Boost Your E-Commerce Business for Christmas | Effective Strategies to Increase Sales
Proven Ways to Promote Your E-Commerce Business During the Christmas Season
The Christmas season is one of the busiest times for e-commerce businesses. In 2022, US consumers spent an estimated $107.6 billion online during the holiday season, up 10.2% from the previous year. With so much potential for sales, e-commerce businesses need to have a strong marketing plan in place.
Planning is essential if you want to boost your e-commerce business for Christmas. Start by identifying the key dates and events relevant to your target audience. Then, develop a marketing plan that includes promotional strategies, such as email marketing, social media marketing, and paid advertising.
Tracking your results and adjusting your marketing plan as needed is also essential. By understanding what is working and what is not, you can optimize your campaigns and get the most out of your seasonal marketing efforts.
This article will explore twenty key strategies to boost your e-commerce business for Christmas.
How to Boost Your E-Commerce Business for Christmas in 2023
As people get their Christmas gifts ready in the lead-up to the festive season, you must ensure that you have holiday marketing campaigns ready to go on several channels, from your social media accounts to your email newsletters and landing pages.
Here are twenty of the most effective strategies to increase sales in the upcoming months.
Plan Your Christmas Promotion
Many online retailers offer pre-Christmas sales to entice customers to buy gifts for friends and family (for example, 15% off specific stock) and more extensive sales after Christmas to clear their product inventory of leftover merchandise.
Decide if you want more stock in the run-up to Christmas and how you will discount it before and after the big day.
When do People Start Christmas Shopping?
It’s earlier than you think, primarily online. Last year, interest in Christmas shopping began in September and October in the US – a trend seen worldwide.
Ensure you capture those early shoppers and those who leave gift-buying to the last minute – start to plan for your sales to increase as fall sets in.
Consider launching a countdown to Christmas sale or special holiday offers before the big day. A countdown creates customer anticipation and keeps your brand at the top of their minds. Remember, the early bird catches the worm!
Time Your Christmas Promotions
Timing is critical in seasonal marketing. Start early – prepare your Christmas marketing strategy well in advance. Consumers often begin their Christmas shopping as early as October or November, so make sure you are ready to meet their needs.
Ensure you know which particular holiday you want to focus on. Christmas is the obvious one, but don’t forget there’s also:
- Black Friday – 24th of November
- Cyber Monday – 27th of November
- Small Business Saturday – 28th of November
- Hanukkah – Thursday, 7th of December – Friday, 15th of December
Plan How Long Your Promotion Will Run
Christmas shopping may increase considerably in December – especially for those too busy to shop in retail stores or the mall! – but savvy shoppers purchase Christmas gifts in the months before.
Plan to get more customers to sign up to your mailing list before so you can market them early bird discounts in the fall to reward those who have planned and those who have left it to the last minute or are Christmas Eve shoppers.
Create a Christmas Promotion Calendar
We recommend starting backward from your promotion date and giving yourself extra days to ensure you can fit all your activities in.
You’ll need to consider:
- The logistics of your Christmas promotion: extra stock, pricing, payment options, postage options, return policy, delivery dates, etc
- When you update your website with graphics, additional products, sales, and new pricing
- What will your marketing look like? Consider graphics, wording, and what will interest your customers more – promotions before Christmas or sales afterward?
- How you’ll do your marketing: which channels will you run your advertisements on? Email? Social media? Paid advertising?
- Which dates will your marketing run (and if it will happen on each marketing channel at the same time or at different times)
Use Google Analytics to Understand Consumer Behavior
As the Christmas bells start ringing and your e-commerce business gets into the festive spirit, it’s essential to leverage the power of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to track, understand, and enhance your customers’ holiday shopping behavior.
GA4, the latest version of Google’s robust analytics platform, offers rich insights that can empower you to make your customers’ Christmas shopping experience merrier and brighter. Here’s how:
GA4’s built-in enhanced measurement automatically tracks fundamental interactions on your site, like scrolls, clicks on external links, and video engagement. Understanding which holiday-themed content or festive deals engage your customers the most during the Christmas season can guide your strategy for creating engaging holiday content.
GA4 tracks everything as an event – from page views to user interactions. This feature facilitates tracking specific actions customers take on your site. You can monitor when customers add Christmas-themed items to their shopping cart, begin the checkout process, or complete a purchase, helping you identify potential roadblocks in your Christmas sales funnel and enhancing the shopping experience.
With GA4, you can define crucial actions as conversions, such as purchasing, signing up for a Christmas special newsletter, or filling out a contact form for a Christmas inquiry. Tracking these conversions during the festive season helps you understand which marketing efforts are most effective in driving Christmas sales.
GA4 offers a more user-centric view of data, allowing you to track your customers’ journey across various devices and platforms. This ability is handy during the Christmas shopping season when customers often interact with your business across multiple touchpoints before finalizing their Christmas purchases.
GA4 includes advanced analysis techniques previously available only in the enterprise version, Google Analytics 360. Techniques like funnel analysis, path analysis, and segment overlap can be invaluable for gaining deeper insights into customer behavior during the Christmas shopping frenzy and identifying opportunities to optimize sales.
Engage with Customers on Social Media Platforms
Christmas is a social holiday, and your social media platforms should reflect this. Engaging with your customers on social media is more than just posting your products or promotions. It’s about creating a community and fostering relationships.
Create opportunities for engagement. Host a holiday-themed contest, ask your audience questions, share behind-the-scenes holiday preparations, or encourage user-generated content. Not only does this increase engagement, but it also strengthens your relationship with your customers and promotes brand loyalty.
Collaborate with Social Media Influencers
Christmas is a great time to leverage influencer marketing on social media. After all, social media provides an excellent channel to reach a broader audience and generate demand for your brand.
Whether you’re running Christmas giveaways or just giving a gift to an influencer who’s popular with your target audience, you must ensure you get the most out of that incoming traffic.
Imagine visitors arriving from an influencer campaign to see a photo of their favorite influencer, messaging that echoes the influencer’s words when promoting your product, and a special discount to welcome them to your website.
Creating a customized welcome popup experience can speak directly to your customers’ hearts, especially regarding Christmas campaigns.
Leverage Social Media Ads
With billions of active users, social media platforms provide a treasure trove of potential customers for your e-commerce business. Strategically deploying social media ads during Christmas can significantly increase your reach and engagement, potentially driving more traffic and conversions.
When deciding which ads to use during Christmas, you must consider each social media platform’s unique features and benefits. Here are some practical tips for utilizing various ad types during the festive season.
Facebook carousel ads
These ads allow you to display multiple images or videos within a single ad. Use this format to showcase a range of holiday-themed products or aspects of a high-ticket item. You could also create a narrative or story through images or videos to engage your audience emotionally.
Instagram stories ads
With over 500 million people using Instagram stories daily, stories ads can provide significant exposure. These full-screen ads can be very engaging. Consider using a series of images to create a quick slideshow or a short video for a sneak peek of your holiday collection.
Pinterest promoted pins
These ads look like regular pins but have a broader reach. Promote pins of your best-selling products or Christmas specials. As Pinterest is a platform where people seek inspiration, consider pins that showcase your products in holiday-themed settings.
LinkedIn sponsored content
These ads appear directly in the LinkedIn feeds of professionals you want to reach. This ad format could be helpful if your e-commerce business sells products as corporate gifts. Highlight the quality of your products or show how your products could help companies foster relationships with their clients or employees.
For all your ads, it’s crucial to maintain a festive and joyful tone to resonate with the holiday spirit. Including holiday-specific keywords and hashtags can also help increase the visibility of your ads. Remember to use compelling calls to action to guide viewers toward purchasing.
Harness the Power of Google Ads
Google Ads is another powerful tool for promoting your eCommerce business. The wide range of advertising options offered by Google Ads allows you to reach potential customers at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Google Search Ads
These ads appear on Google’s search result pages. Many people use Google to search for holiday gift ideas, sales, or specific products, so Google Search Ads can be highly effective. Be sure to incorporate holiday-related keywords in your ads to attract shoppers. Also, consider using countdown timers in your ads to create a sense of urgency around limited-time holiday offers.
Google Shopping Ads
Unlike traditional text ads, Google Shopping Ads display a photo of your product, its title, price, store name, and more. These ads can be very effective for e-commerce businesses, giving users a strong sense of the product before they click the ad. During the holiday season, highlight your holiday specials or best-sellers in your Shopping Ads.
Google Display Ads
These ads appear on over two million websites and in over 650,000 apps, giving you a massive reach. Display ads work for various goals, such as building brand awareness or retargeting potential customers who have visited your site but haven’t purchased. Consider creating festive-themed display ads to catch users’ attention during the holiday season.
Google Local Services Ads
If your e-commerce business also has a brick-and-mortar presence, local service ads can help you attract local customers. These ads reach consumers searching for your area’s products or services. Use these ads to promote any unique holiday offerings in your physical store.
Regardless of the types of Google Ads you use, don’t forget to optimize your ad copy and keywords for the holiday season. Phrases like “Christmas gift ideas,” “holiday sales,” or “last-minute Christmas gifts” tend to be popular during this period.
Launch a Pre-Holiday Sales Campaign
There’s no better way to say Merry Christmas to your customers than with a holiday-themed sale that promises significant savings. However, like all seasonal sales, you don’t want to wait until the day the deal goes live to announce your Christmas campaign!
Before launching it, tell your visitors about the big event that’s coming up. You’ll generate interest (boosting sales in the process) and build your email marketing list by asking holiday consumers to sign up in exchange for updates and early access to your deals.
Use popups to highlight your upcoming event and notify visitors about the sale date. It’s a good idea to tease your Christmas shoppers with a preview of what they can expect and mention potential savings (e.g., “Up to 80% off!”). You can also use a countdown timer to increase urgency and encourage potential customers to mark your sale on their calendars.
Promote Your Holiday Sales
Once your extensive holiday sales campaign starts, you’ll want to inform your visitors by promoting it. You never want someone browsing your site without realizing they can take advantage of huge savings while buying a Christmas gift for a loved one!
You can also offer your customers an extra discount in exchange for signing up for your email marketing list. This offer ensures you’ll continue to benefit from your Christmas marketing campaign in the new year since you can keep targeting these customers.
Once people subscribe to get access to a discount code, you want to ensure they use them. Discount codes ensure you get the most out of your Christmas marketing campaigns.
When customers have an unused code that will only work during Christmas, they’ll feel a sense of urgency, making them more likely to finalize their purchases.
Promote Best-Selling or Discounted Products
First-time visitors can quickly feel lost in online stores with extensive inventories and may feel unsure about how to get started. This outcome is called analysis paralysis and can soon lead to visitors leaving your website without doing anything significant.
If you have many products on your website, you should promote your best-selling or discounted products on an exit-intent popup. You can promote these products during the holiday season as part of a Christmas gift guide.
Consumers expect discounts and deals during the holiday season. Offering exclusive holiday deals attracts customers and gives you a competitive edge. Be creative with your sales.
Besides the standard percentage discounts, consider bundle deals, buy-one-get-one-free offers, or gifts with purchases over a certain amount. Promote these deals across all your marketing channels, including social media, Google Ads, and your website.
Remember, while discounts are attractive, ensuring they’re financially viable for your business is essential.
Create Special Offers for VIP Customers
You certainly want to ensure that the customers buying your products throughout the year have happy holidays.
Present exclusive discounts, offers, and deals to your loyal customers to boost spending during the holiday season and show them that you value them!
Create Christmas Bundles
You can create bundles of Christmas-themed products that complement each other to add seasonal ambiance to your store. Bundles simplify shopping for customers seeking the perfect gift and provide a cost-effective solution because they offer a more attractive price than individual purchases.
For example, a Christmas catalog with a bundle filled with Christmas tree ornaments, Christmas lights, and an advent calendar can add some Christmas flair to your small business. That’s especially true if you wrap up the bundle in some Christmas packaging.
Promote your holiday season bundle in a popup to ensure visibility.
Create Holiday-Themed Content for Your E-Commerce Site
When the holidays come around, your customers are looking for magic, and your e-commerce site is the perfect platform to deliver it. With a few festive touches, you can create a unique holiday shopping experience that will delight your customers and boost your sales. Here’s how:
Start by sprucing up your e-commerce site with a holiday theme. This effort could be as simple as adding a few Christmas graphics, changing your color scheme to include holiday hues, or adding snowflakes or Christmas lights to your site’s header. Ensure your holiday theme is consistent across all your site’s pages for a seamless customer experience.
Festive product images
Consider updating your product images with a festive touch. This update could involve displaying your products in a holiday setting, adding a Christmas bow, or using holiday-themed props. Creativity can go a long way in showcasing your products as perfect Christmas gifts.
Holiday gift guides
A well-curated holiday gift guide can be an excellent tool for helping your customers find the perfect presents. Consider creating several gift guides based on different themes, price points, or recipient categories (like gifts for him, for her, for kids, etc.). You could also create a ‘Secret Santa’ gift guide or a ‘Stocking Stuffers’ guide with smaller, less expensive items.
Special offers and deals
Everyone loves a good Christmas deal, and highlighting your holiday offers can be a crucial content strategy. Consider creating a dedicated ‘Christmas Deals’ page or showcasing your offers on your homepage. Incentives could include Christmas discounts, gift wrapping, or special holiday bundles.
Festive blog posts
If you have a blog, Christmas-themed posts can help draw customers to your site. You could write about holiday decorating ideas, share Christmas recipes, or provide tips for choosing the perfect gift. You can also share these posts on social media platforms to engage your audience and drive traffic to your site.
Quizzes are another effective way to boost audience engagement and sharing, primarily if you use a Christmas season-themed quiz during the season. A successful quiz should have easy-to-answer questions for broad appeal and tell people something they want to know about themselves.
Based on their answers, you can provide personalized recommendations to help them find what they want during the Christmas shopping season.
A countdown to Christmas can create excitement and a sense of urgency that encourages customers to purchase. Consider incorporating a Christmas countdown on your homepage, along with daily deals or special offers for each day of the countdown.
Customer reviews and testimonials
Highlight positive reviews and testimonials of your products. You could have a section dedicated to ‘Top-Rated Christmas Gifts‘ based on customer feedback, which would help potential buyers decide.
Creating captivating holiday-themed content is all about getting into the spirit of the season and thinking about what your customers might be looking for. With creativity and a dash of Christmas magic, your e-commerce site can become a go-to destination for holiday shopping.
Offer Christmas Shopping Guides
Offering Christmas shopping guides is a great way to build your email list while providing valuable assistance for shoppers during the holiday season.
Shoppers are often desperate for Christmas gift ideas as the pressure mounts close to the 25th, making this one of the best Christmas marketing ideas on this list.
A Christmas gift guide can help shoppers discover the perfect gifts for their loved ones while simplifying the sometimes overwhelming task of choosing presents. These guides improve the shopping experience and showcase your expertise and dedication to customer satisfaction.
Offer Free Shipping
For any online retailer, unexpected shipping costs are the number one reason shoppers abandon their carts. When customers don’t realize they’ll have to pay for shipping until the checkout process, it changes their attitude about the purchase. More often than not, these shoppers will abandon their carts.
When it comes to Christmas shopping, people are particularly anxious to know that their gifts will arrive on time. Any Christmas marketing strategy must highlight shipping conditions, delivery times, and fees.
However, you’ll want to keep in mind that research shows 9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping is the best incentive to shop more online. Free shipping as part of your holiday-themed e-commerce promotion can quickly boost online sales, average order value, and overall revenue.
You can offer free shipping for everyone or only for orders above a certain threshold. If you do the latter, promote how much more your visitors need to spend to get free shipping.
Gamify the User Experience
Gamification helps to turn your visitors’ interaction with your website into an unforgettable experience. Even if visitors aren’t familiar with your brand or products, they’ll still be excited to play a game.
By incorporating fun-filled popup campaigns like scratch cards and lucky wheels on your site, you can capture the attention of new visitors and keep them engaged. If you use a holiday season-themed gamified popup, you can create a memorable, enjoyable shopping experience for your visitors and add Christmas flair to your site.
Reduce Cart Abandonment with an Exit-Intent Popup
With the average cart abandonment rate hovering around 70%, this is one of the biggest challenges for any ecommerce store. You might not know that the cart abandonment rate can be even higher during the holiday since people are shopping around and trying to find the perfect gift.
By harnessing the power of urgency and limited-time offers, you can stop visitors from abandoning their carts and motivate them to complete their purchases before time runs out.
Try using a Christmas-themed countdown popup to showcase your limited-time offer. Customers will worry about missing out on a great deal, and this fear becomes their driving force to take action and complete their purchase.
Personalize Messaging for Returning Visitors
When users are shopping in the lead-up to Christmas time, they often check out multiple websites in their quest for the perfect gift.
While shopping for a loved one, people are even more likely to check out other options, compare products, and consider their decisions carefully. However, that longer shopping process doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t return to buy from you later!
Make the user experience for returning visitors as smooth as possible by helping them pick up where they left off last time. Show them their previously viewed products so they can continue with a single click.
Don’t Forget After-Christmas Sales
If you want to maximize your success over the holiday season, don’t neglect the period right after the Christmas sale.
While the peak shopping rush subsides after Christmas, the period following the festivities presents a valuable opportunity to extend the shopping momentum. Offering compelling deals and promotions on remaining inventory can help you clear out excess stock and generate additional revenue.
Furthermore, many shoppers will be looking to redeem Christmas gift cards they got in the days prior!
Prepare Your Customer Service for the Holiday Season
With the increased traffic and sales during the Christmas season, your customer service team needs to be ready. Ensure they’re well-equipped to handle inquiries, returns, and complaints promptly and efficiently.
Consider extending your customer service hours, providing live chat support, or using AI chatbots for basic inquiries. Exceptional customer service can differentiate you from your competitors and leave a lasting impression on your customers, encouraging them to return even after the holiday season.
Perfect Your E-Commerce Strategy for Christmas
Taking your online shop to the top this Christmas needs a game plan, a dash of creativity, and getting what your customers want.
The strategies to boost your e-commerce business for Christmas covered in this article can get just about anybody into the holiday spirit. Whether you add cute Christmas trees to your marketing campaigns or focus on creating helpful gifting guides, every little bit can make a difference during this critical period for e-commerce stores.
Are you ready to maximize your online store success this holiday season? We hope our twenty strategies to boost your e-commerce business will help you satisfy customers, increase traffic, and skyrocket your revenue! Stay motivated, set realistic expectations, and always put your customers first!
Don’t forget, always check how you’re doing to get even better next time. If all this seems too much, drop us a line. We’re always here to help you.
What are your holiday marketing ideas? Let us know in the comment section below! We would love to hear any opinions from you!
Is Your E-Commerce Website Ready for Christmas?
And if you are unsure how to boost your e-commerce business for Christmas, let’s talk! We will listen to you, answer your questions, and help you prepare your online store for the holidays!
Is Your Website Ready for the Holidays?
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For more content relevant to your business or product brand – check out the range of articles on our web design blog. (This one, on Christmas keywords to attract more consumers, is an excellent place to start!)
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