There’s nothing quite like the summer in eCommerce. Sales notoriously drop and even though you know the drill, in the back of your mind you question whether they’ll ever recover.
Lucky for you, there’s a discreet lifeline lurking on your calendar: the May holidays.
You already know holidays are an excellent opportunity to pull in the big bucks for your eCommerce store. In fact, some are so profitable that an online store can bring in up to a year’s takings in just one day. 2019’s Cyber Monday was the largest eCommerce shopping day ever in the US, raking in over $9.4 billion, while in 2020, 36% of US buyers planned to do most of their Christmas shopping on Black Friday.
The holidays in May are no exception. They can keep you afloat in the slimmer months and prepare you for the Q4 showdown.
Today, we’ll share some insider eCommerce ideas for the May holidays, including tips and tricks to help you create profitable promos that help keep your sales healthy year-round. Let’s go!
Ecommerce Ideas for the May Holidays: What We’ll Cover
- Why You Need to Shake Up Your Ecommerce Strategy for Holidays in May
- 5 eCommerce Ideas To Boost Revenue During the May Holidays
- Audit your past promotions to reveal your top-performers
- Prepare your marketing content way in advance
- Create a marketing funnel for each holiday
- Be bold enough to stand out
- Create unmissable giveaways
- How to Make Sure Your Ecommerce Holiday Ideas Run Like Clockwork
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Why You Need to Shake Up Your Ecommerce Strategy for Holidays in May
Unlike other months in the US, May is jam-packed with festivities — offering a unique opportunity for your store to make some serious cash to prepare for Father’s Day in June, the upcoming summer slump, Q4, and even future growth goals.
But the truth is, many eCommerce sellers don’t give May celebrations enough credit. To help you jump ahead of the competition, here are some May holidays to capitalise on:
- Brothers and Sisters Day
- Mother’s Day
- Patriots Day
- Cinco De Mayo
- National Creativity Day
- National Smile Day
- Memorial Day
With so many holidays, you can bet your competitors will be gearing up to throw their best promotional punches to get more sales — run-of-the-mill promos won’t cut it. Instead, you need to tweak your marketing strategy to rise above the noise.
5 E-commerce Ideas to Boost Revenue During the May Holidays
It’s no secret that the holiday season can help your business bring in the big bucks.
To get you on the road to boosting sales, here are some top eCommerce store ideas to follow for the May holidays:
1. Audit your past promotions to reveal your top-performers
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel – chances are you’re already sitting on a winning promotional campaign.
To find these hidden gems, you need to:
- Sift through your store analytics to uncover promos that were a hit during past holidays.
- Review your regular discount code stats to see which ones your website visitors have redeemed (or attempted to) the most.
- Search social media comments for any questions about when your next promo is going live.
2. Prepare your marketing in advance
If you play this right, May is going to be a busy month — so you could easily find yourself without time to write your email campaign and ad content, let alone schedule them.
If you can, set aside time before the May holidays for content creation, or mine through your past campaigns to see which assets can be repurposed.
Once you’ve got your marketing assets bundled up, look for ways to put a creative spin on it to suit your target audience and give a nod to the holiday you’re celebrating.
For example, say you ran a Labor Day promo in the past where you gave employed people a discount according to the number of years they’ve been in the workforce. You could switch this up by varying the percentage discount you give at different times of the day like 20% at 9 AM and 50% at 8 AM.
3. Create a marketing funnel for each holiday
When shoppers land on your site, it’s easy for them to get distracted by other offers or products. To ensure a smooth customer journey, create a sign-posted area dedicated to the holiday and its promotions, and map out a funnel that guides them through your store.
To make promo purchasing easier and improve conversion rates, you could:
- Highlight the promotional discount with Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads.
- Include individual landing pages for each promotion.
- Optimize specific product pages to reflect the holiday.
- Create banners around your store to draw attention to your promotions.
- Add quick buy buttons to shorten the payment process.
4. Be bold enough to stand out
You’ll face some stiff competition when May hits. But there’s one area you can outdo your competitors in: creativity.
Especially if you’re a small to mid-size merchant, your size will allow you to be agile and take calculated risks, without restraint from corporate rules and processes. Use this to your advantage.
Here are a few tips to help you come out on top:
- Scope out the competition to see how they market for big holiday events (side note: this is where signing up to competitor newsletters early on pays off big time).
- Don’t copy and paste your competitor’s campaigns — you only need basic info from them to know the offers to beat.
- Browse other industries and niches to see how they approach holiday marketing for further inspiration.
- Don’t feel pressured to follow the crowd — standing out can get your store more attention and sales.
- Instead of defaulting to blanket discounts, make memorable conversation starters to drive more excited visitors to your store. Here’s how:
- Let people pick their discount rate (which you’ll cap at what you can afford).
- Set up a lucky dip via email or a pop on your site.
- Give a free holiday-related gift, e.g., an eye mask with Mother’s Day gift purchases.
- Offer limited-time bundles on products made for a specific holiday.
- Personalize your products.
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5. Create Unmissable Giveaways 🎁
Giveaways are one of the best eCommerce ideas for building your following, engagement, traffic, and revenue. You can use them to:
- Draw attention to your brand.
- Refresh your leads list.
- Generate presales for any limited-time products.
- Improve your search engine rankings.
- Establish a business partnership network.
To host a successful giveaway, pick out the most coveted items in your store and select the number you can afford to give out for free. Your predicted sales for May should cover this amount with more than enough profit left over. If not, reduce the giveaway quantity or pick a popular (but less costly) item.
You could even purchase a product from another brand that isn’t in your niche to give away or work with influencers to appeal to your target market and get new audiences interested in your upcoming holiday promotions.
For more information on how to run an ultra-successful giveaway contest, check out Shopify’s complete guide.
How to Make Sure Your Ecommerce Holiday Ideas Run Like Clockwork
Ecommerce stores are the first port of call for holiday shoppers, claiming 62% of online footfall.
But this doesn’t mean customers will flock to your store just because you’re running holiday offers. There are still some loose ends you need to tie to ensure your eCommerce ideas attract and convert visitors.
Create scroll-stopping upsells and cross-sells 🔥
Upsells and cross-sells can explode your average order value. To increase the odds of visitors taking up your offers, make them simple to purchase and a no-brainer addition to the items in their basket.
For example, let’s say you sell face masks. You could throw in a face towel and mask applicator for a few extra dollars, or offer a premium serum to entice buyers.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s so good it stops your busy shoppers in their tracks.
Run your numbers before committing to promotions 🔢
It’s important to get a firm understanding of your promotional offers’ costs, ROI, and overall profit before you go live with them. This will help you understand whether they’ll actually produce the results you hope for, like making enough money to cover your summer stock.
For example, say one of your eCommerce ideas for the May holidays is a bumper sale that out-does anything your competitors have ever given. While this strategy can be a fantastic revenue driver, you never want to give a discount just because everyone else is doing it. Use your margins to work out how much you can afford to give as a discount without wiping out your precious profits.
Layout additional expenses 💸
With the May holiday gold rush comes more expenses. To avoid unforeseen costs, you’ll need things like:
- A higher ad budget
- Additional staff
- Content creation costs
- More stock and supplies (ramp these up, so you don’t go out of stock)
Jot down each expense, so you know how much money you’ll need to take advantage of the May holidays stress-free.
Have cash at the ready 💲
The May holiday lineup may have you excited about all the money you could make — that is, until you look at your capital requirements.
With so many events in such a short period, it can be a huge capital suck that pulls funds away from other parts of your business and destabilises your cash flow.
If you don’t have funds saved for the May holidays, it’s a good idea to call in reinforcements from a trusted eCommerce funding provider — taking a proactive approach will ensure you have sufficient working capital to run multiple promotions and ads without winding up out of stock with unhappy customers.
Prep your store to handle the traffic surge 💻
After all your hard work, the last thing you want is for it to fall flat because your store, erm… falls flat.
To prepare for the upcoming visitor and sales influx, check to see if you need to update your server plan and speak with your website service providers to see how to expand your traffic capacity before the big month. Have all their emergency contact details at the ready, too, just in case you experience technical hiccups.
Ready to Boost Your Sales this May?
The May holidays are an exciting time in the eCommerce calendar.
The right eCommerce ideas (combined with good old-fashioned blood, sweat, and maybe even a few tears) can help you outperform your competition, and set your store up to take on even bigger holiday seasons later in the year.
Take May as seriously as you would Q4 and look for ways to differentiate yourself from the typical marketing promos to entice new visitors to your store and offer special incentives for your existing customer base.
With the extra traffic coming to your store, May is also a great time to test new products and bundles to see where your most profitable opportunities lie. Just make sure you have enough cash flow to run your promotions and keep your inventory flowing.
Here’s to a happy and profitable May!
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