Last Minute Holiday Marketing Ideas for eCommerce

gift in christmas hat


Now more than ever is the time to take advantage of the holiday season to drive sales. By now, most eCommerce stores have already launched their holiday marketing campaigns, but you don’t worry if you’ve waited until the last minute to build your strategy just yet.

Here are some last minute holiday marketing ideas to prepare you for the holiday season:

November 28 – December 5

Help People Get the Gift in Time

Figure out shipping times for the most popular regions where your customers live. Do an email send that gives them a head’s up on when they should order gifts by in order to get them in time for the holidays.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Obviously, today is Black Friday and Monday is Cyber Monday. Although it’s tough to compete for attention on these days, it is still a good idea to participate in marketing your store in some capacity. Although there’s more noise, people are also paying more attention to what deals and discounts can be had. There’s a great chance that your email will be opened and clicked on because people are actively looking for promotions.

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 29 is Small Business Saturday, a day in which consumers are encouraged to “Shop Small” and make a purchase at a small business. It’s a campaign from American Express that’s taken off and become somewhat of a social movement.

Here are a few ideas how you can take advantage of Small Business Saturday:

  • Create an Eventbrite event and email the invite to local people.
  • Do a pop-up shop: Team up with a local retailer who aligns with your audience and take your marketing offline
  • Promote Small Business Saturday on social media. Visit the American Express website to get banner ad templates and pre-written Tweets and Facebook posts that’ll make marketing easy.

December 6 – December 13

Sponsor a Social Media Contest

A creative way to break through the noise and engage your customers during this busy season is through a contest. Run a contest on Instagram to generate user content, earn social media buzz, and engage your community.

Create and Promote a Holiday Gift Guide

Sure, there are those early birds that have all of their shopping done by Halloween and there are those people that get it all done in one big trip on Black Friday. But there are plenty of people who are still collecting gift ideas and monitoring sales well into December. You can capture this customer’s attention through great content that inspires through gift ideas. For a beautiful example of a gift guide, look no further than J.Crew.


Flash Sales

A 12-hour flash sale could be a great way to participate in the holiday sales spree in a focused way. Read about the Case Mate’s flash sale here. Last year, they did a one-day flash sale on December 7 and drove a 236% increase in revenue through the sale. The first sale was so successful that they decided to repeat the sale and do a second one a week later. A few tips to keep in mind should you go the Flash Sale route:

  • Make sure your website is prepped to handle an influx of traffic. Read these tips on how to handle a traffic surge.
  • Keep customer support in mind. This is one thing that Case Mates missed. The Flash Sale hours extended beyond the hours of their customer support team, leaving many new customers without support during the purchase time. Try to coordinate your support team’s availability with the sale.

December 13 – 21

Send Personal Greetings to Loyal Customers

Take a cue from the tradition of sending special holiday greetings to friends and family and do the same for your customers. Express your appreciation by sending your messages via email or social media. It’s an unexpected message for them that could lead to increased sales for you.

To discover who your most loyal customers are, look into your Klaviyo data and create a new list by segmenting subscribers who have completed a purchase event more than once (or whatever number of purchases you feel defines “loyal” for your store.)

Abandoned Cart Nurturing

By now, it’s time to make some final decisions on purchases left in carts and get your abandoned cart nurturing into overdrive. Amp up your normal messages with reminders about shipping dates and do a last minute push to get indecisive shoppers to convert.

December 22 – December 25

Promote Gift Cards

Take a tip from Warby Parker. Once it gets too late to ship gifts, promote e-gift cards as a way for your customers to still purchase gifts in time for the holidays.


Of course, the best tip of all is to stay focused. During this frenzied time, it’s easy to run around without a plan and be too reactionary. Stay focused on the marketing tactics that are working and quickly iterate away from what isn’t, and you should have a successful holiday season. Good luck!


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