This year’s Christmas shopping season is quickly coming to an end. But there’s still plenty of “Christmas is almost here” marketing that online retailers can use to boost sales.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Cyber Week, and Green Monday — the best days for online holiday sales — are behind us. Many online retailers have already achieved great success, others are still trying to scoop up every penny, nickel and penny they can. Those still looking for sales are also probably looking for ways to bring in a few more customers and, of course, earn a little (or a lot) more revenue.
Fortunately, there may still be plenty of customers to be had. More than 75% of U.S. vacation shoppers would still have shopping to do by Dec. 25. As these shoppers feel more pressure to get Christmas gifts and potentially ship those gifts nationwide, they are likely to shop online.
Here are four marketing tactics online retailers can use to maximize last-minute Christmas sales.
Promote your shipping schedule
Many Christmas shoppers have waited too long and are quickly running out of time to buy gifts for family and friends. These procrastinating shoppers need to figure out how much time they have left. So consider publishing and promoting a holiday shipping schedule or calendar for US domestic shipments, such as the following.
December 15: Last day to ship via United States Postal Service Standard Post.
December 17: Last day to ship via FedEx Home Delivery and similar services nationwide.
December 18: Last day to ship via FedEx Home Delivery and similar service for relatively nearby destinations.
December 22: Last day to ship using services like UPS 2nd Day Air parcels.
December 23: Last day to ship using services like UPS Next Day Air parcels.
December 25: Last day to ship via FedEx Same Day to select markets.
Merchants could feature them as a countdown on their sites or in content. It may also be a good idea to link to USPS, UPS, and FedEx delivery schedules.
These ship dates will also make great headlines for marketing emails, social media posts, on-site banners, pay-per-click advertising, Pandora ads, and even YouTube ads.
Free delivery day
In addition to your last day before shipping promotion mentioned above, it might be a good idea to promote Free Shipping Day on December 18th. In fact, there might even be a chance of getting listed on the Free delivery day websitewhich could generate a significant amount of additional traffic.
Even if a retailer doesn’t advertise on the Free Shipping Day site, it may still be a good idea to offer free shipping on December 18 with the promise that the package will still arrive before Christmas Eve. In most cases, it will still be possible to ship via ground service to achieve this goal.
Use site banners and notifications, email and social media to help promote Free Shipping Day offers.
Last minute discounts
Some last-minute shoppers may actually be reluctant, waiting for end-of-season sales to try and save money.
These savvy shoppers know that retailers don’t want to end up with too much inventory in the first quarter of the year, when sales are traditionally slow. This excess inventory can hurt cash flow, cause storage and warehousing problems and, in the worst case scenario, linger until next Christmas.
So give them what they want, look at items that don’t sell quickly (or aren’t the types of items a store would repurchase) and price those products after Christmas before the holidays don’t. actually happen. Remember, if a retailer is hoping to sell an item, it’s much easier to do so when last-minute Christmas shoppers are visiting in droves.
Again, consider using email, social media, blog posts, pay-per-click advertising, Pandora, and YouTube to promote those last-minute discounts.
Gift card offers
Gift cards can be a great last-minute Christmas promotion, and there are actually two ways to use them for holiday sales.
First, gift cards (or electronic gift certificates or codes) are themselves good gifts. US shoppers are expected to spend an estimated $127 billion on gift cards this year, and in the next two years alone, gift cards could account for 18% of all Christmas purchases. Additionally, gift card recipients often spend up to 40% more than the value of a gift card when redeeming it. Gift cards can be a big win for retailers.
Second, gift cards or their electronic equivalent can also be discounted – a shopper can purchase a $50 gift card for $45. Gift cards can also be discounted and delayed, so the buyer gets the $50 gift card at a discount, but can’t spend it until Christmas.