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Seasonal & Holiday Website Updates
Do you change your ecomm site to suit - if so, how much?

 7:49 pm on Dec 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I know some sites that will go out of their way to dress up for the holidays. They change the color scheme, the images, even go to the extent of making up new seasonal/holiday images. Think along the lines of LL Bean and the other major catalogs here.

How much do you change your website to suit the season and/or holiday and how much of a difference do you think it makes? And why?



 8:06 pm on Dec 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I simply add a Santa Claus hat to the top of my shop logo, it's simple and effective. I may also insert some falling snowflakes, to add to the festivities. It is very effective, because I have had quite a few customers comment on the changes.


 9:33 pm on Dec 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I got my Logo designer to revamp my logo a bit. A bit of snow on top, a santa hat, and a few holly berries. he's done a great job, and it gets peopel in to the spirit of things probably.

I might even get him to do another one at easter time.


 12:05 am on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think revamp the website header is better than logo. The header is much larger, visitor see the difference immediately. If just changing the logo, looks like the header doesn't match the logo without some snowflakes.

My budget is $40 for revamp the header.

Now i had a question except christmas, which holiday you will revamp your site.


 2:42 am on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

I decided not to be politically correct this year and posted "Have a Merry Christmas from company and staff" and my sales have gone up.


 5:05 am on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

A few years ago I stumbled across a marketing firm's website. They had made a Flash game out of a snowball fight - your team against the program. They used some neat sound effects (one was part of the theme song from a Clint Eastwood movie) and a simple game model. The game was published on their website just after Thanksgiving (if I remember right) and became hugely popular.

Why do I bring this up? It's an example of a company that recognized the value of stickyness and branding. People came back to play the game time and again. And when you won the game (which wasn't overtly hard to do) you were presented with a some form of Happy Holidays from XYZ! Nice marketing piece. I think I might even have the URL saved somewhere.

Now, admittedly a game is not necessarily the best marketing tool. For one, players it attracts are not necessarily target customers. BUT it does generate buzz and since this game didn't require hard-core gaming skills (any CEO could play this game at lunch and win) it did have a certain attraction to corporate types. This game was also embedded within the conventional framework of their site - no special URL to follow or password to enter. They introduced it as a distraction from the busy work day or some such. So it was easy to find, easy to play, and easy to win.

So why did they build a game? Because it's not that they built a game that's important. It's the how and why they did it that matters. They took time to plan out a pleasant experience.

They crafted a simple game - not too simple - and did a very professional job with it. There were no errors nor glitches nor doubts left in your mind. You played, you were challenged, and if you learned the tricks, you won. You had fun along the way and in the end, with perserverence, you won and were presented with a small gift. You felt good. It was the measure of how well the game was constructed, the fact that it had a holiday theme, that you enjoyed playing, and the satisfaction of finally winning in the end that mattered most. Bottom line, when the game was done, you were sold - this firm was damn good.

How does this translate into an ecomm site? Think of how you pitch your products to your market. In the above example, they knew their customer VERY well. Likewise, an LL Bean knows their target audience very well. What's on the front page of LL Bean right now? A picture of a little girl with a golden retriever puppy in front of a Christmas tree and fireplace. Helloooo! It is the quintessential image that they build - and depend upon - for their customers. It's brand reinforcement and it sells.

How do you use this technique? It all comes down to knowing who your customers are and what drives them. It's a bit hard to put an electric razor into the nice fireside image above. BUT Norelco got around that by creating an animated commercial of a Santa riding the detachable razor head through the snow like a sled. What it comes down to is creativity. Be creative - think outside the box. Give it the acid test for stupidity and over-the-top to be sure but find something outside the ordinary that your customers have already seen and you will be rewarded.

End o' diatribe...


 5:44 am on Dec 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

"decided not to be politically correct this year and posted "Have a Merry Christmas from company and staff" and my sales have gone up.

Good For You! This happy holidays crap is for the birds....If you're not christian and dont celebrate christmas....oh well>>>>!\\

politically correct is the ruin of modern society...if you can't be who you are...then who the hell are you?

I havent implemeted a holiday measage yet, but it has and always will be Merry Christmas..if someone doesn't like it, well too bad...they can buy from someone else...


 8:16 am on Dec 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Reading the responses here, I'm tempted to put up a Happy Solstice note on our website. It would be appropriate enough with our primary niche customers, but I'd still worry that some redneck would go off the handle. "Holiday spirit" too often seems to take the form of rude, harried shoppers as it is.


 12:39 pm on Dec 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just an update. My sales have not sufferd from having "Merry Christmas" on my site. In fact, my sales are 4 times what they were last year at this time. I have even had orders for Honukkah. So I guess I didn't offend anyone too badly.


 1:11 pm on Dec 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

You'll note I didn't specify what holidays. There are holidays in every culture. Let's try to approach this from a holiday neutral point of view. Citing specific examples is fine - even encouraged - but focus on the commercial cause & effect rather than the religion and/or politics.


 9:51 pm on Dec 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I like to change our web site to reflect whatever holiday is relevant. I think this helps give your potential customers the preception that you have fresh content even if you have the same old items. Staleness does not sell well! I treat our site like any brick and motar retail store. Themes put people in a festive mood to buy.


 11:37 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm sure nearly everyone realizes that Google gets into holiday moods by altering their logo. I'm using the word holiday to mean the whole range of special occasions throughout the year.

What's more interesting, if you're into logos, is that in other countries (Japan, for example), their logos show local holidays with local holiday images.

If your store develops a reputation for celebrating via logo, you may get additional attention. The more niche your site, the more specialist/obscure you could make it.

There's also the whole "April Fool" hoax tradition, but this is tangental to the topic, isn't it.


 12:28 am on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I like to change our web site to reflect whatever holiday is relevant. I think this helps give your potential customers the preception that you have fresh content even if you have the same old items.

Yes, and I think it also implies something along the lines of "We know it's the holidays, we're ready for your holiday business, etc." Especially at this time of year, I think shoppers are more acutely interested in making sure you can fulfill their order in a timely manner and updating your web site to let a shopper know that you're operating in "holiday mode" cannot hurt.


 7:03 pm on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, I must thank all the posters of this thread. I read it, and made a few easy minor adjustments to accomodate the holiday that I know that my visitors are most interested in at this time of year, added a little "Holiday Shipping" graphic that links to my same old shipping information and --- sales jumped immediately. Thanks, guys!


 7:40 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well done, webwoman. :)

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