5 Ways to Win This December Holiday Season
From National Cookie Day to New Year’s Eve, there’s plenty to celebrate this December. Here’s your cheat sheet to seasonal selling this month.
December 2022 E‑Commerce Holidays
- National Cookie Day (US) — Dec. 4th
In case you needed an excuse to drop a batch of cookies to your customers ;)
- Green Monday — Dec. 12th
- Free Shipping Day (US) — Dec. 14th
On Dec. 14th, thousands of e‑commerce sites will be offering free shipping with guaranteed delivery by December 24th for those last-minute shoppers. Free shipping is a strong incentive for buyers, so don’t overlook the appeal. If you don’t offer shipping, opt for free home delivery instead.
- Super Saturday — Dec. 17th
- Hanukkah — Dec. 18th
Though gift-giving isn’t heavily associated with Hanukkah, there’s more than one way to say “Chag Sameach!” to your customers. Consider creating a unique discount code that lasts throughout the 8‑day celebrations, dropping a blue and silver special, or simply taking the time to acknowledge the festivities with a short text.
- Christmas Eve — Dec. 24th
- Christmas Day — Dec. 25th
Christmas is undoubtedly one of the most significant sales opportunities of the year for e‑commerce businesses. While you’ll want to launch and market your Christmas offerings before the 25th, the day itself is also a great opportunity to connect with customers by sending your best seasonal wishes.
- Kwanza — Dec. 26th
- New Year’s Eve — Dec. 31st
New Year’s Eve marks the final event of the year, and while often overlooked, it can be a source of revenue for businesses. If you sell food or beverages, reach out to your customers after Christmas to make sure you’re not forgotten.
5 Ways to Win This December Holiday Season
1. Have a simple, beautiful website
Businesses can expect higher demand and increased web traffic during the month of December. If your customers are returning, you’ll want to give them a reliable experience, and if they’re new, you’ll want to give them a seamless experience.
Start by organizing your offerings. When a customer lands on your site, do they know where to go for exactly what they want? If you’re hitting the holidays hard with an abundance of new offerings and specials, set up a separate holiday store. If you’ve decided to add just a few festive products, organize these exciting new goods with clearly labeled categories.
Once your store is primed for new and old customers alike, consider how long it takes a customer to get through checkout. There are thousands of businesses customers can shop with. If you’re lucky enough that they land on your site, don’t ruin it with a tedious and lengthy checkout. Have a system in place to save returning customers’ information and make sure first-time customers aren’t forced into lengthy account creation.
Finally, this should go without saying in 2022, but make sure your site is mobile responsive. According to Contentsquare, 58% of all online traffic comes from mobile. A quick test with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool is an excellent place to start.
In summary, an overall easy checkout experience is the first step to painlessly increasing your sales.
2. Take pre-orders
Pre-orders have long been a great strategy for generating buzz and excitement around a brand, but they also come with much more strategic advantages for small businesses.
Pre-orders allow you to sell goods before you’ve stocked up the inventory to make them. This means you can offer new products with little to no risk and minimize or totally eliminate costs associated with excess inventory
Pre-orders are a no-brainer when it comes to running a better business model, but without the proper tools in place to ensure a smooth preordering experience, you’re back at square one without an easy-to-use, friction-free website. Software like Bottle enables you to take orders ahead of time without confusing customers, download batched reports with one click, and sell according to the rules you set around your fulfillment.
Pre-orders are a great option for any holiday as they enable you to stay organized, measure quality control, and clearly communicate timelines.
3. Use text for marketing campaigns
Imagine spending weeks perfecting your holiday menu just to be left wondering, “Who’s going to order my latkes?”
It’s no secret that an essential part of the job is to get the word out there, but what you may not yet realize is that marketing your menu over text can be a great strategy to lock in sales.
According to data from SMScomparison, 95% of text messages are read and responded to within the first 3 minutes of being read. Not sure the same can be said for that email app of yours with the lengthy red notification bubble.
Not sure where to start? Drop your menu to your current customers over text accompanied by a Christmas gift guide, Hanukkah discount code, or the announcement of new price tiers or bundle deals.
No matter the size of your business, offering an SMS opt-in loyalty program or membership at checkout allows you to build long-term customer relationships and sell to your loyal fans again and again.
4. Offer top-notch customer service
No combination of the world’s smoothest checkout and best holiday deals is enough to get a new customer over the line, and certainly not enough to make an old one return.
According to Zipwhip, 43% of customers will text businesses before they purchase. Whether that person wants to know if you use certain ingredients or offer other services, they aren’t very likely to complete their purchase until you respond.
It’s important to make sure your contact information is readily available and that customers have an easy way to contact you. Add your phone number to your site and tell customers exactly what to do with it: ie. “Call us” or “Send us a text” to eliminate any confusion.
During the holidays and beyond, providing great customer service has been shown to improve customer retention and generate new business from customer referrals.
5. Win again and again with community
If you’ve won yourself a seat at your customers’ holiday tables, you’re probably doing something right — but don’t stop there.
As a small business owner, community should be the core of your business model. It’s what keeps customers coming back time and time again. Building relationships with your customers is essential to forming a community, and it goes far beyond the checkout. Still, it’s really not that complicated.
Providing your customers with an easy way to contact you (and responding) is a great place to start. At checkout, ask customers for their phone numbers to keep in touch. Enroll customers in a membership that allows you to contact segments of your customer base at scale while still keeping things personal. Offer a loyalty program to incentivize future purchases. And don’t shy away from the occasional personal or business update. Your customers love you. They want to hear from you. And, the more you chat with them, the more likely it is they’ll think of you the next time they need to buy whatever it is you sell.