Holiday Sales Season Field Guide: Optimising Your E-Commerce Retail Strategy for the Peak Sales Season

November 30, 2022

The holiday season is coming soon and bells are not the only things that are going to be jingling - cash registers are expected to chime as customers spend more at the end of the year. In fact, customers are expected to spend an average of US$1,430 on gifts, travel and entertainment in the 2023 holiday season, according to a study by PWC. These customers are predicted to do 57 per cent of their shopping online and 43 per cent in stores. 

For retailers, this holiday season presents a massive opportunity for them to up their game and capture this spending amidst increasing web traffic. With traditional outreach methods like heavy digital advertising spending losing their glow, brands are looking for new ways to attract audiences and capture customer revenue. 

In this article, we explore how e-commerce retailers can maximise the year-end sales season with promotional and operational tactics to be prepared for these crucial few months.  

What Is the Holiday Sales Season? And Why Is the Holiday Sales Season Important for E-commerce Brands?

The holiday sales season, also known as the “peak period” or “peak sales season”, is the time of year during November and December when retailers experience a significant increase in sales. This is particularly the case for e-commerce retailers which get a sharp rise in web traffic as customers go online to do their shopping ahead of Christmas and other key sales dates. Many retailers report that over 20% of their annual sales take place during this season - making it the busiest time of year for most online retailers. 

Some key dates during the holiday sales season include:

1. Single’s Day (11 November) - Single’s Day, or 11/11, is a holiday and shopping date that celebrates people who are not in relationships. The biggest shopping day in the world, Single’s Day is a 24-hour shopping holiday festival where retailers across Asia offer substantial online shopping discounts. 

2. Cyber Week

Black Friday (4th Friday of November)

  • - Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and is traditionally the start of the Christmas holiday shopping season. 

Cyber Monday (Monday after Thanksgiving)

  • - Cyber Monday is Black Friday’s sister shopping holiday. It was created by retailers to encourage people to shop online.

3. Christmas Eve (24 December) - The day before Christmas, Christmas Eve is the last opportunity for customers to do their last minute Christmas shopping.

How Can E-Commerce Merchants Win During the Holiday Sales Season?

Sell Across Online and Offline Sales Channels

Omnichannel has been a buzzword for 2023 and this concept remains relevant for retailers going into the end of the year. Customers are going to browse and shop for goods across the virtual world and in real life - brands thus need to engage with customers everywhere they shop. From building an in-store experience that is educational and engaging, to interacting with customers in holiday-themed live streams, brands have to connect with customers across diverse online and offline touch points. 

Prioritise Gaining and Maintaining Loyalty 

As customers are looking for better deals and unique products, the holiday sales season is a prime time for challenger brands to compete with popular products. The last few months of the year are, thus, an important time to attract new loyal customers and retain existing ones. Brands should build long-term relationships with customers through rewards and customer retention programmes. For example, brands can encourage customers to sign up for these programmes and be given special deals, discounts, and rewards for engaging with the brand and buying products. In this way, customers are likely to continue to purchase from brands beyond the holiday season and into the new year.

Focus on Customer Service

While the holiday season is the busiest time of the year, brands still need to provide excellent customer service to ensure a positive experience. This is particularly important as many customers will be encountering brands for the first time. Businesses need to plan ahead to deal with the holiday rush and provide a great customer experience. Conversational commerce is a great way for brands to provide customers with options for frequently asked queries and other requests. Tools like self-service chatbots and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram can help to reduce the workload of customer service staff - helping to simplify the customer service journey and meet customer expectations. 

How can SHOPLINE help your business scale and grow online and offline during the holiday season?

SHOPLINE is Asia’s leading omnichannel platform - helping over 350,000 merchants across the world to succeed across digital and physical channels. From providing a platform to start your own e-commerce website that integrates with popular marketplaces like Lazada and Shopee to cutting-edge live stream commerce and point-of-sales software, SHOPLINE is the ideal platform for brands looking to succeed during the crucial peak holiday sales season. 

Looking to integrate online and offline retail solutions ahead of your holiday sales? We highly recommend using SHOPLINE to grow and scale your business. It’s easy to use, perfect for beginners, and incredibly affordable. Sign up for a 14-day free trial to get started.

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