5 ways to give your business a holiday sales bonus

As retail’s biggest season revs up, are visions of higher sales volumes dancing in your head?

The opportunity looks promising: The National Retail Federation predicts 2019 holiday spending will approach $730 billion, roughly 4% higher than last year. And more than half of shoppers (51%) said concerns about the economy will have no influence on their holiday spending, according to our recent consumer survey. In fact, nearly a fourth (24%) plan to spend more this year than last.

Turning this spending potential into sales is the aim of every retailer. The following suggestions can help you do it while there’s still time to make the season bright.

Lean on emotional cues

The holidays focus on relationships and families. Emphasize marketing messages that evoke warm memories, or use holiday decorations and music in your store to a similar effect. Research suggests that nostalgia can help motivate shoppers to spend. Try these questions to boost your creativity:

  • Which of your products make people feel comfortable, cozy, or nostalgic?

  • How do some of your products help families enjoy time together?

  • Do your staff members have pleasant holiday memories that might help influence your marketing messages?

Plan for holiday upsells and bundling

Identify product pairings that are common among your customers’ holiday purchases—for example, a jacket that goes well with a certain dress or pair of shoes. Make sure your sales associates are familiar with these patterns, so they can recommend complementary items with confidence. 

On your site, feature these pairings on product display pages, so shoppers get used to seeing them together. Or feature complementary products in a nearby “frequently bought together” widget to show buying patterns that worked for other shoppers. (When Amazon started displaying these suggestions as an upsell tactic in 2006, sales increased 35%.) 

Maximize retargeting efforts

Holiday season is a great time to reach out to prior customers and those who browsed but didn’t buy. Remind shoppers who abandoned carts, for example, that the item they considered months ago is still available but selling quickly. Holiday email campaigns can also create urgency around popular, best-selling items that complement their previous purchases. These and other creative uses of retargeting can help drive conversion.  

Minimize friction at checkout

Long lines at the cash register are a holiday hassle. Some retailers have found creative solutions, like having employees rove the store with mobile checkout systems or setting up VIP lanes for customers with loyalty status. How can you make your in-store checkout experience more special during this season?

Delays during online or mobile checkouts can be just as deadly for your sales. Check your tech infrastructure and run tests to make sure your site can handle traffic surges, particularly on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Showcase pay-over-time options

Our survey also found that 64% of holiday shoppers want a pay-over-time option. If your site or store offers Affirm, take advantage of multiple touch points to remind customers how paying over time can boost their spending power. Here are some tactics our retail partners have used:

  • Announce Affirm in a banner on your homepage or with in-store signage

  • Include Affirm as low as messaging in ads, emails, and other marketing materials

  • Add Affirm messaging early in your site’s sales flow, such as category and product detail pages

In addition, running a 0% APR holiday offer is a great way to convert shoppers without resorting to discounts. Several of our retail partners in the aftermarket auto industry found that offering interest-free financing deals during their busiest sales season (spring) yielded an average 32% boost in daily checkouts.

For more ideas, see last year’s holiday shopping trends for retailers who work with Affirm. Or visit our site to learn more about how partnering with Affirm can help increase sales conversion for your business.