Preparing a Christmas Shopify store: from products to marketing

Preparing a Christmas Shopify store: from products to marketing
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Did you know that the Christmas period accounts for around 30% of eCommerce yearly sales? Prepare your Shopify store for Christmas, it will pay off.

We’ll walk you through the process in five steps with detailed and illustrated descriptions. Afterwards you’ll find a few additional Christmas Shopify store tips and effective Christmas campaign examples.

Best part? We’re aiming at a low budget Christmas preparation process, so all tips you’ll find in this guide require minimal investment.

But before we begin - is your website prepared to handle all that Christmas traffic?

Speed up page load time, attract more shoppers from serahc, maximize your store’s potential, save time with automations - all with one app. 

5 steps to prepare your Shopify store for Christmas 2023

Christmas is a very, very big day for all retailers . But the preparation process doesn’t need to be complicated or cost a fortune.

In fact, your Christmas Shopify store prep can be broken down into five simple steps:

  • New products
  • Christmas discounts and offers
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Website design
  • Useful Christmas apps

Let’s take it step by step and give that festive touch to your store!

You’ll find a bunch of effective Christmas campaign examples. We know they work because they were taken from the best Shopify stores out there. Learn more of their secrets from our Best Shopify store research.

1. Add Christmas-themed merch and collections

If there is one holiday when people love buying themed goods, it’s Christmas. Ugly Christmas sweaters, reindeer pajamas, Christmas mugs…

Get in on the action by adding Christmas merch to your product selection.

Since most stores won’t find Christmas-themed products profitable throughout the year, make sure they sell out fast with limited edition Christmas merch announcements or urgency campaigns.

Just like Chubbies Shorts did:

12 days of Chubbmas limited time Christmas product promotion

You can also take one step further and group your Christmas goods into custom collections or categories.

For example, Bombas is effectively addressing every type of Christmas shopper with their Christmas product collections. The Gift Guide will be a lifesaver for those who once again don't know what to get for their aunt. The Cozy Shop will appeal to the sentimental shoppers that get inspired by the cozy Christmas spirit. Gifts Under $50 will be a lifesaver for those with 15 family members and a tight budget.

Bombas Christmas product collections with Christmas-themed collection images
If you prefer a simpler route, group your products into more straightforward gift collections, like Decathlon did:

Four product collections grouped by Christmas gift types

Make sure your categories and collections provide actual value though. Select products that don’t require in-depth knowledge about a person’s physique and can be universally useful as presents.

With so many products to offer, do you know what’s one thing missing from Decathlon’s collections? Sub-collections. If there is a lot happening with your Christmas collections too, create Shopify sub-collections to make Christmas shopping even easier.

2. Run Christmas discounts, deals, and offers

When it comes to Christmas, people expect more discounts, not less. Running a regular discount campaign is pretty much a must.

You can never go wrong with one of tried-and tested Christmas discount strategies:

  • Site-wide discount;
  • Christmas-themed checkout codes;
  • Buy one, get one free;
  • Massive flash sales.

If you cannot afford to wipe your inventory out with massive store-wide discounts, take more creative approaches.

Some low value products have been sitting in the inventory for a while? Use them as free gifts with purchase. But do the math to make sure it pays off - offer them only with expensive items or for an order over a certain amount. 

If most of your products are low average value, Christmas gift bundles can be a great way to encourage Christmas shopping. Group your products into pre-made bundles or enable a DIY product builder, slap a small discount on the bundle offer, provide optional gift wrapping - guaranteed high order value on every purchase. 

Returning customers spend 67% more on average than new ones. And since Christmas is about family and connection, it’s one of the best holidays to reward loyalty and send out exclusive offers for existing clients.

If you sell products that don’t go as presents unless you really know a person (e.g. specialized sports equipment, perfume), solve the problem with Christmas eGift cards. This will be a great way out for everyone who knows that their friend or relative is interested in something but definitely doesn't have enough context to pick out a specific present. 

Christmas eGift card examples for a custom amount

A thoughtful touch goes a long way, so consider offering gift cards and gift wrapping. Optionally, allow customers to customize them for an additional fee. And advertise it, people love convenience.

Leaderboard banner announcing free gift wrapping for orders over $100

Last but definitely not least, free shipping for orders over a certain amount. People will go to unseen lengths to qualify for it. Use that to become a store where someone gets Christmas gifts for their entire family instead of just their mother. 

And make it known you offer free shipping with a tiny but effective side wide leaderboard banner, like this one:

Heatonist home page leaderboard banner offering free shipping for orders over $60

3. Plan Christmas marketing campaigns

Christmas is just as much about good marketing as it is about good offers, if not more. While Shopify BFCM marketing is focused on discounts themselves, Christmas is a lot more about feelings and sentiments. 

You have to make sure all your marketing channels are working in unison and sending the right message and the right time.

Let’s take a look at how to handle Shopify Christmas marketing on your website, social media and email.

Social media Christmas campaigns

People start subconsciously shopping for Christmas as early as October, and social media is the perfect playground to capitalize on that. 

What specific strategies you should go with depends on how much exposure you get, but here is a preliminary Christmas social media strategy timeline:

  • Post holiday-themed content (start early November). There is no better way to inspire an emotional purchase than an effective image. Create content that helps people envision themselves and their families enjoying your products during the holiday season and you’ll be in the back of their mind when it’s time to buy the present. If you have blog content dedicated to Christmas, share that alongside images for full impact.
  • Launch a hashtag/user-generated content campaign (start mid-late November). Create a Christmas contest (e.g. How are you preparing for Christmas?), advertise it on your social media platforms and come up with a Christmas hashtag that represents your brand to go along. If you’re willing to invest, pay a few influencers to create posts for this hashtag. Benefits? A lot of exposure and meaningful engagement.
  • Announce your website sales (start early December). Make sure your social media followers know what deals are already available on your website.
  • Run giveaways and promotions (start early December). For example, create Christmas-themed posts and invite your followers to share them for a chance to win an exclusive prize. Make sure those posts count though, you want them to bring in new customers.
  • Update your social media profile design (early December). Replace your current Facebook cover photo with a Christmas-y one, give your logo a festive touch - anything that makes your followers think of Christmas.

Christmas Shopify website campaigns

Now let’s talk about your main powerhouse - Christmas Shopify website.

You should consider gift guides, festive popup banners as well as Christmas quizzes.

We’ve all been in a situation where we have to choose a Christmas present for someone we barely know. Now that’s a headache. 

A sure way to maximize your Christmas sales is to point your customers to the right direction with a gift guide:

The Goulet Pen gift guide to help with gift selection

Now about popups. Although normally they do more harm than good because of their intrusive nature, it’s not exactly the case during Christmas. People love games and interactive website elements, so give spin-a-wheel popup a chance.

Also, publishing a short Christmas quiz on your homepage to help people find their perfect Christmas present can lead to a surprising amount of conversions. 

Christmas email marketing campaigns

First off, Christmas deals are a great opportunity to increase your subscriber list. Offer access to exclusive discounts in exchange to their email address:

Brooklinen popup banner with exclusive Surprise Sale access

As of your existing subscriber list - Christmas isn’t really the best time to shove a million promotions into people’s faces. Prepare a short email campaign focused on Christmas values, for example:

  • First email (early December): encourage people to think about Christmas gifts in advance, inform them about discounts on your site.
  • Christmas day: wish everyone a lovely time with their loved ones, offer an exclusive discount for being a loyal customer.
  • New Years eve: play the new beginnings card and send a custom offer to help people take the first step.

4. Give Christmas spirit to your store design

Give your Shopify store a festive flare to encourage shopping, it’s a must.

Here is a to-do list of Christmas Shopify store design tasks: 

1. Update hero and background images

And it doesn’t have to be all tacky, you can introduce some Christmas spirit while staying true to your brand, just like Death Wish Coffee did:

Death Wish Coffee background image featuring a mug with their logo and a sparkler

2. Update the top menu

Something as simple as a gift emoji will help your Christmas sales section stand out and invite your website visitors to keep browsing until they find their perfect gift.

Top menu with a Holiday Gift Guide section and a present emoji

3. Add animated Christmas effects

Consider adding snowfall or background music for full holiday effect. Best done with one of the Shopify apps recommended below.

4. Update product images or create lookbooks.

This one is resource-intensive, but it can do wonders to help sell to emotional shoppers. Plus, you can reuse most of this visual content for your social media campaigns.

5. Install Christmas Shopify apps

Here is a list of apps that will make your life during Christmas period a lot easier:

1. White Christmas

White Christmas allows you to decorate the top and bottom of your store and add snowfall effect across the screen. You also have 10 lovely Christmas carols to choose from as background music. 

  • Pricing: Free
  • Main features: Christmas animations, snowfall, background music
  • App link: Get White Christmas

All effects are managed individually, can be enabled on your homepage or the whole store and work across all types of devices. 

Best part? It’s completely free.

2. Snow-ify: 3D Christmas Effects

Snow-ify offers advanced store design customization for Christmas, BFCM, Valentine’s Day, Easter and more holidays. You can schedule your decorations, enable timeouts and customize decoration appearance.

  • Pricing: Free to install, pay per decoration - $4.99/mo for all features
  • Free trial: Yes, 7 days
  • Main features: Visual holiday decorations, scheduling and timeouts
  • App link: Get Snow-ify

With 150+ templates, you’re bound to find something that works for your store.

3. Spin Wheel

Games are engaging, and engagement sells. Make use of Spin Wheel free plan to activate a Christmas popup campaign on your store and convert more. 

  • Pricing: Free - $49/mo
  • Free trial: Yes, 7 days
  • Main features: Spin-the-wheel popup with advanced triggers and analytics
  • App link: Get Spin Wheel

If you like what you see, you’ll have a lot of options to upgrade and make this feature an ongoing conversion tactic.

4. Super Gift Options: Gift Wrap

Are you willing to go the extra mile and pack orders as gifts? It’s a good move, now make it an easy one with Super Gift Options: Gift Wrap.

  • Pricing: Free to install, pay per order - $4.99/mo for unlimited
  • Free trial: Yes, 7 days
  • Main features: Customers can select free or paid gift wrapping options, gift message, gift receipt (hide order price).
  • App link: Get Super Gift Options

Your customers can customize their gift in a few clicks and you receive all relevant information in one place. You can use this app for other holidays too as their widgets have various holiday themes.

5. Product Labels & Badges

Some products sell out fast and the fear of missing out is as real as ever during Christmas. Capitalize on it by adding scarcity, limited amount or Christmas-themed labels to your products with the Product Labels & Badges app.

  • Pricing: Free - $20/mo
  • Free trial: No
  • Main features: Various product labels and badges to boost sales
  • App link: Get Product Labels & Badges

For most stores, the app’s free plan should be sufficient for a basic Christmas campaign. Afterwards, you can decide if you want to upgrade and make product labels a full time strategy.

Interested in the concept of Christmas labels but this app isn’t for you? Browse our carefully-selected list of best Shopify apps for product labels and badges.

Optional: Pick a Christmas Shopify Theme

If you sell holiday decorations, gift cards or other products that allow you to turn your store into a Christmas powerhouse, consider switching to a Shopify Christmas theme.

Our main recommendation is Callisters Gift Shop Shopify Theme. Everything, from your homepage and top menu to blog page and footer, will scream Christmas spirit.

Exclusive previews of homepage, product page and collection page with Callisters Gift Shop theme

A personal license for this Shopify theme is $99

Keep in mind that switching Shopify themes is usually no small task. If Christmas is just another holiday for your store, consider going with a Christmas app and creative product photos instead. 

Additional Christmas ideas for Shopify stores

Here are a few additional things to note when working on your Shopify store Christmas prep:

  • Warn customers about potential shipping delays on homepage and product pages, you will save yourself a few unhappy emails to customer support.
  • Create urgency everywhere. Use countdown timers in emails, run limited-time promotions on your website, and show product scarcity widgets to capitalize on fear of missing out.
  • Make social media content shoppable. People will be a lot more likely to buy if they can do it directly from a post they see.
  • Leverage blog content, big time. Create useful Christmas-themed content to attract valuable organic visitors.
  • Make sure your good impact is known. People love to do good during Christmas. If your brand is eco-friendly or charitable, be loud about it.

One purchased, one donated Shopify store charity banner

Examples of Christmas campaigns and design

Lacking inspiration? Let’s take a look at a few effective Christmas campaign angles from Shopify giants.

Make it universal (not everyone celebrates Christmas)

FashionNova has a global audience and almost no Christmas-themed merch, so they decided to avoid mentioning Christmas all together. Instead they capitalized on the more universal celebration aspect of this period and cemented their campaign with a massive discount.

Fashion Nova hero image featuring up to 80% site wide discount

Brand Christmas

Are you an owner of a strong, exclusive brand that promotes a specific lifestyle? Don’t rebrand yourself for Christmas, rebrand Christmas to you instead, just like Kith did. 

Kith Shopify store homepage featuring Kithmas collection

Use urgency effectively

Christmas day is not the right day to end your campaigns if you want to create urgency. Everyone is worried about getting their orders on time, follow the example of One Wheel and capitalize on that instead.

One Wheel guaranteed holiday delivery urgency campaign

Make them come back

Be like Outdoor Voices and promise different deals for the period leading up to Christmas to have shoppers returning to your website more than once.

12 days of deals Christmas Shopify campaign by Outdoor Voices

Balance feelings and benefits

Natural Baby Shower is utilizing their homepage to the fullest by providing a large background image full of Christmas staple images alongside a small leaderboard banner listing their Christmas perks.

Natural Baby Shower homepage with numerous Christmas deals and Christmas images

Create a shipping plan

Take charge of timely delivery by creating a shipping plan similar to Corkcicle, your website visitors will thank you by buying from you.

Three-step order cut-off and delivery plan from Corkcicle


That’s it - we covered everything from new products to design and must-have Christmas apps.

The Christmas bells are ringing, and now your Shopify store is ready to handle all the festive shopping.

About the author
Vita Klimaite
Vita believes that every great product must be supported by an even better marketing strategy. Armed with SEO and Content Marketing experience, Vita is dedicated to helping website and eCommerce store owners unlock the power of search engines and scale their businesses. A big fan of remote work, she is always on the road, so you can also hear some exciting travel stories from her.