You want your eCommerce website to be relevant. One thing you've been wondering is how to stand out from the competition.

Context is king.

You will buy and receive gifts for Christmas. As usual. So will your customers. And you want them to buy it from you.

Holiday season starts with Black Friday and ends with Christmas. It's a huge peak for your revenue but you know that.

You have to adapt your website, the way it looks, but also your approach to selling. Your relationship with your customers during this time of the year can hold on for a while or break.

You want the first option and we hope to give you some tips on how to approach this. The key is to be relevant. We list below how.

Check Out Your Copy

Usually, you might find it hard to guess why your customers are buying. Is it because they want to try something new? Is it because they're running out of something? Trying to fill a void in their lives? Or they might have read something nice about you somewhere.

But with Christmas chances are, they will buy from you to gift someone they care about. Or spoil themselves, who knows?

Adapt your copy then. See this perfect example from Harry’s. The hero is the one who offers the shaving boxset.

Rather than address a straight message, encourage people to think of giving. Let them imagine the pleasure they will have to give a gift to someone they love.

Avoid the hard sell. You know the kind of messages like “this one-time offer”. Be authentic. Sell a story. The holiday season is when people show their love to people they care.

That’s where they gather around a Christmas tree and open presents. Then they meet with their friends, and family and talk about what they got during that day.

When you think of it this way, it gives you another perspective on selling.

Now let's go beyond the item, and the product. You know people, they love telling stories. They love to explain the why behind their actions.

They try to rationalise everything.

Christmas is the perfect timing to highlight why you are doing what you are doing. And why your customers should buy from you, at that specific time.

Open your heart, the same way they are opening their wallets for you.

Write your manifesto. What do you believe in? You know the customers who bought something from you are going to repeat that story to the ones they love.

Christmas is perfect for word-of-mouth

Do something special. Imagine you are selling special handmade toys. Explain your process. Why did you come up with this idea? Who are you? Share your struggles.

Your copy—on your website—is part of your unique selling proposition. How can you stand out from the crowd and from others who sell similar items?

There’s one aspect no one can copy: YOU. This is your unfair advantage so don’t hesitate. Go for it. Adapt the copy on your website. Choose Christmas time as the vibrant opportunity to tell the world who you are, and what you stand for.

Remember then:

  • No hard-sell. Hard-sell is cheap and you don’t need that.
  • Make the copy inviting, change the copy to encourage visitors to gift.
  • Use Christmas as the right timing to tell the authentic story of your brand.

Add Special Christmas

I know it may sound cliche at first. But it works! And do not worry, you don't have to change the whole layout of your eCommerce website.

You need to find the sweet spot. The right balance between making your eCommerce more "Christmassy" while keeping it subtle.

Look at your logo for example. You can add a Santa hat on top of it. Or change the colour and turn it into red.

Go to Fiverr and ask for a designer to do it. For a couple of bucks, you can have your new logo ready within one or two days. Don’t forget to remove it and be back to normal after Christmas though.

Another change you can make is add some snowflake effect to your website.

Look at Colourpop.com website. Can you see it? It’s here yet it’s subtle.

It’s a nice reminder that it’s winter time and Christmas is around the corner. When you do that, you reinforce the context. You reinforce the Christmas spirit.

And you put your visitors at ease, willing to buy something for their friends.

For the snowflake effects, you can either use this HTML code or try this one.

Be careful as you won’t be the only one doing this. Your goal remains to stand out from the competition. You're the only one to judge whether it fits with your branding, and your website's performance.

The last thing you want is a slow website during a busy time like this one. You want your pages to load fast. Not slower because of the snowflakes effect. Test and measure.

A great source of inspiration is Google. Yes, you're not Google and you don't have their engineering team. Steal their doodle philosophy and apply it to your eCommerce.

One cool idea you may try as well is send a story each day, like a surprise to build the momentum. Something like the Chocolate Advent Calendar. The most important is you having fun while doing it.

Email marketing seems the perfect channel to do so. You can try as well Instagram for a more visual and have impact to people who don't know your brand yet.

So bear in mind to:

  • Make your eCommerce more "christmassy" but not too much.
  • Try and measure.
  • Not to affect your eCommerce performance (e.g. making it too slow).
  • Think email marketing or social media rather than pure website only.

Delight your customers

Again remember that your product will end up below a Christmas tree. Someone will tear down the wrapping paper with eagerness. It’s your time to shine and be as imaginative as possible with the package.

People don’t buy products, they buy better version of themselves.
Unknown smart brain

They like telling good stories too. They won't miss an opportunity to talk about your brand during Christmas time. Imagine the traditional family dinner, or lunch at that time of the year.

What can you do to make your package so special? How can you delight your customers so they talk about you with positive vibes?

First, you need to know from the checkout process whether it's for a gift or not. Once you know that, it's up to you to go the extra-mile for your customers. To make the experience memorable.

A handwritten note can go a long way. Some Christmas candies can surprise and delight your customers. Imagine your customer who will open her gift. There is a special note inside.

It says "Merry Christmas Laura. We wish you all the happiness you—and your loved ones—deserve."

How about that for being memorable?

You need to think about the unboxing experience more than ever.

Look at this search trend from Google. More and more customers are capturing their unboxing experience. And more and more people are buying after watching an unboxing video.

People cherish good memories.

Ten years ago, parents or grand-parents used to take pictures. Now they live stream the whole thing on Facebook or Instagram.

You can write a specific hashtag #undertheChristmastree, or #onthatday on the package for example.

You have 5 seconds to shine. Don’t ruin that experience. Be special.

Try to:

  • Not go too crazy you have only a few seconds to impress, stay relevant with your branding.
  • Still be special and unique and use that opportunity to tell a good story.
  • Encourage your customers to share their unboxing experience

Context is king, and so is the customer

Refuse to be the average eCommerce store owner who's obsessed about revenue. Christmas means money for sure.

But beyond that, there's the beginning of a relationship between you and a new customer.

Someone who's trusting you to bring happiness during a special moment. Think of it as the perfect opportunity for you to shine.

You know that it's more expensive to attract new customers in the long run. Christmas is when you need to invest the right efforts and money into the post-purchase experience. Transparency, attention to details, delight.

Those are the ingredients for you to make the perfect Christmas recipe. The recipe for success.


Photos credit goes to Harry's, Colourpop, Steve Halama and Andrew Neel.