Did you know that 8 in 10 holiday shoppers are influenced by the Internet before they make a purchase? This statistic alone shows the importance of marketing effectively for the holiday period. You better make sure you start early too, as almost 50% of customers want to shop in October or November for Christmas.

In response to this, digital use has kicked off as one of the most convenient ways people are now shopping; with just a click of a few buttons, items can be shipped and delivered in less than a week, even the next day in some instances. Now with the upcoming holiday season, this trend will only continue its growth as companies adapt to improving customer experiences and integrating them into their eCommerce sites and physical stores. This article will touch on how your own eCommerce site can utilise new approaches and help with sales over the next few months.

What is holiday marketing?

Holiday marketing is a subset of marketing strategies that focus on capitalising on the unique aspects of a specific holiday season. It is a way for businesses to engage their audience and make their products or services more appealing by tying them in with holiday themes, events, emotions, or even traditions. This can range from specific product offerings, sales, and promotions, to themed advertising campaigns and content, all built around a holiday.

Popular holidays targeted include Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and even more localised holidays, like the Fourth of July in the U.S. or Diwali in India. Holiday marketing isn't limited to only significant holidays; it can also target smaller, quirky holidays like National Doughnut Day or more targeted ones like Back to School events.

Consumer Behaviour & Holiday Sales

More people are shopping online than ever before. In fact, there are 2.14 billion online shoppers, and this is expected to rise to 2.77 billion by 2025. In response to this, businesses are having to grow their digital presence to keep up with sales and reach their audiences from a different perspective. It’s even been recorded that 66% of consumers are planning on shopping more locally, which could give great advantages to small businesses if they prioritise the need for an eCommerce site.

For other companies, despite the size of your business or whether your brand serves local communities or not, having a holiday marketing plan during the pandemic will help your company stay afloat amidst the chaos.

Why is it Important to Set up Holiday Marketing Strategies?

Setting up holiday marketing strategies is vital for several reasons. Let’s take a look at the importance of holiday marketing strategies further:

  • Boosting sales - The holiday season often corresponds with a surge in consumer spending. A strategic holiday marketing campaign can drive more sales during these high-revenue periods.
  • Staying competitive - Many businesses ramp up their marketing efforts during the holiday seasons. Having a dedicated strategy ensures that your business stays competitive and top-of-mind with consumers.
  • Building customer relationships - Holidays provide an opportunity to connect with your customers on a more emotional level, building stronger relationships. Themed messages and offers can help your brand show its personality and values.
  • Increasing brand visibility - Holiday-themed content often gets shared more frequently, increasing brand visibility and potentially attracting new customers.

How To Prepare For Holiday Marketing 2023

No one expected a holiday season like this. The pandemic, eCommerce evolving, and consumer habits being forced to change have created a whole new concept for businesses to tackle when marketing themselves. Many companies will be unsure of what their marketing strategy during the pandemic needs to be, which is why the list below will help get brands ready for the season and the new problems it brings with it.

digital presence

Digital Presence

If your company has not yet taken advantage of creating an eCommerce site or utilising social media platforms, now is the time to get active. Specifically for local businesses, having a digital presence will help attract communities to your business and bring awareness to your presence throughout the holiday season. Below are some approaches to help grow your online presence:

  • Create a Platform: Create a platform that your consumers can use to either shop or browse your in-person store. It’ll also help to be aware of which platforms your audience gravitates towards, to then create an account with that specific platform for the best chances of visibility.
  • Advertisements: It may be smart for your business to create an advertising and marketing budget to help extend your brand's reach. Different ad approaches could be PPC, social media promotions, email marketing, etc.
  • SEO: Your business should be incorporating SEO keywords and phrases into any and all content to help gain attention and ratings on Google. Depending on your industry, the research you need to undertake will indicate the specific SEO terms you will need to use across your platforms.


Omnichannel is the process of using your in-store, eCommerce sites, and social media platforms in unison to attract customers to your physical locations. One example of this would be using your eCommerce site to offer consumers curbside pickup options once the product is bought online. Overall, omnichanneling is a great method to create convenience for both your business and its consumers.


One of the most successful methods of bringing users to your site is by engaging with your customers regularly and directly. Whether it be on your social media platforms, responding to customer reviews, or answering consumer emails, these are all great ways to create effective and efficient customer service that users will appreciate.


People this past year have not been wanting to spend outrageous amounts of money on materialistic items, meaning that your company should offer discounts or a flash event such as an eCommerce sale 2020 to attract consumers and generate conversions.


Customer experience, or CX, is one of the key factors at producing sales and gaining traffic on your platforms, as well as bringing users into stores. There are many methods to go about creating great CX but, first and foremost, your business should be focussing on website functionality, social media shopping, safe in-store regulations, and great customer service while consumers are shopping. Below is a further explanation of each element to focus on:

social shooping

  • Website Functionality: Users should be able to navigate through your site swiftly, not having to wait for pages to load, and be able to find things quickly. Consumers are likely to lose trust in your brand because of the lack of efficiency the site provides.
  • Social Media Shopping: Consumers prioritising the need for fast and efficient options while they are browsing, setting up shoppable posts on your social media accounts will provide your audience with this solution.
  • Safe In-store Regulations: Your shop is likely to turn people away if your store is not following current regulations. People want to feel safe when they are shopping, so your store should be enforcing store capacity limits, prioritising cleanliness and hygiene, as well as offering curbside pickups where possible.
  • Customer Service: Whether it’s digital or in-person, your company should prioritise great customer service. Consumers are looking for personalised experiences when they are shopping, so a minimum, providing customers with this is key.


Through retargeted ads, your business has a 98% chance of reaching consumers that did not convert once browsing your site. This is a great approach to add to your marketing strategy during the holiday season to help consumers reduce their browsing time and make purchases quickly with minimal thought.

Post-COVID, reopening stores can be difficult. But with the use of online marketing methods, your business can work at increasing traffic and revenue to both your physical and digital stores.

What is the Optimal Time to Begin Holiday Marketing Campaigns?

The optimal time to start your holiday marketing campaign depends on your industry, target audience, and the specific holiday. However, a general rule of thumb is to start planning at least two to three months in advance. This gives you ample time to understand your audience's needs, develop your strategy, and create and schedule your marketing materials.

For major holidays like Christmas, many businesses begin teasing their promotions in October, with full campaigns launching by November. For holidays like Easter, you might see campaigns beginning around February. And for one-day holidays like Valentine’s Day or Halloween, businesses often start their campaigns about a month in advance.

Remember, online shoppers often start their holiday shopping early to account for potential shipping delays. Therefore, if your business is e-commerce based, consider launching your holiday marketing ideas a bit earlier.

However, the optimal time can also depend on the nature of your product or service. If you're selling a high-ticket item that people might need more time to decide on, starting your campaign earlier might be beneficial. The key is to know your audience and their shopping behaviors.


Overall, eCommerce holiday planning and marketing will need much of your company’s efforts, but the outcome is surely worth it. Your brand’s digital presence will be necessary for promoting both in-store and online platforms, and as the holiday season nears, it’s never too early to start implementing different approaches.

This blog post is Last updated on June 23rd, 2023.



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