We’re closing in on mid-December and officially entering holiday shopping crunch time. This last little stretch before shopping malls fall silent for a full 24 hours is the perfect time to launch last-minute promotions.

Here are some ideas to help you close your holiday shopping season strong.

Holiday promos and marketing strategies that work in store and online

Flash sales

Flash sales can be very successful, so don’t limit them to Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The short-lived super deals can help increase customer engagement, stabilize inventory levels, and drive traffic to your website and stores.  

Recommended reading: The Ecommerce Guide to Flash Sales (With Examples) [Hubspot]


It’s hard to go wrong with giveaways. There’s no time like the holiday season to get in the spirit of giving. Plus, people love free stuff! You can run giveaways in store, on your website, on social media, or all of the above.  

Recommended reading: 9 Tips For Creating The Perfect Holiday Giveaway [Forbes]

Free gift wrapping

Free gift wrapping service is a sure way to stand out among the competition during the last (hectic) days of the season. Shoppers will be grateful to have a small task off their plate… and they’ll likely tell all their friends. What’s more, workers will have the chance to form meaningful connections with shoppers over the unique shared experience.

Recommended reading: What Ever Happened to Free Holiday Gift Wrapping? [Consumer Reports]

Gift guides

Everyone has “that person” on their list who’s impossible to shop for. That’s where gift guides can come in handy. Gift guides take time to curate, but a safe way to start is by compiling your top sellers of the season. Then, you can create a webpage with shoppable links (for online shoppers) and physical flyers with tips on where to find things in the store (for in-store shoppers).

Recommended reading: How to Create Holiday Gift Guides That Inspire Shoppers & Increase Sales [Vend Blog]

Ecommerce-specific promotions and marketing strategies

Offer free shipping (as long as its fast)

Offering free shipping is a proven way to get shoppers to complete transactions your site. In fact, nearly a third of shoppers report ditching an online order because of unexpected shipping costs. To make this promotion work for you during the holidays, you must make sure of two things: one, that you’re equipped to deliver by Christmas, and two, that your shoppers are aware of the promotion. Spread the word in an email or create a “Free Shipping” top bar for your site.

Recommended reading: 7 Creative Ways to Offer Free Shipping in eCommerce [eCommerce Training Academy]

“Order your gifts now” website banner

The holidays tend to close in on people quickly. To help add to consumers’ sense of urgency, put a banner at the top of your website stating how many days left people have to order gifts. The gentle visual reminder will inspire shoppers to act swiftly and purchase items on your site.

Recommended reading: Holiday Shipping Deadlines for 2018 [Consumer Reports]

Advertise your BOPIS option

Keep online sales racking up during last days of the season by strongly suggesting that shoppers use alternative fulfillment methods like buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS). Let folks know about your BOPIS system and other delivery methods through an e-blast, website banner, popup, or prompt at checkout.

Recommended reading: All Aboard the BOPIS Train: Ways to Advertise Your Click and Collect Delivery Options [Smiota]

Push digital gift cards

Never underestimate the power of every procrastinator’s best friend: the gift card. Now that people can give these effortless gifts via email or even text, don’t forget to remind shoppers of the option. Include digital gift cards in your shopping guides, advertise them in promotional emails through to the very last second of the season, and feature them front and center on your website.

Recommended reading: How to Use Gift Cards as a Marketing Tool to Increase Conversion Rates [Bootstrapping Ecommerce]

Switch up your abandoned cart emails

The holiday season — especially the home stretch — is the perfect time to add a little flair to your cart abandonment emails. Remember that time is of the essence in the last days before the holidays, so appealing to shoppers’ sense of urgency is key. In your emails, include details like calculated shipping cost (which, ideally, would be free) and when items would arrive. You can also use cart abandonment emails to advertise BOPIS and the option to ship a gift to the recipient’s home.

Recommended reading: How Email Marketers Tackle Their Cart Abandonment Woes This Holiday Season [InboxArmy]