The best time to gear up for the holidays is during end-of-year shopping. The holidays are a time for celebration and gift-giving, but for e-commerce businesses, the holiday season is also a time of the year when sales has the potential to peak.
After an unexpected year of events, many retailers can make up for their lack of effort in the rest of the year by capitalizing on the holiday season.
In fact, many shoppers in Southeast Asia consider shopping to be their happy habit. After all, the region’s deep internet adoption and growing economy have resulted in consumers switching to online shopping for their needs.
It’s no wonder Southeast Asia’s internet economy has been growing exponentially and is predicted to reach 363 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.
But you need more than just an online presence to have a successful holiday season.
To remain competitive during the holiday season, your e-commerce business should focus on creating meaningful connections with customers and offering them personalized online experiences.
If you want to take advantage of the busy season and profit from your online store, you must optimize your store now.
This detailed guide will help you understand proven marketing strategies, consumer insights, and e-commerce trends to achieve successful end-of-year sales. Let’s dive right in.
Introduction to Holiday Sales
Holiday sales is a great way to get your products in front of the right people at the right time. However, it’s important to understand how these sales work and what they mean for your brand.
What is holiday sales?
A holiday sale is a marketing strategy brands use to attract customers and drive more sales during a particular holiday period. Sales can be offered in various ways and on multiple platforms, including social media, email marketing, print ads, and websites.
The most common periods for holiday sales are double-day sales, Christmas, and New Year’s (Year-end sales).
Why do brands run holiday sales?
Holiday sales are popular because they allow online retailers to tap into consumers’ desire to shop during the festive season.
By incentivizing shoppers to buy as early as possible, brands can generate higher revenue volumes before Christmas arrives. This allows your e-commerce company to prepare for any unexpected spikes in demand and cover costs ahead of time.
What Are the Beneﬁts of Holiday Sales, and why should you care?
The holiday season is when e-commerce merchants can reap the benefits of high demand and increased sales. In fact, over 80% of online shoppers will make purchases this season.
But here’s the thing: If you’re an e-commerce store owner, all those people out there shopping is good news for you!
Not only do holiday sales represent an opportunity to increase revenue, but they also allow you to reach new customers and increase your brand awareness.
Holiday sales often results in higher conversion rates than regular promotions. That’s because people tend to be more relaxed and open during the holidays, so they’re more likely to buy something that catches their eye.
The truth is holiday sales is not just about making money — rather all about making your business more profitable in the long run.
Here are some of the beneﬁts of holiday sales:
1. Holiday Sales Drive Repeat Purchases
A common misconception is that holiday shoppers are only interested in buying one-time items like gifts or decorations. However, research shows that many consumers will switch brands during the holiday season — especially if they find a better deal elsewhere.
This means that companies that offer competitive pricing or attractive promotions may see a boost in repeat purchases from customers who initially bought from them during the holidays.
2. Holiday Sales Increase Your Brand Awareness
If you have been running your business for a while, you will know that brand awareness is one of the most important things to focus on in your marketing strategy. A good way to increase brand awareness is by running a holiday sale.
You can use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote your discount offers and share them with people who may not be aware otherwise. This can help create brand loyalty and generate more sales for your company in the future.
2. Holiday Sales Are More Cost-effective Than Other Marketing Campaigns
Compared to other marketing campaigns (like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads), holiday sales are much more cost-effective because they allow you to reach more people without spending as much money on each customer.
For example, if you have a website and want to drive traffic, it can cost thousands of dollars per month to get people interested in your products. This is especially true if you’re selling highly competitive products.
But by bundling your holiday sale with free shipping for all orders, you can reach thousands of potential customers by promoting it to your existing customer and on your social channels — and without spending a dime on advertising!
4. Holiday Sales Help Create Loyal Customers
Customers love to get a good deal, but they also love to get it from people they know, trust, and like. When you provide them with the opportunity to save money on high-quality products, they’ll be more likely to buy from you again.
Holiday sales are an excellent way to build loyalty among your customers, especially if your product is something they’ll use repeatedly. If you sell clothes or shoes, for example, holiday sales can be a great way to introduce new styles and designs while incentivizing people to try them out. They might even come back for more later in the year when they need another pair of shoes or another shirt!
The key is to make sure that your holiday promotions are relevant to your audience — don’t just offer 20% off because it’s winter or summertime; make it so that everyone can use the discount code without feeling like it’s useless for them.
Holiday E-commerce Marketing Trends & Consumer Insights
The holiday season is a time for giving and receiving, but it’s also a time for spending. The key to success in the holiday season has an effective marketing strategy in place that will help you drive more sales through every channel possible.
Below are some of the most important trends you need to know about.
1. The soar of e-commerce
“Southeast Asia is brimming with e-commerce opportunities. According to a new study published by Ascential Digital Commerce, e-commerce sales in Southeast Asia are projected to grow 18% in 2022, reaching up to USD$38.2 billion.
The holiday season is the busiest time of year for e-commerce sites and apps, so your sites need a robust strategy to help you keep up with demand.
E-commerce sales is expected to soar this time of year as more shoppers turn to online shopping instead of going out into stores.
2. Gaining popularity of mobile and social commerce
Mobile and social commerce are gaining popularity as people shop for gifts online. The biggest challenge for your e-commerce business is getting your customers’ attention and convincing them to buy from you instead of your competitors.
To attract your customers, you must ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and optimized for mobile devices. You also need to provide an optimized mobile site with secure checkouts so shoppers can quickly complete transactions without hassle.
With shopping behaviour originating through mobile devices, it’s not surprising that social commerce has also gained popularity. Consumers are instantly exposed to shopping choices on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. These platforms have become one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach out to customers without any middlemen involved.
Similarly, social media ads are already extremely popular because they allow your business to reach specific audiences at scale with minimal cost per acquisition (CPA). This makes social media advertising an effective way to get your target customers while keeping costs low enough so you can still make a profit on each sale made through these ads.
3. Finding ways to personalize the shopper experience
Today’s consumer wants to feel like they’re part of an exclusive community. They want to feel like they’re getting something special and know that what they’re buying is unique.
Personalized offers and experiences can help drive loyalty and repeat business, especially during the holidays.
From offering gift cards with specific messages to using geo-targeted advertising and personalized email campaigns, retailers are finding ways to make each shopper feel special.
Personalization can be achieved through a variety of marketing strategies, such as:
- Personalized email marketing – Send out personalized emails based on customer preferences such as interests and past purchases
- Personalized landing pages – Create customized landing pages based on each visitor’s specific interests and
- Personalized product recommendations- Curated product recommendations based on past purchases or interests
- Customer Pulse Surveys – Questions designed to learn more about customers’ preferences and needs
- Exclusive Season’s Greetings – Online card messages that include names and wishes along with exclusive offers
4. Getting smarter about online and oﬄine connectivity
Nowadays, online-to-offline tracking tools have changed how business owners approach holiday marketing strategies.
With the ability to track customers’ online activities, businesses can use that data to create more personalized marketing strategies.
The ability to identify customers who have interacted with your e-commerce business on social media before hopping into your brick-and-mortar store means marketing decisions can be made based on that data.
5. Meeting higher customer service expectations
In the last few years, customer service has become a key battleground for companies to win over customers. And the trend is only going to continue as customers get even more demanding.
It’s not just about sales anymore. Today, your customers are more informed and empowered than ever, so you must meet their higher expectations for service.
Customers want to be in control of their experience. They will turn to social media for help with problems, so you must be present on the channels they often use, whether Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
You will build trust over time and increase loyalty by providing quick solutions to customer issues on social media.
6. More Continued discount and advertising:
The best way to build up hype for your product during the holidays is by offering discounts that last throughout the entire month.
Consumers are eager to get the best deals on their favorite products and brands, so they spend hours searching for the best deals online. If you don’t offer an ongoing discount or special promotion during this time, you could lose out on potential revenue.
Consumers also want to know about all their options before making a purchase decision. Suppose a customer sees two different stores offering similar products at different prices. In that case, he’ll likely choose the cheaper option unless something extra makes one item stand out. That’s why it’s so important for you to advertise your promotions as much as possible.
E-commerce marketing strategies and tactics for successful end-of-year sales
As you know by now, the holiday season is a great time to sell your products, but it’s also a time when most of your competitors are trying to catch your shopper’s eye. To stand out online, you need a strategy that will help you generate more sales and get your products in front of the right people at the right time.
Here are some e-commerce marketing strategies and tactics to help you drive more sales during the holiday season:
Dive into data to understand the new normal
When you prepare for the holidays, you should look at how your business performed during the previous year. Looking back at last year’s sales figures and inventory, you can plan your budget for the upcoming holiday season accordingly.
Here are some tips on how to prepare your business for the holiday season using the previous year’s data:
- Make sure that you set the right price for your product
- Analyze and stock up on supplies .
- Review all of your policies and make changes if needed
- Make sure that all the promotion schemes are in place
- Keep track of all the active ads you’re running on social media and the engagement you get
Create a team-wide holiday marketing plan
One of the biggest mistakes business owners makes is thinking that their marketing plan needs to be executed by just one or two people in their company.
Instead, they should create a team-wide holiday marketing plan that involves everyone in the organization. This way, each member will feel like they have an essential role in growing the business.
Prepare your e-commerce website for online visitors
To consider the needs and expectations of your target audience while preparing your e-commerce website, consider the below tips that will help you create a website that sells:
- Organize your products into categories and subcategories, then use relevant filters to help customers find what they’re looking for. Don’t make them search through endless pages of products to find what they need.
- Give customers a good idea of each item without boring them with too many details.
- Keep your homepage focused on the most important information about your business so customers can find what they need quickly.
- Use professional-looking images of your products or services. If you’re selling physical items, use real photos.
Concentrate your marketing budget on tried-and-true channels
There are many ways to reach your target audience and grow your business, but knowing which channels work best for your business is important.
The best way to approach marketing is by focusing on tried-and-true channels that have a proven track record. This will help ensure you use your limited marketing budget as efficiently as possible.
Here are some of the most effective marketing channels for e-commerce businesses:
Facebook ads are one of the best ways to market your e-commerce business to new audiences. Facebook has a massive user base and is an effective platform for driving targeted traffic to your website.
Facebook ads can be used to drive people to your e-commerce store in three ways:
Directly from Facebook
Facebook advertising allows you to promote a specific offer or product directly on the platform. This works especially well if you have a time-sensitive offer (such as free shipping) or if you’re running an exclusive promotion that only runs for a short period.
On other websites
You can also use Facebook ads to promote products on other websites like blogs, news sites, and third-party sites. Promoting your products through these ads will help you reach new customers who aren’t familiar with your brand but might benefit from your product or service.
The TikTok app has over 800 million users and is growing rapidly. This makes it an excellent channel for e-commerce brands to advertise, as it can reach a large audience at an affordable cost.
Key benefits of using TikTok ads:
High engagement rates
The average watch time on TikTok is 3x greater than other platforms, so you get better results for your money.
You don’t need fancy editing skills to create an effective ad on TikTok. Just record yourself telling a story or singing with background music from the app’s library. It is as simple as that.
Social media advertising has become a staple for small businesses looking to build their brands and reach new customers.
For example, Instagram ads have successfully driven traffic and increased sales for companies across various industries. With over 2.7 billion active users worldwide, Instagram is one of the best places to reach potential customers looking for your product or service.
Facebook and Instagram ads allow you to target people based on their interests and behavior, so you can promote your products at a low cost-per-click (for retail companies, cost-per-clicks can be as low as $0.70).
4. Email marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach and engage customers. It’s also a great way to upsell, cross-sell and promote new products.
Email marketing is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your audience, and studies show that email has the highest ROI of any marketing channel, with an average return on investment of 4100%.
Email marketing also allows you to collect data on your customers to send them personalized emails based on their interests.
Providing loyal customers with unique discounts:
One of the best ways to encourage loyalty and promote your brand is by giving your customers exclusive offers. For example, you can offer special discounts and promotions on specific products or services to your existing customers only. This will encourage them to return again while increasing their loyalty toward your website.
You can go about this many ways, but one of the best ways is to track your customer’s behavior and offer them a discount or coupon for something they’re likely to buy. For example, if you notice that your customers are buying products from a specific category or brand, then you can target these customers with an incentive to buy more of that product.
Create a loyalty program: Loyalty programs also significantly increase sales. When someone becomes a member of your loyalty program, they feel special and want to buy more from you to get extra points or rewards. It is one of the best ways to engage with customers and keep them coming back for more.
Run a giveaway
Giveaways are great at attracting new customers and encouraging repeat purchases from your existing ones. They could be in the form of discount codes, products, or even cash prizes.
You can run giveaways on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. The best part is that they don’t cost much and can be easily executed.
Focus on video marketing
Video content is one area where it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing too little rather than too much.
We live in a world where consumers are bombarded with information from all directions, so if you want to stand out, you need to do something different. Video is one of those things that stands out and gets people’s attention.
Video can be used in several ways, from explainer videos to product demonstrations and even live events. It tends to be more effective than written content when it comes to communicating your brand message, especially on mobile devices where space is limited. Video also allows you to get your message across quickly and easily without needing much user input.
Inﬂuencers are people who have a large number of followers on social media. They usually significantly impact their followers’ decision to buy or not to buy. To put that into perspective, 8 out of every 10 consumers have purchased after seeing an influencer recommendation.
Hiring or partnering with an inﬂuencer is one of the best ways to market your products. This will give you a competitive advantage over other sellers in your niche.
Influencer marketing helps you boost awareness of your business and establish credibility.
If you want to get noticed by your target audience, you must get an inﬂuencer who can help promote your products or services.
Take advantage of UGC
User-generated content (UGC) is content created by users for other users to educate them about the experience they had while using your product. This could include reviews, photos, videos, and more. The main benefit to UGC is that it gives you more content to share with your audience and helps you build trust with them.
The best way to integrate UGC into your e-commerce marketing strategy is by encouraging customers to share their experiences with your brand on social media.
You can do this by offering incentives or discounts for people who post photos or reviews about your products or services.
Leverage Audience Segmentation
Segmentation is the process of dividing a market into groups based on their needs and preferences.
By identifying your target audience and their needs, you can create content that will appeal to them. This will help increase the conversion rate and drive more sales.
Run Cart Abandonment Campaigns
The cart abandonment rate is a crucial metric for e-commerce stores. It’s one of the most important indicators of whether someone will make a purchase, and it’s also an opportunity to win back lost customers.
There are many reasons why people abandon their carts during checkout. Maybe they thought something was too expensive or forgot to add something to their cart before checking out.
Whatever the reason, you need to find out what’s causing this and fix it as soon as possible so that more customers complete their purchases and become repeat customers over time.
One way to get people who have left your site to return and complete their purchase is through cart abandonment campaigns.
The best way to do it is to send an email or text to customers who have abandoned their carts on your site. The message should offer them a discount or free shipping if they decide to purchase from you. You can also send them a coupon code for their next purchase.
Draw Attention to Top-Selling Products
Drawing attention to top-selling products is a great way to increase sales by encouraging people to buy what others are buying.
Here are some tips on how you can do this:
1. Include the top-selling products in your email newsletters. If possible, you should include their names, images, prices, and descriptions. This will make it easy for your audience to find and purchase them quickly if they want to.
2. Display these products prominently on your homepage or category pages so that visitors can see them as soon as they enter your store. It’s best to place them in an area where they won’t be hidden by any other content when someone scrolls down the page.
3. Highlight these products on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest so your followers will see them in their feeds over time and be encouraged to buy something from you, even if it isn’t one of these specific items at first glance.
Offer Limited-Time Promotions
Limited-time promotions are a great way to increase sales. They can be as simple as offering a discount on your products or services during a specified period, or they can be more complex, such as offering a product for free with the purchase of another item.
The key is ensuring that your limited-time promotion is something customers will want to take advantage of. If you offer them something that’s not enticing or useful, they may not see any value in taking advantage of it.
Use Upselling, Cross-selling, and Bundles
Upselling is a great way to increase your revenue at the time when your customers are in the process of filling their carts It’s simply a way of suggesting another product or service to consumers who have considered a product to purchase.
Cross-selling is when you offer related products to customers who have already purchased from you. For instance, if someone is buying running shoes on your website, you might suggest that they also buy running shorts or water bottles to go along with them.
It combines multiple items into one package so customers can save money by purchasing them together instead of separately. For example, suppose someone is looking for a new digital camera and tripod online. In that case, you could bundle those items together at a discount, so it’s cheaper than buying both separately.
Surprise and Delight with Shipping and Fulﬁllment Options
Shipping is one of the most important parts of any e-commerce business.
It is not just about getting your products to your customers. It is more about building loyalty and creating a memorable experience.
If you can surprise your customers with their orders, you can create long-term customers.
Here are some suggestions on how you can do this:
1. Determine how you will carry out shipping and fulﬁllment.
If you’re selling a physical product, you’ll need to determine how you will carry out shipping and fulfillment. This can be done in-house or through an outside service.
This is a great option for e-commerce store owners who want complete control over their customer experience. It involves hiring a team of people to perform all aspects of shipping, including preparing packages, picking up items from the post office or warehouse, and dropping them off at customers’ doors. This can be expensive because it requires a lot of manpower and resources.
Use of third-party fulfillment services:
This option allows you to sell items on your website without you having to maintain inventory and delivery in-house. The fulfillment company handles all of the packing and shipping for you.
This is the most common option and is also the easiest way to start your business. You simply pay for an item and then ship it directly to the customer, who pays you for the item after they receive it.
2. Oﬀer Free Shipping and Easy Returns
Customers love the convenience of shopping online. They also appreciate it when they don’t have to pay shipping costs and can return their purchases easily.
It is a great way to encourage buyers to make a purchase. It helps you stand out from the competition, encourages people to spend more money, and makes customers feel like they’re getting a good deal.
If you make it easy for customers to return items, they’re more likely to buy from you in the first place. You can offer free shipping for returns, an unconditional refund, or even a full replacement if something goes wrong. Customers will see that you care about their satisfaction and feel more comfortable buying from you again.
Create a mobile-optimized experience
As smartphones become increasingly popular, it’s important to ensure your holiday shopping experience is optimized for mobile devices.
Make sure your website has large text and easy-to-navigate product pages. Note that if a mobile website has complex navigation, 61% of users will avoid it in the future.
Send push notifications of your latest promotions to your mobile app by understanding customer usage data.
Diverse payment methods
Make it easy for customers to make purchases on your site by offering a variety of payment methods.
To appeal to customers on a tight budget, offer subscription packages (Like Buy Now Pay Later options) that let them buy thoughtful gifts for their loved ones without needing to put down a large amount of money upfront.
Help customers find your products
Make it easy for customers to find the products they’re looking for:
- Include a search bar on your homepage or your product pages
- Include filtering options in your search results so customers can browse through multiple product types
- Create collections of similar products that tie into seasonal promotions or new arrivals and make them easily accessible from the homepage or product pages
- Use product images that clearly show how a product looks and works, and include at least two photos per item.
- Keep descriptions short and sweet. Consider using bullet points instead of paragraphs when describing each item.
Reconsider your funnel
Use the following tips to improve your funnel:
Tip 1: Analyze your funnel
First, identify the steps in your purchase process. Then, look for ways to reduce friction by reducing clicks or eliminating unnecessary steps.
Tip 2: Minimize distractions in your checkout flow
The checkout process is where most customers drop off, so make sure it’s as simple and streamlined as possible. You don’t want to distract them with unnecessary sign-up forms or newsletters during their one chance to complete their transaction.
Tip 3: Add a Buy Now button if applicable
Add a Buy Now button to allow customers to enter the checkout flow without returning to their cart.
Add clear CTAs
Make sure your CTAs are worded and designed clearly. Use action-oriented words like “Start Shopping” or “Buy Now” to tell customers what will happen when they click the button. Design with bold, contrasting colors and large fonts, so your CTAs stand out on the page.
Give your customers a sense of urgency with a timer, countdown clock, or other visual elements that shows them how much time is left before their deadline passes.
Finally, if you sell products that require customer service after the purchase, ensure your website provides an easy way for visitors to contact you for help.