The holiday shopping season has begun, as the passage of Halloween indicates that the holidays are almost upon us. The holiday shopping fever truly kicks in on Black Friday with the biggest shopping day of the year a few days later with Cyber Monday. There are many more holidays throughout December with the season ending on New Year’s Day. 

According to Statista, the US did $123 billion in ecommerce sales during the 2018 holiday season. To put that number into perspective, if the 2018 US holiday season market were a country, it would have the 57th largest economy in the world. A substantial amount of money changes hands during the holiday season and you do not want your business to miss out. 

Due to the increased competition for customers during the holiday season, most businesses will pull out all the stops to ensure their company comes out on top. If your business hopes to stand out from the crowd, you need to be creative — especially when it comes to online business. This guide will cover some creative ways you can market your company to boost ecommerce sales during the holiday season. 

Content First

Customers, especially online shoppers, have become wise to basic marketing techniques. This means traditional sales and marketing tactics have lost their impact over the years. Flashing a big number on the screen highlighting a sale is not enough anymore. Customers expect that brands put more effort into their marketing and not use the same tactics year after year. 

The main theme from 2019 of “content first” will persist through the holidays. Content marketing is more than simply creating ads, it is about providing something useful to the customer. Content, like holiday gift guides for different personas, is still marketing your business, but it is also giving the customer something of value. A gift guide offers specific products for people with different interests, potentially offering a solution to the impossible to shop for family members.  

Real Reason to Buy

The holiday season is known for impressive discounts that are only available this time of year. Online shoppers know what a good deal looks like and can also spot “deals” that are not worth their money. Customers are on the hunt for special offers and low prices, but not all deals are created equal. Many companies try to lure customers in with false urgency, but this tactic is working less and less as customers learn what makes a good deal. 

When creating your holiday sales make sure you are incentivizing shoppers to complete a purchase. If your brand rarely holds sales throughout the year but does have a holiday sale, make sure customers know that this is a rare opportunity to receive a discount. Alternatively, you can partner with a charity for a sale meaning you donate a portion of your profits creating a monetary and moral reason for customers to buy. Free or heavily discounted shipping on orders of a certain size is also a good reason to buy. 

You do need to walk the fine line between haphazard discounts and creating a genuine relationship with your customers. Having too many sales or too large of a discount can devalue your brand making customers less likely to make a repeat purchase. Find a good balance between sales with real reasons to buy and giving away too much. 

Holiday Decorations

Brick-and-mortar stores often decorate for the holidays, so it is only natural that online stores decorate as well. Adding some holiday flair to your company logo and website is an example of low-effort, high-impact marketing. Seeing holiday decorations may put customers in the shopping mood, especially if you highlight the time left until a certain holiday arrives. Even decorating your profile picture on social media can entice a customer to look at your online store. Be sure to have a link to your store in your profile to make it as easy as possible for a customer to reach your website. 

If you are having a hard time coming up with holiday decorations, look at Google Doodles for some original examples of simple, clean, and effective decorations. 

The holiday season is a very profitable time of year for businesses. With some creative marketing, you can draw more customers to your online store. Put useful content first, give customers a legitimate reason to buy, and add some holiday decorations to bring more customers in this holiday season. 


  • Nick Rojas

    Nick Andrew Rojas is a journalist and a self-taught serial entrepreneur who has worked with various startups as a business consultant. His work often discusses marketing, business and technology. He loves to connect so reach out on Twitter! @nickarojas. Nick volunteers for AMA Boston in his (limited) spare time.