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by Michael P. Hill

The holiday shopping season is in full swing — but it’s not too late to make some quick and easy adjustments to your Shopify store to make it easier for customers to shop for gifts.

Below are some easy ways, alternatives and best practice tips for making your store more “giftable” this season.

Holiday order deadlines

Last minute shoppers (I’m one of them) will need to know if products purchased will make it in time for them to to give to the lucky recipient. Therefore it’s a good idea to make it easy for shoppers to find out when your shipping deadlines are:

  • Create a page that clearly outlines your holiday ordering deadlines. Using a bullet list can be a good way to make your list easy to to read at a glance. If you offer more than one shipping method, be sure to clearly break down your deadlines by this so customers know which one to pick.
  • Add a message to your Shopify theme’s promo banner and link it to the shipping info page (if you’re not using the banner for anything else).
  • If you only offer one shipping method or have only a single order deadline, you can add this directly to your promo banner.

Holiday promo bar

  • If you’re already using the promo banner for another message, consider adding a holiday order deadline message to the end. For example, you could update your bar to say Free shipping on all orders over $50 | Christmas order deadline Dec. 22.
  • Also consider adding a clearly labeled link to your holiday ordering deadlines to your footer as well as any existing shipping related pages, FAQ pages or other pages that customers might visit if they are on the hunt for this information.
  • You can also consider adding a banner or slide promoting this information to your site’s homepage, either in the top position or in another prominent location on the page.

Holiday custom cart message

  • To be extra sure customers are informed of order deadlines and have the message appear on the cart page, you can do a simple code change to cart-template.liquid. To do this, click here and find this code: <p><input type="submit" class="action_button add_to_cart" id="checkout" name="checkout" value="{{ 'cart.general.checkout' | t }}" /></p>. Just above this, add something like this: <p> To guarantee delivery by Christmas, <a href=” //url-to-page/”> click here</a> for full details.</p>. This is also a great way to add any other special messaging or notices to your cart page, but keep in mind it won’t appear on drawer or mini-carts.

Gift messages

A great way to make things a bit more convenient for gift givers both during the holiday season and all year round is to offer the option to include a gift message with their order. You can then either print this message on the packing slip or type or write the message on a small card tucked in the box with your site’s logo and name.

Cart settings

  • The easiest way to collect this information is to enable the “cart message” option. To do this, click here and then, in the left sidebar, click “Cart page” and activate the “Show ‘note’ text box” option that appears.
  • If the Shopify theme you are using supports a “mini” or “drawer”-style cart, be aware you may need to activate this setting separately to have the field appear there. This is generally under Sales Channels > Online Store > Themes > Customize (indigo button) > General settings > Cart.
  • To make it clear that shoppers can use this text box to include a gift message, you can update the placeholder text by going to your theme language settings by following these steps.

Holiday gift message

  • Click the “Cart” link in the sub-menu and then find the “Note” field. Update the text here to say something like “Write a note here and we’ll include it on a handwritten note card” or “Add an optional gift message here.”
  • If you use the cart note field already for another purpose (such as special instructions), a good workaround that doesn’t require custom coding is to simply use the language file to change the field’s label to indicate that the field can be used for both order notes and a gift message (just be sure whoever handles your fulfillment knows that this field will start to come through with both in it).
  • Another good option is to include a generic gift message with every order — such as “Happy holidays — we hope you enjoy your order.” If your products are more likely to be sent to the gift giver, as opposed to directly to the recipient, you may also want to consider including a free blank note card with every order during the holiday season that the customer can complete by themselves.

Gift wrapping

Gift wrapping is another great service to make gift giving easier for your customers. Shopify has a great way to do this that’s fairly easy to implement.

  • Keep in mind that, by default, this option will only be visible to users who visit your cart page. If you use a mini cart, drawer cart or redirect users directly to the checkout page, this solution will still work, but not every customer is likely to see it. You may want to consider switching to the “page” cart type during the holiday season to make it more obvious.

Holiday gift wrapping note

  • A good alternative is to use the order note field to also let users know they can request gift wrapping (this solution works well because, as long as you’ve activated the notes field on the drawer or mini cart, it will appear above it there as well).
  • This works best if you don’t charge for gift wrap, but it may be possible, depending on your payment setup, to adjust customer order amounts after they have been placed to reflect gift wrap charges.
  • Just be sure to update the order notes field label to let shoppers know they can request gift wrapping here and, if applicable, what the costs are.
  • A slightly less elegant way to offer gift wrapping is to add it as a product and then link to that product page from product or collection descriptions. This works best if you either don’t charge for gift wrap or charge a flat rate per order.
  • Otherwise, you’ll need to rely on customers adjusting the quantity to match the number of products they are ordering. This may not be a huge limitation, however, if you expect most gift orders to be single items only.

Gift wrapping options

  • If you go the route of making your gift wrapping a product, then you can get even fancier by offering a choice of gift wrap paper styles; then you can include color or pattern variants with accompanying color swatches if you’re using those. This is a fun incentive that can make shoppers feel a little more involved in the gifting process.
  • You can also consider charging a small nominal fee for your gift wrapping service and donate it to charity. This is a goodwill gesture that gives back and helps shoppers feel like they’re contributing in a meaningful (but easy) way at the same time.
  • If you do opt to use this product format option, you can also link to the product page from your cart by editing one of the language fields the cart uses, such as the order notes field or “agree to terms” field by tacking on something like this to end of one of these fields in the language editor: <a href=” //url-to-product-page/”> Click here to add gift wrapping to your order</a>.
  • Finally, it’s also worth considering simply gift wrapping all orders placed during the holiday season. If your order volume increases during the holidays, it’s more likely you’ll miss a request to gift wrap — so this can help prevent that oversight.
  • Of course, you’ll need to make this decision based on order volume, the cost of wrapping items and how likely your items are to be given as gifts.
  • As for the orders that aren’t gifts, hopefully your customers will enjoy the extra special touch of the “gift” they bought for themselves.
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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