Holiday Selling Secrets: Top Tips from Successful Online Retailers and Brands

This blog post is part of our 2018 Holiday Planning series. Be sure to check back often or, better yet, subscribe to the blog to stay updated with this year’s latest holiday trends, tips, best practices, reports and more!

As consumers gear up to spend $1,536 each on holiday goods and gifts, millions of sellers are working feverishly behind the scenes to get their marketing, selling and fulfilling in order.

The question on everyone’s mind right now is: Who’s going to win all those sales?

Only time will tell. But as you wait for the holiday orders to start flowing in, we have a resource you can use to stay ahead of your competition — one that beats even the biggest crystal ball.

We have stories from successful sellers.

Every year, ChannelAdvisor hears from numerous brands and retailers as they discover newer, better ways to land loyalty and sales. By applying the lessons they’ve learned from past peak seasons, you can inch your way even closer to an extraordinarily profitable Q4.

And so, without further ado, here are our top tips from fast-growing sellers.

Expand Your Marketplace Presence

As buyers get increasingly savvy about comparing prices and exploring shipping options, they frequently consult with an array of e-commerce marketplaces when making holiday buying decisions. The more extensive your presence on these channels, the more likely they’ll be to find you.

It’s not just emerging marketplaces to consider. Some of the biggest selling opportunities this season may involve adding channels that have long been on your radar.

Case in point: eBay. If you’ve been considering expanding to this marketplace, we have solid proof that this can be a great move for many sellers. After surveying nearly 300 brands and retailers currently selling on this platform, we discovered that 26-50% of their overall marketplace sales come from eBay. One seller quickly tripled eBay sales by focusing on expansion strategies to increase visibility.

Their advice? Use an e-commerce platform that makes it easy to manage everything from inventory to advertising to order fulfillment, without having to log in to multiple marketplaces and dashboards.

PRO TIP: Want a surefire way to reach more marketplace shoppers? Be among the first to leverage Google Shopping Actions and get your products listed on Google Express. Our e-commerce experts believe strongly that this new platform will be a big attraction for holiday shoppers in 2018.

Fine-Tune Channel-Specific Promotions

As tedious and time-consuming as it sometimes can seem, taking time to format the best holiday promotion for each individual channel is a must. The more targeted the promotions, the greater the returns; this is something that’s been recommended in countless conversations with strong sellers.

Sellers like Ames Walker and Pure Formulas.

After creating customized Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns, branded manufacturer Ames Walker’s Amazon sales shot up more than 10%. Meanwhile, health retailer Pure Formulas watched its average order value (AOV) rise 36% after focusing heavily on Facebook dynamic ad campaigns.

Both sellers were looking for new ways to ensure their products stood out in searches. Neither had time to tackle the associated tasks. So instead, they automated the processes of creating ad structures, optimizing content and getting good images into feeds … and made sure those data feeds were designed to meet each channel’s requirements and guidelines for successful campaigns.

PRO TIP: Are you struggling to maximize your return on ad spend (ROAS)? Not sure where to focus efforts for the 2018 holiday season? Our digital marketing experts are available to provide a complementary analysis of your ad accounts to identify new opportunities.

Get Aggressive With Your Pricing Strategies

If there’s one thing all successful sellers excel at, it’s product pricing. Being able to drop or increase the price of a listing at just the right moment has been the determining factor for many sales.

It’s also an ideal technique for boosting revenue during the holiday rush. Why? Because successful sellers have shown how dynamic pricing can lead to big revenue jumps in as little as one day.

Consider the case of Direct Home Supplies. After just 24 hours with a new algorithmic repricing strategy on Amazon, the retailer’s gross profits were up 46%. The company was instantly winning 135% more of the Buy Box and saw a 26% increase in total revenue.

Direct Home Supplies isn’t the only one. We’ve seen sellers experience an overall 50% increase in gross profits and 47% increase in gross merchandise value (GMV) after turning to dynamic repricing tools.

PRO TIP: Looking for a way to get even further ahead on pricing this season? Try Performance-Based Pricing to have adjustments made automatically based on real-time demand.

To Recap 

The above successes can be attributed to several highly effective habits of high-performing sellers — ones that will be helpful to any brand or retailer looking for proven ways to increase online sales this season. These habits include:

  • Expanding your marketplace presence to reach more holiday shoppers
  • Getting granular with channel-specific holiday promotions
  • Using pricing strategies as an easy way to win more sales

These are just a few of the many strategies used by successful peak season sellers, but they’re three of the most important. We’ll continue to cover the latest holiday trends, tips and best practices in our 2018 Holiday Planning series. If you’d like to receive new articles as they’re published, be sure to subscribe to the blog.

Editor’s note: This blog post was originally published on October 11, 2017. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.