Your Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Survival Guide: Stats & Tips

Christmas is just days away, my friends. The time for exchanging presents, catching up with loved ones, and the Christmas dinner meals are almost upon us.

Alas, there’s still work to be done. Unless you sell something that appeals to extraordinarily punctual people, we guarantee that at least some of your prospective customers have yet to check all the boxes on their holiday shopping lists.

pile of presents


4 key stats for the end of the holiday season

1. 16% of people will finish shopping  just before Christmas

Evidently, this final stretch of the holiday season provides plenty of sales opportunities for retailers of all kinds. Don’t take your foot off the gas until Santa’s boots are inside a fireplace.

2. Last year brought a 24% increase in shipping discounts

It’s no secret that online shoppers are fond of discounted (and free) shipping all year long. But when time is running out and your prospects are under the gun to submit their orders, few things are more powerful than inexpensive, flexible shipping. As eMarketer’s data shows, more and more companies are taking note of this trend and adjusting accordingly. If you don’t follow suit, you might not hit the holiday conversion numbers you’re looking for.

3. 35% of shoppers expect you to store their information

There’s nothing complicated to dissect here. As you know from your own shopping experiences, it’s annoying when you want to submit an order to an online store you’ve already used and you’re asked to re-enter your shipping and billing information. A lot of shoppers—including those who are browsing your site as we speak—would prefer to breeze through the order submission process and get back on with their lives. Put differently, they want minimal friction.

If you want to drive a boost in your last-minute holiday sales, make it painless to submit an order to your online store.

4. 49% of shoppers want ads based on purchase history

Yet another valuable insight from Google’s most recent Global Retail Study: Practically half of shoppers say they want personalized ads based on past purchases. Your prospects are telling you something in unambiguous terms: They want the ads they see online to be catered to their preferences.

The final stretch of the holiday season is the perfect time to remind your past customers of how awesome your store is. As the pressure to buy a gift continues to climb, online shoppers become more and more eager to find inspiration. With a well-timed, personalized ad—on Facebook, Instagram, Google, or wherever—you can save the day just in the nick of time.

5 actionable tips for the end of the holiday season

1. Run one-day sales on Super Saturday

As I’m sure some of you already know, the last Saturday before Christmas is known as Super Saturday—one final chance for those 40 million procrastinators to buy gifts for their friends and family members. Estimates vary, but according to ABC News, retailers can expect to generate something in the ballpark of $15 billion in revenue—in just one single day.

It’s not enough, however, to simply open your doors on Saturday, December 21; you need to go the extra mile and give your prospects a reason to pick you over your competitors. For better or worse, that means you need to run some killer one-day sales.

Super Saturday Sale

Shoppers will always appreciate discounted prices, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get creative with your Super Saturday strategy. Think about products that complement one another.

2. Use local inventory ads on Google & Bing …

Google shared one heck of a statistic back in 2018: In just two years, the frequency of “near me” mobile search queries grew by over 500%! Clearly, shoppers like to see which stores have certain products in stock before getting in their cars or hopping on the bus. I have to imagine this tendency only gets stronger as the number of days before Christmas dwindles. After all, no one has any time to waste!

To help you turn this trend into some additional revenue, Google created local inventory ads. Here’s how they work. When a prospective shopper searches “women’s perfume near me,” they see a series of local inventory ads—each one providing an image, a price, in-store availability, and (perhaps most importantly) directions. Basically, a local inventory ad is an easy way to let your prospects know that you have the exact thing they’re looking for!

local inventory ads example


3. … and offer ads on Facebook!

Whether you’re advertising a physical store or an online brand, there’s so much to love about Facebook offer ads—a mobile-only ad type that allows you to entice prospective customers with irresistible deals. Users who claim an online offer will receive a discount code and subsequently get sent to your website to shop. If you’re targeting in-store shoppers, they’ll receive a barcode (or QR code) that they can present while checking out.

Facebook offer ad


4. Remarket to past customers

Stat #4: 49% of shoppers want ads based on their purchase history.  What else do you need to hear? People want to see relevant ads across search and social.

When the holiday season is winding down and the competition between you and your rivals is peaking, the power of personalized messaging cannot be overstated. And although platforms like Google and Facebook allow you to segment cold audiences by demographics and interests, there’s no group of people you know better than your own customers. That’s why you should make them your focus as Christmas draws closer!

option to remarket to past customers

Knowing the specific products your past customers have purchased is an incredible asset. Let’s say, for example, that you’ve kept an (anonymized) record of all the Facebook users who converted on an ad for a pair of running sneakers. Instead of going after a batch of entirely new prospects, why not retarget those customers with a carousel ad that showcases all your other running-related products? Although this approach means reaching far fewer people, you can take comfort in the fact that they’re much more likely to click and convert. If you’re under the gun to hit specific holiday season targets, it makes sense to go after high-quality prospects!


At this crucial time of year, high-quality prospects are the name of the game.



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