last minute holiday selling tips

The holidays are upon us and it’s crunch time for ecommerce sellers. But, there are still things you can do to boost sales and satisfy your customers for an even more profitable holiday season.

We’ve put together a list of 12 last minute holiday selling tips to add more cheer to your bottom line.


#1 Give Your Website a Holiday Makeover

Even small changes can make a difference to your customers. A temporary seasonal makeover can add that holiday cheer to encourage customers to shop more.

Tap into the emotional marketing tactics and evoke that happy feeling people get around the holidays. Try adding snowflakes, holly, or other festive decorations to banners or carousels. Photograph your products in various festive environments. While you’re at it, add a banner announcing holidays deals or specials.


#2 Know Your Top Categories

Know what your best-sellers and top categories are to make sure you have enough products in stock to get through the holiday season. Now is not the time to have to deal with unexpected stocks outs or oversells. There is nothing more disappointing to customers than to see a “Temporarily Out of Stock” message on their desired items.

Look at past years’ sales data to properly forecast your inventory needs. You can also use an inventory management software to maintain accurate levels and send alerts when you dip below a certain threshold throughout the holiday season.


#3 Add a Countdown Timer

A countdown until the holiday (or until a special or sale ends) adds fun and urgency to your customers’ buying. Timers are quick and easy to add and they might just net you more sales.

TickCounter is one of many options you can use to create an embeddable countdown on your website.


#4 Offer Shipping Discounts

Customers are looking for the best possible deals during the holidays. Discounted or free shipping will make them choose your store over a competitor who isn’t offering discounted shipping.

If taking a hit on shipping is a concern, try offering free shipping on purchases over a certain dollar amount. This strategy often works to get customers to buy more. We recently shared some tips on how to offer free shipping.


#5 Run Limited Time Offers

Holiday selling is a great time for flash sales. Limited time offers create urgency and encourage customers to buy.

Try using this tactic on slow-moving items as well as some from your best-seller list. By following these holiday selling tips you’ll likely increase your items sold, and may be able to keep those slow-moving products from gathering dust.


#6 Upsell Everything

When your customers add an item to their shopping cart, make sure your site shows other related items.

You can also bundle products so that when a customer adds an item to their cart or wish list, they are offered a bundle of products that contains their desired item along with other relevant items.


#7 Create Last-Minute Gift Guides

Creating inspirational buying or gift guides is a great way to catch a customer’s attention. Think in terms of posts such as “Top 25 Gifts for Dad,” or “Best Holiday Gifts Under $50” to draw in customers.

Make sure the guides are interactive and that your customers can buy directly from those pages. This will maximize conversion rates from shoppers landing on your posts from search engines.


#8 Give Abandoned Carts Some Attention

Now is the time to really pay attention to abandoned shopping carts. The customer is clearly interested in your product, but chose not to complete the sale for some reason.

Try sending emails with a special offer on shipping to complete the sale. Often times, a little bit of incentive goes a long way in converting sales. Do you have no idea why people are abandoning their carts? Check out these 7 common reasons with solutions for each.


#9 Offer Special Promos to Loyal Customers

The holiday season is the perfect time to reward your loyal customers with deals not offered to new customers. The gift of discount codes or free shipping is a great reward, and an enticement to buy more.

Your social media channels are a good place to find loyal customers. If they follow you on social media, you can reasonably assume they’re a fan of your brand. Post an exclusive promo code to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to let your most loyal customers know you appreciate their support.


#10 Highlight Deals on Social Media

Speaking of social media, make sure that your followers know what you’re offering this holiday season by highlighting new products across your channels. It’s a way to advertise gift guides, limited-time offers, and shipping discounts as well. Here are 10 social media ideas to boost your holiday sales.


#11 Take Advantage of Email Marketing

Be sure to reach out to your customers via email. If possible, segment your email list to specific customer groups.

For example, send an email to customers who have recently purchased products from your store, another to customers who haven’t purchased for a while, and another to customers who live in areas where you can ship quickly.

Whatever way you break down your customer base, try to make the emails personal and relevant to increase the chances of conversion.


#12 Offer Incentives for Shopping in January

You want to be able to start the new year successfully no matter how much you sell this holiday season. Offer customers incentives for continuing to shop after the New Year.

You can do this by offering discount codes for dollars off that can only be used in the month of January. Just be sure that you contact those customers with a reminder to use codes after the holidays over, so they don’t forget when all the excitement settles down.

By following these holiday selling tips you’ll be a pro in no time.


Editor’s Note: This blog post was updated in August 2018 to reflect more accurate and relevant information.


Holiday Shipping Survival Guide
Holiday Shipping Survival Guide

Make this holiday your most profitable season yet. Use this guide to build a holiday shipping strategy in order to cultivate repeat buyers, avoid packaging mishaps, and earn stellar feedback.

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social media calendar
Holiday Social Media Calendar Template

Keep track of how often to post on each channel, who to target with certain advertisements, and what your goals are for the season with our free, downloadable template.

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