Style your candles on a holiday table instead of a shelf, or if you sell pyjamas, show a family sitting around a tree on Christmas morning. For an update that applies to any merchandise, position it in a glittery gift box, or attach a bow and gift tag.

7. Create a “giving tree”

One heart-warming part of the shopping adventure is taking a tag off the tree at the mall to fulfil a wish for a needy child. You can replicate that for Christmas online shopping with a virtual tree that allows shoppers to send gifts or gift cards to a related charity.

For example, if you sell toys, you could partner with the Salvation Army, or if you offer cooking items, partner with a food bank.

8. Don’t forget your social media channels

Replicate the spirit of a great holiday window display on your social media platforms by giving your profile pictures and summaries a dose of holiday dazzle.

Replace your existing logo with your new festive version or add a Santa hat to your avatar. Let your brand personality shine through wherever visitors encounter you online.

9. Lean into the kitsch

If you’re worried your attempts might look cheesy, try to embrace it from an angle of joy and fun. Create the holiday window display feeling and string your site with coloured light bulbs and Christmas bush garlands, add some glitter and sparkle to your website product images, and add a Christmas music streaming playlist (that shoppers can easily turn off).

Sometimes less is more. But, during the holidays, sometimes it’s best to get into the spirit of the season by going all in on the jollier side of things.

Remember that while it’s great to have a little fun and unleash your holiday spirit on your eCommerce website, it’s more important to prioritise making your visitors feel welcome. Fast-loading images, clear shipping and return policies, and multiple payment methods will make shoppers feel confident in their holiday purchases. Customise your Square online store and highlight the ease of online checkout for all your customers’ Christmas online shopping needs.

Cathie Ericson
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer who specializes in clear, actionable content on finance- and marketing-related topics to help owners of small-and-medium-sized businesses focus on their goals.

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