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by Michael P. Hill November 10, 2015

If you’re like most online retailers, the holiday season is a key part of making your Shopify business successful.

Most retailers see huge spikes in both online traffic and sales for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday and adding some special features and design elements to your Shopify theme is a great way to keep your site looking fresh, let customers know you’re running specials and put the focus on giftable items.

A flexible Shopify theme, such as those from Out of the Sandbox, will offer several easy ways to get your Shopify store in the holiday spirit.

Deck the virtual halls

One nice, subtle touch you can implement is adding a bit of holiday cheer to your Shopify theme logo. Some common ideas are snow-themed designs, Santa hats or more specific holiday imagery.

All Out of the Sandbox themes come with the ability to easily swap out your logo at any time — so this can be an easy change to make.

If you don’t have the design skills to “holiday”-ify your logo, sites such as Fiverr and Upwork are good places to look to find someone who can quickly and affordably design one for you using your existing logo as a base.

If you’re trying to avoid any religious connotations, you can stick to images of snow, snowflakes, snowmen or gifts and bows.

Roll out a banner

If you’re offering specials for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday, you can use your Shopify theme’s promotional banner text to promote upcoming and current specials. Savvy shoppers often look for this type of messaging along the top of online store pages, so make sure they’re aware of your latest deals.

Many premium themes such as  Parallax and Retina have this feature built right in, so all you have to do is input some text in the theme customizer, and your storefront will automatically display this message at the very top of the home page. You might want to try out a seasonal color for the banner background color and text, or even sneak a small graphic in there as well.

Paint a holiday picture

Another creative way to add a little holiday flair to your Shopify theme is by swapping out your image banners and product images for holiday themed ones. If you shoot your own product photos, find some holiday decorations such as strings of holiday lights, faux snow, ornaments, gift boxes or packaging or various holiday decor and position them attractively around your products for the photoshoot. If you work with a professional photographer, ask them if they have holiday themed props you can use or bring your own.

Also keep in mind that it’s never too early to be thinking about the holiday season — some Shopify merchants will actually shoot their holiday photography many months beforehand during other shoots, to save some money and time.

Once your photos are ready, you can easily swap them out using the built-in Shopify theme control panel provided by your theme developer. No coding is needed and it’s just as easy to change them backonce the holidays are over.

Promote with a popup

The newsletter popup feature available in all Out of the Sandbox themes can also be a great way to promote holiday specials or showcase products that are particularly in demand during the holiday shopping season.

To get this set up, first enable it on your Shopify theme control panel. Then, edit the page used to feed the content to the popup to reflect your specials or featured items, including adding an image or two if possible.

Give gift guidance

Since many online shoppers are in search of gifts during the holiday season, it’s worth considering which products you offer might make the best gifts and find ways to draw extra attention to them. Of course, this criteria will vary greatly based on what you sell and what your primary audience is.

One way to promote these easily using your premium Shopify theme is to highlight the giftable items on your homepage. To do this, you can create a special collection of gift items and change the “featured products” section on the homepage to display these items instead of your normal product line.

Another idea is to create a gift giving guide page, lookbook or series of blog posts that help users find and purchase the best gift. Often this type of content can be broken down by recipient or price range, such as “gifts for teens”, “stocking stuffers” or “gift ideas under $25”. If you are showing related items on your product pages, you might even think about changing the text for this section to encourage additional gift purchases, e.g. instead of “You may also like”, try “Other great gift ideas”

All together, these tips are a great way to spur sales of certain items and also encourage larger purchases during the holiday season.

Michael P. Hill
Michael P. Hill

Michael P. Hill is a Shopify, Shopify theme, content marketing, digital marketing and product management expert based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelphill or connect on LinkedIn.

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