9 eCommerce Holiday Marketing Strategies to Drive Sales

Jade Cottee
Jade Cottee
Content Marketing Manager
an influencer promoting christmas sparklers
Table of contents
Insense is a marketplace to collaborate with creators for UGC, posting, and whitelisted ads. 
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The holiday season is upon us once again. 

While many families are planning meals and gifts, ecommerce brands are thinking of marketing plans for their businesses. 

The holiday season is that time of the year that presents brands with an opportunity to leverage the buying frenzy in order to:

  • Raise their brand awareness
  • Increase sales
  • Get new customers

We want to help you make that happen and that’s why we’ve put together 9 marketing strategies that’ll help you drive sales during the holidays.

Sounds good, right?

Let’s jump right into it!

1. Leverage Social Proof with UGC

Holiday season is the buying season. 

Statistics show that about 60% of American shoppers plan to treat themselves to a good time during the holidays.  

Since people are willing to shop, how do you get them to visit your online store?

That’s where social proof comes in!

It’s simply showing potential customers proof that other people find your product or service valuable, thereby sending a subtle message that you’re the real deal. 

People like to know that their fellow shoppers have good things to say about a brand before buying from them. 

That’s why over 80% of Americans seek recommendations from close friends and family before making a purchase. 

By using social proof as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll be giving people a reason to buy from you

Essentially, you’ll be leveraging the fear of missing out (FOMO) as no one likes to miss out on the good stuff. 

Now, user-generated content (UGC) can be the social proof you need. 

It’s content produced by existing customers, creators, or influencers for your brand.  

Customers often put out UGC not because you asked them to but because they found your product or service valuable. That makes your brand look authentic.

So, you can ask for their permission to use their UGC in your marketing campaign.

Another way to get UGC is by partnering with creators and influencers as Mac Cosmetics did in the screenshot below: 

Image Source: TikTok

They partnered with Devin Halbal, a TikTok influencer,  for their holiday campaign.

Collaborations like this allow you to leverage the influencer’s audience (they usually have a lot of followers) influence, knowledge, and people’s trust in them. 

This can bring you tremendous results as it did in the TikTok video above. 

The clip has about 1.7k comments and 100k likes which is a good way to let people know what you’ve got in store. 

2. Build Relevant Social Media Campaigns

If you have a social media presence, you should consider launching a social media marketing campaign to drive sales.

Why?

Well, a good percentage of the people you want to reach are on social media. In 2021, over 4.26 billion people were reported to be using social media. 

Aside from that, people also spend a lot of time there with statistics showing that the average user spends at least 147 minutes daily on social media. 

So, building a campaign on social media will be a step in the right direction if you want to drive sales to your online stores. 

Especially since a report by Sprout Social predicts that more holiday shoppers will visit social media this year because of how much they’ve become dependent on the ease of digital shopping. 

You see what we’re driving at, right?

Creating a social media campaign can help you: 

  • Get your product in front of the right people
  • Develop a deeper connection with your audience 
  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Drive sales

An example is this post from Red Iguana, a beauty brand on Instagram.  

Image Source: Instagram

It was a post made during the holiday season with their product catalog available for people to shop. 

How do you build a social media campaign? 

  • Decide which platform you want to use
  • Take a look at what your competitors are doing 
  • Determine your target audience
  • Choose the ad creative you’d like to use
  • Understand what the goal is
  • Create content in line with your objectives
  • Promote it on your preferred platform
  • Create a social media calendar to help you 
  • Schedule posting time
  • Keep track and analyze what’s performing well so you can scale it
  • Create social media challenges (contests, hashtag challenges)  

3. Work with Creators Who Do Holiday Content Right

Working with creators is a marketing strategy that can help you increase your sales record during the holiday season.  

The partnership grants you access to a broad audience thanks to the creators’ follower count. 

You’ll get access to people who follow and trust them so when they see the creators talking about your product, they’ll be more inclined to buy from you. 

What’s more, studies have shown that TikTok ads featuring creators increase ad recall by 27%.

So if you partner with them for your holiday marketing campaign there’s a good chance that they’ll draw people to your store and increase conversions. 

That’s what Mac Cosmetics is doing as part of their 2022 holiday promotions.  

Image Source: TikTok

They partnered with Joy, a beauty content creator, to create a post for their holiday sales. 

Author’s Note: To get the most out of the partnership, ensure you partner with creators in the same niche as you.

Now, how do you find creators to work with?

You can use a creator marketplace like Insense.

To get started, you’ll need to sign up or log in to access our dashboard. 

Then, generate a creative brief so the creator knows more about your brand and what you want. 

Once the brief is approved, you’ll be matched with creators based on the information provided in the brief. 

And the partnership can begin.

4. Try Creator Licensing (aka Whitelisting)

Another holiday marketing strategy you need to try is creator licensing

It’s taking your partnership with creators to the next level by obtaining their permission to use their handles to run paid campaigns.

Creator licensing is like running paid promotions on your social media platform, but instead of viewers seeing your brand name, they’ll be seeing the creators’ handle. 

Essentially, it would be like the creator is the one running ads.

This marketing tip is a great option because it can:

  • Help you reach and get new customers, as 50% of marketers say partnering with influencers has helped them acquire customers
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Improve authenticity
  • Run paid ads on a budget

If you want to try this option, we’ve got an ebook that explains in detail everything you need to know about creator licensing

There are a couple of things you do need to keep in mind with creator licensing:

  • Work with creators in the same niche as you 
  • Ensure they match your brand identity
  • Be clear about what you want

5. Customize Your Email Campaigns for the Holiday Season

Business owners need to have multiple options for their holiday marketing plan and email marketing should be one of them.  

It’s one of the best marketing strategies out there with statistics showing email as a channel with one of the top returns on investment (ROI).

To be specific, it’s currently responsible for marketing revenues of about $9.2 billion and these are expected to hit $17.9 billion in 2027.

While marketing on social media is great, you’ll be leaving money on the table if you’re not sending out holiday emails as part of your marketing efforts. 

Now as a customer yourself, you’ll agree that this is one season where customers will be wading through lots of promotional offers, so you want your email to be unique. 

How do you do that?

Customize it with the theme for the holiday season like this Halloween-themed email from Bloom & Wild. 

Yours can be designed this way or be Christmas-themed, Thanksgiving-themed, or New Year-themed depending on what you want. 

The emails could be:

  • An announcement of your holiday sales
  • A special holiday greeting
  • A reminder of special offers expiring  

6. Launch New Products

A product launch? During the holidays?

We get that it sounds stressful, but it’s bold in a good way too, and here’s why:

New products are attractive. People love new stuff especially during the holidays when the holiday rush and frenzy are high. 

It’s also a great way to grab people’s attention as they’ll want to see what this new product looks like and its features. 

Essentially, it’s a good way to spark their curiosity and get them to visit your online store. 

When launching a new product, you want to:

  • Ensure it’s distribution ready before the holidays. In other words, the development, production, and awareness phase need to have begun long before (at least 5-7 months)
  • Ensure it has cool packaging 
  • Launch creative ad campaigns around the product-launch period

That’s what Kiko Milano, an Italian skincare brand did last year just before the holiday season. 

Image Source: Instagram

They added new beauty products to their catalog. 

Kiko Milano also made sure they added the IG shopping feature to their post so people could head over to their shop from there. 

7. Run Holiday Sales

Another way to boost sales or increase your conversion rates during this season is to run special holiday sales. 

You know, similar to Black Friday or Cyber Monday offers that are offered within a certain time frame. 

It could be a discounted offer that’s only available during the holiday shopping season so it creates a sense of urgency that’ll lead to conversions.

Here are some ways to run holiday sales:

  • Sell products in bundles
  • Give coupons, gift cards, and discounts to your loyal customers
  • Change product packaging to a holiday-themed version
  • Create a holiday gift guide
  • Provide early access to discounts

More importantly, let them know about the holiday sales by sending out emails or putting out posts on social media like this video created for Sephora.

Image Source: TikTok

They partnered with a micro-creator to produce content for their holiday sales and went ahead to show the different products on sale. 

In a subsequent video from the creator, the products from Sephora came in special holiday-themed product packaging which confirms what we were saying earlier on. 🎄 

8. Offer Discounted or Free Shipping

Aside from the fact that people love freebies, free shipping can be the deciding factor as to whether customers proceed to the checkout page or not. 

A 2019 study showed that 90% of consumers say free shipping is one of the top reasons they shop online.

In a different study, 50% of the people surveyed said they would avoid stores that don’t have a free shipping option.

So, if you’re after more ecommerce sales, put this into practice. 

You don’t have to give them free shipping if you can’t (it’s ideal though). In that case, what you can do is offer discounted shipping. 

This offer from Pacsun, a fashion brand, is an example of what we mean:

Image Source: TikTok

They merged this and our previous holiday marketing idea as we can see from the text overlay in the TikTok video

Customers had a 50% discount off purchases made on their site plus free shipping. 

Offers like this go a long way in helping you create a remarkable customer experience for your clients. 

Plus, it might be what helps you begin to rival eCommerce giants like Amazon.

9. Start Implementing Your Holiday Marketing Strategies Early

Finally, you want to ensure that all your digital marketing strategies are implemented before the holidays.

Why is this important?

So you can build hype around your offers and get people anticipating what’s to come

Also, considering the competition is high around the holiday season, it’s important you begin the groundwork so you don’t go into crash mode at the last minute when the holidays finally come. 

Early implementation keeps your customer base expectant and ready to buy

Here’s another example from Mac Cosmetics:

Image Source: TikTok

In this video, they didn’t display any product, it was just a teaser video showing beautiful Christmas-themed packaging. 

The video was uploaded in September, three months away from Christmas and their comment section went ‘bananas’ after seeing it. 

That kind of hype is what you need if you want to drive people to your eCommerce store during the holidays. 

It can also help you increase customer retention if you start early enough to attract new audiences. 

2022 Social Media Holidays Calendar 

To make the most of the holidays for your small business, you need to be aware of what days they fall on. 

This will help you plan ahead of time and create useful content for your audience. 

That way, you’ll get to share in those special dates with your audience, thereby building deeper connections that can lead to engagement, retention, awareness, and loyalty all year round. 

Well, here’s what the social media holiday calendar looks like: 

We’ve got less than two months till the end of the year: that leaves you with just five social media holidays to prepare for:

  • Thanksgiving Day, which precedes Black Friday and Cyber Monday 
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year’s Eve

Knowing this can help you launch a successful holiday marketing campaign by preparing beforehand. 

You might want to bookmark this calendar to use it for future purposes. 

Let’s tie this up! 

Now Over to You

Ready to launch a successful marketing campaign for your ecommerce store this holiday?

The strategies mentioned in this piece will set you on the right path. 

With more people willing to buy more during the holidays, it’s important that you position your brand so you can increase your sales and overall revenue. 

If you like the sound of that, feel free to book a demo with Insense so we can guide you on what to do next. 

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This FAQ section was added as a way to provide answers to any questions you might have after going through this piece. 

But if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, feel free to reach out to us for more clarification. 

Q1. What makes a great holiday marketing strategy?

A good holiday marketing strategy is simply one that produces results. 

More specifically, it’s a marketing strategy that:

  • Is planned well in advance
  • Grabs people’s attention
  • Gives customers a personalized touch
  • Gets you more sales
  • Is effective even after the holidays
  • Is run throughout the year
  • Gets people to refer friends and family 

Q2. How do you promote holiday sales?

There are different ways to promote your holiday sales and here are some of them:

  • Partner with creators and influencers 
  • Run paid promotions
  • Leverage email marketing
  • Run giveaway contests
  • Offer free shipping
  • Grant early offers
  • Create gift guides

Q3. What is the best way to engage your eCommerce customers during the holiday season?

If you want customers to engage with your brand during the holidays, make use of user-generated content (UGC) as part of your promotions. 

UGC is content produced by customers or creators who’ve used your products, so it serves as social proof to anyone who sees it, making them more inclined to engage with you. 

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Jade Cottee

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