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Ideas to Increase Holiday Sales

The holiday season is fast approaching and it's time to get your website and marketing ready for the increased holiday sales. Below are some tips to show you how you can take full advantage of the holiday season.

  • Help Customers Find The Right Products

    Many holiday shoppers are looking online for their gifts, but don't know exactly what they are looking for. You can help these shoppers by listing your most popular products where they will easily be seen on your website. One way to do this is with the new Cross-sell feature, available in ShopSite Pro version 9 stores, which lets you assign cross-sell products to display on the Shopping Cart screen.

    Shoppers frequently use a site's search function to look for items to purchase. In ShopSite 9 the search feature was improved to return more relevant results first. In addition shoppers can now sort the search results with the click of their mouse - sort by price, name, or relevancy.

  • Accept Several Forms Of Payment

    Do not lose shoppers because you will not take their preferred choice of payment. Besides accepting only credit cards, you can accept alternate payment options in your ShopSite shopping cart, such as PayPal and Google Checkout, that may be preferred by some shoppers.

  • Make Shopping A Good Experience

    It is usually a good idea to provide as much information to the customer as possible. This includes detailed information for your products, shipping, returns, guarantees, and other order information. You should give specific shipping dates to let the customers know if their package will make it in time for the holidays. Offer satisfaction guarantees, warranties, or return options. You may also want to consider giving customers incentives to purchase with you. Everyone loves giving gifts to others, but free rewards, such as buy one get one free, are a great way to reward the customer for shopping with you.

  • Discount! Discount! Discount!

    Discounts and sales, especially after Thanksgiving, are often expected by shoppers. It is a good idea to provide various types of discounts to your shoppers. Within ShopSite these discounts could include coupons, the discount schedule, and free rewards. A new feature in ShopSite Pro version 9 is the ability to offer quantity discounts across multiple products. This would allow you to give discounts such as ‘Buy 4 or more CDs and save 10%’.

  • Don’t Forget About The Last Minute Shopper

    Many customers have a hard time finding the perfect gift for someone on their list, often putting it off until the last minute. A favorite solution to this problem is a Gift Certificate. It never hurts to offer customers the option to buy a gift certificate online. ShopSite makes it easy for you to mail out printed gift certificates, or you can offer e-mail certificates for those who truly wait until the last minute.

You can also review the holiday sales tips from previous years:


With buySAFE, you can expect:

  • Increased website conversion rates - 6.7% average increase
  • More repeat buyers - 4.3% more likely to buy again and again
  • Greater profits - more carts started and fewer carts abandoned add up to more profits for you!

Best of all, buySAFE is FREE for merchants - there are no hidden fees, no risk, and no long-term commitments!

Learn more about the buySAFE solution for merchants at

Special Offer for ShopSite Merchants
Install buySAFE in your ShopSite store by November 30, and buySAFE will cover your hosting bill for the next TWO months - up to $250!

New Features in ShopSite Version 9.0

ShopSite has added new features in version 9.0 which merchants can use to increase holiday sales. For a complete list of new features in ShopSite version 9.0 go to

  • Cross-sell (Pro)

    The new Product Cross-sell feature in ShopSite Pro allows merchants to show additional products in the cart that a shopper may wish to purchase. The products displayed to the shopper will be related to the product that the shopper just added. For example, if they add a DVD to their cart, other DVDs by the same director or the CD containing the sound track can also be displayed for purchase.

    In addition to the Product Cross-sell, there is a Global Cross-sell option. Here the merchant can list their "best sellers" or "today’s specials" and have those products be displayed in the cart for possible purchase.

  • Free Shipping Coupon (Pro)

    The Free Shipping Coupon feature allows ShopSite Pro merchants to create a coupon to allow customers free shipping on qualifying orders. Merchants can select free shipping for a selected shipping method (e.g. ground) when creating the coupon, as well as coupon options such as a minimum purchase amount and an expiration date.

  • Product Search (Manager and Pro)

    Product Search in ShopSite Manager and Pro has been improved with better relevancy, search logging, and sort order. The merchant can now indicate what product information should have a higher relevancy ranking such as the Product Name or Description. With search logging merchants can now see what products shoppers are looking for that they do not carry. For the shopper, once the results are displayed they can click to have the results sorted by relevancy, price, or alphanumerically.

  • USPS (Manager and Pro)

    The U.S. Postal Service Web Tools API has been added to ShopSite. Merchants can now provide real-time shipping quotes for U.S. Postal Service shipping in the shopping cart.

  • buySAFE (Manager and Pro)

    ShopSite has recently teamed up with buySAFE - the leading trust and safety company for e-commerce transactions ( - to offer ShopSite merchants a powerful new tool for increasing website conversion and driving additional revenue. Shoppers can have their purchase guaranteed by buySAFE for a nominal fee. Customers who see the buySAFE seal on a merchant’s website can be assured that the merchant has been carefully certified and is monitored by buySAFE.

Merchant Tip

Q: Many customers, when ordering gifts online, want to make sure that their package will arrive on time. How can I include detailed shipping information to my customers?

A: Include the information on the shopping cart page, where the customer selects the type of shipping they want. If you are using FedEx, UPS or USPS (new in version 9) for shipping rates, most of the shipping options say how many days it will take to ship (i.e., 2nd Day Air). However, if you are using one of the ShopSite shipping tables, then the options don't include the number of days for shipping. You can change the names of the shipping options to include the number of days for shipping. For example, "Ground" will be changed to "Ground (5-7 days)". You can change the names of your shipping options by going to Preferences > Store Text > Shipping.

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The "Support Queue"

Q: I use Google Checkout in my ShopSite. Are there are any updates or fixes that I should be aware of to make sure that this feature is functioning properly during the Holiday sales season?

A: Merchants using the Google Checkout integration in ShopSite (initially added in ShopSite v8.1) should upgrade to ShopSite v8.3.1 or ShopSite v9.0 to have all current ShopSite/Google Checkout fixes and improvements. This includes the added ability to accept Google Checkout orders from shoppers with non-US shipping addresses, and the ability to accept ShopSite Coupons (ShopSite Pro only) in Google Checkout orders.

Designer Template Tips

Q: What things should change on a website in order to get ready for the holidays?

A: One suggestion would be to give customers multiple ways to get to products. Address the question, "What should I get them?" Many customers will come to a website looking for a gift, but may not know the exact thing that they want to purchase. By providing multiple ways to get to a product, you are allowing customers to search for products and get ideas for a gift using different criteria, such as whether the gift is for him or for her. You can do this by creating a pull down menu, additional links in your list of pages, or listing page links in the main body of the page on your home page. Some ideas for page links would be:

  • Gifts for Him
  • Gifts for Her
  • Gifts Under $X
  • Top Sellers

ShopSite In The News

ShopSite, Inc. Releases Version 9.0 of leading Shopping Cart Software.

"With buySAFE and several other new features version 9.0 adds functionality to enhance sales for merchants as we enter the holiday shopping season" said CEO David Hills. "At the top of the new feature list are Cross-Sell, Free Shipping Coupons, improved Product Search, and integration with buySAFE."

Knowledgebase Articles

The following articles were recently added to the support knowledgebase:

Orders via PayPal have Fraud Alert beginning 8/30/2007

8.3.1 maintenance release fixes some problems with v8.3

Current Product Information

Most recent release of ShopSite:

  • Version 9.0 on Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris/SPARC servers
  • Version 8.3.1 on Windows 2000 and 2003 servers (v9.0 will available on this platform soon)

To upgrade your ShopSite store, contact your authorized reseller hosting partner.

Subscribe Today!

Looking for tips and information on using ShopSite features? How about relevant news from the world of e-commerce? Read and subscribe to the ShopSite Merchant newsletter to keep up-to-date on your favorite store-building program!

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