The most wonderful time of the year is the busiest season for shoppers and retailers alike. With Black Friday & Cyber Monday recently concluded and the rest of the holidays is about to wrap up, yet your online store still does not make the most out of last holiday season.

All you want is Santa would grant your only wish this year: a holiday sales as high as the reindeers could sleigh. But you have mistakenly made your holiday plans more complicated than ever or felt short in anticipating various bumps along the road. Either way, your holiday sales is not as promising as you thought it should be.

What might have hindered your holiday sales to skyrocket? You would be surprised to know that you might have practiced these common marketing mistakes.

We have listed them down and armed you with smarter fixes for you to reach a prosperous holiday sales next time.

Mistake # 1 – Failing to redesign your website to embrace the  holiday spirit

Your website presentation during the holidays affects your consumers’ perception about what you could potentially offer them during the merriest season. Sometimes online retailers are reluctant to outlay the expense of redesigning their websites to embrace the holiday warmth because it means more costs on their end.

Try imagining shoppers visiting your website to look for items for their Christmas exchange gifts but your site is outdated with your summer design from two years ago. Chances are they will sense that you are not the trusted source for their holiday shopping. The mistake of failing to redesign your website is causing your online store to claim that forecasted $96 to $98 billion of e-commerce sales for this year’s holiday season.

How can you do differently next time:

  • Deck the halls, decor your online store: Physical retail stores always set up festive decors during the holidays to entice shoppers with their holiday promos. Take the same approach to your online store by dressing up your website with the holiday warmth. But make sure to stay true to your brand. For example, if you are a baking shop, ginger breads and ginger houses are holiday elements too irresistible not to add.
  • Hang Christmas stocking, hang holiday header and banners too: Change header or add banners to your website to easily promote your milestones sales events during the holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Christmas.

ecommerce common mistakes

Lazada’s changed its header to add “All you want for Christmas…” headline. Plus, an added banner of their Christmas deals

  • Sing a carol, add a holiday link to your navigational menu: Consider to provide an ease to your shoppers by updating your navigational menu with a link to your holiday deals and products.

increase holiday sales for online store

A “Holiday Essentials” link was added to an online supermarket’s website

  • Flashing lights, also flash a holiday coupon pop-up: The moment shoppers enter your website, you can flash a holiday popup to welcome them, put them right to the holiday shopping mood and promote special holiday offers which are up for grabbing.

better coupon box popup

Source: Better Coupon Box app

Mistake # 2 – Not dedicating a landing page to promote your holiday deals

Landing pages focus on one thing: converting online visitors into leads. And that is why creating a dedicated landing page during the holidays can help you translate the enormous flock of holiday shoppers into a prosperous holiday sales.

Yet, 76% of surveyed online stores did not  use a landing page that focused on a holiday sale. With the threat of aggressive competition during the busiest shopping season, you need to provide a page that focuses on promoting your holiday items solely. Landing page helps you eliminate the barrier of short attention span of shoppers too.

How can you do differently next time:

  • Be explicit, highlight holiday special offers and promotions.

holiday discounts

JCPenny heavily promotes its holiday discounts on its landing page

  • Make it fast and easy, help shoppers find the right deal. For optimal conversion rates during holidays, help your shoppers find exactly what they are looking for with a gift finder, guide, ideas or navigation.

holiday items

Kohl’s landing page has incorporated a creative menu of links to different holiday items based on possible shoppers’ preference

Mistake # 3 – Offering unattractive holiday discounts and deals

With the convenience of online shopping, nowadays, shoppers have become smarter buyers. They can easily compare prices to get the best possible deal. In 2015, 70 percent of shoppers have made price comparison amongst different online retailers prior to their purchase.

Unattractive holiday discounts and deals can be traced back by pricing your items without checking your competition. Holiday customers are shopping not just one item since they’re either buying for gifts for their loved ones or for themselves. But sometimes, you are discounting the wrong items. If you want to maximize your shoppers purchases, provide them with deals and discounts that are far better than your competitors.

How can you do differently next time:

  • Bundled Holiday Items: Provide a clear “Save as much as $$$” if your shoppers purchase a bundled item.

holiday discounts with christmas bundles

2XU offers enticing holiday discounts with their Christmas bundles 

  • More discounts for bulk orders: Holiday season is notorious for corporate Christmas parties which sometimes require corporate giveaways. Don’t lose this opportunity, Provide bigger discounts for bulk orders.
  • Bigger discounts on clearance sales: This will help you expedite getting rid of old inventory.

Mistake #4: Failing to provide curated holiday shopping lists

Online shoppers during the holiday season can be under a lot of pressure. Either they have limited time to buy a gift for their office Christmas party or the best token for their family reunion, shoppers are always rushing to buy.

And so, this is an important lesson that many online retailers fail to take advantage of: creating of a curated shopping list.

How can you do differently next time:

  • Build holiday gift guides or ideas

gifte guides for online shoppers

InStyle curates different features of gift guides for its online shoppers

  • Create Santa’s picks or recommendations
  • Provide trending wish lists
  • Promote most viewed holiday items

Mistake #5: Not influencing shoppers’ urgency to buy

Holidays is not a whole year round event. It is seasonal, and so eventually it will last. If you are not aggressive enough to create your shoppers’ sense of urgency, then you are losing a lot of precious time.

Even though the holiday season has a very limited time, you can still work in manipulating time to influence shoppers’ behavior to rush and buy their holiday items before they last.

How can you do differently next time:

  • Be aggressive on sending push app notifications to promote your holiday sales: If you have your own mobile app, always send push notifications to remind or entice your app users regarding your holiday deals and discounts.
  • Create countdown timers on your holiday sale events and products: A lot of shoppers want the best deal possible, so in order not to lose your potential sale to your competitor make sure to close the deal right there and then by adding countdown timers or “you only have x days left” to your milestone events and products during the holidays.

countdown timer on ecommerce site

PC Mall features a countdown timer on a weekly deal

Mistake # 6 – Underestimating the power of influence through social ads

72% of shoppers say they would rather see small & medium businesses’ ads on social media during the holidays, instead of campaigns from big retailers. Social ads can be helpful for holiday shoppers on getting gift ideas and finding holiday discounts, coupons or sales.

Despite this, one-fourth of companies still lack in a dedicated social media team to build strategic content and monitor social media performance. Astoundingly, there is still 34% of small businesses that do not have any social media presence at all.

How can you do differently next time:

  • Highlight your holiday sales in your social ads: Make sure that your holiday discounts are easily seen in your audience’s News Feed.

how to increase holiday sales

Gap’s Facebook is is direct and sharp in highlighting its holiday deals and discounts

  • Include pictures of your holiday products in your social ad image: You holiday social images can paint a thousand words for your holiday shoppers. Incorporate pictures of your holiday items to your social ads so they will know which products are worth giving.

exclusive holiday discounts

L’occitane’s Facebook ad includes a collection of their products with exclusive holiday discounts

  • Try creating holiday carousel and video ads: Carousel ads and video ads are good tactics to celebrate the holiday season while promoting your products. Carousel ads allow multiple pictures to be featured and video ads grant longer airtime to promote your holiday sales.

instagram ad to increase holiday sales

Williams-Sonoma’s Instagram video ad for Thanksgiving is a way to celebrate the event but at the same time an enticing strategy to promote its products

  • Run social media holiday contests to promote your products

twitter contest to increase sales

Dlish Cupcakes promoted their holiday cupcakes by running a Twitter contest

  • Capitalize on Social listening for highly targeted social ads: Social media can help online retailers identify major holiday trends and product keywords related to their stores. It can help your store make smarter decision on which product to promote on a specific social platform based on the most product chatters.

Making a list… Checking it twice…

Seasoned online retailers or not, making mistakes with your marketing strategies, especially during the holiday season, is sometimes unavoidable. However, it is not always the end for Santa to grant your wish. These mistakes can be helpful in creating a foolproof holiday marketing plan in the future.

Making your list of holiday marketing ideas to boost your holiday sales should not stop there. Checking it twice to validate performance can help you overcome these common holiday mistakes. Plus, we have given you with powerful strategies on how to prevent them.

So surely, you will have a ho-ho-holiday success!

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