Holiday Preparation Part 1: Visiting the Ghosts of Holidays Past

August 3, 2018

Brands By Bradley Hearn

If you want surefire way to drive more traffic this holiday season, optimize for search. Even in the age of social commerce and mobile shopping apps, search still has real staying power for e-commerce: This one digital marketing method drove 45% of site visits during the 2017 holiday season.

That tip was one of more than a dozen takeaways from the first webinar in our inaugural Holiday E-Commerce Strategy Series.

During The Ghosts of Holiday Past — Get Ready for 2018, we shared a bevy of lessons learned from the latest shopping holidays (check out a high-level summary of the presentation below):

  • The 2017 holiday season
  • 2017 Singles Day
  • 2018 Amazon Prime Day
  • 2018 back-to-school season

How did consumers discover new sellers? What offers drove them to choose one retailer over another? And how can you turn the lessons learned from these peak seasons into best practices for the upcoming holiday shopping?

Here are a few highlights from the webinar:

Leverage The Big Online Shopping Holidays — Even if You Can’t Participate in Them

You already know about the importance of participating in Amazon Prime Day. But did you know that July 16 was the year’s biggest shopping holiday for Target, too? Amazon’s annual event has led to a buying frenzy across the internet, no doubt as deal hunters compare prices and seek out sales on other marketplaces and webstores.

Next up is China’s Singles Day — the 24-hour November shopping extravaganza that hit $25 billion in global sales last year. And that was just for activity on Alibaba’s platforms. Across all major marketplaces, same-day sales have been said to reach $40 billion.

Even if you’re not participating in the actual Alibaba-sponsored event, there will be plenty of opportunities to reach Chinese consumers who spend big on US products. By making a strong investment in product promotions for November 11, you can help ensure your offers will get in front of purchase-ready consumers as they shop around.

Quick tip: If you’re ready to start selling to Chinese consumers, be sure to check out ChannelAdvisor’s global marketplace integrations.

Study Past Sales Data to Keep Future Stock in Line With Demand

When it comes to end-of-year inventory, the advice was straightforward: “Stock up, don’t stock out.”

As any experienced seller knows, running out of inventory during an online shopping holiday means running out of opportunity. Now is the time to reexamine last year’s performance, study historical sales data and get up-to-speed on the latest buying trends. The more you can learn from previous seasons, the better you’ll be at avoiding overselling or understocking for the upcoming online holiday shopping season.

Quick tip: If you use the ChannelAdvisor platform, be sure to leverage Demand Forecaster for accurate predictions on how much inventory you’ll need to meet upcoming holiday sales volume.

Pay Attention to the Procrastinators

If there’s one thing we’re learning from this year’s back-to-school season, it’s that selling potential tends to stay strong to the bitter end. You just have to know how to cater to the stragglers.

Plenty of procrastinators have been waiting for the best deals to complete their school supply lists, and the same is likely to hold true for holiday shopping to come. Case in point: The second-biggest shopping day of 2017 wasn’t an official sales holiday, but rather December 23 … two days before Christmas.

Something as simple as reminding last-minute shoppers of cut-off dates for shipping can create the sense of urgency they need to complete purchases quickly.

Eager for more holiday selling tips? The above takeaways are just a few of the many actionable insights shared during our webinar on The Ghosts of Holiday Past, which is now available for viewing.

And that’s just for starters. Over the coming weeks, our five-part webinar series will continue with an in-depth look at various digital marketing, selling and fulfillment strategies you’ll need to succeed this season. Register right now for all four remaining webinars today!

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