Christmas, the craziest and busiest retail time of the year for both brick and mortar, and online shops. Brick and mortars embrace the festive spirit with creatively colourful, head-turning and dazzling window displays. But not to fret if you (only) have an online store, you can still ‘deck those halls with boughs of holly’ to emulate that warm festive feeling.

Here are a few simple tips and ideas to enhance your online offering:

Dress up your homepage. Window displays are billboards for physical storefronts, so think of your home page as your virtual billboard. Great first impressions make a lasting impact for customers visiting your website. Dress up your homepage with a festive flair. Use free design tools like Canva to create a simple but yet delightful header image.

You can also choose to up the design ante with an elaborate video or animation. The options are endless! Just remember to optimise those assets so it doesn’t take ages to load up. Having a stunning asset means nothing if no one sees it.

Use appropriate, contextual imagery. Christmas conjures up visions of snow, sleigh rides, reindeers and sitting by an open log fire which are always lovely. However, white Christmas doesn’t exist in this fine country of ours where Christmas is spent playing cricket on the beach, BBQs in the backyard and a swim in the pool. Tempting as it is to use an image of a crisp winter wonderland, swap it with an alluring outdoor Christmas table setting instead. Whatever image you choose to use, remember to keep to your brand guidelines and use only images that resonate with your brand.

Festive promotions. Who doesn’t love a good bargain over Christmas? If you’re running a promotion of any sort, put up a store notice so it isn’t missed. Execute it with love, this means to avoid plastering star bursts of ‘Buy Now!’ all over your website. Create a lovely header image with festive typography to call it out instead. There’s a fine balance between communicating an offer with flair versus shouting it from the top of the roof and looking like you’re doing a desperate Christmas stock clear out.

Create a Christmas collection(s). Customers appreciate that little extra effort you’ve put into cherry picking products that’ll make great gifts. This is especially so if you have a gamut of different products on offer. Categorise them according to a price range i.e. gifts for under $99, or add a little creative playfulness i.e. gifts for you work wife, gifts for the Lego obsessed dad, etc. You could also add little touches such as a little Christmas bow or mistletoe banner to products that would make great gifting.

Go festive with typography. Beautiful typography can work as well as a pretty photo. Search for free Christmas fonts and the typography world’s your oyster. Go traditional with fonts such as Chopin Script and Antrokas, or something a bit more fun such as One Starry Night or One Candy Cane (yes, that’s a real Christmas font!).

Consistency is key. Where possible, use the same visual imagery and fonts across all of your customer touchpoints. This also includes the physical storefront if you have one in addition to an online store. It’s important that branding is consistent so your customers recognise that it’s you. There’s also something to be said about building credibility and trust when your communications are neat and consistent, instead of looking ad-hoc.

And there you go! Dressing up your virtual storefront is actually a lot of fun, and not as complicated as it looks. Switch on your creativity, don a Santa’s hat and why not turn up that Spotify ‘Best of Christmas’ playlist whilst you’re workshopping ideas. It is Christmas after all!

By Alicent Wong, founder of home cook love