The holidays are a time for family, friends, and of course, shopping. And they’ll be here before you know it!

As the air gets chilly and the year draws to a close, people look to complete their holiday shopping.

Brown paper packages tied up with string.

How can you take advantage of the season and convince more people to purchase from your e-commerce site versus a competitor’s?

In this post, we’re going to cover 3 ways to make your site more cheerful and less bah-humbug so you can generate more sales this year.

3 ways to ready your site for the holiday season

Be a trusted resource for your site visitors.

How often have you heard someone say that the person they’re shopping for “already has everything they need” or is “impossible to shop for”?

Take the guesswork out of shopping for your customers by compiling a gift guide (or a few) for your site visitors. By doing this, you can direct them to the products that are the best fit for their needs or highlight the products that you most want to sell.

Stockings hung over the chimney.

Your gift guides should be clearly titled. There should be no confusion as to whether your gift guide is best suited for someone’s grandmother or great-nephew. Make sure to use keywords and details in your product descriptions to give people enough information to make an informed decision.

And remember that appearances matter! It’s not 1997 anymore — so as much as you might want to throw together a list of goods in a Word doc then post it to your site, don’t do it. There are so many retailers clamoring for attention and sales that you need to stand out.

There are many free graphic design sites and tools that can help you craft a good-looking gift guide. Check out Canva or do a quick internet search to find the tool you like best.

Give your site a festive facelift.

When was the last time your website got a little TLC?

People don’t keep the same clothing or hairstyles forever, and there’s no time like the holidays for updating your site, too.

You don’t have to overhaul your website, but consider updating your main banner image to something better suited to the holiday season. Coca-Cola is a great example of a company that updates its look and feel for the holidays. Before the holidays last year, they updated their site to highlight a seasonal product, Coca-Cola Cinnamon, and their banner image had also been updated to support that.

screenshot from Coca-Cola's website.

If you’re thinking, “I can’t afford a photographer or new graphic designer just for this!” then we have good news. The days when you’d need to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for good photography and imagery to use on your site are long gone, so don’t let that be a concern of yours. When creating your new banner image, consider adding a highly-visible coupon code to attract holiday shoppers.

Check out this article for free image resources you can use to spruce up your site.

Be a little less Scrooge and a little more Santa

We’ve talked a lot about shopping this holiday season but that’s not entirely what it’s about. Your customers are looking to purchase gifts for the people they care for as an act of consideration and love.

Help them know that you’re on the same page by dedicating a certain percentage of your holiday sales to charity or a non-profit organization. Even a very small amount, like 1-2% of your profits this time of year, can add up to make a big difference in someone’s life.

Don’t be shy about letting your customers know that part of their purchase is going towards a good cause. It could be the differentiator you need to stand out from the crowd and convince someone to purchase from you instead of your competitor.  

Happy holidays to you and your site

The holiday season is a great time to update your site. Give your visitors what they’re looking for with gift guides, updated seasonal imagery, and another reason to feel good about themselves with a donation to charity.

Do you have other ideas for giving your website a holiday look and feel? Share them with the rest of us in the comments below.