Last minute Christmas prep for your online store

It feels like Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year. It's not even the end of November yet, but the mince pies are out, the John Lewis ad's been on the telly for weeks and the decorations are already up. By now, it's likely that you've already started preparing your website and your staff for the Christmas rush. With so many competitors online waiting to welcome your customers with open arms, you can't afford to forget anything. Don't worry, we've got your back: below is a guide to last minute changes you need to make and consider during December. Our team will be on hand to help with your website and online presence right up to the big day - just drop us a line and we'll be happy to help.

​List your final delivery dates

The start of December is a perfect time to list your cut-off dates for guaranteed delivery before Christmas. Even if your customer is only browsing, the cut-off dates can encourage them to place an order to avoid being disappointed. Include a link to your final delivery dates in your website header and on your homepage to make them easy to find.

​Advertise click & collect options

If you run a brick-and-mortar store as well as your online shop, you should consider offering click and collect options at your stores. Having the option to collect an order in store even after you've passed the final delivery dates can put you ahead of your competition and earn a few more last minute shoppers. Promote your click and collect option on social media and email campaigns to draw late customers to your store.

​Get your store looking festive

Even if you refuse to trim your Christmas tree at home until a week before Christmas Day, your website has no excuse. By now your website should be seasonally themed to get customers in the Christmas spirit and encourage them to make purchases. Speak to our design team for help with how to make your store look instantly festive.

​Turn on seasonal categories

Nothing is more frustrating than when you have to click through 20 different pages to find the product you're looking for. Make the shopping experience easy for your customers by enabling Christmas specific categories and making them easy to find by having "Christmas" as the first category in your navigation. It's a great idea to add collections too for shoppers who aren't quite sure what they're looking for, such as: "Gifts under £10", "Gifts for Her", "Office Secret Santa".

​Make a clear plan for your Boxing Day / New Year's Day sales

The Christmas rush is stressful enough without your team and customers getting confused about what you're offering. Make a clear, easy to follow document for your staff detailing exactly what products are included in your sale, what sale prices you're offering, when the sale runs and any other clauses. Delegate rolls between staff early on so that everyone knows what they're responsible for when the sale arrives.

​Schedule your social posts & newsletters

Picture the scene: the kids have opened their presents, the turkey's almost ready, you're on your third glass of Bucks Fizz and (damn it!) you forgot to post on Twitter about your Boxing Day sale starting tomorrow. Take the stress out of festive marketing by scheduling your social posts and email newsletter campaigns early on. You can prepare everything in the first week of December and automate all of the posting, meaning it's out of the way and ready to bring customers to your store for you.

​Promote gift vouchers for last minute shoppers

Even when your final delivery dates have passed and your brick and mortar store is closed, your ecommerce store can keep selling for you. Promote gift vouchers as a last-minute gift option for customers who have run out of time for physical gifts. Include gift vouchers in your last email campaign to customers so that they know that they're available to buy and use online. Not only do they not require postage, but they can be automatically issued by the website - meaning you're free to relax knowing that your website is managing everything for you.