As the holiday shopping season quickly approaches, it’s time to get your online store ready for prime time. If you have an online store, here are 5 things you can do to make the most of your it.

1. Create a special section on your site for holiday gifts

If you’re hoping holiday shoppers will consider your products for holiday gifts, make it easy on your potential customers to find what they’re looking for. Create a dedicated section of your website titled something like “Holiday Gift Guide.” There, feature certain products that you believe would make great gifts for your customers. Perhaps you could even create several sections like this — you could feature smaller items as “Stocking Stuffers” or even feature a different product on sale each day for 12 days in December as a “12 Days of Christmas Deals.”

As you create these special features, consider the SEO impact. Keep an eye on Google Trends and adjust your content accordingly. Think about the types of words your potential customers will be searching for on social media and through search engines.

2. Send relevant emails to your customers

MailChimp Abandoned Cart

MailChimp’s abandoned cart feature allows you to send emails to people who add items to their shopping cart and then leave your site without making a purchase.

A good email list can make all the difference for your store. If you use MailChimp, you can add several key e-commerce features to help boost sales. Send emails to customers who add items to their cart and then leave before completing a purchase, recommend products based on a customer’s product history, welcome first-time buyers, and more. Other email marketing platforms have similar features, but this is an area where MailChimp especially shines. MailChimp’s features are compatible with WooCommerce, Shopify, and several other online stores.

3. Expand beyond physical products

It’s often thought that an online store is only for physical, tangible products. However, most e-commerce platforms allow for numerous other types of products. On many platforms, you can create digital downloads and even list Amazon affiliate links as if they’re products in your website’s shopping cart. You could also sell event tickets or intangible products or services through your store. Since you capture a customer’s email address during an online purchase, you’ll have a way to follow up with someone who purchases a service from you. If you sell services on your site, you can even connect customers to an appointment scheduling plugin after they’ve made a purchase.

4. Create a coupon code and promote the discount on social media

A coupon is one of the oldest tricks in a marketer’s book, but coupons are still commonly used because they work. For an online store, you can create a coupon code to offer a discount on a specific item, a group of items, or your entire catalog. You could also offer a different type of discount like free shipping.

If you create different coupon codes for different uses, you can gain more specific insights into how people are finding out about your website. For example, create a coupon code like “FB15” to offer your Facebook followers 15% off and create a coupon code like “TW15” to offer your Twitter followers 15% off and you’ll know if more people found your discount through Facebook or Twitter. The coupon codes don’t have to be that obvious, but by making them all different, you’ll gain valuable insight into the effectiveness of your different marketing channels.

5. Ensure your online store works well on mobile devices

As phone and tablet web browsing increases, it’s more important than ever to optimize your website for mobile devices. This principle is also true for your online store. Is it easy to browse products from your phone? Are the “Add to Cart” and “Checkout” buttons big enough on your mobile site? Is it easy to complete the checkout process from your phone? Test out your online store now so you’re good to go once Thanksgiving has come and gone.

If you have an online store, let us know what has worked well for you in the comments below. What tips would you give someone wanting to make the most of his or her store’s online presence?