Ecommerce Guide for the Holidays

October 5, 2023 | By Sam Pelton
Family at Christmas opening gifts

‘Tis the season for ecommerce! (🎶Fa-la-la-la-laaa la la-la laaaaa! 🎵)

If you belong to an ecommerce business, you’re probably well aware that the holiday season is rapidly approaching.

After all, an estimated $200–$239 billion was spent annually in ecommerce holiday sales in recent years.

So you know how important the holiday season is to the health of your business.

And with October already here, it’s time to fully nail down your holiday plan, because Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost at hand.

So what can you do to make sure you’re making full use of the holiday opportunities?

This guide will walk you through some practical steps you can take to make sure you get the most bang for your holiday buck (or should I say… reindeer?). 🎅

The first major tip we’ll go over is how to use SMS during the holidays.

View a PDF version of this article here.

Why Ecommerce Businesses Should Use SMS for the Holidays

Women looking at catalog

You’re almost certainly not using SMS to the fullest when it comes to your ecommerce business.

We all know that texting is one of the best ways to really reach people—including customers and prospective customers. But how robust really is your SMS plan in general? How much are you texting your customers? Are you texting them at all?

Never fear! There’s time to get started before the holiday rush sinks in. And if you’re reading this later on and the holiday rush has already started—well, better late than never!

Sending texts to your customers and prospects gets your messages right where they’re looking (their phones), so they’ll actually see and pay attention to what you’re sending.

Ways Ecommerce Businesses Can Use SMS for the Holidays

People calling during the holidays

In case you need some concrete examples of ways you can use SMS this holiday season, here they are…

Holiday Promotions

With so many holidays back to back, there are about a million and one opportunities to create compelling holiday promotions that speak to your audience and help you drive up sales. You can run longer term campaigns as well as strategic flash sales according to what you think will be effective.

Abandoned Cart Notices

You may find you have a lot of abandoned carts as the holidays approach, with people doing extra shopping. Make sure you have a compelling “abandoned cart” SMS in place—perhaps offering some kind of exclusive discount—that can give people an extra nudge to complete their purchase.

Upselling / Cross-Selling with Product Recommendations

The holidays are a perfect time to suggest related products when people are purchasing or when they’ve added products to a wish list or shopping cart. You can send texts with recommendations on similar products that people have purchased and perhaps offer a discount on them. Or you could present upsell options such as gift wrapping, expedited delivery, warranties, or other similar offers.

Event Promotions

Hosting a webinar? Virtual shopping party? Some other special event? Sending text announcements, updates, and reminders about your event will help drive up attendance so that your events can be as successful as possible.

The Do’s and Don’t’s of Ecommerce Marketing for the Holidays

Ecommerce marketing for the holidays doesn’t stop at taking full advantage of SMS.

Here are a few other do’s and don’t’s you should consider…


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Family with Christmas gifts

Maximize Upsell Opportunities – Brainstorm what types of upsells you can offer. We previously mentioned offers such as gift wrapping, expedited delivery, and warranties, but depending on your product there could be any number of upgrades you could provide for your customers. Think about the types of add-ons you could offer… and then offer them!

Create Content – There are so many different kinds of content you can create to help engage with your audience. And the holidays are the perfect time to tell a compelling story through blog articles, social media posts, podcasts, and videos. Make them useful, interesting, and high quality, but don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress. In today’s social media age, content (particularly video content) doesn’t need to be professional-level quality in order to be successful.

Build Anticipation – The holidays don’t come as a surprise to anybody. You know it’s coming. Instead of just blasting promos the day of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc., you can whet your audience’s appetite for what’s to come by building anticipation ahead of time. Let people know that something’s coming and to stay tuned. Give them smaller offers and content in anticipation of the bigger deals to come.


Family eating Christmas dinner

Don’t Rely on Social Media – Social media is one of the least reliable marketing channels in your arsenal. Don’t get me wrong, you should be posting and engaging on social media. But it’s best not to rely on it too much, because then you’re at the mercy and whims of the social media algorithms. Instead, focus on other channels like SMS as your more reliable drivers for sales.

Don’t Neglect to Test (and Analyze) – You can test and analyze which of your efforts have the most success so that you can better determine what resonates with your audience. A/B testing is one of the best ways to determine what kinds of copy, creatives, offers, or any other element of your campaigns work the best.

Don’t Forget About Gift Cards and Certificates – The holidays are the prime time for people to buy gift cards. (Because sometimes it’s just hard to know what to get that special someone, so a gift card is just easier!) You can even promote your gift cards by offering a deal—for example, buy $100 of gift cards and get a free $20 gift card. People will feel like they’re getting free money so they may simply buy the gift cards for themselves to use, which helps ensure repeat business.

One Tip to Rule Them All…

Here’s a question: how’s your customer support?

Can people reach someone quickly when they have a question? Every minute you make them wait is a minute lost on the road to becoming a loyal customer.

When they do reach someone, can they get their question or issue resolved quickly and easily? Or do they have to cycle through menus and different reps and explain their story 5,927.4 times?

Giving your customers a good support experience can win their business forever.

Giving your customers a bad support experience can not only lose their business but can lead to negative reviews and word-of-mouth, which can do significant damage to your brand and your sales.

So don’t be slack when it comes to offering above-reproach support.

It is the holidays, after all… And we want everything to be merry and bright.

Take the first step toward ramping up your SMS this holiday season—get a free Mobile Text Alerts trial account to see how easy it is.

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