Top 5 Online Holiday Shopping Tips for Marketers

Written by Zac Johnson
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We are quickly running through the last few months of the year, and holiday shopping is just about to get into full swing. Whether you are planning on pushing affiliate related offers, or running your own ecommerce store, it’s important to make sure you and your landing pages and web sites are ready for business. Here are some of the top things you need to be aware of to increase sales and revenue during this years holiday shopping!

Offer Free Shipping!

Did you know that 70% of customers in the United States will NOT order from a web site if the shipping cost is more than $4.99! If you aren’t currently offering free shipping, do a full inventory check and see what your average shipping cost is, and how long you can possibly offer free shipping before “rush shipping” needs to be applied.

Start Working on Your Holiday SEO Now

75% of customers intend to purchase when conducting a search, especially during the holidays. This means if your web site or online store isn’t showing up in the major search results, you are missing on some big sales volume. Quick tips for SEO holiday improvements? Adjust your title tags to a holiday focus, write new quality content for holiday traffic, that targets holiday shopping. Don’t forget… you also need a great deal of link building for best results!

Holiday Based Newsletter and Emails

No one likes getting a ton of emails from merchants and online stores, but when you do get them, they should stand out. Make sure you have holiday focused emails that grabs the customers attention. Some great tips for getting your customer to click beyond the email, is to include gift ideas and holiday related promotions and discounts. In 2009, 60% of users bought an online gift card, so don’t forget this option.

Holiday Based Site Design

Just like we mentioned using a focused newsletter and email design for the holidays, you should do the same thing with your web site. No need to go crazy with a complete redesign, something as simple as a Santa hat on your logo, or holiday related promotions work great. Also, don’t forget to include a countdown for upcoming holidays and how soon customers need to place an order for packages to arrive on time.

Make it Easy for Your Customers

Let’s face it… holiday shopping is hectic and very frustrating. From trying to find the best deals, to knowing when you can place an order without having to pay a ton for last minute shipping, there is a lot you need to know. As a marketer or ecommerce site owner, it’s important to lay everything out as simple as you can for your customers. A few key points you’ll want to cover; last day to ship notice, having a clear return policy and definitely adding a gift cards section to your main page.

Online Holiday Shopping Facts

Year after year the internet completely blows away the amount of shopping that is placed during the holidays. If you aren’t ready for the holiday spending spree, you still have time to get started, and be more than ready when it comes along next year.

  • 70% of customers in the United States will NOT order from a web site if the shipping cost is more than $4.99
  • In 2009, 60% of customers bought an online gift card
  • 2010: U.S. Online Holiday Spending Approaches $22 Billion for the Season, Up 12 Percent vs. Year Ago (source)
  • 59% say they will buy mainly on the web (source)

Volusion has also created a video, which recaps everything I covered above. If you are looking to start your own online store, they are a great solution to go with. I have personally used them for many online stores over the years.

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20 Replies to “Top 5 Online Holiday Shopping Tips for Marketers”

  1. Nice tips,

    Thanks for mentioned these all tips for how we can increase our business in festival season. Actually this is the right time if any body wants to start their own business and he/she will follow these simple ways of online marketing then i think he/she will get success.
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  2. Good tips it is always good to plan ahead and get a leg up on your competition. You can also buy a keyword rich domain name related to whatever your trying to sell for the Christmas season.
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  3. Hey, Zac!
    In my opinion this is the correct time to have all those tips, the season holidays are here, and it’s the right time to start using some techniques to improve sales or profits. Online marketing is proven to be essential for any kind of business and with Christmas near us there is even more need to it. Thanks for this useful share, always good to keep an eye on things.
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    1. In some cases, if you are going after high end keywords and search phrases, you will need to start at least six months out. Indexing and rankings takes a lot of time to show in the results, especially in such a competitive market/time.

  4. Free shipping is like one marketing strategy of other online businesses. Customers will think that they are getting what they're paying for that they really deserve a free shipping. It's like a bonus part. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Great stuff overall man!
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  6. Great tips. I will definately be working on some holiday sites.
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  7. Hi Zac

    How do you think Volusion stacks up against I just came across WPMUdev over the weekend and it seemed pretty slick for shopping carts using wordpress.

    Kind Regards


    1. I never used WPMU, but I have used Volusion. I know Volusion is built for some heavy and advanced store usage, but also can be setup by newbies.

  8. Zac…some great tips here. It's amazing how shipping is such an important factor for people's online buying decision. People do it for convenience but can't seem to justify the convenience if the shipping is more than the $4.99 you point out. You effectively see sellers work some of the shipping into the product cost and psychologically the consumer would prefer that than the higher shipping and lower product cost.
    My recent post CPA Network Not Paying?

    1. I'm sure most customers would rather see it worked into the price, then a small site promotion discount, instead of seeing a big shipping cost at the end. That would make for a good case study…

  9. The same tips SEO, Site design are also applicable for bloggers who can simply find buyers and send them into Stores like Amazon.

    Gift card idea looks new to me, let me try in my affiliate blogs ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Of late I've finally been having a little luck with selling on Amazon. Its been heartening to see this post. Seems I'm on the right track.
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  11. Offering free shipping to international customer may be unreliable. One must ship with tracking number so both parties will be a little bit confident that the package is going to the right direction.

  12. This is brilliant! You mentioned that people using search engine would more likely make a purchase. This makes sense since this people are in action and looking for something they want to buy. Thanks again, Zac!
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