Christmas: Preparing for the online rush

While consumers are opting to shop online more and more, they?re still concerned about being caught out by fake websites and counterfeit goods ? a concern that?s heightened at Christmas when people make larger purchases.

Your online shop must embody security, trust, reliability and good service. A good online reputation is just as important as a real-world one, so it?s essential that you build credibility into your site to make the most out of the Christmas season.

Here are four things you can do now to make sure your website is prepared for the Christmas rush:

1. Display contact numbers throughout your site

Build trust with users by displaying contact numbers throughout your site. This shows there is somebody to talk to should your customer encounter a problem. You can expect to receive more enquires during the festive season, so be prepared to deal with this. You should also encourage feedback, as this makes your customers feel valued and can help you add to your services.

2. Display security accreditations 

Festive shoppers are likely to make larger multiple purchases, so need to be reassured that the confidential information they input online is safe. Display your security accreditations (such as your SSL certificate), which verify that the site is legitimate and hosted on a secure server. You should also offer money-back guarantees if possible. Also, make sure your terms and conditions are written in plain English and immediately visible on the site.

3. Give customers detail about your product 

Christmas purchases are often done with someone else in mind, so your customer might be unsure of the product they?re ordering. Because of this, you must be really transparent when it comes to your goods, with photos of the product included, alongside detailed descriptions and clear pricing.

4. Add a personal touch

Customers are more likely to buy from a site if they can relate to the person behind the webpage. Adding pictures, videos and even a blog to your website will give customers an insight into your business and help to build rapport, which can turn into custom.

Christmas comes but once a year, but help your customers enjoy a smooth Christmas and you can expect them to keep coming back all year round.

Thomas Vollrath is CEO of UK domain registrar 123-Reg.

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