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Promo strategies
10 Promotion Ideas for Magical Christmas
Dagmara Kamieniarz
Dagmara Kamieniarz
November 30, 2021
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10 Promotion Ideas for Magical Christmas

All I want for Christmas is...the best Christmas sale. It applies to both customers and companies. As we all know, Christmas time is the most magical time of the year. With cozy, sweater weather, it is the time of thoughtful (or not) gifts, cute decorations, and what’s most important – joyful and cheery Christmas marketing campaigns. But the 2021 commerce landscape can be more treacherous than you might think.

How to run a Christmas campaign in 2021?

According to the National Retail Federation, customers plan to spend 998$ on average for this year’s Christmas. That’s why creating a good Christmas marketing strategy is a must if you want to boost your sales results before the year closes. Before we jump to campaign ideas, let’s take a look at some statistics first. 

Due to COVID-19 still raging on, in 2020 internet sales made 46% of retail sales, which was the highest growth since 2008. The pandemic and an ongoing supply chain crisis (for more information, see our article) will surely make this year’s Christmas harder – also customers started purchasing Christmas gifts earlier, afraid that their goods won’t arrive on time. Taking all of the above into account, the time to plan your Christmas campaign is now. 

How to choose the right channel for Christmas sales?

Another important thing to remember is the channel choice. As reported by Software Advice, social media and email are two channels that provide most of the profit from Christmas online sales.

Chart: What Marketing Channels Delivered the Most Return on Investment at Your Last Campaign?

What are the most popular Holiday promotions?

Discounts, coupons, and deals on popular products are the top three Christmas promotion ideas. You can also consider using gift cards as they are of the most popular type of Christmas gift. Especially in the context of pandemic-related shipping delays – as gift cards aren’t affected by stock problems, they may save your Christmas campaign from going down the drain. 

Chart: Which Tactics Does Your Store Use to Drive Sales This Holidays?


As you can see above, free delivery is in the fourth position, but based on Deloitte's research, we know that 85% of customers prefer free shipping compared to fast delivery (15%). This year, offering expedited shipping may be an overkill given the logistical issues. 

Chart about importance of free shipping as a part of marketing strategy

Due to the above, free delivery is an inseparable part of a great Christmas deal. 

10 Christmas sales promotions across industries

In this blog post, I would like to show you a couple of inspirations for Christmas marketing promotions based on real-life tactics implemented by brands across industries. I hope you will find them useful and that this blog post will help you build an amazing Christmas marketing strategy in 2021. 

Pfaltzgraff – free shipping and -25 % coupon

Pfaltzgraff is a US company that produces ceramic products for home use. 

Last year, they created an after-Christmas email campaign. This way Pfaltzgraff could sell out their Christmas collections and prepare the store for new stock. Promotional emails were sent on December 25 and included a -25% code available until December 30. The offer wasn’t personalized – Pfaltzgraff  used a multiple-use public coupon code with a customized pattern AFTERXMAS.

To protect margins, the holiday coupon couldn’t be connected with any special offer. Some of the products were also excluded from the offer. To sweeten the deal, they also guaranteed free shipping for orders of $75 or higher. 

Pfalzgraff Christmas promotion : 25% discount with code AFTERXMAS and free shipping

Fossil – 50% off and too-good-to-overlook smartwatch deal

Fossil Group is one of the most popular producers of watches and accessories. 

Fossil is another company that decided to build their Christmas marketing strategy around  email marketing. They offered a 50% off selected items with a standalone coupon. Contrary to the previous example, they created a pre-Christmas promotion which lasted from December 21 to December 25 which makes sense as their products make great Christmas gifts. The code could be used online or at US and Canadian stores allowing Fossil to capture both digital and traditional shoppers. It couldn’t be combined with any other promotion, discount, or coupon code. 

Apart from the discount, they also offered Gen 5 Smartwatches at lower prices, starting from 169$. The promotion lasted from December 12 to January 3 and as in the case of coupons, it couldn’t be combined with other promotions. 

Fossil Christmas promotion: 50% off with code HOWDY and Gen 5 Smartwatches in lower prices starting with $169

Ikea Ireland – buy Christmas tree and get the voucher

Ikea is one of the most popular companies selling home equipment. In 2018, Ikea Ireland ran a campaign where they offered customers a €20 voucher valid through the whole January, if they bought real Christmas trees in the Ikea Ballymun store. Thanks to this move, they incentivized customers to buy Christmas trees to get a €20 voucher they could use for their shopping next month.

Ikea Ireland Christmas promotion - get a real Christmas tree at the IKEA Ballymun store for 30 EUR and recieve a 20 EUR voucher to spend in January

Sportsman’s guide – standard and e-gift cards

Sportsman's Guide is an American company selling fishing and hunting equipment, ammunition, outdoor sporting gear, and a military surplus.

They decided to raise their Christmas online sales by sending emails with Christmas wishes and information about their gift cards and e-gift cards. It is a good Christmas marketing idea to give customers a chance to buy last-minute Christmas gifts, especially if you cannot offer any additional discounts on your stock or are experiencing problems with the supply chain. The promotion lasted until January 1, 2021. 

Sportsman's guide Christmas promotion standard and e-gift cards

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics – e-gift cards with extra bonus

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is a worldwide known cosmetic company. For Christmas 2019, they offered personalized e-gift cards as last-minute presents. The promotion lasted from December 13, 2019, to December 31, 2019. Here are some of the promotion rules:

  • With the purchase of a $50-99 gift card, the customer got a $10 discount for the next order.
  • With the purchase of a $100 + gift card, the customer got a $20 discount for the next order.

This type of promotion is great for creating recurring income streams and retaining your customers.

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics - eGift cards as last-minute present with extra bonus

Youtube Holiday Stream and Shop – live streams as new marketing strategy

This year, the biggest video sharing platform decided to upgrade its services and created an event called Holiday Stream and Shop – a weeklong Livestream shopping event lasting between November 15-22, created in cooperation with partners like Walmart, Samsung, and Verizon. 

Live video shopping is becoming popular through brands often in cooperation with influencers to improve sales and promote assortment by live streams on digital platforms like Youtube, Facebook or Instagram. 

Youtube has been testing the commerce waters  for a couple of years now, probably inspired by the predictions about how livestream shopping is the future of commerce. In China, this year profit from livestream shopping is estimated at around $300 billion, and according to Coresight Research, the livestream market is going to reach $11 billion and will grow to $35 billion by 2024.

Youtube Holiday Stream and Shop Christmas event promotion

Starbucks – buy a drink & get a cup

Starbucks decided to strengthen their Christmas marketing strategy by offering reusable red Christmas-themed cups to the customers who on November 7 ordered a Christmas beverage at selected locations. Also, customers, who brought the above-mentioned cup, would get a 50 cents discount for handcrafted grande holiday beverages. The promotion started November 7 and lasted until January 6.

Starbucks Christmas limited-collection cup

The Body Shop – supporting charity as part of Christmas marketing 

The Body Shop is a British company selling skin care products, cosmetics, and perfumes. Last year they decided to improve their Christmas online sales using an email campaign and some good old CSR. The first part of their campaign consisted of giving customers up to 50% off regular-priced items bought between December 23, 2020, and January 18, 2021, online and in selected stores. Discounts didn’t include gift sets, charitable items, and gift cards purchases. The promotion couldn’t be combined with other coupons or discounts. 

The second part of The Body Shop last year’s Christmas campaign was donating $1 of every sold Holiday Gift to NO MORE foundation that helps women affected by domestic violence. The maximum amount of donation was $50,000.00 and came from orders made between November 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021. 

Supporting a charity, besides being part of the Christmas marketing strategy, makes customers feel that they can do something good with their purchases and pairs well with the Christmas spirit of giving.

Thr Body Shop - $1 charity donation for every sold Holiday Gift

Amazon – 12 days of deals

Amazon is a kind of company, which doesn’t need any introduction. During Christmas time they run several innovative Christmas campaigns.

One of them was 12 days of deals. It is an event that Amazon has been running for the last couple of years at the beginning of December. Last year, it lasted from December 3 to December 14. To join the event you need to have an account on the Amazon website.

For 12 days, Amazon would reveal different kinds of discounts – each day was dedicated to different kinds of items, such as electronics, beauty, or home decor. Customers didn’t know which products were going to be discounted and the discount itself was revealed on the particular day, not before. The intention was to give customers a final push to buy Christmas gifts for family and friends. As you can see below customers could see what kind of categories will be discounted on particular days but the amount varied between products. 

This kind of campaign can improve Christmas sales causing more customers to complete the checkout and increase the participation rates thanks to the gamification.

Amazon - 12 days of deals

Paris Saint-Germain – gamifying their Christmas marketing strategy

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is the most popular French football club. In 2017, they decided to create a campaign based on building a digital advent calendar, which revealed new promotions or new rewards to win every day. To join the event, members had to provide personal data in a provided form. Thanks to this campaign, PSG got an average of 2,700 sign-ups to its newsletter per day.  

Paris Saint-Germain game as a part of Christmas Marketing Strategy

Summary – what are the best Christmas promotion ideas? 

Christmas is definitely the time of the year when customers spend the most. Customers buy not only presents, but also decorations, Christmas-themed clothes and home use products. The best Christmas sales don’t have to be run in the pre-Christmas time. As you could see in the inspirations above, after-Christmas promotions can be a huge part of Christmas marketing too. Your strategy should depend on the type of business you run and data gathered from the previous campaigns launched.   

Most companies nowadays run open-for-all public coupons campaigns with limited personalization. Analyzing different kinds of Christmas promotion ideas, I can see that personalized codes aren't an especially popular strategy for Christmas marketing. That’s why implementing personalization, for example using personalized coupons, and other types of promotions would be a nice surprise for customers tired of getting bombarded with the same offers over and over again. 

Promoting gift cards as a last-minute Christmas present is another good idea to improve your Christmas sales. You also shouldn't forget about free shipping, which is the standard in the e-commerce market. 

You can also consider introducing gamification to your holiday promotions. For example, a promotional advent calendar is a great strategy for bolstering long-term engagement. As proven by examples of Amazon and  PSG this type of promotion could work across various industries and contexts.

With Christmas right around the corner, it is the last moment to rethink your Christmas marketing ideas, set up your promotion campaigns, and boost your sales performance. We encourage you to use the Voucherify platform – an API-first promotion engine that you can integrate with your e-commerce store within hours. Our validation rules let you create all the above-mentioned campaigns and using our ready integration with WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Elastic Path will help you save time.

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