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How to Prep Your Ecommerce Store for Holiday Sales

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By Emily Nelson - October 8, 2023- in Go-Getter Blog

If you’re eager for the ecommerce holiday rush, make sure you give your customers a reason to come, buy, & come again. But there’s more to do than rake in the profits, or you could be setting yourself up for stress. From the right marketing to ensuring you have enough inventory, here’s how to prepare your ecommerce store for the holiday rush.

Launch Your Email Marketing Campaigns Early

The time to launch a holiday email campaign isn’t the week before. Start six to eight weeks early & tease out upcoming specials, new products, & sneak peeks. Launching early also gives you an idea of your open rate & allows time to make tweaks. Your goal is to condition your audience to anticipate your sale, know what to expect, & be ready to buy.

Choose Top Sellers

Kickstart your ecommerce store for the holidays with your top sellers. Review what’s currently selling best & what sold well during your last holiday sales cycle. You can also position your ads & social media fodder around those top sellers to move more inventory & draw interest. 

Beyond selling more of what already works, consider pairing those best sellers with slower-moving items with a cross-sell or upsell. If your best-sellers are print-on-demand hoodies, try pairing them with pants, hats, or socks. You’ll anchor the sale with your best seller & help boost items that are slower to convert.

Plan Your Inventory

Online traffic increases up to 220% on Black Friday & 155% on Cyber Monday, with a longer sale cycle proving more effective than a flash sale. But is your inventory ready for the traffic & influx in sales? Make sure you have the products you need to cover the holiday shopping frenzy. Of course, holding too much inventory proves expensive & costly to store & fulfill. 

Instead of guessing what you’ll need, rely on print-on-demand (POD) production & fulfillment to take care of everything for you. Upload your designs to CustomCat’s library, choose your products, & we’ll take care of the rest. When someone buys one of your items, we produce, fulfill, & ship it for you so you can focus on building your business.

Need more ideas for getting on top of your inventory? Read our guide, How to Handle Out-of-Stock Products in Your Ecommerce Store.

Create a Gift Guide

Gift-giving is a stressful occasion for many people who can’t figure out what to get their loved ones, colleagues, & clients. Polls show that 52% of people say that finding the right gifts for people causes them a lot or a little stress over the holidays.

Make it easier for shoppers to buy with creative gift guides. You can use your own website, Instagram stories, YouTube videos, & digital catalogs to show off your gifts. Not sure how to do it on your own? Consider working with a graphic designer to create holiday flourishes & a professional-looking guide.

Promote Bundled Gifts

Bundled gifts make it easier for shoppers to buy & increase their order size. Bundle like-minded items together with a slight discount than ordering them separately. Customers will enjoy the value & feel more enticed to buy. Here are a few print-on-demand bundled gift ideas to offer your customers:

  • Ornaments & artwork
  • Blankets, pillows, & color-changing coffee mugs
  • T-shirt, jacket, & hat

Remember to create a design or theme to carry across your bundles for a cohesive & engaging look.

Increase Your Live Chat Hours

Customers who aren’t sure what to buy & have questions are more likely to buy when they can talk to someone or get help. Creating searchable FAQs is one place to start, but you should also increase your live chat hours. Research shows a 91% satisfaction rate with live chat support. 

Increase your live chat hours during your sales period, but remember to account for returns or any customer service issues. Keep your extended hours for a few weeks after your sale to enhance the customer journey from start to finish.

Consider Remarketing

Remarketing, also referred to as retargeting, helps you target ads to people who visited your ecommerce store but haven’t taken action yet. You can use retargeting with Facebook ads, Google ads, & beyond for multiple touchpoints to convert more customers.

Another strategy is to combine remarketing with holiday-themed landing pages. Drive your customers to specific pages displaying a secret offer, enticing sale, or with holiday touches & graphics to engage potential customers.

Need more marketing ideas? Read, How to Fire Up Your Marketing Engine

Plan Discounts & Sales

Arguably better than Thanksgiving itself are all the sweet, sweet deals that follow the holidays. Now is the time to sort out the types of discounts, sales, & promotions your e-commerce store will run during the holiday hype. Promotions boost sales & make it easier for customers to choose what to buy, especially if they are undecided. From the classic “buy one, get one free” sale, to a limited-time free shipping event, planning out these deals ahead of time is essential to your success.

Stand out from the crowd with post-holiday specials & market it as a “last chance” or “oops, you forgot the biggest shopping sale of the year.” You’ll face less competition & attract customers eager for last-minute sale shopping.


What’s your favorite way to prep your ecommerce store for holiday sales? Let us know by leaving a comment below!


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