holiday computer

5 Holiday Merchandising Tips for Ecommerce Websites

With the holidays fast approaching, business owners everywhere are getting their sites ready for the holiday shopping season. If you own a local floral shop, the holidays are a particularly critical time. But with the biggest names in the industry setting aside huge marketing budgets for national campaigns during the holidays, how can you compete?

Surprisingly enough, you do not have to spend a fortune on advertising campaigns and elaborate web designs to succeed. Following these five steps will put your site in the best position to capitalize on holiday traffic:

holiday computer

Add Festive Holiday Touches

During the fall and winter, malls decorate with festive holiday décor and individual stores create holiday-themed store window displays to create excitement and encourage shoppers to buy. Your website should take the same merchandising approach because just like the stores at the mall, your site has competition right next door. With all the comparison shopping being done during the holidays by shoppers bouncing from one site to the next, you want your site to stand out so that it draws shoppers in and convinces them to purchase. This is especially important for local florists, which often find themselves competing against big chains.

Many small businesses are not able to afford a full site redesign for holidays; so instead, you can add festive holiday touches in budget-friendly ways:

  • Take a picture of your employees dressed in holiday colors or wearing Santa hats and use that as your homepage image or in your homepage slideshow.
  • Have your logo and/or buttons redesigned to reflect a fall or winter theme and use them during the holidays. (This is something you can reuse year after year.)
  • Add category pages for Thanksgiving and Christmas-specific products.
  • Change out your website template to one that showcases holiday colors and patterns.

Display Deals Prominently

If you are offering any holiday promotions, be sure to showcase those on the homepage as well as in the header or navigation menu on your site so that if shoppers enter on an interior page, they will be presented with the offer.  Clearly specify the details of the promotion so that shoppers know what they can apply it to before getting to the checkout page.

As a florist, the deals that you offer during the holidays should be aimed at getting people to increase the dollar value of their purchase because your total order volume will already be increased so the best way to add to incremental revenue is to get shoppers to spend more.

Utilize “Sort By” Options to Make the Sale

No matter what industry your business is in, you will have shoppers with different motivations. For instance, a florist’s website will have some shoppers looking for the best deal on flowers and others looking for a specific type of arrangement. Studies have shown that online shoppers are incredibly impatient – in fact, the average searcher only spends 10-20 seconds on a website before deciding whether to stay or leave and go to another site. This is especially true in the frenzied rush of holiday shopping.

Utilizing your “Sort By” feature to let shoppers specify their criteria (price, size, shape, color, theme, etc.) and find exactly what they need is a great way to assist them just like you would if they walked into your store. You let them tell you what they are looking for and then you give them their options.

Provide Guaranteed Delivery Details

Delivery details are never as important as they are around the holidays. Online shoppers need to know when they need to have their orders placed to get items delivered for the big holidays – Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas. Florists have an even more difficult job because they often allow shoppers to select a set delivery date. Due to this unique position, florists should always include:

  • Holiday delivery cut-off times and dates
  • Delivery guarantees and policies
  • Clearly defined delivery area parameters

Showcase High Quality Images

There is a certain amount of purchase anxiety that all online shoppers experience because they cannot hold and touch the products. This anxiety is heightened when shoppers are looking for something aesthetic rather than functional (which is to say something like a flower arrangement versus a drill).  High quality images are important for shoppers to be able to see exactly what they will be sending. This is imperative because many people sending flowers will not be there to see them when they are delivered and they want to know that they are making the right choice for their recipients.

Taking the time to follow these five merchandising tips for your ecommerce store this holiday season will ensure that your holiday selling season is merry and bright!

Happy holidays!