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With the nights drawing in and colder days ahead, shoppers are likely to be turning more to online stores – especially after the last 18months we've had. With Christmas being one of the busiest times of the year, with deals after deals on the products we love, it's important that online brands make their websites the best they can be.

If you run your own open source website, is it currently at its optimal best for the shopping season ahead? Ensuring that you have everything you need in place to make for a good browsing experience and easy checkout is vital in winning all that important business. This is why here, we've got several tips that will help you to get the most from your website.

Crucial Christmas Tips to Optimise Your Open Source Website

Having a Christmas countdown or calendar

A crucial part of Christmas is the anticipation, counting down the days until you get to open your presents sitting under the tree, awaiting family visits and enjoying delicious food, but why have a countdown or calendar on your website?

Everyone is so excited for the Christmas break, working hard all year in their jobs, so adding a Christmas countdown to your landing page or banner gives your audience a reminder – they need to hurry up and buy your offers/use your services before it's too late! This process can be the same with a calendar. Each day you have a new offer; it gives the audience a sense of urgency.

Having a 'Festive Look' to your open source website

People love to get excited over Christmas, and nothing else signifies 'Christmas' than festive decorations! So, why not apply this to your opensource website? You could bring some Christmas cheer to your pages by:

· Updating your banners – make them have a'festive design' with your offers or key products. This makes them visually appealing to the audience.

· Update your product images – make every thing look up to date and desirable to drive more sales.

· Update your logo – make it Christmassy!

· Use a festive-themed font.

Pricing, promotion and offers

With last-minute panic buying, it's crucial you cater for this on your open source website – a clever use of text can go a long way to persuade someone into making a buying decision.

You can achieve this by making use of:

· Hooks – free product/service when you purchase *blank*

· Offer codes – use code *blank* to get 70%off.

· Cater your prices to the time of year… discount?

Display your top-rated items and offer gift suggestions

It's often difficult to work out what to buy friends and family for Christmas, so anything that stores can do to help customers will play heavily into their buy ingdecisions. By displaying your best-selling (or top-rated) gifts on your landing page, they will see popular items at a glance. Using open source is perfect to make quick changes to your page, so if you haven't already, you should also consider adding in special seasonal categories so shoppers can search for gifts for specific people (mum, dad, husband, wife, etc). The bottom line is that if you make purchasing easy for people, they are more likely to make a purchase.

Consider adding 'Live Chat'

Great customer service is often a deal breaker in any sale – and you can roll this out on your open source website through the use of a live chat module. Having staff on hand to answer queries will reduce waiting times as they will be able to deal with multiple queries at once (rather than say, having to answer a phone to a single person at a time). With their questions answered, customers are far more likely to feel secure in making their purchase and will look upon your brand more favourably as a result.

These were just a few tips on how to get the most from your shopping website this Christmas. If you are interested in learning more about open source, or looking to upgrade your existing platform, why not get in contact with the team here at Code Media?

Specialist Open Source Web Design, By Code Media

Hereat Code Media, our philosophy is simple; we code it, you own it. We are a vastly experienced web development agency that creates bespoke websites in open source code – once created, we pass the keys over to our clients. What they do then, is completely up to them; they can host it on their own platform, or we can even host it for them.

We believe in creating open source websites that allow our clients to bring their customers closer to them, shaping their shopping experiences. As the online marketplace continues to expand at an exponential rate, being able to present a bespoke website design is often the difference in customers choosing to go with a particular service. No matter if you need a custom CMS or a custom-built web portal, we are able to deliver a high-quality website that is easy to manage and promote.

So, if you are indeed interested in learning more about the Magento platform (or you need some advice on how your business could benefit from a bespokee Commerce platform in general), we would be delighted to hear from you. You can get in touch by calling us on 0118 380 1001, or by sending an e-mail to hi@code.media

Where to Find Us

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4 Millars Brook Molly Millars Lane Wokingham Berkshire RG41 2AD United Kingdom

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71-75 Shelton Street Covent Garden London WC2 9JQ