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During the holiday season, people are more inclined to swipe their credit cards than pretty much any other time of the year. They’re on the hunt for great gifts and great deals, and many prefer shopping online to in-store.
For ecommerce retailers, this means ample opportunity to increase sales and acquire new leads and customers. But in order to achieve those goals, you need to learn as much as you can about holiday shopping events and trends and how you can capitalize on holiday spending.
What You Need To Know About Holiday Shopping
First off, you need to know the kinds of promotions and store policies customers are most attracted to.
Research tells us that customers’ biggest ecommerce turn-ons are as follows:
- Free shipping (more customers prefer free to fast when it comes to their deliveries)
- Free returns
- Money-back refund options other than store or site credit
- Longer return windows (e.g. longer than 14-30 days).
Next, Statista.com reports that these were the top ecommerce spending days during last year’s holiday season:
- Cyber Monday
- Tuesday, November 29 (the day after Cyber Monday)
- Black Friday
- Friday, December 9
- Green Monday
- Monday, December 5
- Tuesday, December 6
- Thursday, December 8
- Wednesday, December 7
- Tuesday, December 13
These dates are important to be aware of because if history repeats itself, you can expect to see a similar cash flow trend this holiday season.
Below, you’ll learn when the promotional holidays highlighted above fall this year as well as a little more about each one (plus Super Saturday).
Cyber Monday – November 27
Cyber Monday has been around since 2005 when the term was first introduced by Ellen Davis of the National Retail Foundation and Scott Silverman of Shop.org. This promotional holiday is especially popular among fashion retailers, offering deals on clothing and shoes. But Cyber Monday deals certainly aren’t limited to just apparel.
Green Monday – December 11
Green Monday is a term first coined by eBay to “describe its best sales day in December.” It usually occurs on the second Monday of the month and is generally regarded as the last day for customers to place orders without needing to pay for expedited shipping and still have their orders arrive in time for Christmas.
Free Shipping Day – December 15
Free Shipping Day has been around since 2008 and was created by the founders of FreeShipping.org and Coupon Sherpa, Luke and Maisie Knowles. The reason behind this promotional holiday’s inception was to extend the length of the online shopping season because at the time, many shoppers believed that orders made post-Cyber Monday wouldn’t arrive in time for Christmas.
Super Saturday – December 23
Super Saturday falls on the last Saturday before Christmas. And if Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, Super Saturday signifies the end. Online retailers typically use Super Saturday to target last-minute shoppers by offering lots of one-day sales events.
How To Prep Your Business For The Holidays
1. “Decorate” Your Site
The word “decorate” here refers to redesigning your store’s website to remind your audience that the holidays are fast approaching, which means it’s time to get shopping.
This doesn’t mean a total overhaul of your site, however. Something simple like adding a sidebar to your homepage letting your audience know about any big sales or promotions you’re planning to run during Black Friday or Cyber Monday works great.
Take a look at what Best Buy did to its website below:
2. Develop An Email Strategy
As long as your customers trust you, they won’t mind hearing from you more often during the holidays. Email customers to let them know about things like…
- Upcoming promotions
- Free shipping deals
- Special bundle offers
- Gift card giveaways
- Abandoned cart reminders.
3. Don’t Forget About Social Media
Engage with your customers via social media and post reminders about upcoming promotions and deals. Create images to accompany your posts to make them more eye-catching and try coming up with branded hashtags to promote your holiday campaigns, like Anthropologie (#anthrowindows), Lululemon (#theairoutthere), and UPS (#WeAreUPS).
What do you think about these holiday prep tips? Do you have any other helpful advice to share? Drop us a line and let us know!