Top ten tips for Christmas Webmasters

In the upcoming Christmas 2009 season more shoppers plan to do their gift buying online instead of on the high street. Some of the main reasons shoppers gave for their decision included saving time, more product choices, no parking problems or crowds and being able to save money — in other words, convenience, value and time savings.

Your website and products really need to be up front and centre and to make sure your visitors can easily and quickly browse your site and to make sure you can fulfil the orders for your products. You also need to give your website a thorough health check yourself, even if you have a fantastic web provider. Make sure you complete several tests as if you are your own customer.

We all know that preparation for the Christmas rush should have been done in July. But, okay, we all realise this, but have been so busy. So what can you do right now?

Tips for Christmas

1. Advertise. Hopefully your site will already be search engine optimised (SEO). To increase visitors to your site, take a look at pay-per-click campaigns (Google AdWords, Facebook, Yahoo Search Marketing, Microsoft Ads). While not free, pay-per-click advertising does not need to cost a fortune, it is probably the quickest and most efficient way of getting Christmas shoppers to your site. If you are a Brick client and attending one of our Christmas workshops at our Blackburn office, we will be giving you a £50 voucher to spend on Google Adwords.

2. Offer Christmas special offers. Visitors love to feel they are getting a fantastic deal, You don’t need to put all your products on offer but offer a few Christmas items at special prices or free gift wrapping, Don’t forget to feature these right on your home page. Brick customers can use their promotional code and discount module to do this easily.

3. Run a Christmas promotion. Maybe a competition, quiz or a really special offer. Get something in return, don’t forget with the increase in web traffic, make a condition of the promotion to subscribe to your newsletter.

4. Use e-mail marketing to inform customers of your holiday offerings, specials or promotions. Don't forget about your existing customers, who have previously shopped on your site. If they’ve been happy with you in the past, why wouldn’t they come back to you?

7. Offer free gift wrapping or free wrapping with purchases over a certain amount. One of the reasons people prefer to buy online instead of going to a store is because it's convenient.

8. Offer free Delivery. Visitors view this as very important and a major reason for making their purchase decision. You may want to qualify this by “free shipping on orders over £xx”.

9. Provide excellent customer service. Be prepared when your customers ask for or need help. Make sure you publish your phone number clearly, and don’t leave it to an answering machine.

10. Keep them coming back. Don’t forget with every order you send out, give them a promotional code or exclusive offer. Add this text to your confirmation emails.

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