5 Tips For Retailers in This Holiday Shopping Season

For many businesses, the holiday season represents almost 30% of total sales. Furthermore, as the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a formidable catalyst for eCommerce, you should expect that demand in 2021 will likely surpass that of 2020.

Many businesses enter their holiday marketing with substantial ad budgets, making it hard to compete. However, the holiday shopping spree season is a wagon you want to hop on, no matter the budget.

That being said, we will share five practical tips that will make the most of your budget during the upcoming holidays.

1. Make sure your business can handle a surge in demand

Before you start planning your holiday marketing campaign, it's crucial to ensure that your business can handle the high surges in demand during the holiday season. So, to prevent your company from finding itself stuck in a bottleneck, plan out all of your business processes, from inventory management to delivery.

Make sure your inventory holds plenty of products, and prepare a backup plan if a shortage does occur. You can foresee how much product you’ll need by checking last year’s orders. However, keep in mind that this season, demand will probably be higher, so adjust your planning accordingly.

With the increased demand for your product, you can expect your website to get more visitors than usual. Therefore, it is essential to ensure enough server capacity to handle the increase in traffic.

Finally, since higher demand requires more packaging, shipping, customer support, and so forth, make sure you have enough trained and engaged staff that can carry the expanded workload. 

A slight increase in the number of employees brings more responsibility, paperwork, and processes that you need to handle. For instance, more seasonal employees mean more paperwork, such as tax reporting, invoicing and payrolls handling. You can use innovative solutions to keep your processes organized and structured in one place: e-signature for policy updates, shift schedulers, paystub generators, time trackers and similar. 

2. Optimize and personalize your landing pages

Even the best marketing campaign could fail to achieve desired results without adequately optimized landing pages. If you are wondering what can your business do to improve its productivity–one of the answers is keeping your landing pages up to par to ensure the highest percentage of conversions for each dollar invested.

Although effective landing pages will remain effective regardless of the season, you can make certain tweaks to improve them for the upcoming holidays.

For instance, if you are preparing for Christmas, you can use appropriate color themes and show a Christmas motive throughout your landing pages. This will increase user engagement and their overall experience, thus leading to more conversions.

Here are a few tips for optimizing landing pages for the upcoming holiday season:

  • Implement holiday-themed CTAs
  • Create a sense of urgency with time-limited special offers
  • Make sure your promotions and specials are prominently displayed
  • Keep your message clear
  • Simplify the visitor’s path to conversion
  • Optimize your landing pages for mobile users

3. Social media giveaways

Giveaways are always an excellent way to engage with your existing followers, acquire new ones, and build hype for an upcoming holiday. They are particularly apt for businesses that don’t have massive marketing budgets.

62% of giveaway participants will share your promotion and encourage others to enter. By running giveaway campaigns, you are effectively turning your followers into brand promoters. In other words, giveaway campaigns equate to (almost) free marketing.

You can implement different giveaway contests depending on the social media platform you choose. While Instagram is the platform most consumer marketers will opt for, ideally, you should select the platform your customers spend most of their time on. Your contest can be an Instagram hashtag contest, a photo caption contest on Facebook, an interactive holiday-themed quiz, etc.

Make sure the prize doesn’t put a noticeable dent in your budget but keep in mind that it has to be good enough to get your audience to act. A prize that your audience doesn’t consider worth their effort will result in low engagement with your campaign.

4. Hyper-personalized email marketing

Email marketing is arguably the best channel for promoting holiday sales. It is also an excellent way to engage with your customers and acquire new ones; with little investment. The changes in customer behavior caused by the pandemic have only consolidated email marketing as the number one holiday marketing tool.

Responsive email templates only require a customer to press the “Buy Now” button, and the shopping may start. According to a report by Forbes, consumers are increasingly looking to take advantage of discounts and time-limited sales during the holidays. This makes email particularly effective, especially with mobile users.

Apart from using emails to promote your special offers and flash sales, a holiday gift guide is an excellent way to address your customer’s pain points directly. As the holiday season approaches, lots of people experience a phenomenon known as gift-giving anxiety. This is essentially a feeling of anxiety caused by not knowing what to get to the loved ones for the upcoming holiday. 

By sharing gift guides in your emails, you can address their problems and alleviate some stress of choosing holiday gifts. You can make this strategy even more effective–create multiple tailor-made guides for specific segments of your audience. 

5. Collaborate with influencers in your industry

Customers are generally inclined to trust and take recommendations from actual people, and influencers, in particular, are highly trusted by their audience. This is why collaborating with influencers is another effective way to increase your holiday sales and acquire new customers.

The key is to find influencers in your industry whose values are in line with your company's values. Start by finding micro-influencers with reasonable engagement rates on social media, and make sure they will make good advocates for your brand. 

Once you've compiled a list of influencers, reach out to them with your offer. 

Furthermore, and most importantly, try to keep your marketing copy open-ended and in line with the style of your chosen influencers' content. Remember that trust from their audience is their bread and butter, and only a few influencers will agree to promote something they don't believe in.


During 2020’s November-December holiday season, retail sales totaled a bit less than $800 billion in the US alone. However, in 2021, these numbers are expected to be even higher.

To make the most out of the upcoming holiday season, make sure your business can handle the increase in demand and bring your marketing up to par. The tips shared here require a little investment but will yield significant results.

Learn more about the Docusign Agreement Cloud for Retail.

This is a guest post contributed by Samantha Clark, Account Executive, ThePayStubs.