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7 Holiday Marketing Strategies

Optimize your e-commerce performance this holiday season with our comprehensive guide to holiday marketing strategies.

The holiday season is a crucial time for e-commerce businesses as it presents ample opportunities to boost sales and engage with customers. Consumers of all demographics are primed to shop, looking to make purchases from both new and familiar businesses. A strong marketing strategy can help your brand thrive during this lucrative, busy time. In this guide, we’ll review some of the top holiday marketing strategies and best practices so your brand can enjoy success this holiday season and beyond.

The #1 Rule of Holiday Marketing: Plan Early

Regardless of what marketing strategies you choose for the holiday season, you should always start your holiday marketing planning well in advance. How early truly depends on the types of products you sell, but most experts agree that your marketing department should be creating a strategy six months before the holiday season starts. This allows you plenty of time to stock up on inventory, create signage and other promotional materials, design holiday graphics for your site and social platforms, and more.

You should also create a detailed schedule that outlines the dates and types of promotions you'll run during the upcoming holiday season, including a cadence for email communications, social posts, and more. Beyond that, you should start demand forecasting so you know how much you should stock of each product once the holidays roll around. You’ll also want to get your customer service and sales teams ready for the increase in order volume by polishing up their sales skills.

7 Top Holiday Marketing Strategies

Incorporate a few of these strategies into your holiday marketing plan or use them all–each one can help boost sales, increase brand awareness, and promote customer loyalty. These strategies can be used by small businesses, startups, and even large enterprises to increase brand awareness and boost sales during the holiday season.

1. Promote Special Offers and Discounts

With such a concentrated increase in spending, consumers will no doubt be looking for ways to save during the holiday season. Exclusive holiday deals, discounts, and promotions can all help in this regard while increasing sales at the same time. One of the best deals to offer during the holidays is free shipping. With giants like Amazon already offering free shipping year-round, smaller brands can leverage this as a special offer during the holiday season as shoppers look to buy more personalized gifts from niche businesses. 

Some brands have one big sale going on throughout the season, while others rotate their deals weekly to incentivize repeat customers. Determine which method is best for your brand and start advertising!

2. Lean Into Email Marketing

Sending holiday-themed emails can foster a sense of connection and loyalty with your brand. By expressing gratitude to your customers and offering special rewards, you strengthen the relationship and encourage repeat business beyond the holiday season. Include sneak peeks of upcoming deals, early access offers, and reminders for limited-time promotions. 

Remember, your competitors will also ramp up email marketing during the holidays. Foregoing this strategy could mean your customers choose your competitor's products over yours simply because your brand is out of sight, out of mind. Email marketing is a relatively low-cost way to stay connected to a large audience and promote your products, so don’t neglect this powerful marketing strategy.

3. Partner with Influencers

Influencer marketing is a powerful strategy because it provides you with the opportunity to get in front of a large, owned audience. Whether they have a few hundred, few thousand, or a few hundred-thousand followers, influencers have one thing in common: the trust and respect of their audience. 

During the holidays, collaborate with influencers who align with your brand to promote your seasonal offers. Their reach and credibility can help increase both brand visibility and sales. 

4. Create Gift Guides and Bundles

Holiday shopping can be overwhelming. Help your customers out by creating gift guides based on different customer segments, interests, and price ranges. Create more sales opportunities by suggesting product bundles that simplify shopping and make it easier for customers to find suitable gifts for friends and loved ones.

Take it a step further by adding a product locator to your website. A product locator helps customers find those gifts that you’ve suggested to them at a convenient location near them. This tool is perfect for overachievers starting their holiday shopping in August or for last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve. Just make sure to link your product locator in a prominent location during the holiday season so customers can quickly access it.

Request a Grappos product locator demo today →

5. Turn to Social Media

Social media is an incredible tool for brands, especially during the holidays. Social media marketing helps increase brand awareness, allows you to connect with customers, and even helps boost sales. Leverage your social media platforms to showcase your holiday offers, run contests, and engage with your audience. Use holiday hashtags and encourage user-generated content related to your products.

Learn more: How to Boost Alcohol Sales Using Social Media -->

6. Partner with a Charity

The holidays are usually a time of giving and goodwill. Consumers will be eager to support businesses that dedicate a portion of sales to charities or nonprofits. Consider partnering with a charity and donating a portion of holiday sales to a worthy cause. This can boost customer goodwill and encourage them to support your business even after the holidays have passed.

7. Implement a Seasonal Website Design

Give your website a holiday-themed makeover with festive banners, colors, and graphics. This holiday marketing strategy is especially effective if your brand doesn’t have a dedicated brick-and-mortar location customers can visit. It helps customers get into the holiday spirit and might even remind them they’ve still got a few people to buy gifts for.

Don’t forget these other important website features! 9 Must-Have E-Commerce Website Features [+ Bonus Tools]

Tis the Season

Strategies aside, the key to successful holiday marketing is creativity, excellent customer service, and delivering an amazing product. Tailor your strategies to fit your target audience and brand identity, and monitor the results to make data-driven improvements for future holiday seasons.

Let Grappos help! Our Product Locator and SearchTracker help your business by aggregating and analyzing search data from customers looking for your products. Identify gaps and opportunities, spot emerging trends, and more with Grappos on your side.

Request a demo today →

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Eric Kunisawa

Founder & CEO

Eric Kunisawa is the founder of Grappos. He's been successfully helping businesses connect customers with their products since 2008.

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