The battle for eCommerce sales at Christmas is undoubtedly the most intense of the year. With all Christmas shopping personas, from the super organised and early to the Christmas Eve last-minuters and everything in between - it can be challenging for brands to break through the noise and get the attention they’re looking for.

Below I share my top 5 tips to gain the most conversions out of your traffic this Christmas.

Know your audience

If you follow my content, you’ll know this usually is my starting point, and it is no different when thinking about conversions at Christmas. 

Understanding who your customers are at this time of year is critical - as they may differ from your personas. Maybe you are a brand that attracts the opposite sex in the lead-up to Christmas, for example, the confused husband’s trying to buy for their wives. In this example, they will need much more hand-holding than your typical customer. 

So how can you do this?

Chances are you will have a lot of the information to help you answer this in your customer data. Look to see if there are trends at this time of year whereby you see first-time or annual purchasers - what can you learn about them from their habits and basket? If time is on your side and you are thinking about this early, you could do a survey to understand your consumer behaviour more.

Whichever route you go to find the information, your aim needs to be to create some personas that give you clarity on the motivations of the varying audiences, insight into their needs, wants, and concerns can be invaluable to driving conversions.  

Once you understand your audience, you can start to look at how you cater to them…

Signpost your varying customer journeys

With a clear understanding of who is likely to reach your website and what they are looking for, you can plan how you might need to signpost them differently. 

Thinking about the customer journey is vital; for example, a savvy shopper and a bewildered gifter will want different things out of the journey. Think about it in the real world; the bewildered gifter wandering aimlessly around the shop often gets picked up by a salesperson keen to help them and ease their concerns - your website needs to be able to replicate this behaviour.

You might find that signposting is only necessary during busy gifting seasons, OR you might decide it’s valuable all year round. Either way, ensuring you have the right tracking in place will allow you to make data-led decisions about what works best for your business and consumer needs. Ultimately, understanding the value of varying content and its impact on conversions is paramount to planning your strategy and proving the ROI delivered. 

Know your competition and think about behavioural cues

We all know how savvy the average online shopper is, and ‘tis the season for offers as we build up to Christmas… Therefore, driving conversions can be affected by the discounts your brand and your competitors offer. 

This doesn’t mean you have to be the cheapest; in some cases, that will work, but you should consider how understanding behavioural economics can help with your Christmas pricing strategy. A couple of my favourite behavioural nudges are:

Anchoring: the customer will anchor on the first value they see - anything after this will be in comparison. Therefore, be sure to look at your price point in ads and that of your competitors - is your price point realistic? Or do you pull them in with price but ultimately, the user pays more due to the necessary extras? This could drive the user away, so think about how best to compete with the knowledge that anything more expensive than the price they first see is likely to be uncomfortable for the user.

Within the idea of anchoring - it might be worth considering including a ‘decoy option’ - a bit like how most coffee shops will have three options for each drink - the most expensive option is there just to nudge people to buy the middle drink. This can be a powerful tool to drive a higher basket value. 

Scarcity: we are attracted to items that are scarce - it plays into FOMO, our need not to miss out. Could you use scarcity around offers or products to drive actions?

Decision paralysis: often, if we are presented with too many options, we make the easiest choice - do nothing. This is the last thing you want to happen when pushing for conversions - so think about how you can best present your range. Is there a filter that will help the user to narrow down their options, for example?

Test, test test

I am always an advocate for conversion rate optimisation, but when your traffic is higher than normal, it can be a great opportunity to run small tests to see if you can increase conversion. 

Obviously, this is not the time for a radical, risky test when driving ROI is so critical, but smaller, shorter, sharper tests can lead to incremental gains across the Christmas season. 

Think in advance - look at your testing activities from across the year, analyse where your best wins have been and look at how you can replicate similar new tests to increase conversions. Consider how you might test your different personas, the gifting personas that your website might not normally receive in such high volumes. This testing will be beneficial not just for today but for the year ahead and making decisions on how to consider driving revenue through gifting.

Think about the year ahead

With the dramatic increase in traffic, many eCommerce sites see over the festive period; it’s easy to lose sight of the New Year, which is hurtling towards us. Yes, conversions today are important… but building your customer base and pipeline for the next year is just as critical. 

Consider how you might engage your audience and learn more about them. Have you tried gamification tactics? We’ve worked with clients before to build festive activities like digital advent calendars or scratchcards to bring an element of gamification into their festive campaigns while also bolstering their first-party data. 

While I could go on forever with ideas and content on this topic, I’m going to stop now - there are five chunky topics for you to think about within your Christmas conversion strategy. 

Key Takeaways 

In summary of my five ideas, the key areas for success this festive season are: 

Knowing your audience - particularly your transient audiences and thinking about how you can best support them to convert.

Signposting your customer journeys correctly - with more traffic than normal and varying needs from your site, you must help get each user onto the right journey as quickly as possible.

Know your competition - think about how you can gain a competitive advantage by leveraging behavioural cues.

Test, test, test - don’t assume the decisions you have made are right. Keep testing and learning to make an impact not just today but in the future.

Think beyond Christmas - how can you ensure all the activity you’re doing now sets you up for success in the year ahead?

I’m sure I’ve got you thinking about how you can increase your conversions this Christmas. But if you’re still scratching your head about how to make a real impact on your business's bottom line, then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.




Reflect Digital was once nothing but a dream in Becky’s head. Becky is Reflect Digital’s CEO, having started Reflect Digital in 2011 she has grown the business to the strong agency team it is today.

Becky is a strategist at heart, and she shares her experience and knowledge with the Reflect Digital team and the business we work with. Full of creative ideas but with an eye always on ROI, Becky has a natural talent for spotting campaign opportunities and ensuring value is delivered.

More about Becky

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