holiday-shopping-2010Holiday shopping 2010 seems to have kicked off quite well and significantly over average sales! Moving forward for this marketing window, we want to maximize the remainder of the holiday sales season potential. So we have some great promotional ideas for your store to have an excellent overall 2010 holiday shopping season.

These ideas are not for everyone, some will be opportunities for you and you shop … and some will not. The biggest thing this “think tank” can do is get your brain moving to develop the holiday promotion best suited for your store and products! Please feel free to comment with other great ideas for shop owners, we would love to hear them.

Ideas to Maximize Holiday Sales

Free Shipping: Free shipping is always a BIG holiday shopping promotion. I, however, prefer to use the “spend X$ to get free shipping” promotion. This guarantees a minimum profit margin, raises your order total average and adds additional sales you may not have achieved otherwise. You will find shoppers more likely to stay on site longer, navigate deeper and find more things to purchase.

Addon Orders: This is directly from Mark Hudson at Incon Lighting. Mark had us add a free shipping coupon to his order confirmation email. This coupon, very simply enables the shopper to return in a set time frame to shop for more items and pay no additional shipping; the orders are combined. Love it when shop owners think outside the box!

Free Gifts: We use this one commonly during many holiday shopping promos on our pet store. We will simply make orders over X$ eligible for a free dog toy or similar free item. Again, this causes shoppers to stay on site longer and shop deeper. Free gifts are a hot deal for holiday shoppers, but only if they are really free. I was shopping yesterday on a store that offered free gifts, BUT when I got to checkout I found they were not free at all… A handling fee (equal to the retail product price) was sneakily added to my cart. This shop owner lost a $500 sale and I went elsewhere!

BOGO: Buy one get one or buy one get one half off are another hot holiday promo. Holiday shoppers will be glad to get the 2’fer and cross another happy recipient off of their list! Watch your margin here and make certain the BOGO offers are clearly marked and explained.

Guaranteed Delivery: This promo is most effective the closer we get to Christmas. It is a bit tough to administer, but can mean holding the holiday sales increase for another week to 10 days. Big money here, but plan and explain carefully, as it only takes one bad review to ruin the remainder of the year’s sales.

Gift Wrapping: Gift wrapping, especially with the ability to ship directly to the recipient is another great marketing tool for holiday shoppers. Free or low cost gift wrapping saves shoppers time and money while securing the sale for you.

Gift Certificates: Most times shoppers will come to your store because they know or like the products you sell, even if they are shopping for another. Offering a buy a $X gift certificate and get a $X gift certificate free is an awesome sales builder. Remember the “shrink” (gift certificates never spent) means that these is a highly “safe” holiday promo. It can also extend the sales period well in to January, as people rarely spend “just” the gift certificate.

Followup Coupons: Include a small coupon in your order emails to entice shoppers to return again. How many times have you shopped for your uncle early and then had to return to the same store later and shop again for your nephew for example. Bounce back coupons are 100% safe as they do not af