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

This blog post is part of our 2017 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!

Things sure have changed. Once upon a time, Black Friday meant a flood of foot traffic and lengthy lines of consumers willing to wait hours for a single sale. Then the growth of online shopping drew droves of purchase-ready consumers to PCs and mobile devices instead of stores.

As shoppers get ready to click and swipe their ways through an anticipated $114 billion holiday buying season, successful sellers are preparing to execute on everything from proper pricing and promotions to fast fulfillment.

We frequently speak with these growing sellers about what specific steps have led to the biggest GMV boosts. After numerous interviews, we’ve gathered some highly effective holiday habits of high-performing sellers.

Home in on Channel-Specific Holiday Promotions

As tedious and time-consuming as it sometimes can seem, taking the 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.

Within the first three months of using Sponsored Products, the branded manufacturer’s Amazon sales were up more than 10%. After 10 months, Sponsored Products were producing over $100,000 in sales at a 9% cost.

“We wanted to find ways to make sure our products stood out in searches,” said Kaki Zell, VP of Sales and Marketing. By relying on technology designed especially for managing promotional campaigns and content across numerous e-commerce channels, Zell was able to set up new campaigns “in no time” at “pretty low costs,” making those marketplace-specific promotions a proven selling strategy for peak seasons.

The profitability of highly targeted advertising has been born out in countless other e-commerce success stories across channels. For example:

  • After relying on digital experts to “create ad structures, get images into the feed and handle the technical aspects” of Facebook dynamic ads, Pure Formulas experienced a 36% lift in average order value (AOV) accompanied by a 38% decrease in cost per click and 125% increase in clickthrough rate.
  • In using product content optimization technology to optimize product data feeds, some 14,000 Peter Millar products were showing up in Google results — up from roughly 5,000 just days before.
  • With channel specialists fine-tuning Google AdWords and Google Shopping campaigns, Seismic Auto increased its gross sales 1,250% while decreasing spend 50% over the course of nine months.

Keep Partner Relationships Strong

If your online retail relationships have fallen by the wayside, now’s the time to give your partners some overdue attention. As consumers search high and low for gift planning and purchasing, retailer-brand relationships will play a critical role in landing sales.

For example, consider what happened when Power Stop optimized its website to connect visitors directly to preferred resellers. One click now takes shoppers to product detail pages where they can make instant orders.

QUICK TIP: No matter which side of the retailer-brand relationship you fall on, taking steps to reclaim the flame will go a long way in securing seasonal sales successes.

Prioritize Ongoing Marketplace Expansion

Consumers have more online buying options than ever, which means they’ll be looking everywhere for gift purchases this season. The more extensive your e-commerce presence, the more likely they’ll be to find you.

It’s not just emerging marketplaces that offer significant opportunities for holiday sales. Some of the biggest-selling opportunities this season may involve the addition of channels that have long been on your radar.

Case in point: eBay. If you’ve been considering expanding to eBay, we now have solid proof that this could be a great move for many sellers. After surveying nearly 300 brands and retailers about their experiences with eBay and ChannelAdvisor, we discovered that:

Those survey results help explain why Captain Dave’s eBay sales tripled within three months of the company turning its focus to technology designed to streamline eBay marketplace data feeds, inventory management and more.

QUICK TIP: Eager to expand to new channels, but not sure where to start? Everyone needs a little help from an expert once in a while. Consider Self-Service Plus for access to our e-commerce consultants that will help you optimize your strategy for maximum performance.

Go Global with Sales

As the prime holiday selling season inches closer, taking your e-commerce across borders may sound like too big a move to consider. But with programs like Amazon Global and eBay Global Shipping, selling to highly-profitable international audiences can be a quick and painless process.

Today’s e-commerce marketplaces in particular offer a bounty of options for growing international sales channels, without the need for a bevy of new processes or expenditures.

Quick Tip: Some of the world’s biggest spenders today are in China, where the affinity for US and European products is high. One way to easily reach this audience is through Liking, a Tmall Global marketplace that sells goods from US merchants directly to online consumers in China. Click here to learn more.

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:

  • Getting granular with channel-specific holiday promotions
  • Ensuring brand-retailer relationships stay strong
  • Being open to channel expansion throughout the holiday selling season
  • Tapping into easy opportunities for selling to international audiences

For more on this year’s latest holiday trends, tips and best practices, check out our 2017 Holiday Planning series throughout the season for regular updates.

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