Tag Archives: Sales

How to get your online store ready for Christmas

21 Sep

With Christmas just around the corner it’s important to start thinking about getting your online store ready for the holiday rush.

Internet shopping continues to rise year on year, so here are my top tips for getting your store ready for what could be your most lucrative quarter.Retro tin toy santa robot holding christmas present

Is your store ready?

Start by looking at the products on your store. Optimize images and give your site a festive feel. Images will play a big part in capturing the attention and hearts of shoppers. If your product photos are low resolution or have poor lighting, maybe it’s time to re-shoot them ready for the holidays. You might not want to upload them yet, but careful planning will take the stress out of what is going to be a busy time.

Check your site. Does it load well? Is your web address memorable? Are all the links working? Does your site work on all devices? Are your stock levels right?  Make sure there isn’t any ‘out of stock’ products appearing on your store. Show that your site is secure with an SSL certificate.

Are your product descriptions accurate and of a good length? If they aren’t, online shoppers may be wary of buying from you. All of this careful planning helps build up your SEO which will boost your Google rankings making it easier for shoppers to find you.

Make checking out easy

Your customers are going to be busy leading up to Christmas. According to a recent survey conducted by PwC, when it comes to online shopping, Americans value convenience above all else: 58% of survey respondents say convenience is the main reason they shop online, with price being a distant second at 32%. Don’t have your customers abandoning the checkout process out of frustration. After succeeding in the hard work of getting them there, losing conversions due to a complicated or lengthy form is far from ideal. Use a checkout that allows you to take payments directly on your store.

Have a plan

Calculate your projected sales figures and work hard to stick to them. Visit our 6 essential tips to increasing sales.

Build the hype. ..slowly!

Plan your marketing campaign but start subtle. Traditionally the Christmas buying season starts the day after Thanksgiving, but so many people have done their Christmas shopping by then. I’m not suggesting that you start customizing your store with Christmas trees and tinsel just yet! A great way to start your Christmas campaign is to start blogging about it. If you have enabled StoreBlog, you can blog about what you’re planning in the run up to the Holiday Season. Put teasers for your upcoming sales on your blog or Facebook store to create awareness. According to a recent report by Deloitte more so than ever, consumers plan to use the Internet to research holiday buys and 50% will use social media during their shopping process when it comes to holiday spending. Get your customers to leave feedback and reviews on your StoreBlog and Facebook store.

If you’re looking to promote discounts for those shoppers looking for a bargain, start to plan what coupons and sales you’re going to offer on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Money can be tight at Christmas and customers will be looking for a great deal.  

Use every avenue available to drive traffic to your store.  Get your advertising in the right place. Define your best customer and seek out the right way to reach them. During October and the early part of November, these won’t be Christmas related ads. You are planting shopping ideas and hints that will be harvested down the road.

Don’t have a big marketing budget? Utilize social media. A recent survey found that consumers have an appetite for social commerce, that fusion of online social communities with seamless purchasing capability. More than two-thirds of US respondents said social media influences their online shopping behavior.

Time to Get Festive

When you start to celebrate Christmas on your store is up to you but it’s essential that you aren’t the last store out there to start celebrating. Customize your store with some festive features to entice your customers. Winter Morning is a festive design for your store.  You can easily switch between your Christmas design and your January Sale design at the click of a button using the Saved Designs Feature. A word of warning though – if you have a high customer base, don’t make drastic changes to the navigation or layout right now. This can cause disruption to customers’ shopping flow. If the site has drastically changes from what customers are used to, it could cause confusion, frustration and lead to abandonment.

Get to the Christmas Markets – this is the best way to raise your profile and connect with your customers. See face to face what your customers are interested in. Wrap up warm, grab a coffee and have fun. Pick their brains about what they bought last year. What items make good gifts? What price ranges are they looking for? What is their average Christmas budget?

Monitor your stock carefully

Choosing the amount of stock you need over Christmas can often be difficult, especially if you are investing in seasonal products. On the one hand, you don’t want to miss out on a share of the market, but on the other you don’t want to be left with surplus stock in January that you can’t sell.  Look at what sold well last year. Finding a pattern could make ordering your stock each year much easier, so make sure you keep a note of everything.

Reach out to your customers about your most popular products – nervous customers will want reassuring that products will arrive on time.

Spread some festive cheer

Your average customer will recruit three other customers during the time they do business with you. What makes customers talk about you? Usually the way they were treated. Add a personal touch. Offer a helping hand. Give them personal attention. This could be a handwritten note in their parcel. Point out new items to customers on your blog. Sales and relationships go hand in hand.

Get your staff involved!

The holidays are a great time to have fun and a season of goodwill. Why not get your staff excited about Christmas and this will reflect in their attitudes. Organize a competition among your staff to create a Christmas card to send out with your customer orders. A personal touch will help your customers to feel valued and connected to your brand. Your staff can make a big difference to the success of our business over Christmas. Why not treat them to a Christmas lunch to say thank you for all their hard work, especially if you need them to work on days that most people usually have off like Boxing Day or New Year’s Day.

And finally…Don’t forget January!

No doubt if your Christmas campaign has gone well, you’ll be exhausted! Plan ahead and get your January sales with discount codes and coupons. Getting ready early will help you to jump on your competition and bring in the shoppers. Marketing plans take time to plan and work if they are to be successful. Bring it on!

Get started with freewebstore.com

New Feature – Share This Icons

18 Apr

Our latest feature adds share options for your shoppers to use if they wish to share your product with the world, giving your product maximum exposure!  The product could be shared on Facebook, Google, Twitter or Pinterest.

Jump on over to the Marketing > Social Media > Share This Icons section of your Freewebstore Control Panel  to enable or disable social media share icons on your store product details page.

The share icons will look something like below when enabled on your store. Though they may change slightly depending on the design.

Remember this ONLY appears on your product details page. Some retired or custom made designs may not support this feature. Please contact support if you need any help with this feature.

 

Black Friday

16 Nov

Black Friday is coming fast, the day where bargain hunters across the world try and grab themselves a great deal heading into the festive period.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday was originally an American only tradition, dropping on the day after Thanksgiving each year. Retailers offer massive discounts on products in an attempt to persuade you to spend your money in the run-up to the festive period.  Recently the rest of the world has also adopted this as a day to offer discounts on their product range.

When is Black Friday?

This year Black Friday will happen on Friday 27th November. However, some retailers will start their week of deals on Monday 23rd November.

How can I promote my special offers?

Coupons & Vouchers

Create a coupon code via the Marketing > Coupons & Vouchers section of your Freewebstore Control Panel and promote it on your social media channels.  Time specific offers usually have the biggest impact !

Email your Newsletter list

Send an email out to your newsletter mailing list to promote your special offers .

Social Media

Use your Facebook pages and Twitter feed to promote your special offers leading up to Black Friday.

Mobile Optimized

22% of total online sales on Black Friday were purchased on mobiles – that’s an increase of nearly 43% from last year (source: TechCrunch)

Take advantage of your potential customers shopping on their mobile devices by ensuring your store design is optimized for mobile devices.  Check out our fantastic designs here.

PayU Money

27 Oct

Freewebstore has added PayU Money to its extensive number of checkout providers.  PayU Money allows you access to a large consumer base by providing multiple payments options to them to choose from. PayUMoney enables you to accept all Credit Cards (Mastercard/VISA), All Debit Cards (including Maestro) and NetBanking.

Setting up PayU Money

Setting up PayU Money for your store is a breeze. Simply head to the Ecommerce > Checkouts section of your Freewebstore Control Panel to get started.

To use PayUmoney as a payment method, you must first sign up for an account with them at: www.payumoney.com

Once you have a PayUmoney account, please enter your Merchant ID, Merchant Key and Salt in the boxes provided within the Ecommerce > Checkouts section of your Freewebstore Control Panel.

You will then have to go to your Seller Dashboard in your PayU money account and go to Settings > My Account > Webhooks section and set up a Webhook Events for a Successful Payment and Failure Payment with the following Webhook URL for both.

https://catch.freewebstore.org/catchpayumoney.aspx”

You can also set the Return URLs and upload a custom logo if you wish.

That is it !  Your customers can now checkout using PayU Money on your store.

###PayU is only available to companies registered in India & to Individuals having Indian Bank account.###

Ecommerce 3.0

1 Oct

New Features, New Designs, New Website!

Check out our brand new website at www.freewebstore.com.  A lot of love has gone into its creation and now it is launched we are extremely proud of it.  Hope you like it too!

Google reCAPTCHA

4 Sep

NEW FEATURE

We have added Google’s brand new mobile responsive reCAPTCHA to all our design’s contact pages to make sure your store is fully protected from spam and abuse while letting real people pass through with ease.

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You can read more about the reCaptcha here

Local Time Zone

3 Sep

NEW FEATURE

Set your store to the timezone of your choice via the Settings>Store Settings section of your Freewebstore Control Panel.  All dates and times will then be displayed in your local time zone.

New Affiliate site – Earn 15% commission for the lifetime of a referred subscription

25 Aug

Packed full of new features, you’ll have even more reasons to refer a friend and earn money!

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  • Generous 15% commission
  • New look Freewebstore branding
  • Commission paid directly into your PayPal Account (or Bank Account for UK Customers)
  • Social media links – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Email

Statistics Page

The graphs on the statistics page track how well your affiliate account is doing.

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Ad Management

With the new affiliate system we offer a greater choice of banners.  We provide the HTML to allow you to easily insert your banner into your website or store and automatically receive the referall if the ad is clicked.

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Reporting

Reports make it easier to manage your account.  Keep track of all your referrals and commission.  You can even view and print out your invoices here!

reporting

Click Here to get started!

New Design Launched – Echo

13 Aug

New Design Launched – Introducing Echo

Providing a powerful yet clean look, Echo is a brilliant design for those who wish to target their mobile and tablet audience first. Capable of displaying 100’s of products in a minimal yet contemporary look.

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Key Features

  • Mobile Optimized
  • Social Media Icons Supported
  • Multiple Language Packs
  • Graphical Logo
  • Soft Add To Cart
  • Advanced Search
  • Featured Products
  • Offers & Promotions

Try out the design

 

New Freewebstore logo and branding

5 Aug

bloglogo

Its an exciting time here at Freewebstore HQ.  We have just launched our new sign up page.  The new page includes a plethora of useful information about the Freewebstore designs.  You can also check out other user’s stores and the designs they use.  This is a great tool to use if you are considering switching to a different design!

brandingsignup

Check out the new sign up page

You may have noticed that we are starting to roll out our new Freewebstore branding.  This is in preparation for our new website launch that is coming later this year.  You will start to see the new logo and color scheme popping up all over the place.  The blog was the first place to get the facelift!  Let us know what you think in the comments below.