The Christmas business checklist

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
6 min read
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Christmas is just around the corner, which means lucrative opportunities for your e-commerce business. In the weeks before the big day, you should be busy preparing for the rush of online shoppers coming your way. Preparation is the key here – from forecasting your stock needs, to ensuring delivery times are not affected by the increased demand. Discover has you covered with our to-do list for the season.

woman tying boxes


Build excitement amongst your customers

If you’re planning something exciting for your e-commerce store around Christmas – whether that means new merchandise or festive discounts – make sure your customers know about it! Email marketing delivers one of the highest ROI (returns on investment) of all marketing channels1 so is a great place to start. Consider sending out a run of festively themed emails counting down to the big day to create buzz amongst customers, with deals and discounts enticing them to make a purchase.

Of course, your social media channels also play an important role here. Make sure that your primary social channels deliver engaging content and offers to your customers so that they keep you front of mind over the holiday shopping season.

Check your website health

Is your e-commerce site prepared for an increase in traffic over the holiday period? Will it still load as fast? Is it mobile friendly? These are the details that will keep customers browsing your site for longer, helping you to increase your conversion rate. Check out our top e-commerce advice tips to give your website an edge over the competition.

smiling woman looking at mobile phone screen

Fast delivery is essential…

Customers will want their orders delivered in time for the big day. Make sure they’re not disappointed by ensuring your logistics operation is in order. Partnering with DHL Express means you can offer your customers Next Day delivery – ideal for those who have left their shopping until the last minute! We can help you integrate extra shipment features into your online checkout with minimal fuss. Check out our Essential Christmas Delivery Tips for more advice to keep your customers happy.

man and woman looking through shop window

…and so is international delivery

These days, customers expect international shipping as standard. Consumers look to cross-border sellers to find unique products or items that they can't buy in their own country. Consider also that Christmas is increasingly celebrated in traditionally non-Christian countries and it’s no surprise that you may find yourself fielding more international inquiries then ever before. Make sure your e-commerce business is in prime position to leverage these opportunities by localizing your website per market so that customers can choose the language, currency and payment method.

Partnering with DHL Express for your international shipments means customs and cross-border shipping regulations are simplified, leaving you to focus on selling.

person placing presents in a paper bag

Take stock of the situation

Increased demand requires increased stock levels – and they need to be maintained throughout the festive period. Work closely with your distributor(s) to plan your supply chain needs in advance.

Once the holiday shopping season kicks in, you should monitor your sales constantly, in real-time, so that if something sells out, you can quickly switch to push other products by changing their position on your website, or by adding extra deals and discounts.

brown package with tag

Do you want fries with that?”

The busy Christmas shopping period is the perfect opportunity to upsell to your customers. The key is to enhance the customer experience, not disrupt it. If you're selling electrical goods, for example, offer batteries at checkout. Upselling doesn’t have to be limited to products, though – giving busy customers the option of having their gifts wrapped can also increase your revenue per sale.

person shopping online

Get personal

Data collected on customers throughout the year can be put to good use during the festive season to increase customer loyalty. Consider setting up an email marketing campaign to send special Christmas discount codes to customers who have purchased from you previously.  

As for the new customers you may attract over the busy festive period, offer incentives to encourage them to sign up to your mailing list so that you can stay in touch and target them with new product releases or deals in the future.

person holding wrapped Christmas present

Don’t forget aftercare

Once you’ve shipped the customers’ order to them, stay in touch. What happens after the sale is just as important as attracting customers in the first place. As soon as your customer clicks the ‘buy’ button, send a thank you and confirmation email with a receipt of their purchase attached for convenience.

Likewise, your products’ packaging is an opportunity to personalize the customer experience. A little note to say thanks, a discount voucher for future purchases, or some free product samples make an impact and influence customers to come back.

woman wrapping Christmas presents

Be prepared for returns

No matter how great your products are, it’s inevitable that your e-commerce store will receive some returns. Despite the hassle and cost of this, you can turn it into a positive opportunity for your business. 49% of online consumers will actively check a brand’s returns policy before committing to buy2, so stating clearly on your e-commerce website’s homepage that you offer free returns might just be the thing that secures you more sales down the line. Follow the tips in our returns guide to keep your returns rate down.

girls in Christmas hat smiling

Start planning for 2021

After the holiday season is over, take the time to closely analyze your sales and performance analytics. What worked well? What didn’t? Which of your social media posts had the greatest engagement? Which of your holiday deals had the most uptake? These learnings can be incorporated into your sales strategy for the year ahead and help to drive a stronger business. Your customers are the key to your success so pay attention to what they’re telling you!

We’ve made the list, so check it twice! From everyone at Discover, we wish you a happy holiday sales period, and an even more prosperous 2021.