5 Ways Every Retailer Can Increase Holiday Season Sales

The Holiday Season is every retailer’s dream and nightmare. When I owned my boutique, I used to joke that I wished Jesus had a brother so we could do it all two times a year instead of one.

At the same time, the holiday season caused a lot of stress for my team and me, I REALLY wanted to make it a great season so I worried about every detail and worked my butt off – and I’m sure you do the same.

In this article, I’m sharing some simple yet powerful tips to make the most of the season and boost your sales.

5 Ways Every Retailer Can Increase Holiday Season Sales:

Tip #1:  Create a Holiday Gift Giving checklist

Oftentimes, people don’t even remember who they need to buy for. You can create a helpful gift giving checklist as a value-add for your customers. If you have a little list you can hand them, something cute, branded, with checkboxes, and a place for each person, it reduces the stress of the customer.

I suggest you also make the list downloadable and send it to your customers via email. A checklist like this will be shared between friends and will get your store more exposure.

There’s a handy list of all the people you can out on the checklist from Martha Stewart in this article.

And don’t forget Cathy’s simple but powerful question…

“Who can I help cross off your list?” -Cathy Wagner from Retail Mavens

I used this phrase with my customers many times in my store and it works! They stop…think…and almost always come up with another person they need to buy a gift for.

Tip #2: Build a sense of urgency

Logically, I know Christmas is December 25th, and yet it always SHOCKS me to see or hear how many actual DAYS are left until the big day.

Remind them of this sense of urgency by doing things like….

  • Put a cute reminder on your POS counter (image below). You can find one at the dollar store.
  • Hand a LARGE countdown display in your sore window.
  • Order by THIS date to receive your gifts before December _____________ THIS DATE
  • Free shipping when you order by _______________
  • Countdown the days in real time on your website. You can use an app like this one.

countdown timer for your website


Urgency reminder for you POS counter


Tip #3: Make amazing gift wrap

Presentation is everything. Perceived value goes way up when things are beautifully presented.

Your customers are BUSY so make it EASY for them. Many shoppers are happy to pay so they don’t have to do the work.

I found this great idea on Saffron Avenue Design. The simple Kraft paper, red ribbon and metallic lettering are a fantastic combination.

A simple, inexpensive packaging idea from Saffron Avenue Design


Tip #4: Use Pinterest

The Holiday Season is incredibly busy on Pinterest and it’s great for driving traffic to your website or store.

“45% of Pinners plan for holidays at least 60 days out, which is 21% higher than the general population. That means NOW is the time to up your Pinterest game.” – Marketing Land

Cathy teaches that the customer that shops right before Thanksgiving is very different than the customer that shops the week before Christmas (it’s all laid out for you in this course).

Their mentality is different and their needs are different. If you can really, truly, understand this, you will definitely boost your sales because you and your team will address their needs differently.

You can take advantage of this by using Pinterest

According to Pinterest, households that shop on Pinterest spend more across the board:

  • 27% more on home decor
  • 24% more on jewelry
  • 22% more on food
  • 49% more on high-end gifts

Pinterest users, on average, make more as well, with 40% of Pinterest users making over $100,000 per year.

You can create boards for your customers to inspire them and get them engaged. Remember, it’s not just about pinning your own products, although that’s part of it. Re-pinning is a great way to get new followers and you’ll want to have Boards not directly related to your product. Some of the most popular include:

  • Holiday recipes
  • Projects and gifts
  • DIY
  • Holiday decorating

You could also consider promoted pins to drive in-store sales. In an Oracle Data Cloud study, it shows that Promoted Pins drive 5x more incremental in-store sales per impression. Five times more sales!

#5: When you send emails, focus on promoting only ONE item at a time

Our natural inclination is to show everything we offer and list a million different product ideas in one email. This doesn’t work as well as promoting only ONE or maybe two items. What happens when you give people so many options is that customers get confused, distracted, and they click away – thinking they’ll “come back later” when they “have more time”.

Later means never, and that means you lost the sale.

RECAP of the Five Tips to Boost Your Holiday Sales

  1. Create a Holiday Gift checklist
  2. Build a sense of urgency
  3. Make amazing gift wrap
  4. Use Pinterest
  5. When you send emails, focus on one item per email

So here’s my challenge for you – and it’s pretty easy…

Pick ONE of these 5 tips and get started today – right now! Don’t worry about having everything perfect, just take some quick action (imperfect action) to get one of the strategies executed right away.

Let me know in the comments which Tip you’re choosing!

And remember, we know there’s no silver bullet for holiday season success. The magic is in the details. I highly recommend you consider the COMPLETE 6-Figure holiday sales blue print. It gives you week-by-week instructions and support (because the customer IS different each week of the season), and tells you EXACTLY what you need to focus on and when.


About the author:

Jane Hamill is a former clothing designer and boutique owner. She’s the founder of Fashion Brain Academy, which offers online workshops and training for creative entrepreneurs.


5 Ways Every Retailer Can Increase Holiday Season Sales