With every passing year it always seems like Christmas is starting earlier than normal; it doesn't really seem that long ago since we took our Christmas trees down, does it? It may feel like that, either because we're all constantly growing older...or simply because retailers are putting their plans into place well in advance, as they prepare for the busy season ahead (okay, and we're all getting older!)

You'll always notice when the Christmas season 'starts' – as you'll see the biggest stores deck themselves out with Christmas decorations, sometimes in early-November! Setting up their Christmas campaigns early is undertaken by retailers both in the physical and even online worlds as many are making sure that their stalls are set out right from the off – with their ebay shop design being the best it can be. They do this because Christmas is such a massive season for shopping – every business will be vying for attention, in an attempt to sell their products and they all want to get ahead ofeach other when the Christmas time draws closer. If you sell your products online too – it's important that you jump on board this train heading to Destination Christmas, before other sellers take your seat and leave you on the outside, looking in.

Effects of Christmas on shoppers

Looking at the effects that ecommerce retailing has on people, both Google and eBay have gathered a number of statistics on Christmas shopping and have presented their findings, which include;

  • More people than ever before shop online by every passing year – I'm sure we've been there, in physical stores around Christmas thinking why are we doing this and getting frustrated when we can't move for fellow customers? Shopping online takes away that potential frustration – and it's also generally cheaper!

  • The most-popular products include – clothing, books, video games, electronics, toys and gift cards. All of which will be in plentiful supply online, whereas the most-popular products do tend to run out of stock in physical stores – which may require you to return there, taking more time out of your already-busy schedule. With most online shops delivering straight from the warehouse, stock will always be in plentiful supply!

  • More than 70% of people will plan to buy 5+ presents – and not always from the same store! This gives online businesses an opportunity to promote other products with promotions and deals – remember that physical stores tend to set higher prices and require time out of a person's day to use them. This will gives the website a great opportunity to promote themselves to the customer who doesn't necessarily want to leave home to go shopping.

These facts should give you a good insight in knowing what you need to be prepared for when it comes to setting up your eBay shop design for Christmas. The basic line is that you have to think like a physical store but yet look at it from your angle as an e-trader. How can you relate to what the big-brand stores do to what you have to do to land those all-important Christmas conversions? The stores that manage to answer that equation, usually do very well out of the season!

Taking Advantage of the Christmas Market

Statistics have shown that on average, people who shop online in the UK spend more per head than any other country in the world – a good £50 more than anywhere else! This is something that will only translate well for the Christmas season – something which as an ecommerce retailer, you should be making sure that you take advantage of.

Whilst browsing for products, a consumer is going to ask themselves some questions on whether or not they should be purchasing an item. This is where, as an ecommerce store, you need to think like the customer and ask yourself the same questions. Ask yourself what they expect from a store. Coming up with a plan, should be the principal aspect that you put into place, as without one you have no structure on which to build. Ask yourself all the questions you can think of – and answer them with a good plan of action. How am I going to do *this*, what will I do if *this* happens etc.

10 Easy Tips For Taking Advantage of The Christmas Market

With all of these questions in mind, here are some tips on how you can take advantage of the Christmas market;

1. Watch the big retailers – Have you ever walking around a big store, wondering why they've got their seasonal products out this early? Why they seem to decorate their store earlier each year? It's a simple marketing tactic that gets customers to feel 'in the mood' for Christmas, and being in the mood will lead them to be more likely to make a purchase for the upcoming season.

The biggest retailers are able to do this, reaching out to their customers, offering them Christmas in November, simply because they are able to invest in marketing and research teams to look at the average consumer and see what their behaviour is like. The likelihood is that you probably can't stretch to the resources that they can boast – but there is a way to cost-effectively benefit from their methods. A great way is to research when (and how) the big retailers start to promote their seasonal goods – if they start to promote them 6 weeks in advance, you should get in before and do it at 8. This helps you to get a head start and to get noticed by the consumer straight away. Get on that train with them before it runs past you.

2. Sell in-demand products. It might be blindly obvious to say, but Christmas is like no other time of the year – plenty of people will be attempting to buy the year's most-popular products and will be more impulsive in doing so. With the contents of an internet basket able to be checked out in just one click – that impulsiveness will be intensified if they see anything they like on a website (especially set at a decent price). Research what popular products are out there and (if applicable) see how you can work those products into your brand. Similarly, make sure that the goods you areoffering are brand-new and that you aren't offering old or inferior goods – customers want the most up-to-date and best products available – otherwise what's the point in them purchasing from you, if they can get something better elsewhere, for a similar price?

3. Offer multi-buys on postage . Aside from searching long and hard for presents at Christmas – consumers will also want to save as much money as they can. A great way to give them a good deal is by offering cheaper postage (or even extra products) for a discounted, or even a free, price. Everyone will be a winner in this transaction – you've sold a product and your customer will feel like they've got a great deal (and think highly of your services – which they may return to again, in the future).

4. Use sales events . In a similar vein, retailers regularly introduce sales events and/or special offers on products in the hope of attracting a customer. Over Christmas this could be important; promote any of your products as, for example, 15% off and that product will receive many clicks simply because people have seen that they are able to save money on it – then it's up to you and your brilliant selling skills to write content that will be able to persuade them to buy it. Even if they don't want to buy that particular product, they may see something else on your website that they may be interested in – so be sure that other products are visible when someone opens up your webpages.

5. Use keywords and product identifiers . Imagine, as a customer, walking into a physical store and everything being a mess and you can't find what you're looking for – it'll get frustrating and make you want to leave, wouldn't it? Funnily enough, the same can be true of an internet store. You can probably spend days upon days, creating a warehouse full of quality products and even take the most striking of product photos – but if you don't include the relevant search terms, or product identifiers, then nobody is going to find your products and no purchases will be made!

6. The importance of being detailed . There is no such thing as being 'too detailed' when it comes to setting up your product descriptions – although be mindful that nobody wants to spend allnight reading them! Keep your product descriptions concise, yet knowledgeable – try to relate to the customer too; what are they looking for in *this* product? Being detailed and relatable will help the user to place their trust in you and more likely help to turn them into a customer.

7. Photos – As touched on earlier, setting up a store that looks attractive and easy to browse, will make it more likely that a customer will make a purchase. Although unlike your local shopping centre, online stores are unable to present their products physically so making sure that the product images are the best they can be is paramount in order for you to sell them. Many customers will actually browse the physical representations in a store before looking them up online (in case they can get them cheaper) so be mindful of this, and be sure that you make the images as attractive as you can.

8. Festive it up! Again, looking at physical stores – you surely will have noticed by now that they go all-out to deck themselves out with Christmas decorations? This helps them to set the ambiance and encourage people to walk in, knowing that they're out shopping for Christmas presents. Similarly, setting up a Christmas theme for your online store is a perfect way to set the season for customers who are shopping for Christmas-related products. Many physical stores though, can tend to go overboard and perhaps introduce too many Christmas elements which will be more likely to put people off, rather than entice them in – so be sure that you don't do the same! Don't put any dancing Santas on every line of your ebay shop design or website, for example!

9. Use social media . A great way to take advantage of the joyfulness of the season is to promote your products on social media to people who may be interested in them. With Christmas being a somewhat busy time on these platforms (people will have more time to go on them) this presents a great opportunity for an ecommerce business to promote their brands. Research popular hashtags and see if you can relate them to what you're selling – also be constant with your posts (but not TOO constant!) and always interact with your followers.

10. Start early – but end late too . If you think that it can be too late to start your Christmas marketing campaign, you couldn't be more wrong - in fact, the opposite is probably true! As Christmas Day looms closer, the intensity of consumers going about their Christmas shopping will increase – it's even very common for them to be out and about on Christmas Eve doing some last-minute shopping! With the rise in the number of companies who are able to offer a same-day delivery service, you are able to get products delivered to you even on Christmas Eve! If you are able to ensure (and of course, promote to) your customers that you can get their products delivered to them by Christmas Day – you will see the orders roll in. As time ticks down, this is when consumers grow at their most impulsive and if you're able to offer them their perfect service – you're on to a winner.

eStore Design – Get in touch for your bespoke ebay shop design today!

Here at eStore Design, our aim is to assist ecommerce retailers to take full advantage of the potential that eBay can offer. If you're looking to sell more online this Christmas with a fantastic eBay shop design that will make all the difference, don't hesitate to get in touch with us today! You can contact us on 0845 050 3500 or alternatively, send us an e-mail at sales@e-store-design.co.uk and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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