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How to refresh your website’s design for the holidays

history October 8, 2021

local_library 10542 minute read

Every year, the end-of-year holidays are one of the most important drivers of retail sales, accounting for roughly 19% of annual retail sales on average. Online holiday sales increased 23.9 percent globally and 32.2 percent in the United States in 2020 compared to 2019. As a result, it is more important than ever to ensure that your store is well-designed and ready to promote your sales and products during the holiday season.

Don’t let it sneak up on you — if you don’t start planning ahead of time, this critical time of year can catch you off guard. Decide what changes need to be made and how you’ll carry them out.

Then, as the season approaches, you can concentrate on the marketing and running your business rather than working on your website design.

Here are 11 ways to spruce up your website’s design for the holidays:

1. Make use of festive imagery and language.

During the holidays, most people expect to see some seasonal decorations on the websites they visit. Where appropriate, update content throughout your site with themed photos, graphics, and messaging. You can do the following:

  • On your homepage, hero image, or slider, use holiday-themed images and messaging.
  • Replace more generic product lifestyle photos with holiday-themed images.
  • Include holiday-themed graphic elements in sale banners and pop-ups.
  • Change the call to action buttons from “Shop Now” to “Shop Gifts.”

2. Highlight sales in various locations throughout your website.

Customers expect stores to run holiday sales, so if you’re running any promotions, make them stand out. Here are some simple ways to promote sales in your website’s design for the holidays:

  • Add a site-wide banner announcing your sale at the top of each page.
  • To promote your sale, use pop-ups.
  • Include a banner on your website’s homepage.
  • Make a “Shop Sale” item available in your main navigation menu.
  • In your sidebar, highlight products that are on sale.
  • Display promotional graphics on product thumbnails.
  • Smart Coupons can be used to display coupon codes on cart and checkout pages.

3. Use dedicated landing pages

Landing pages can be an effective tool for increasing sales, particularly during the holiday shopping season and your website’s design for the holidays. They are intended to draw the shopper’s attention to a single offer with quick and simple checkout.

  • Keep your landing page design simple and straightforward. Remove any navigation in the header and footer, as well as any sidebars or CTAs that aren’t related to the product(s) you’re trying to sell on that page. Use a short description and bullets to address the key selling points to keep your copy brief and easy to read. Use a limited number of images. A single large, high-quality product image can have a significant impact. Visitors are less likely to convert if they spend too much time scrolling through images.
  • Make use of the One-Page Checkout. One Page Checkout allows you to include a checkout form on any page. Allow customers to purchase without leaving your landing page to shorten the conversion path.
  • Decorate it with a holiday theme. The holiday messaging, color schemes, and graphics on your landing pages should be similar to those on the rest of your website. This ensures that your customer is aware that it is current and that the offer is still valid.

4. Consider the use of a countdown timer.

Countdown timers are excellent for instilling a sense of urgency in holiday sales. Sales Countdown Timer by Autoketing allows you to display sales countdowns on product and shop pages to increase conversions. You can personalize your timer’s appearance — use holiday-themed colors or simply style it to match your brand — and position it on the product page.

Autoketing - discount on product detail on desktop

5. Make shipping a priority.

There are a lot of details that merchants must communicate to shoppers during the holidays, such as special shipping options and carrier delivery time changes. Emphasizing shipping options and delivery times can both encourage sales and reduce customer service tickets. Here are a few key points to include in sitewide notification banners, product descriptions, and at checkout:

  • Ordering deadlines. Shipping delays may occur during the holidays, or you may simply need to be extra diligent in communicating shipping times to customers. Letting them know that they need to order by a certain date in order to guarantee delivery by or before a specific day will help manage your shoppers’ expectations and increase purchase urgency.
  • Express shipping options. Some customers may be shopping on the spur of the moment. Giving them the option of next-day or two-day shipping, even if it comes at an extra cost, may just be the nudge they need to make a purchase.
  • Shipping is free. Customers almost expect free shipping in the Amazon Prime era. If you offer free shipping, make sure to highlight it prominently — especially on product pages.

6. Display related products, upsells, and items frequently purchased together.

Assist shoppers in finding the perfect gift by suggesting other products they might be interested in instead of or in addition to the one they’re currently looking at.

  • Related product. Displaying products in the same category or with the same tags on a product page may allow your customer to compare similar items and find the right one more easily.
  • Up-sells. Increase your average order value by displaying more profitable or higher-quality products on your product pages.
  • Cross-sells. Promote complimentary products on your cart page to increase sales.
  • Frequently bought together. You can offer recommended product bundles on your product pages with price breaks per item or a flat rate discount for an entire bundle.

7. Use special categories to promote gift ideas.

Add categories to your products, such as “travel enthusiasts” or “coffee lovers,” to allow customers to browse by interest. Display these categories on your homepage and shop sidebar to assist customers in selecting the best gifts for the intended recipient. In order to drive the most qualified traffic to your store, include these interest-based products in targeted email campaigns and social media posts.

8. Create gift guides for your blog.

Make gift guides with your products to inspire your customers. Include unusual uses for your items, as well as gift wrapping ideas or gift set suggestions. Create posts based on existing interest groups or categories in your store. Don’t forget to share them via email and social media to get the most out of them!

9. Highlight gift bundles

Product Bundles can be used to create personalized gift sets. These can be mix and match sets that allow customers to create their own bundles or static bundles that include a predetermined number of products. To encourage sales, offer custom pricing and special shipping options such as free shipping. Feature your gift bundles prominently on your homepage and shop page, or promote them with custom landing pages.

product bundles offer with discount

10. Simplify your checkout process.

A quick and easy checkout experience is important at any time of year, but customers may be in even more of a hurry during the holidays. Examine your checkout page for distractions and extra steps that may discourage customers from completing their purchases. Among the things you can do to improve your checkout are the following:

  • Reduce visual clutter. Remove the site navigation, sidebar widgets, and any other distracting elements such as email sign-ups or promotional banners.
  • Checkout fields can be customized and simplified. Customers may become irritated if you ask them to confirm their email addresses or include fields that aren’t absolutely necessary. Keep your checkout fields as simple as possible, but don’t forget to include useful custom fields for the holiday season, such as a gift message.
  • Provide easy-to-use payment options. Provide quick and simple payment options to make it easier for customers to check out.

11. Ensure that your website looks good on a variety of devices and browsers.

When you make significant changes to your site’s appearance or functionality, you should test it on a variety of devices and browsers to ensure that everything displays properly.

If you’re having trouble getting everything on your site to display and function properly, you should concentrate your efforts on the most popular browsers and devices that your customers use. Use Google Analytics to determine which platforms your site’s visitors use to browse, and then focus your testing and troubleshooting on those areas.

Begin planning for the holidays.

You don’t have to completely redesign your site for the holidays, but a few simple changes can improve the shopping experience. Furthermore, by making the browsing and checkout process easier and providing great gift suggestions for your target audience, you will increase sales and create happier customers.

For more tips on improving your store, check out our other articles here on Autoketing

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