December is the busiest season of the year for gift shopping. Retail stores roll out big Christmas displays; seasonal offers and fairy lights are on every shopping street. Not only does this put customers in the festive mood, but it is a reminder to get those gifts in time for the holidays while there are offers on.

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So with more shoppers than ever making purchases online, your online store should also be embracing the holiday spirit and preparing for the holiday season windfall. If you haven’t prepared your online store yet, we have some great tips to help you out just in time!

Professionalize your store

When you make an online purchase you want to be sure the website you are sending your money to is trustworthy. You want to know that when you order a product it will be delivered as promised and your data will be safe. If your website doesn’t look like a professional source—no matter how great your product is—people just won’t take the risk. So how can you make your shop look professional and trustworthy?

Grab a custom domain

JimdoFree is a great way to start your website, familiarize yourself with the product and play around with the features to see what you like. However, when you are ready to take the next step to become a professional business, a custom domain (web address) will show your customers you are serious. Try to come up with a domain name that will stick in people’s minds so they will remember it the next time they need a gift. If they loved your product and remember that witty name you came up with, chances are they will recommend your product to friends or family.

Invest in a logo

People are visual and even if they don’t remember a name, you can bet they will remember a logo. A great logo will make your brand stand out on your website and show that you are serious about your business. If you’re not a designer but are looking for a beautifully crafted logo without a hefty price tag attached, 99designs is a great option. You can sponsor a logo competition and various great designers will post entries so you can just pick the logo that is right for you.

Fill out those terms of service and privacy policy

A professional shop will have a clearly written policy on their site so all parties understand what they are agreeing to when they make a purchase. Be sure to fill our your information and let people know specifically what they need to do in regard to your shipping costs, return policy and other important details. We love the way The Old Norse has thrown some humor into their delivery info.

Complete an FAQ

An FAQ will help your visitors find quick answers to the questions they have about your site. Most people will skip over the fine print, but take a look at the frequently-asked-questions section.

This is a great chance to explain what you do, who you are and what your store policies entail whilst also shows your personality. The FAQ page on Jimdo website SammyRose is a nice example of this. Not only will the customers be happy to have their questions answered straight away but this will save you a lot of emails back and forth.

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Add a testimonials page

Some of the best advertising you can’t buy is great feedback from your customers. According to a report by Nielsen “two-thirds of respondents say they trust consumer opinions posted online.” So if you are getting great feedback, take a customer’s quote and put it on a testimonials page or your product page. People are far more likely to purchase your product if it’s been recommended, even from a stranger, rather than taking a risk on the unknown. If you’ve been mentioned in any press coverage then be sure to add that too.

Create gift categories to make shopping easy for customers

No one knows your products better than you, so make it easier for customers to find that perfect present. By creating gift categories (such as gifts for him, gifts under $30, xmas gifts etc) you will help customers save time. To create a category you can tag your products with the label giftsforhim or underthirty. Then add a Store Catalog Element for each tag and your selected gift products will appear. We recommend adding a few Store Catalog Elements on your page so those prospective customers already have easy to use guides from the get go.

Celebrate with a holiday discount code

Giving is receiving after all! There is no better way to spread the holiday cheer than giving a discount to encourage visitors to become customers. Christmas is an expensive time of year and people are on the lookout for offers, so discount codes are a great way to compete.

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If you have JimdoBusiness you can create a customized discount code for any occasion.

Just set the date when you would like it to expire (for example midnight on the 25th December) or just set a minimum amount to spend in order to receive the discount. To create a discount just go to our Menu and click on Store > Discount Codes.

If you want to encourage more purchases from a customer, a good way to go about this is to add a discount code at the end of a purchase. You can add the discount code to the Order Confirmation page with a code name such as “thankyou” that your customers can use on their next purchase. Not only is it a nice gesture for customers but it will help increase brand loyalty.

Offer free shipping costs

If there’s one thing customers can’t resist it’s free shipping. Studies of consumer behavior show that not only do customers go out of their way to find free shipping but will even spend more if it qualifies them for free shipping.

Although you may not want to offer free shipping across your store, you can use tag-based shipping for selected items instead with JimdoBusiness. Just use a tag like “xmas” in order to choose specific items for free shipping. You also have the option of setting it so customers have a minimum spend before qualifying for free delivery, or just do it the same way as Black Yeti and over free international delivery for products over €60.

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Example from Black Yeti

Indulge in the holiday spirit

If people see your website is full of seasonal cheer it puts them in the mood for holiday shopping. Try adding some seasonal decorations to your website. You can use a graphics program such as Canva, or participate in a 99designs 1-to-1 project and get some great seasonal designs added to your website or logo. Even a simple background image change to add some holiday spirit or a tweak in color to include some red, green or gold can make all the difference to your site.

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Remember to have fun with your online shop. It is the holiday season after all. Although Christmas can be a stressful time of year, it is worth investing the time and effort to make your online shop ready for the busiest time of year.

About the author:

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This post was written by Tara Santiago. Tara is Jimdo’s Content Editor and Social Media Specialist. She’s a blogger with an interest in politics and loves to look for social media marketing trends. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling, filling in The Guardian crossword or buried in a book.

Article provided by Jimdo. Jimdo is the world’s easiest way to build your business website, with no coding or special skills required.