5 tips to sleigh your holiday sale goals

5 tips to sleigh your holiday sale goals

This is the season to be ticking off your holiday sale goals! Shoppers are ticking off their gift list - and so should you! It’s the time to whip your online store in shape, so you’ll be able to maximize your sales. During Black Friday weekend alone, Shopify Plus merchants grossed over a stunning $7.4 billion in sales and $9.4 billion on Cyber Monday. With some effort, you’ll be ready for that holiday rush as well.

1. Speed up your load time for higher conversions

Speeding up your pages for mobile devices is a wise investment. In fact, a case study by Conversion Conference has shown that you can boost conversions by 66% by simply accelerating your page speed with two-seconds. The biggest problem for mobile users is namely slow pages. 

Nothing can be as frustrating as a site that takes forever to load. Especially mobile users don’t like to wait for pages or product images to load. So compress your images without losing the quality. Do a thorough check and see if your site is up to speed. With Google Test My Site, you’ll be able to check the speed of your site and see some easy suggestions on how to improve your site. If you need any help at all, feel free to reach out to our growth service team. 

2. Create a merry holiday sales strategy

Although a sales strategy is important, during the holidays it needs to be a well-thought-out and placed exactly at the right time. In a nutshell, your holiday sales are a timely effort. 

Knowing what your customer values during which stage will set you apart. The holiday season can be extremely stressful for many people, especially last-minute shoppers. So, having a timely delivery and wrapping service for last minute shoppers could make all the difference. 

The same goes for regular shoppers too. Just make a list of your customer’s wishes and set yourself apart from the competition by delivery on those wishes. Early shoppers will often look for great bargains (as they have more time for a purchase) so it's important to set a holiday sales strategy that has the right timing. If you do it right, it can even help you later on in the year. Also, the start of the holiday season is actually the perfect time to gain new followers/leads for your email base. 

Bear in mind the following dates, as they will help you plan your Holiday strategy:

  • Week 1 December: give a small glimpse of Christmas deals and create sign-up forms
  • Around 8th December: add Christmas deals and a timer to your Christmas deals in your store
  • Around 12th December: email prospects with personalized Christmas discounts and other Unique Selling Points
  • Around 20th December: Panic for last-minute shoppers. Emphasize fast shipping and gift-wrapping service
  • 23rd December: highlight the last posting date for special and next day delivery
  • 24th December: wish shoppers a Merry Christmas
  • 26th December – 28th December: annual after-Christmas sales and clearances
  • 1st January: wish shoppers a happy new year and reveal your new collection

3. Keep discounts user-friendly

Something that we keep seeing is abandoned carts, especially around the holidays. The problem? Discounts codes. Imagine this: you’re browsing on a site and come across a pair of shoes you like to buy. You press “add to cart”. Suddenly, at the checkout, you see an empty tab: “Enter coupon code here”. What would you do? Continue your purchase or search for a coupon code online?

As retailers, it’s important to keep checkouts user-friendly and not distracting. By creating automatic discounts you’ll reduce buyer’s friction. Buyers won’t need to leave your site in search of a promo code or memorize the promo code on your homepage – it’s automatically added to their cart. This will make it less likely that someone will abandon their shopping cart.

The added bonus of all of this? People who sign up and make an account will give you a lot of insight too. For example, you could create a special discount for a promotional item that is on their favorite list and offer them an exclusive deal. 

4. Ho-ho-hold off on clichés, but do add some holiday flair  

Like brick and mortar stores, your online store will need that extra TLC as well.  

Unless your ideal customer is Grinch himself, we say go festive on your site. Add some holiday flair to your homepage and copy, but ho ho-hold off on the clichés. 

Adding a Christmas hat to a logo is almost acceptable, but adding snowing rain to a homepage is a big no-no. Being original will go a long way.

So, what can you do? 

There are tons of things you could do. You could, for instance, swap “add to favorites” heart icon to a Santa hat, so shoppers can create a “Santa’s list”. Another thing you could do is to prepare an online advent calendar containing the deal of the day (much like McDonald’s App does). For New Year’s, a logo animation could really give that extra oomph. Just make sure your design and copy will enhance your customers’ spirits and not distract them. Adding some holiday flair should be fun, not disruptive. 

Expert tip: Try and establish a fun and creative link between Christmas and your product. That way you’ll be memorable. 

5. Use triggers

The human brain isn’t as complex as we think. Scarcity, social poof and many other emotional triggers can help you gain sales. There is however a fine line between what’s right and wrong here. For impromptu sales, tiggers like scarcity would work very well, but it needs to be reasonable. Due to sites like Booking.com where there is “only 1 left on the site”, shoppers have become more and more disincentive to these marketing ‘tricks’ and feel that they are being mislead. This negative disassociation is the last thing you need and should strive to. So keep things real with your consumer. You can let people know if your stock is almost running out (but do add a signup for if its in stock again), and of course don’t over do it. 


Phew! That’s it. Having covered these 5 points, you’ll join the exclusive club of well-prepared Shopify business owners. If you need any help implementing these tips or like to have a chat about which triggers could work for your store, feel free to reach out. 

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