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by Michael P. Hill September 28, 2016

Time has flown by and the holiday season is fast approaching — and what better way to skyrocket your store’s sales and performance with Out of the Sandbox’s latest premium Shopify theme, Turbo?

Turbo, which was released this fall, is the fastest, most flexible Shopify theme on the market and comes packed with features that today’s merchants demand and shoppers love.

Switching to Turbo is a strategic investment and change that you should consider carefully.

Here are our top tips for planning ahead for a theme switch (whether you’re switching to Turbo or another one):

  1. Remember that your Shopify theme is an investment in your business and an eye-catching theme that loads fast is a great foundation for increasing your sales this holiday season. It’s an outlay that could more than pay for itself when time-crunched shoppers get inspired by your fresh new look and appreciate your quick page load performance.

  2. Develop a solid and realistic timeline for upgrading your store. You’ll want to leave enough to time to check that everything looks right and to make sure you’re ready for prime holiday shopping. Aim to be up and running your new theme at least a full week before any major events like Cyber Monday.

  3. Don’t wait until the last minute (see Point 2). If you’re on the fence about implementing Turbo (or any new theme) for the holiday season, now is the time to take action. For more stores, you should allow at least a few weeks to transition to a new theme — and this type of requirement can stretch longer if there are more decision makers involved.

  4. Once you get started, make a list of every task that needs to be done. If you’re working with others, be sure to clearly define who’s responsible for each one and what the due date is. Even if you’re a one-person shop, giving yourself deadlines is a great way to be accountable to the boss (you) as well as prevent procrastination. 

  5. As you work through your list, pay close attention that everything is being completed on time. Be sure to flag any tasks that, if delayed, will significantly delay other parts of the project.

  6. Remember you can download and install a theme as an “unpublished” version on your store and work on getting all the settings just right before going live. Take advantage of this feature to test everything out so that there are no surprises when you launch.

  7. Don’t go live the week of Black Friday (or whatever your deadline is). And definitely don’t try and go live the night before, when any support help will likely be hard to come by. Instead, be sure your store has at least a week or so to “settle in.” This is also a great time to get initial feedback and fix any issues that come up before the big day,

Here are some ways the Turbo Shopify theme can help make your store shine and, most importantly, rack up sales, for Black Friday, Local Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday:

  • It’s a speed demon. Turbo is specifically designed to load pages faster and, through the use of intelligent preloading, get your shoppers to your products faster and easier than ever.

  • Turbo adds a new shopping cart style — what we call the “mini cart.” This dropdown-style cart opens when customers add a product to their cart, giving them an easy visual confirmation that the item is in the cart as well as drawing attention to the checkout button. 

  • Enticing product photos are key to making sales and Turbo’s intelligent image loading process loads the best size for the device the user is shopping on — whether it’s a huge high resolution desktop monitor or smartphone. So, your products will always look their best.

  • Users will love browsing your store with the Turbo Shopify theme’s new infinite scroll or “load more” links that don’t require a page refresh to see more items — an ideal feature if you carry lots of great products.

  • Customers can find products easier and faster with Turbo’s megamenu feature, an oft-requested feature that’s exclusive to Turbo.

  • Spotlight holiday sales and giftable products using Turbo’s new and improved slideshows, which allow for multiple call to action buttons and a more legible and user-friendly mobile layout.

  • Use the influx of traffic (yes, even those digital “window shoppers”) to grow your audience with Turbo’s enhanced newsletter signup form. Grab browsers’ attention with an eye-catching background in the newsletter section above the footer, and encourage email signup via the newsletter popup feature as well, to engage customers in future email marketing.

  • Include your business phone number to build trust and let shoppers get in touch easily with any questions they may have about your company or products.

  • Promote your holiday sales and specials with an integrated promo bar running across your store pages.

Even if you’re not ready to switch themes for this holiday season, there are a few other quick points to start thinking about:

  • Consider the ideas from this post on setting up your Shopify theme for the holidays.

  • Also, consider using your time leading up to the holiday shopping season to rewrite your product descriptions. This will help with both SEO and finding ways to emphasize gift-giving can also be helpful for holiday shoppers.

  • Remember that it is not too early to start planning any of this — the online holiday buying frenzy will be here before you know it!

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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