The Definitive Holiday Marketing Guide for Online Entrepreneurs

We’re coming down to the wire. Christmas is less than two weeks away. There’s still time to boost your sales thanks to last minute shoppers! So how do you reach them?

This holiday marketing guide will help you to max your sales in the final weeks of the holiday season. Don’t worry, you’re not too late to the game. 76% of shoppers plan to make last-minute holiday gift purchases. And many shoppers plan on taking advantage of after Christmas savings to ring in the New Year with fresh styles.

Here’s How to Capitalize on the Spike in Mobile Sales Over the Holidays

If you do nothing else after reading this guide, PLEASE ensure your e-commerce site is mobile friendly. 76% of Americans will use a mobile device to shop for the holidays. Sites that are not mobile-friendly will fail to reach more than three-quarters of holiday shoppers.

Quickly Mobile Optimize Your Site for Holiday Shoppers

Accept the mobile-first philosophy of modern web design. Most of your shoppers will view your site on a mobile device. Prioritize your design elements to meet the majority of consumers where they feel most comfortable – their smartphones and tablets.

holiday marketing guide
Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By moham’ed

Here’s how:

1. Use Responsive Page Layouts

Responsive page layouts adapt to the size of the screen that your website is being displayed on. Every site element is able to adjust its size and placement to provide a better user experience (UX).

Even if you aren’t an experienced web designer, you can still quickly create a site with a responsive layout. You’ll need the help of a site builder like:

2. Increase the Speed of Your Site

One of the most important factors in ensuring Google shows your website in search results is how quickly it loads. 40% of shoppers will abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

increase speed of your site
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You can make your site faster for holiday shoppers by:

  • Removing excess code. Ever line of code has to be processed by the customer’s device before your site loads. Even fractions of a second can make the difference between scoring a new conversion and losing out to the competition. This is especially true when the customer is in a rush – like while doing last minute shopping for their Christmas list.
  • Using smaller images. Old site designers used to insert photos at their full resolution, and then allow the template to resize the photo on the user’s device. This kills site load times. Adopt a mobile-first site design and only insert photos that match the size and quality required in order to look good on smaller displays. Leverage CSS effects to display site images more efficiently across every display size.
  • Replacing flash elements. Steve Jobs decided to block flash on iOS devices in 2010. For online marketers looking to secure holiday sales, it’s important that your site is iPhone and iPad friendly – especially considering that iOS users spend far more per basket than android users. Don’t believe me? This study found that shoppers on android spend on average $11.54 per transaction, while consumers using iPhones spend on average $32.94 per transaction. Do yourself a favor and remove flash elements from your site so that you can cash in on bigger holiday baskets.

Get Creative When Creating Holiday Product Bundles and Promotions

To score last-minute holiday sales, you need to position your products and services in a way that’s hyper-relevant to what shoppers are looking for.

Gift Cards Are the Cure-All Gift for Last Minute Holiday Shoppers

Gift cards promotions
Shutterstock – By Rawpixel.com

One of the reasons holiday shoppers may be hesitant to knock out the last few people on their Christmas list is they might just not know what to get them. Shopping for a diverse group of people can be challenging – relationships vary between friends and family.

Position your gift card as the perfect gift for someone that already has everything. Emphasize the freedom that it gives the recipient to find the perfect gift for them.

Oh, and here’s a dirty little secret about gift cards: nearly $1 billion worth of gift cards are never redeemed. THAT’S FREE MONEY!!!

Top 3 Reasons Gift Cards WIll Put You Over the Top This Holiday Season

  1. Gift cards allow your loyal customers to introduce their friends and family to your line of products and services. 83% of shoppers say that they trust recommendations from people they know. Cash-in on the power of a recommendation from a trusted source, combined with free money to spend.
  2. Electronic gift cards can be delivered instantly to last-minute shoppers in a rush to fill stockings on Christmas Eve. If you need help, Adobe Spark allows you to quickly create professional looking electronic gift cards that help boost your branding for the holidays.
  3. Gift cards help reduce costly product returns. There’s nothing worse than selling through a hot item before Christmas, and then getting buried by returns in the days after the holiday. First, customers can’t return a gift card. Second, if the item they purchase with a gift card is returned, the funds are refunded to the gift card – keeping the money on your balance sheet.

Dust-Off Your Email List for the Holidays

Help busy shoppers find the perfect gift to fit their holiday budget at the last minute. While some of your competitors are out there raising prices for last minute shoppers, you can outmaneuver them.

email list for holiday marketing
Courtesy of CatalystForBusiness.com

Cut through the noise by sending a well-crafted email that outlines all of your holiday deals. In the header, you should emphasize that your stocking stuffers can still arrive in time for Christmas, and they won’t blow your shopper’s holiday budget.

Treat the body of the email as a personalized product catalogue. You’ll know the shopping history of each user on your site, so now is the time to cash-in on your personal relationship with the email recipient.

Here’s an example of an email that Walgreens just sent me this morning. The header emphasizes that they have gifts available under $20 for everyone on my shopping list. And I can take advantage of their extended hours to complete my last minute shopping anytime.

By delivering a fast online shopping experience, you’ll increase site conversions at a time when shoppers are in a rush to wipe out the rest of their Christmas list. And by positioning your products in a way that’s hyper-relevant to the consumer, you’ll ensure that visitors can quickly find what they need – especially with the help of gift cards and personalized email marketing campaigns.