5 sneaky ways for brands to boost sales during the holiday season

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There may still be a long-standing supply chain shortage, but there are plenty of holiday tips and tricks for ecommerce brands to win this time of year. More often than not, most tips floating around focus on different types of acquisition strategies to get consumers to your site. However, I’m here today to offer an overlooked piece of advice: Look to your most loyal customers to help you achieve your goals.

Your most loyal customers will turn to you during the holiday season, and you should do the same for them as a merchant. Eliminate any friction and create new opportunities for your loyal customers to share their favorite products with friends and family.

With everyone in the spirit of giving, there’s no better time to promote, package and offer products as gifts. A great way to flip and build your marketing funnel from your most loyal customer base. We’ve seen brands execute this strategy in some impressive ways.

Related: How Small Businesses Can Prepare for Christmas Shopping

1. Promote gift subscriptions

Arguably the lowest hanging fruit to optimize your products for the holiday season is to offer the option to “gift” their next subscription order. Take Methodical Coffee for example! If a customer has too much coffee, a brand traditionally allows them to skip or pause their next order in their customer account portal. However, in addition to those standard subscription preferences, Methodical Coffee allows customers to gift their next month’s subscription order to a friend. Shopping during the holiday season is a phenomenal opportunity to introduce and educate this option to your subscribers.

Another groundbreaking holiday program we’re seeing is gift subscriptions. Brands like Scott’s Flowers are using maximum billing cycle subscription programs to encourage customers to gift a three- or six-month subscription to their loved ones. After receiving three months worth of flowers, the recipient may receive an email or text notification asking if they would like to sign up for a full subscription. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving!

Related: 4 strategies to convert holiday gift recipients into loyal subscribers

2. Offer extra loyalty points as a gift

Loyalty and rewards programs can be strategically positioned to drive referrals at this time of year. Over communicate to your subscribers that they are rewarded for gifting products to their friends. The more products are referred, the more credits are received. Continue to allow customers to exercise those credits the way they want – setting up the ideal brand experience!

3. Let customers customize bundles

71% of consumers expect brands to deliver more personalized interactions. What better way to deliver personalized experiences than through an interactive and customizable bundled experience? Loyal customers who want to share your product with their friends may want to choose their go-to flavors or favorite colors. Offering varied discounted packages during the holiday season is a great way to gain exposure for your product line.

4. Discounting can be a win-win situation

Margins don’t always have to suffer from holiday promotions. Instead of discounting your standard subscription program, offer a bigger discount on larger quantities that ship less frequently to save on exorbitant shipping costs. A note from Slate Milk’s playbook: They ran a promotion for all subscribers who received packs of 24 cans of Slate milk each month at a significant discount if they switched to 48 packs every two months. A win-win situation, where Slate Milk saves on shipping and the customer saves on total costs.

Related: How Holiday Marketing Can Help Improve Your Brand Image

5. Get into the spirit of giving

One final note that we often see in the ecommerce space throughout the year that translates well during the holidays is charitable donations. Companies that donate a percentage of proceeds to charitable organizations generally see lower churn and higher LTV. Consumers care about where their money goes and they want to contribute to a higher purpose and mission.

While acquiring new customers with holiday discounts is important, it’s just as important to tap into your subscriber or membership base. This time of year is an excellent opportunity to come through and leave a lasting impression with your loyal customers. We are confident that the tips outlined above will have a positive impact on your short and long term business goals, as with many other brands.

Related: Why Entrepreneurs Should Make Charity a Habit

Bonus holiday tip: Get creative with one-time add-ons

Don’t forget the bow on top, literally. We strongly recommend that brands propose one-off gift wrap themed additions, such as tote bags, branded wrap, or gift wrap. This is a great way to increase order value, cover shipping costs and introduce another opportunity to build brand awareness with a wider audience.