‘Tis the season to shop ‘till you drop, with a growing number of ecommerce holidays offering deep discounts and other fun promotions. As a marketer, do you know how many ecommerce holidays we have in the last two months of the year?
More importantly, do you know how to stand out besides offering discounts?
We’ve got you.
End of year ecommerce holidays and how to make them profitable (besides impressive discounts)
The overarching theme for all ecommerce holidays is the same – great customer experience, great products, great prices – but we’ll give you some practical tips to increase your bottom line in each one.
Let’s start counting.
1) Singles’ Day (November 11)
If you’ve ever been single for an extended time period, you’ve felt the pressure everywhere – from your family to the movies. No matter what you accomplish in life, society will still define you by your singlehood. At a certain point, four college students in China had enough of that, and they created Singles’ Day, a day where singles claim their status and treat themselves.
They chose 11/11 as the date, since it’s like 4 singles standing together.
Surprisingly, couples have claimed this day too. Many choose to get married on 11/11, so…
Should you promote Singles’ Day to couples?
=> If you’re in the wedding industry, yes.
=> Otherwise, we recommend empowering your single customers. Couples get celebrated plenty in this culture. Be the one to encourage singles to celebrate other relationships – with family, friends, pets and mainly with themselves. In a world that puts them down, you can be the voice that builds them up and celebrates everything else they’ve got to offer.
As Statista puts it, “compared to Singles’ Day, Cyber Monday and Black Friday, the biggest online shopping days in the United States, look like exercises in frugality.” Therefore, Singles’ Day is definitely an opportunity for a messaging boost. If you do this well, you could turn this immediate revenue increase, combined with emotional connections with your customers, which are bound to keep converting long term.
2) Black Friday (November 25)
Back in 1869, two investors drove up the price of gold and crashed the stock market. For many businesses, the resulting financial loss was the origin of Black Friday, reports Business Insider. In the 1980s, retailers turned the meaning upside down, it added:
=> Accountants marked earnings in black and losses in red.
=> Retailers turned Black Friday into the ultimate shopping holiday, to increase sales and generate great profits – to be in the black.
Nowadays, some retailers offer Black Friday deals for an entire month, or even the entire holiday season.
Differentiate your company in the ocean of non stop Black Friday promotions
=> Provide the best customer service – post-purchase, too. You can have the best deals, but if you offer a terrible customer experience, many customers will go elsewhere.
=> Offer deals that are actually worth taking… and talking about with friends and social media followers.
=> Present promotions that go beyond discounts. You could give shoppers access to webinars or offline get togethers with experts or influencers to maximize success with their purchases, or offer that they participate in a roundtable regarding your next product launch.
3) Small Business Saturday (November 26)
In 2010, during the recession, American Express introduced Small Business Saturday to encourage Americans to support small businesses and empower communities. Additionally, when you buy from a small business owner, you’re directly impacting their ability to provide for themselves and their families or to realize their other dreams.
Empower your community and bottom line for Small Business Saturday
=> Partner with complementary, yet non-competitive, businesses to cross-promote each other.
=> Throw a community-based event. For example, if you sell musical instruments, offer free guitar workshops or let locals perform at your store.
=> Give back to local nonprofits. Maybe a percentage of your profit that day can go toward a charity. Instead, maybe you can give extra discounts to customers who donate.
4) Cyber Monday (November 28)
The sprint of ecommerce holidays continues with Cyber Monday – the first Monday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. But here, too, offering discounts is just the first step.
Ensure your website is ready for Cyber Monday
=> Verify your website, customer service and logistics can handle the extra work.
=> Make your website easy to use for everyone – decently sized fonts, convenient page division, efficient on-site search and as many accessibility options as you can provide.
=> Personalize customers’ experience as much as possible – from the ads their segment gets to the products that are offered to them on your site.
5) Green Monday (December 12)
In today’s culture, Green Monday might sound like an environmentally friendly ecommerce holiday, but it actually represents the big bucks of one of the most profitable days of the year. The term was coined by eBay in 2007, when environmental awareness was even less at the forefront than it is now.
Earn the big bucks on Green Monday
=> Ensure purchases’ Christmas arrival. Alternatively, if you can’t, be clear on that. Keeping customers’ trust is easier than earning it from scratch after they’ve been disappointed.
=> Claim Green Monday’s environmentally friendly associations. Customers care about the way their purchases make a difference. Buying decisions are easy ways to make an impact on such a huge challenge. Highlight any green products or packaging you have, or raise money with shoppers for an environmental cause.
6) Super Saturday (AKA Panic Saturday) (December 17)
Super Saturday takes place the last Saturday before Christmas, and it’s usually responsible for super sales for retailers from panicked customers, who haven’t finished their holiday shopping yet – hence both names. Super Saturday is all about in-store foot traffic, since it’s usually too late to ship presents and have them arrive in time for Christmas, but your website can play a significant role in this shopping holiday, too.
Make Super Saturday a super ecommerce holiday (whether or not you can ship in time for Christmas)
=> Retarget cart drop offs from other ecommerce holidays. Some customers might still be on the fence regarding gifts, and your ad could be just the thing they need to make a choice.
=> Overcome the “can’t ship by Christmas” challenge by offering in-store pickups or marketing Super Saturday as the chance to buy yourself something for the new year.
7) National Free Shipping Day (December 18)
Who wouldn’t want free shipping and guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve? National Free Shipping Day is the day to offer both for late shoppers, or to just anyone that wants to save a few bucks, especially in an expensive season like this. It’s a great way to generate sales from customers who would have otherwise left a purchase for “one day,” or to get customers to choose you over competitors if they still need Christmas Eve deliveries.
But before you offer free shipping, run some numbers to verify you can actually afford to do so, and make a plan to minimize risk.
Minimize risk and increase your gains on National Free Shipping Day
=> Limit free shipping to anything above a certain order value.
=> Alternatively, consider lifetime value instead of present day order value. There might be a long time customer, a big spender, that only needs a small product on National Free Shipping Day. This customer is still worth your investment because it pays off in her/his lifetime value and advocacy.
=> Offer free shipping to customers who sign up to your members’ club, or at least your email list. This way, you get the opportunity to keep nurturing the relationship and encourage them to buy again.
=> Make sure your logistic systems are set to meet delivery deadlines. You work so hard up the chain to wow your customers – you don’t want to lose them over that last mile.
8) Boxing Day (December 26)
Once upon a time, Boxing Day meant boxing up gifts to give to those in need. Now, for many people, it means shopping boxes. Celebrated mostly in the United Kingdom and countries that used to be its colonies, it’s a day dedicated to time with loved ones, sports and shopping.
Earn some extra revenue right before the year ends
=> If it’s relevant for your business, link your products to upcoming new beginnings. How can your products support customers in realizing dreams in the new year? Alternatively, focus your messaging on enjoying the present moment of the long awaited holiday season.
=> Some customers will use this holiday as an opportunity to return gifts. Welcome that opportunity with open arms. Offer deeper discounts than those you already offer on Boxing Day, or store credit, to encourage them to try another product, and see how valuable your business can be for them.
Do you need to celebrate all ecommerce holidays to finish the year strong?
Not necessarily. Some businesses will definitely benefit from celebrating all ecommerce holidays, while others are better off focusing on one holiday and making it the best their customers have experienced.
You need to consider what’s doable for your business. This includes how much in-store and back office support you can provide, how much traffic your website can handle, whether you can ship products in time for the holidays, and how much you can afford to reduce prices.
Once you figure it out, you can turn your attention to wowing your customers with so much delight, that these ecommerce holidays convert into long term, mutually beneficial, relationships.