Last-Minute Holiday Sales Tips for Businesses: How To Make The Most of Gifting Season
- by Ilona K.
Black Friday may be over, but the holiday shopping season is in full swing. In fact, 79% of U.S. consumers wait till the last 2 weeks before Christmas to do their gift shopping. Discover some handy tips from it.com Domains to boost your last-minute online sales and close the year on a high note (spoiler – some of those are free!).
Winning the shopping last mile
Before we all close for a well-deserved Christmas break, there is still a chance to get a sweet boost to holiday sales. The next two weeks are crucial for any brand selling online: according to Klarna, about 79% of U.S. consumers do last-minute shopping. Similar trend, according to Mintel, is observed in the UK where most gifts are purchased in December.
Those news are particularly encouraging for brands who steered clear of heavy discounts during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or those who didn’t do particularly well in sales on that specific weekend. So how do you win this last-mile shopping spree?
10 ways to boost last-minute sales
Without further ado, here are ten proven tactics which don’t take much time or resources, but can lead to a significant boost in online sales in a short timeframe. And as a cherry on top – some of those won’t cost a dime or require minimal investment.
- Create a ‘last-minute’ landing page
Search demand for ‘last minute gifts’ peaks on the week preceding Christmas.
If you create a landing page targeting ‘last minute gifts’ on your website right now, populate it with products and submit it for a priority indexation in Google Search Console, you can increase your chances to be discovered through search on the peak of demand. Make sure you prominently feature the link to this page from the homepage to give a visibility boost
Alternatively, you can create a standalone seasonal website to capitalize on generic keyword search demand. If you opt in for a subdomain in the .it.com zone, you can get some nice options like last-minute-gifts.it.com or use a domain hack and get a secret-santa.it.com one.
- Create a ‘Get it on time’ countdown
Receiving purchases in time for Christmas is crucial for shoppers (even those who do it at the last minute). Additionally, timers and countdowns can lead to an average 37.5% engaged conversion rate during the holidays. Based on your shipping / delivery time, create a sense of urgency amongst your customers by adding a countdown to ‘shipped in time’ to your homepage or as a pop up – here are some examples to use.
- Build a FOMO amongst your subscribers
Already have a countdown? Show extra care to your existing customer base by reminding them of the last shipping date in time for Christmas via email. There is nothing wrong in capitalizing on fear of missing out (FOMO) with the cut-off shipping dates, accompanied by some personalized product suggestions. And according to MailChimp, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to send out emails.
- Run a flash sale
Flash sales are the offers valid for a very short period of time (e.g. less than 24 hours). Use this opportunity to engage customers who have missed on Black Friday sales. The research shows that flash sales can drive up to 35% increase in conversion rates, and businesses see a higher open rate for emails with flash sales vs yearly average.
- Leverage Google’s free product listings
Often overlooked, Google product listings are a great way to increase ecommerce sales for free. If you offer products to buy online, head to Google Merchant Centre and add your bestsellers to its database. The best part – your products will appear on a range of Google resources, including Search, Shopping, Images, Maps, YouTube, etc.
- Use the Shop on Instagram option
According to Instagram, 70% of shoppers look into this platform when planning their next purchase, while following and researching brands is a second most popular activity. Providing your users an option to shop directly on Instagram helps cut down the journey (and time) between awareness and conversions. Together with some limited time Instagram-specific offers, this can be a powerful tool to boost last-minute sales.
- Offer alternative gifting options
If your business offers access to content such as music, movies, e-learning, etc., it’s a prime time for you to push those offers past ecommerce cut-off shipping dates. According to Mintel, consumers increasingly prefer intangible gifts, with 5% being experiences, 5% digital content and 1% donations to charities.
The latter offers an opportunity to highlight your brand values – nearly half of people say they are more likely to donate to charities during the holiday season compared to other periods . You can partner with a charity of your choice and give your customers an option to round up their purchase for donation, make donation as a gift, or get a ‘free’ donation when they spend a certain amount on your website.
Gifting to a fellow entrepreneur? Another great intangible gift would be a premium domain name for their business. Explore a selection of options on it.com Domains website and find a name in the .it.com zone.
- Leverage exclusivity
Keen to re-engage your existing customer base? Offer your subscribers an additional discount or a preferred faster shipping and communicate this via all your marketing channels, starting with website and email campaigns.
Beauty brands such as Glossier and The Body Shop utilize this tactic during peak periods.
- Use self-serve ad platforms
Don’t have an agency to coordinate your digital advertising spend? Self-serve ad platforms such as Facebook self-serve Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Twitter Ads, and others do not require intermediaries and allow to launch campaigns in minutes. All operations on those are automated: you only need to create ad campaigns, select target audiences, set goals and budget, create and launch your ads.
Most platforms offer automated tips and suggestions on the above. So if you have a leftover marketing budget, consider jumping onto this opportunity to create a wide variety of ads, including search, display, social media and video.
- Offer an e-gift card
Finally, you can use an option to sell e-gift cards right till the last minute before Christmas. Delivered to recipients in minutes via email to text message, e-gift cards are a life-saving option both for customers who forgot to buy their presents and for retailers aiming to maximize holiday sales. According to Blackhawk Network, 22% of gift card sales are last minute, and 90% of those sales are digital cards.
Feeling that eVouchers might be impersonal? Use them with a twist – for example, allow a sender to add product suggestions to spend a gift card on. A nifty example also comes from Goody which allows sending a gift through SMS or their app, but allows a recipient to pick another product of equal value. This is also a more sustainable option to promote.
And don’t forget to utilize those tactics to prep for the countdown to New Year.
Keen to supercharge your online sales? Visit it.com Domains’ blog and follow us on social media to discover actionable tactics and best practices.