We caught up with Blueleaf Managing Director, Rob Smith and asked him for his last minute advice on making the most of ecommerce sales at this peak time. Over to Rob...

In this short and sweet article, I'll share with you 3 ways in which you can make sure you have a good peak trading period over Christmas and the January sale period.

1) Makes sure sale items are easy to find

If you're not just doing a blanket % off your site, then it will only be a select group of products that have the really good discounts. Making sure that people can easily find their way to these products is key. Don't have them scattered throughout your main category structure, ensure that you have a specific sale category where all the juicy discounts can be found. Preferably, also include a filter for the biggest % off within that category so people can highlight the best deals quickly. Finally, don't just add the sale to your navigation, but give it some significant signposting as well from your most popular landing pages.

2) Don't forget the seasonal themes

Just because everyone's so focused on the sales and the promotions that are around, remember to tie this as much as possible to emotive seasonal themes as well. Back to work blues, final winter collections and so on are all ways to increase themed sales, leading to higher average order values due to easy add-on sales (gloves with coats, for example, especially if both are discounted). It's easy to forget about continually getting the basics of merchandising done in heavy promotional periods.

3) Remove or reduce friction on delivery

In promotional times, the effect of delivery cost can be even more pronounced. When people are getting some good deals, the friction is even higher if they then see a standard delivery cost. They've got some good bargains but then they have to pay for delivery - it damages the overall experience right near the end and creates danger of abandonment. Free delivery is always good, but if that isn't possible then applying the same or a similar discount to delivery that you have on the site can be effective as it lines up in the consumers' mind instead of being the same as the normal delivery cost.

If you'd like to hear more from Rob, then why not sign up for his 15-minute, lunchtime ecommerce webinars? Please contact Kate to be kept in the loop about these sessions.