Holiday sales for 2022 increased from 12.8% to 14.3% from the previous year. In the 2022-2023 holiday season, e-commerce sales are projected to reach a staggering $260 to $264 billion.
Amid economic uncertainty, it needs to be clarified how the holiday shopping season will look in 2023. Therefore, planning and preparing your brand for this time of year is essential.
Luckily, we’re here to help you prepare for this busy time of year.
Plan Early for the Holiday Season
It’s always early enough to plan for the holiday season. Every year the stats keep showing increased spending. Even though Covid, holiday sales grew 8% in 2022.
While most of these strategies gear toward e-commerce, you can still apply these strategies if you have a brick-and-mortar store.
1. Create Your Holiday Collection
When designing a holiday collection, there are two strategies you can use.
- Create new designs and add new products to your store, making a limited-time or seasonal holiday collection.
- Choose already existing items that you want to highlight. You can select best sellers, complimentary pieces, and items perfect for gifting.
Either way, you must create a specific holiday collection on your site. But you may be wondering: Why do I need a separate holiday collection? Is the existing offering I need?
A holiday collection is crucial because it helps narrow down the decision-making for your customers. This strategy is used throughout the year — not just during the holiday season.
For example, when it’s time for the Super Bowl, and you walk into the grocery store to buy something to make for the game, what’s on display right when you walk in the doors? Tortilla chips, dips, and all the soft drinks.
Stores do this because they know you’re likely already looking for these items, making for a happier and more straightforward customer experience. It also sets off a reminder for anyone who needs to think about the game.
You want the same for your online store. When someone goes to your site, you wish to have your holiday collection front and center, so they have a more effortless shopping experience. Therefore, it will also help prevent choice overload, where your customer is overwhelmed by too many options — thus, they do not choose.
2. Decide What Your Promotion(s) Will Be
Especially around the holidays, everyone is looking for a deal and expecting free shipping. Therefore, it’s time for you to sit down and see what you can offer your customers to stand out from the competition and close sales.
Here are a few ideas of promotions you can run for your retail business:
- Offer a 15 or 20% discount. Discounts often incentivize customers who have yet to plan to purchase something.
- Offer a gift with purchase or gift with purchase (GWP). A highly effective sales tactic is where the customer receives a gift after spending a specific amount.
- Offer customers free shipping. It’s easy to think there’s no way to afford free shipping, but the age-old industry secret is that you bake the shipping cost into your retail price. This way, you don’t lose out on revenue, and your customer is getting a perceived deal. It’s also excellent for a customer to shop and know there won’t be additional fees at checkout. A bonus to offering free shipping is that some marketplaces, like Etsy, will boost your products’ search rankings because they want their customers to have a great shopping experience.
3. Create Graphics
Once you have your holiday promo locked in, it’s time to create graphics for all things digital, including your social media profiles, email campaigns, and website.
If you need more help and guidance creating eye-catching graphics, check out Canva. Canva is an excellent tool with customizable templates and graphics. There are some premium features that you can pay for, but there are more than enough free options to get the ball rolling. You can easily create a cohesive theme and campaign across all your platforms with Canva.
4. Set Deadlines
Setting deadlines is a critical part of preparing for the holiday season. If you don’t set deadlines for yourself, your dates will come and go — and you’ll quickly realize your unpreparedness for this busy time of year. Or, you’ll be left the week of Thanksgiving trying to figure out what sale you’ll run for Black Friday — leading to stress and strategies thrown together last minute.
One simple tip to help you is: Work backward. For example, if you want to run a sale on Black Friday, ask: When would you like to send out announcements for it? You can send out promo info a week before, or you’d feel more prepared doing it two weeks earlier.
Regardless of when you decide to start notifying customers of upcoming promos, mark that date. Then, work backward again and ask: How long will it take to create that announcement — including the text, the graphics, and other elements? Will that take one week, or will it take you three with the workload you’re juggling for different tasks?
Keep working backward until writing everything down with a mini deadline beside it. Therefore, keeping you on track and helping you accomplish your goals with as little stress as possible.
5. Plan Your Social Media Shopping
In 2022, social commerce revenue reached over $724 billion, and we expect that figure to increase in 2023. As a result, social media shopping may be a new concept for many businesses and consumers.
Thankfully, many e-commerce platforms have great integrations with platforms like Facebook and Instagram, making it easy to leverage these channels to increase your brand’s reach — and sales.
The first step to planning your social media shopping for the holiday season is to look into what your e-commerce platform offers. If they don’t have a direct integration with social media platforms, there may be an app that you can add to your store to help with this.
Add this research and new selling method to your calendar as you create your deadlines. You want to be as ready as possible for this holiday season. Planning your training and learning this new strategy will help keep you from getting stressed and position yourself to make the most of this holiday sales season.
Enter the Holiday Season Prepared
The holiday season is always busy for e-commerce businesses — and can quickly become highly stressful. Luckily, with planning ahead of time and going in with a strategy, it doesn’t have to be.
Implement these tips to prepare for the holiday season and watch the sales rolling in!