Even if you sell the same products year-round, during the holiday season, you want your site to appear more festive than normal. You’ll attract site visitors doing Christmas shopping or buying something special for themselves. Decking the halls of your e-commerce store only makes sense.
McKinsey recently forecast a strong demand for consumer products this holiday season thanks to high confidence. Around 40% of survey respondents said they planned to shop earlier due to concerns with supply shortages and longer shipping times. Don’t wait until the last minute to change the look of your store. Focus on the holidays now, as most people are already checking off their shopping lists.
How can you make your e-commerce store look festive without drastic changes? There are several ways to embrace the season and send emotional signals to your users that it’s time to order gifts now.
A ticker at the top of your landing page grabs user attention and is the perfect way to add in some holiday vibe without too much interference with the overall aesthetic of your site. You can offer a special holiday discount, update folks on upcoming sales or share other holiday news. Just keep it short and to the point.
Glossier added a note to the very top of its website. The background is a different color than the rest of the page, and draws the user’s eye. The note lets visitors know they’re prepping for the Black Friday sale and invites them to sign up for a mailing list to get early access to the event.
A touch of holiday whimsey goes a long way toward making your site more festive. Add some greenery or holly to the edge of an image. Tuck a red bow behind a product you’re featuring. Look for ways to add the holiday spirit here and there.
Your page doesn’t need to look like Santa’s workshop exploded on it, but a few elements or adding in red and green helps put people in a holiday shopping mood.
If your e-commerce store offers seasonal products, feature them in your hero image and featured products sections. People visiting your site during the holidays may not have considered your site for gifts, but will when they see you offer specific items geared to gift-giving.
Mary Maxim grabs a number of home decor items geared to the holidays and features them on its landing page. At the top of the page, they mention they have a wide selection of holiday craft items and offer a link to shop for those things very specifically.
As you scroll down, you see displays of decor on a mantel, a wreath and a present. They also highlight items such as winter puzzles.
You’ve likely noticed Google changes their logo frequently. They use the same wordmark but add a background, tuck an illustration between the letters or even make the logo actionable. Depending upon how complex your logo is, you can easily top it with a bow, have a cartoon reindeer peek from behind a letter or add some greenery.
Adding holiday elements to your logo is a small change that is easy to implement but adds a festive touch to your site. Users tend to look at your logo before other elements on the page, so it sets the entire tone.
A gift guide helps show people you’re ready to join in the festivities without putting the entire focus on the holidays. You may have regular customers who order year-round and aren’t interested in gifts. However, those who are can click on the link and see what you have for different types of recipients.
West Elm features a holiday lookbook on its website. Rather than just collect all holiday items into a group, they choose six distinct looks and share how the products look in your home.
E-commerce store owners can also offer gift-giving guides by category, such as for women, men or children. You can separate gifts into monetary categories as well. Use filters and let your site visitors search for the exact right item for their needs.
Another way you can deck out your site is by adding some holiday-themed content. Headlines with words such as “Christmas,” “Thanksgiving” and “Hanukkah” go a long way toward adding some holiday spirit to your site.
Additionally, you can use the content for social media posts and drive traffic to your site. Your regular visitors may be used to typical content and seeing a holiday guide helps them remember you for their gift giving needs.
You can even create a video and showcase some items people might be most interested in purchasing for the holidays.
There are some scenes that scream Norman Rockwell, even with a modern touch. Look for beautiful images you can add to your hero header and your product pages. A family scene, a wintry white coating and holiday-themed items say a lot without any words.
Petsmart utilizes its hero slider to showcase beautiful holiday shots of pets and their owners. Note how the setting features green and red and there are festive touches within the photograph, such as a Christmas tree, red collar on the dog, red headband on mom and even some presents tucked in the background.
You don’t have to do a complete theme redesign to get your site in holiday mode. Add small touches and ask for feedback from your visitors. Take a step back and look at your site through fresh eyes. If anything seems bland, you can dress it up with small graphics or snazzy headlines.
While it’s a good idea to add some festivity to the mix, you also don’t want to add so many items that it’s hard to revert your site back in the new year. Add a few things but don’t go overboard.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.