The holiday shopping season is a key busy period for online shopping. And not only are consumers purchasing one-off holiday gifts for friends and family—they’re also investing in repeat purchase options. 

In fact, according to our annual State of Subscription Commerce report, new subscribers grew 41% for subscription merchants between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2022. Those few days are crucial for setting up recurring revenue that continues to come in throughout the year from loyal customers. 

To prepare for such an influx of purchases and new online shoppers, ecommerce merchants need to plan ahead. In fact, now is the time to start preparing your marketing efforts for any ecommerce holiday sales.

Looking to ensure a successful holiday shopping season for your ecommerce store? We’ve got proven tips and strategies to maximize the quality and quantity of your online sales during the major shopping holidays.

Key takeaways

  • To set themselves up for a successful holiday shopping season, ecommerce businesses should start planning months in advance.
  • Major shopping holidays, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are crucial for not only driving one-time purchases, but also recurring ecommerce business.
  • To boost ecommerce sales and increase customer satisfaction during the holidays, an online store should consider strategies like offering product bundles, providing order flexibility, and streamlining the checkout process.

5 key tactics to add to your ecommerce holiday checklist

Assorted red and brown holiday gift bags with white tissue paper

Preparing for an influx of holiday shoppers impacts multiple areas of your business, from your analytics to your site design to your customer support efforts. As you’re looking ahead to the holidays, consider these five strategies to make the most of your sales during the busy season.

1. Optimize your website 

During the holidays, it’s especially important that shoppers are able to navigate your site with ease. Whether they’re a returning customer purchasing a gift for a loved one or a prospective customer considering buying from you for the first time, it’s key to make sure your website is easy to navigate.

Elements to focus on include: 

  • Ensuring fast page loading times and site speed
  • Optimizing your website for mobile and social commerce
  • Streamlining your checkout process, simplifying it as much as possible
  • Offering both subscription and one-time purchase options for certain products

2. Add flexibility to the user experience

Whether a shopper is purchasing an item for themselves or a loved one during the holiday season, it’s crucial to make the purchase experience flexible. This is especially important for subscription merchants, whose customers require even more flexibility due to the built-in recurring relationship.

Consider creating a landing page for your subscriptions that explains the various ways they can be modified, like swapping flavors, rescheduling deliveries, or changing the quantity of an order. By making your subscriptions flexible and clearly communicating this upfront, you reduce barriers to purchase.

Additionally, having a flexible returns process (and communicating it clearly) can help encourage customers to purchase and reduce any perceived risk associated with purchasing from a new store. 

Finally, consider adding flexibility by empowering subscribers to gift a subscription order that they would have otherwise skipped to a friend. Not only does this help you retain the revenue of the order, but it also presents an opportunity to gain a new potential customer.

3. Plan holiday promotions & product bundles

When shopping for gifts, customers are constantly seeking out holiday deals and promotions from their favorite brands. Give them a great reason to return to your site or visit it for the first time with exciting product offerings and deals. 

While you can create new or limited-edition products specifically for the holidays, offering product bundles is an excellent alternative. This way, you can package together an assortment of your bestselling products, or curate a box of them based around a certain theme—making an ideal gift that a customer can easily purchase. 

Other ideas to consider include:

  • Creating product collections that group together excellent gift options by different price points
  • Including compelling holiday visuals, banners, and other messaging
  • Showcasing special, holiday-themed content on your blog or social media accounts
  • Offering free gift wrapping for orders that reach a certain minimum threshold
  • Providing limited-time discounts to shoppers who purchase within a certain period

4. Enhance customer support & engagement

During the busy holiday season, it’s important to have several support structures in place to help your customers address any confusion or frustration they may have. Consider providing multiple different communication channels for customer questions, such as live chat support, chatbots for certain questions, and phone support. 

Additionally, be sure to have self-service customer support options so shoppers don’t have to engage your team to solve any issues they may be having. Make sure your product detail pages are clear and easy to understand, and consider creating an FAQ page to address any common questions. 

The faster your shoppers are able to resolve any issues they may have, the more likely you are to gain a valuable holiday sale.

5. Analyze your results & make adjustments

To gain maximum insights about your holiday sales and hone your strategies for next year, be sure to continuously monitor and analyze any KPIs tied to your specific company goals for the season. By using analytics to identify patterns in product performance and customer behavior, you can better understand what’s working well and what may need to be adjusted for future improvement. 

Plan ahead for your best holiday shopping season

Don’t miss your opportunity to boost sales during the holiday season. Plan ahead for upcoming holiday dates, start early, center your customers, and hone in on your analytics. By taking a multifaceted approach to holiday preparations, you can make the most of your busy periods and set up your business for maximum recurring revenue.