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257. 6 Ways to Make More Money Before the End of the Year

257. 6 Ways to Make More Money Before the End of the Year

With Black Friday weekend in the review mirror and just a few weeks of solid holiday shopping to go, I wanted to give you a few quick tips, tricks and strategies to make sure you can fully capitalize on the rest of Q4.

Prefer to listen to the episode? Click here.

Why Shopify's Black Friday Numbers Shouldn't Stress You Out

Before we get into the nitty gritty, I do just want to mention that if you haven’t quite hit the goals you were hoping for… know that you’re not alone. And if seeing the numbers Shopify released about the amount of revenue that was generated during BFCM weekend… 9.3 billion to be exact… has you feeling any sort of negative way… let me remind you how skewed those numbers actually are because it is not just small businesses who use the Shopify platform.

There are HUGE brands using Shopify, anywhere from 50 million to multi BILLLION dollar businesses. Yes, Billion with a B.

So when you hear that 9 billion dollars was generated over BFCM weekend… please don’t think it’s just a whole bunch of makers or boutique owners who are contributing these numbers.

That’s not to say there aren’t small businesses like you killing it right now. They definitely are… thanks to massive visibility through ads, a really strong content game, or reach on marketplaces like Amazon.

My point is, I know it can be disheartening to see reports like this and think shit, what am I doing wrong. But there are so many variables at play, some of them out of your hands at the moment so I want you to just focus on the things you can control and keep showing up while the getting is good.

And if you’re still not convinced, the majority of shoppers still have 50% of their shopping do AFTER CYBER MONDAY. There is STILL TIME.

Last-Minute Holiday Marketing Strategies for eCommerce Businesses

Alright, let’s hop into 5 strategies you can implement right now to make more sales before the season is over. I don’t necessarily recommend you try all of these unless you really have the team and bandwidth to implement it, otherwise just pick and choose the ones that make the most sense for your business or are the easiest for you to implement right now.

Maximize Your AOV on Every Sale

One of the easiest ways to increase your revenue is to get your existing customers to spend more while they’re already shopping. If you still don’t have a cross-sell app on your store, please take 30 minutes to get one set up as soon as you finish listening to this episode. A tool like ReConvert let’s you add cross-sell offers when customers are most-engaged with your brand – right after they’ve decided to spend money with you. Get 10% off ReConvert for life with my affiliate link

If you are resisting this because it feels too pushy, please release that. Remember that not showing your customers your amazing products is totally doing a disservice to them. And even if you THINK they know everything that you offer, I promise you… they don’t.

To simplify the process pick one item that you offer to everyone. It can be something you have a great margin on, or something you need to move inventory of and just offer it to every customer. Keep it really simple so you don’t have any excuse not to get it implemented.

Create Specialized Email Marketing Campaigns

If you do none of the other things I recommend today, please do this one. Half of all BFCM sales came from repeat customers according to Klaviyo… the money is in your list friends.

What this looks like is going to be different depending on your business, but here are a few ideas to get the wheels turning.

First, just start thinking about different ways you can frame your products in your emails? A lot of times we just need to present our products in multiple different ways before it clicks for the right person. I talked about this on episode 247: Perception is Reality – How Your Product Positioning Drives Consumer Behavior.

Essentially, the person you’re talking to can’t imagine what or who your product is good for until you point it out to them.

  • Do they make a great white elephant gift?
  • Is it a good gift for the person who has everything?
  • Does your product make a great teacher gift?

You’ll also want to make new offers and create some urgency for your customers

  • Can you ship it directly to the gift recipient with a special note to make it super simple for the gift giver?
  • Do you only have a handful of a best-seller or seasonal product left? Promote last chance messaging on these particular items
  • Maybe you throw together a new bundle to present your same products in a new way

I would also think about creating 3-5 part email campaigns for specific segments of customers

  • Can you reward your VIPs with something special – even if they already shopped with you this holiday season? What would make them come back and buy again? And it doesn’t have to be a discount. Maybe it’s a GWP or bonus rewards days. These types of promos don’t necessarily work to convert new customers but are a fun way to treat your existing die hard fans.
  • How about those people who haven’t purchased from you yet this holiday season. Maybe they’ve been engaging with your emails, but haven’t pulled the trigger. Create a multi-email campaign just for them. I love to add in something a bit more personal here with an all text email that makes people feel like you sat down at your desk to write it to them
  • Create a segment of your seasonal shoppers, especially if they’re last minute shoppers and create a series of emails for them. If they’re only seasonal shoppers it likely means they’re not really your customer, but someone in their life is. It’s super important that you remind them you exist.

And overall, don’t be afraid to increase your email sending frequency. As long as your engagement metrics are good, and you can continue to present your products in new and interesting ways so the messaging always feels fresh… keeping sending those damn emails.

Optimize for Last-Minute Shoppers

It doesn’t matter how you slice it, at the end of the day there are always going to be people who wait until the last minute to buy Christmas gifts. Start asking yourself how you can accommodate them.

Offer expedited shipping if you don’t already. I was forever blown away when I would see customers spend $30-50 just on shipping because it meant they could get the thing they needed in time for Valentine’s day. I would promote every single shipping cut off on the site and in email. 3-day, 2-day, overnight. Make sure they know about these deadlines and their options.

If you have a brick + mortar store you have more time to convert your customers, especially that last Saturday before Christmas which is affectionately called Super Saturday. It’s as big, if not bigger than Black Friday. You can extend your hours, offer gift-wrapping, and even mobile checkout options to make the in-store experience as painless as possible.

A few years ago Nordstrom Rack put mobile devices into the hands on their floor associates so anyone could check you out. It definitely beats standing at the register. And if you’re familiar with In & Out, an overhyped (in my opinion) burger chain in the West… their drive through line is always super long. Like wrap out of the parking lot and block street traffic long. But they always have someone out on foot going to the car windows to take orders.

When I had my brick + mortar, we did extend our hours and offer gift-wrapping (also known as really pretty boxes that didn’t need to be wrapped) but because we had built such great relationships with our customers through building and nurturing our client books, we would pre-pull items for them and create a draft transaction so that they could get in and out of the store super quickly.

You can translate that same experience online if you have a few die hard customers. Reach out to them personally with items you know they’ll love to combat that decision fatigue. Create a draft order and send them the link to pay.

If you don’t have a brick + mortar store, is there another way for you to tap into your local market? Can you offer local delivery, if you do wholesale can you do a pop-up in someone’s shop, are there any community shopping events you can be a part of?

Push Gift Cards

Speaking of last-minute shoppers, pushing gift cards is a must as we get closer to those cut off dates. If you haven’t started mentioning them in your regular emails, start doing that right now. Feature them in your abandonment emails, on your hello bar, and you can even create a promotional pop-up that features them too.

The downside to gift cards is that they don’t technically count as revenue until they’re redeemed so if you do any sort of gift card promotion or you do have a lot of gift card sales… I would create a mini-campaign after the holiday and into the new year around getting the gift you really wanted so that anyone who did receive a gift card is encouraged to shop.

Ramp Up Your Paid Ads

If you’ve never done ads before I don’t necessarily recommend that you try them for the first time right now, but it’s up to you if you want to give it a shot. I’d get started with retargeting ads that show to social engagers, website visitors and email subscribers vs. trying to capture cold audiences.

If you’re already running profitable ads… increase those budgets. According to Nicole, our resident FB Ads Strategist you don’t want to increase budgets more than 20% at a time as it can kick your ad back into the learning phase and lose momentum, so be careful there.

You can also create ad campaigns specifically targeted to the gift giver instead of the gift recipient. This will definitely require a shift in audience and likely in messaging and creative, but can be super powerful if you have a good handle on who would be be buying this gift for someone in their life.

The most common being parent and grandparents, or romantic partners.

You can also get creative with your targeting as you get closer to your shipping cut off. Focus your ads in your local area where you know they’ll still get the product on time with your regular ground shipping vs. having to expedite it.

Lean in After Christmas

In all my years in retail, do you know what one of our busiest days was… the day after Christmas. Most people are off, they got money and gift cards for Christmas, they got gifts they’re returning so they can buy something else they want more.

Holiday shopping doesn’t end on December 24th. In fact, a typical retail accounting season actually runs from February to January because there is so much spill over into the new year. Yes, a lot of that is returns based, but there are plenty of opportunities to turn those returns into net positive exchanges. And that starts in that last week of December.

This is also a great opportunity if you sell New Year’s appropriate clothing, accessories, food items, etc. So don’t be afraid to keep the marketing going even after the traditional gift-giving season.

Conclusion

The real moral of this week’s episode is to KEEP going and whatever special thing you’re doing to make things easier, faster, better for your customers… make sure they know about it.

Put it in all your emails, post & pin it on social, connect with the influencers in your local community to get the word out. And when I say influencer, I don’t mean social media influencer… I mean those who have influence over your local community. That could be your local publications, other store owners, restaurant owners, etc.

If you’re not connected to your local market yet, lean on and collaborate with your other eComm biz friends. It’s super simple to shout each other out in your emails or on social to get some last minute eyeballs on your business.

There is still time.

Hey, I'm Jessica

I support scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow and scale the traffic, sales & profit in their eCommerce businesses. 

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