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2022-10-19 5:00 pm
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Promo strategies
10 Christmas Promotion Ideas for eCommerce
Dagmara Kamieniarz
Dagmara Kamieniarz
November 4, 2022
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10 Christmas Promotion Ideas for eCommerce

November has already knocked on the door, which means that the time of Christmas fever and shopping frenzy will start soon. Shop windows will be filled with Christmas trees and Santa Clauses. Every online shop will start to convince us that the best gifts are at hand and you need to hurry with their purchase, not wait until the last minute.

On the other hand, store owners and marketers are already wondering how to stand out from this flood of offers and promotions and successfully attract customers. If your product is not one of the self-selling ones, you need to take the time to plan your campaigns well and offer your audience something interesting.

It may seem that with cozy, sweater weather, gifts, cute decorations, and joyful and cheery Christmas marketing campaigns it's so easy. But in reality, it is not, and the 2022 commerce landscape can be more treacherous than you might think.

How to run a holiday season campaign in 2022?

As per Deloitte's report, a slowdown in holiday spending growth is expected this year, forecasting that retail sales for November to January will increase only between 4% and 6% from a year earlier. Due to the slowdown in the economy, inflation increase, the long-term effects of the pandemic, and other reasons this year's gifts may be slightly less impressive.

Customers may be interested in reducing spending, not only by buying less but also by using coupons, saving on shipping, or buying bundles. These are the first hints for this year's holiday campaigns.

Since it will be more difficult to persuade consumers to buy often unnecessary products, you will have to look for really good arguments to convince them to do so. And it's not only about the level of discounts, but about the whole setting of the action: visuals, presence in various channels, and additional benefits. I am happy to help you find the best ideas for this year's Christmas in this guide.

What are the best Christmas marketing ideas?

Discounts, coupons, and deals on popular products are the top three Christmas marketing ideas. You can also consider using gift cards as they are the most popular type of Christmas gift. Especially in the context of 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%). 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. 

Why social media are so important for Christmas marketing campaign?

General trends indicate a continuous increase in the importance of social media in the context of sales promotion, searching for information about products or offers by users or building a positive brand image. As reported by Software Advice, social media and email are two channels that provide the biggest profit from Christmas online sales.

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

You can use your social media for many supporting activities, such as posting a gift guide, suggest gift ideas with holiday-themed visuals or share creative packaging ideas.

10 best ideas for holiday season ecommerce promotions

Let's get to the point for which you are here – 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 campaign in 2022. 

1. Free shipping and a discount

The first option is a classic combination where you offer free shipping and a discount code. Free shipping itself isn't anything outstanding anymore, especially for Christmas, but combined with a nice discount may be a real decision booster.

Pfaltzgraff is a US company that produces ceramic products for home use. They've created an after-Christmas email campaign. This way Pfaltzgraff could sell out their Christmas collections and prepare the store for new stock. Promotional email marketing was launched 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

2. 50% off and too-good-to-overlook deal

What about a heavy-duty promotion like a huge discount combined with special price for an attractive product?

Fossil Group is one of the most popular producers of watches and accessories. Fossil is another company that decided to build their Christmas marketing campaign 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

3. Buy Christmas tree and get the voucher

Not everything is about increasing product sales and choosing the gifts. Holidays are also baking gingerbread, putting Christmas decorations, artistic gift wrapping or decorating a tree. Speaking of a tree – why not offer your consumers one as a form of promotion?

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

4. Standard and e-gift cards

As we can read on prnewswire.com, the majority of consumers are last-minute shoppers: 79% of consumers have left their holiday shopping until the last minute this year, buying gifts for loved ones within two weeks of Christmas. Of these eleventh-hour shoppers, 35% will save the last of their holiday shopping for the week of Christmas.

And this is where you come in with your e-gift cards. The customer does not have to run around stores, wondering what to buy. All they need to do is choose an online store with an assortment that interests them, make a few clicks and the gift card is ready to be presented. Many people find interesting ways to hand over the code as a Christmas gift, and the recipient can use the funds for what is really useful to them.

Moreover, people who choose to redeem a gift card are likely to pay more for their items than if they were purchased through the holiday promotion.

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.

Learn more: 13 examples of gift card campaign done like a pro

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

5. E-gift cards with extra bonus

Nevertheless, gift cards are offered almost everywhere today, so promoting your own is quite a challenge. Many companies decide on special promotions that will make the purchase of such a card more profitable.

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 card, the customer got a $10 discount for the next order.
  • With the purchase of a $100 + 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

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

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

7. Free gifts

A gift going with a gift? Why not. This popular tactic works in any situation. When the customer decides to buy a given product, he is entitled to a free gift. Or he can buy a casual product for himself and use the free one as a gift for someone. An example below.

Starbucks decided to strengthen their holiday marketing 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

8. Supporting charity as part of Christmas marketing

I personally love this form of promotion. As the profit during the holiday season is higher, and the holiday itself is a great time to support the poorer and help the needy, part of the income can be donated to charity.

Many customers, especially those against overconsumption, will approach shopping in a completely different way, seeing that some of their money will go to support those in need. Moreover, such an activity will help you build brand image and brand awareness on positive emotions.

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 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 holiday marketing, 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

9. 12 days of deals

"The Twelve days of Christmas" is an English carol, Christians believe that the 12 days of Christmas mark the amount of time it took after the birth of Jesus for the magi to travel to Bethlehem. This theme is very popular with holiday attractions, movies, and promotions. 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. 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 shopping causing more customers to complete the checkout and increase the participation rates thanks to the gamification.

Amazon - 12 days of deals

10. Gamifying Christmas marketing strategy

Interactive promotions are great at activating recipients. The opportunity to win anything always attracts attention and motivates to take part in the action.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is the most popular French football club. In 2017, they decided to create a sense of urgency 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

What are the best Christmas promotion ideas? 

Christmas is definitely the time of 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 idea 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 returns, 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.

All that ideas, combined with the right sales channels and creative use of social media will inspire clients to buy the perfect gift this year. Looking for more ideas for Christmas season? Check out this article.

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. You can use Voucherify – 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 with no extra development.

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