Must Have Features for the Holidays

The holidays are in the air.

Late August is right about the time that many ecommerce retailers begin thinking about and planning for the holidays—getting inventories in order and setting a marketing game plan for the holiday season.  It is also the time to make sure that your ecommerce website is optimized to meet the needs of your holiday customer, offering the services and features that will make them want to shop with your site.

Here are just a few of the features included in our core platform that we believe are essential for the holidays.

Storefront Staging System – Late summer may be the time to start planning for the holidays, but it certainly is not the time to roll out your Winter Wonderland-themed website yet.  With our Storefront Staging System, you can test out new designs for your website, add in new features and extensions–BEFORE it goes live to the public.  This allows you to work out any problems with your site in a controlled environment, so that by the time the holidays roll around, you will have a sleek, tried and tested site that’s consumer ready at the touch of a button.

The Gift Wrap Extension – In a recent post, we discussed how gift wrap was a useful service to offer year round, but it is especially important around the holidays when the majority of customer purchases become gifts.  This extension includes not only an easily manageable platform to offer gift wrap options, but also the capability to create gift notes and gift receipts.

Gift card/gift certificate Extension – Not everyone who wants to make a purchase with your ecommerce site necessarily knows what they want to buy.  The holidays are the perfect time to take advantage of gift card sales.  Gift cards are an especially nice feature to offer to the last-minute shopper.  Also, because the extension has the capability to create physical or online gift cards, customers are able to purchase and deliver their gifts instantly in a pinch.  Gift cards can even be created to target specific products, brands, or categories, with expiration dates or devaluation over time to encourage speedy purchases.

Wish List/ Gift Registries – Let your customers do your marketing for you with wish lists and registries.  Using this extension, customers can create self-managed lists of their favorite products on your site, and easily share their lists with friends and family, so that they will know just what to buy (and where to buy it from—you!) when the holidays come around.  This makes their lives easier and it locks in more sales than you would likely otherwise gain.  After creating a wish list, customers have the option of selecting from an assortment of privacy settings to manage–it can be completely private, or searchable by visitors to your site.  The extension even has the capability to indicate when an item has been purchased from the list, to prevent multiple purchases of the same item for your customer’s convenience.

The holidays can be a crazy time, but with these features and extensions, you will know that your site is offering the essential tools that users demand during the season.  Because we believe that all these features are a must have for all ecommerce retail websites, all of these extensions are included completely FREE with the purchase of the Upshot Commerce Core Platform.  Happy Shopping everyone!

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