(And How to Build an eCommerce Site at the Last Minute)
Ah, the holidays. That time of year when the air is filled with the smell of hot cocoa and the sound of jingle bells (and jingling coins). The holiday season generates billions of dollars annually for eCommerce sites. Want to get in on that sweet holiday cash? All you need is a great website and some festive holiday content.
But first, the website.
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How to build an eCommerce site at the very last second
If you’ve been toying with the idea of starting an eCommerce site for a while but never quite got around to it, the holidays are the perfect time to make one. (Billions of dollars annually, remember?)
If thinking about website building gives you visions of grappling with endless strings of code and building complicated layouts from scratch, don’t worry. Good web hosting companies make it ridiculously easy to create an eCommerce site.
You don’t even have to worry about designing your website from scratch. Luxhosting has tons of free website templates for you to choose from. And you don’t have to worry that people will know you used a free website template as soon as they see your landing page. Our free website templates are so gorgeous, you’ll wonder why anybody even pays for web design.
Don’t know anything about building a website?
TIP: It’s ridiculously easy to register a domain name, so if you don’t know where to start, start with that. Once you’ve registered your fun, catchy domain name, you can get your website up and running in time for the holidays.
And speaking of the holidays…
As our gift to you, here are the 15 holiday content ideas we promised:
1. Create a gift guide
A gift guide is a great way to show off your products in a way that’s relevant to your customers. One of your customers’ biggest fears is that they’ll spend their money on a gift that absolutely flops.
Create a gift guide, so when they frantically google what to get their mom, dad, grandma or partner, there you are, popping up on their search results page.
Don’t know how to make a gift guide? We’ve got you.
Visit some popular eCommerce websites and search for their bestsellers. Include similar products in your gift guide. Also, pay attention to the trends. Remember when fidget spinners were a thing? Look around to see if there’s anything like that for your target demographic. And ask your friends and family what they want for the holidays, then chuck some of those into your guide, too.
Your customers will be more willing to spend their money if they know their gift will be well received.
2. Offer your customers a free gift
You’re no Ebenezer Scrooge. Want your customers to get in the gifting mood? Give them a gift first. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It can be as easy as offering free shipping, a free eBook, a free downloadable coupon or a free webinar (if that’s your kind of thing).
BONUS: You can also use these free gifts to grow your email subscriber list if you offer the gift in exchange for your customer’s email address. Dangle the free gift to get access to their precious inbox.
3. Deck the halls
Everywhere’s being decorated for the holidays, so why should your website be any different? Get a merry, festive theme for your website to get your customers into the holiday spirit.
4. Create a sense of urgency by adding a ticking clock
Nothing opens your customers’ wallets like the sound of a ticking clock. Add a countdown timer to your web page to remind customers that your holiday promotion will be ending soon – very soon. Limited time offers get your customers to hit that ‘Add to Cart’ button before it’s too late.
5. Pay attention to the weird holidays, too
Sure, big holidays like Christmas and Black Friday get all the love, but did you know that the 6th of March is National Dress Day?
What about National Pet Day (April 11th)? Or Book Lovers’ Day on August 9th?
Look out for opportunities to offer great prices to your customers, and they’ll be so grateful they’ll even shop on your site when it’s not some wacky holiday.
6. Festive newsletters
Make your email marketing holiday themed. Send fun, spooky newsletters for Halloween and merry, festive ones for Christmas. New Year’s? Send out a “New Year, New Me” newsletter that shows your customers exactly how shopping from you will help them keep their new year’s resolutions. Thanksgiving? Send out a Thank You newsletter (bonus points if you also include a discount code).
7. Show them how your company celebrates the holidays
Go ahead. Show off your human side. Create a blog post that shows your customers what your company looks like during the holiday season. Customers are more likely to spend their money with you if they feel like they can trust you. And customers are more likely to trust you if they feel like they know you. So, don’t be afraid to give your customers a little peek behind the curtain.
8. Product reviews
Reviews and testimonials help drive sales, because customers get to see that other people are using and enjoying your products. So, get those reviews in, and then write a blog post that showcases them.
9. Help your customers give to charity
The holidays are a time when your customers are thinking about giving to the less fortunate. Why don’t you help them do that? Tell your customers you’ll be donating a percentage of your sales to charity. That way, they can feel good about buying from you. (But please, please, please actually follow through on this. Nothing kills your rep faster than stealing from charity.)
10. A blog post round-up
Okay, this one’s kind of cheating. But the holidays are a great time to recap some of your best blog posts. (If you’re just starting out, see if you can create a roundup of other blogs’ posts instead. As long as these blogs aren’t your competitors, this is a great way to help your customers. You can even link to blog posts and videos that show your customers how to use some of the products you offer.)
11. Party ideas
Your customers will be throwing (and attending) lots of parties during the holiday season. Help them celebrate the holidays by creating a blog post with party ideas. This is also a great opportunity to show your customers just how useful your products are.
12. Custom packaging
Can you offer custom, holiday-themed packaging? This is a great way to show your customers that you’re thinking of them. As a bonus, see if you can offer to gift-wrap packages for your customers.
13. New year, new stuff
The holidays are a great time to roll out new products. You can even borrow the Starbucks playbook and offer a special, holiday-themed version of some of your products! As a matter of fact, you don’t have to wait until New Year’s to do this, though. You can come up with great product offerings for any holiday. A bit of imagination and a snappy email marketing campaign will have customers flocking to your eCommerce site.
14. Flash sales
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the usual suspects for flash sales. But you can create flash sales for any holiday. In fact, the weirder, the more memorable! Is it Book Lovers’ day already? Have a flash sale for books if you sell them. Comb through your inventory and see which products you can tie to a holiday. Your customers will love you for it.
15. A wheel of sales
Add a sales wheel to your site (like the wheel from Wheel of Fortune) and let your customers try their luck at winning their own discount code. Make sure each prize is something worth winning and your customers will feel like they got to choose their own deal. The thrill of triumph will make your customers more willing to spend.
Your ecommerce site can make a ton of money during the holiday season, and it’s all too easy to get in on the action. All you need to do is register a domain name, build your website, and kickstart your sales with our holiday content ideas!