Top Holiday Insights – A compilation of fascinating facts about holiday shoppers

As another way to maximize my sales this holiday season, I’ve been looking at a bunch of marketing studies from last year and the year before.

In my research, I’ve come across a number of interesting facts that I think are really helpful in terms of planning and strategizing.

Below, you’ll find the list of facts I compiled pertaining to holiday shoppers along with several other useful marketing tidbits, such as a holiday calendar, shipping deadlines, and email suggestions.

Let’s dive in…

Fact 1: Free shipping is the offer most likely to spur customers into action.

Check out the chart from Deloitte University Press below:

Check out these fascinating facts about holiday shoppers so you can increase your earning potential this holiday season.

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As you can see, free shipping trumps discounts on expedited shipping.

What does this mean for you? Well, I’d recommend adding the shipping costs into your prices and then giving “free” shipping. If you’re doing the LHS method, for example, price a mug at $19.90 ($14.95 with $4.95 shipping) and $0 shipping. People will think they’re getting a deal.

87% of people say free shipping means more to them than fast shipping.

But what constitutes “fast” shipping anyway?

Fact 2: Most people consider fast shipping to be same- or next-day delivery.

  • 97% of people consider same-day deliveries to be fast shipping.
  • 95% consider next-day deliveries to be fast.
  • 89% consider deliveries within two days to be fast.

Anything longer than two days was not considered fast, according to Deloitte’s 2016 survey.

Don’t worry if you can’t offer the “fast” though – as mentioned, FREE is more important.

And if you’re in Holiday Jumpstart, the FBA mugs will certainly qualify as “fast”. :)

Fact 3: Cyber Monday is the top ecommerce spending day in the US.

According to Statista.com, people spent more money shopping online on Cyber Monday than on any other day during the holiday season in 2016. This finding is consistent with 2015 and 2014 as well.

Here’s a list of what the top 10 US ecommerce spending days were during the 2016 holiday season:

  1. Cyber Monday
  2. The day after Cyber Monday
  3. Black Friday
  4. December 9
  5. Green Monday
  6. December 5
  7. December 6
  8. December 8
  9. December 7
  10. December 13

Here are 4 more Cyber Monday facts

Fact 3a: In 2015, Cyber Monday conversion rates were highest between 9 and 10 PM EST.

Fact 3b: The average Cyber Monday order value was $123.43.

Fact 3c: Females accounted for the largest share of buyers and dollars for Cyber Monday spending.

Fact 3d: Total digital sales were up to $3.1B from $2.59B.

NOTE: In addition to Cyber Monday, here’s a list of 12 more days you should mark on your calendar for holiday promotions: 

Check out these fascinating facts about holiday shoppers so you can increase your earning potential this holiday season.

October:

Halloween – October 31

November:

Thanksgiving – November 23

Black Friday – Friday, November 24

Small Business Saturday – November 25

Cyber Monday – November 27

December:

Green Monday – December 11

Hanukkah – December 12-20

Free Shipping Day – December 15

Super Saturday – December 23

Christmas Eve – December 24

Christmas – December 25

Boxing Day – December 26

New Year’s Eve – December 31

Fact 4: Email marketing campaigns generate sales and help you reach new and existing customers during the holidays.

If you have an email list, here are 4 suggestions for email promotions to send this time of year:

1. Deal Of The Day

Lasting for just 24 hours, deal-of-the-day promotions are a great way to instill a sense of urgency in customers—if they don’t act quickly, they’ll miss their chance.

Here are some ideas for deal-of-the-day promotions you can run:

  • BOGO (e.g. buy one, get one 50% off)
  • 1-Day free shipping
  • Sale on an entire product category (e.g. all mugs are 25% off)
  • Spend a certain amount and receive a certain discount (e.g. spend $50 and get 20% off)

2. New Product Launch

The holidays are a great time to add new products to your inventory. So if/when do you, be sure to talk them up to your customers via dedicated email campaigns.

3. Cyber Monday Deals

As previously noted, the weekend after Thanksgiving is when the holiday shopping frenzy kicks noticeably into gear. People not only look for great deals this weekend; they expect them.

So give the people what they want and plan on emailing your customers about some fantastic offers happening on Cyber Monday.

4. Order By / Shipping Deadlines

Holiday shipping deadlines are determined by the shipper (e.g. UPS, FedEx, USPS).

So, to work out when to tell customers they need to place their orders by in order to have them arrive in time for the holidays, gauge how long it takes you to put together a typical order, then add that amount of time to your shipper’s holiday shipping deadline.

Here are the 2017 holiday shipping deadlines:Check out these fascinating facts about holiday shoppers so you can increase your earning potential this holiday season.

It’s also a good idea to email your customer again right before the LAST shipping deadline so the procrastinators have one final chance. ;-)

Fact 5: Most customers do the majority of their holiday shopping in December.

According to Deloitte University Press, you can separate holiday shoppers into three categories:

  1. Early: Pre-October – Mid-November
  2. Mid: Black Friday – Late November
  3. Late: December – January

Then, based on the chart below, you can see that this is what the breakdown looks like, by percentages, for when people typically get most of their holiday shopping done (aka when you can expect the bulk of your sales):Check out these fascinating facts about holiday shoppers so you can increase your earning potential this holiday season.

Fact 6: When it comes to retail policies, customers prefer cash refunds, free returns, and longer return windows.

  • 82% of customers say they want free online returns.
  • 61% say they want their money back, not site credits.
  • And 54% say they want longer return windows.

I hope you found these holiday shopping facts to be interesting/useful! Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. 

Check out these fascinating facts about holiday shoppers so you can increase your earning potential this holiday season.

Top 5 Things I’m Doing To Prep For The Holiday Season

Ever since I realized that 73.8% of my sales for ALL of 2016 happened in November and December, I’ve been working hard to maximize holiday sales for this year.

I believe in the 80-20 rule, and that taking the time to narrow down the 20% that yields 80% of results is time well spent.

This post goes over the action steps I’ve found to be the most important for making holiday sales. As I was writing it, I realized I’ve been (unconsciously) focusing on these steps… and my year-to-date revenue is almost 5x what it was at this time last year.

Though I’ve written mostly about my Amazon print-on-demand biz, the majority of this information can be used with any ecommerce model.

Here’s what I found to be the biggest “bang for your buck” steps, in no particular order:

#1: Keep adding products.

Platforms like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay reward you when you list more products with them. You scratch their back by adding more value to their marketplace, so they scratch yours by rewarding you with better search engine rankings.

Even traditional sites get SEO love from Google when products are added. Google loves to see actively updated sites.

Beyond that, though… more products = more money.

The more buy buttons you have for people to click on, the more opportunity you have to make sales.

If you’re doing the LHS model, this is crazy-easy. I’m not trying to sell LHS, ha, but this picture was sitting on my computer and I thought it made a great point. Check out the power of one design:

One design = 10+ more ways for people to buy from you 

Adding more products to your catalog is HUGE in maximizing your holiday season.

#2: Make sure your products are the right ones.

Last week I posted my my 2016 review where I went over my sales numbers for 2016 and assessed what worked well and what didn’t.

When I saw how helpful that was, I ran through my 2017 reports.

The time spent doing that was fantastic. An hour of poring through this information helps you get laser-focused with your time and lets you concentrate on what will earn you the most sales.

If you have any selling history, take the time to review it.

If you don’t, feel free to use mine.

#3: Send bestsellers to FBA.

I’m a firm believer that you don’t need FBA (where you pre-send inventory to Amazon) to make great profits on Amazon.

During Mother’s Day I sold $54k worth of one mug in a few days and most of the time it was was not an FBA item. Most of my sales are not from FBA items.

That said, FBA does help increase your conversion rates. More people buy products when they see the “Prime” button on your listing. It’s an indisputable fact.

I’m sending some of my bestsellers to FBA this year.

If you plan on doing this as well, I recommend you do it soon. Last year Amazon stopped accepting shipments sometime in November and if I recall correctly, there was no warning given in advance.

If you want my warehouse to ship items on your behalf, either email rachelreports @gmail.com or check out The Holiday Challenge if it’s available when you’re reading this.

#4: Outsource whatever you can.

Last year during the holidays I didn’t have time to eat or sleep (#joysofowningawarehouse) and I did NOTHING in my Amazon business during November and December. I’m not counting on having time this year either, so I’m spending a good amount of time working on outsourcing systems so that progress happens without my being personally involved.

Even if you do have time, outsourcing is a no-brainer if you can afford it. It helps you multiply your efforts (creating and listing more products), supports you as your business scales up, and helps ensure that progress is happening even on your off days.

Now’s the perfect time to get help with adding in new designs, listing products, and finding slam-dunk niches to sell in.

#5: Learn from people who are doing well.

I was recently considering buying a product from some Amazon mega-sellers. It wasn’t an easy decision because I didn’t know if I’d have a ton of time to go through it, and because the investment was very sizable.

To make a decision, I decided to look at what I’d get instead of what I’d give up.

Instead of having to “give up” time, I realized that I’d ultimately be saving time. Learning from experts means you don’t try and reinvent the wheel yourself and that you don’t waste fruitless hours doing things that won’t work.

Instead of having to “give up” money, I looked at it like I was getting the knowledge of people making 10x what I was for a fraction of the cost of the knowledge inside their head.

The course had a limit of 100 students and ultimately I squeaked in at #99. (And yes, I did confirm they weren’t lying about the 100. ;))

I haven’t regretted joining at ALL. It’s been a great decision and even though I may not ever make it through even half the information, what I’ve gone through already has made it worth it.

Whether or not you invest in something, I recommend taking the time to learn from people who have gotten where you want to go. You save a boatload of time and aggravation and reach your goals a lot faster.

Hopefully this helps give you at least some insight on where to focus your energy this year. Even if your list doesn’t match mine, hopefully you at least have some new things to think about. :)

Want my personal help this holiday season?

I’ve crafted a Holiday Jumpstart package that specifically takes these 5 factors into account. It’s a high end package where you get everything you need to make this holiday season incredible: 100 done-for-you designs, cases of mugs shipped to FBA for you, coaching from me, gives you software to find hidden-gem niches, and a LOT more.

I’m closing this down over the weekend, so I recommend you check it out ASAP.

Full transparency: there’s a slight chance I re-open, but I want to make 100% sure that everyone gets a great experience before I do. Either way, the time you have left to rock this season is ticking, so  I recommend you start making your moves now.

 

How To Create Coupon Codes and Discounts On Amazon, Etsy, eBay, And UseGearBubble

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Offering coupons and other discounts is a fantastic way to drum up extra sales for your business, especially around the holidays, when everyone is looking for a great deal.

Creating coupon codes isn’t as straightforward as you might think, however. Sometimes, the process can look a bit like a foreign language (I’m looking at you, Amazon).

So that’s why I made this post — to simplify the process and help you get more sales.

Time sensitive: Before I forget – if you want to supercharge your holiday sales, click here for a very “limited time only” package.

Below, I walk you through, step-by-step, how to create coupon codes and discounts on four of the major sales channels:

Let’s get started!

Amazon

How to create a coupon code for a percentage discount (e.g. 50% off):

Login to your Seller Central account.

Go to the ADVERTISING tab.

Choose Promotions from the drop-down menu.

Click Manage Product Selection.

Click Product Selection Type.

Select ASIN list from the drop-down.

Click Create Product Selection.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Open a new browser tab and go to the Amazon listing for the product you want to make a coupon code for.

Scroll down to the Product information section and look where it says ASIN.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Copy the ASIN number and paste it where it says ASIN List in Seller Central.

Then, fill in the rest of the information based on your Amazon listing (Product selection name/Tracking ID, Internal Description).

Click Submit.

Click Create a Promotion.

Click Create under the Percentage Off option (you can create other kinds of promotions — free shipping, BOGO — but this is the one I usually do).

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Fill in step 1: Conditions

Buyer purchases: I leave this as 1.

Purchased Items: From the drop-down, select the name of the product you just created a new product selection for.

Buyer gets – Percent off: Discount the discount you want to give (I typically do 50%).

Applies to: Purchased Items.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Fill in step 2: Scheduling 

Select your start and end times and dates for the promotion. (NOTE: Coupon codes always start a few hours out, so make sure you don’t have your customers use the coupon code too soon, before it becomes active, or it won’t work.)

Internal Description: Something like [product name] + [product type] suffices — e.g. I love pit bulls – pit bull coffee mug.

Tracking ID: I leave this as is. But you can use it if you want to do paid advertising and track analytics.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Fill in step 3: Additional Options 

Claim code: Single-use

One redemption per customer: Check

Claim code: Leave as is

Claim Code Combinability: Exclusive – This is really useful in terms of preventing people from adding multiple coupons to your products in order to get them for free.

Custom messaging: You can fill this is in if you want, but it’s optional.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

After you finish with these three steps, click Review.

If everything looks good, click Submit.

To get a claim code: 

Click View or modify your promotion.

Click Manage claim codes.

Group name: Enter the name of product you created a coupon code for.

Quantity: Enter the number of codes you want.

Click Create.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Once the page refreshes, click where it says Download at the bottom right-hand side.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Open the zip file.

Open the text document.

Copy the code.

Etsy

How to create an Etsy coupon:

Login to your Etsy account.

Click the Shop Manager tab.

Choose Marketing.

Then click Sales and coupons.

In the top right-hand corner, click the orange New special offer button.

Select Create a coupon.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Click Continue.

Fill in the Discount details.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

With “I’d like to offer shoppers…” you have three options:

  1. Free standard shipping
  2. Percentage off
  3. Fixed amount off

I usually choose either Percentage off or Fixed amount off.

And as a way to encourage repeat business, checking the “Yes, automatically email this coupon to buyers after a purchase” box is a beneficial choice.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Click Continue when you’re done.

If you choose Percentage off, here’s what to do next: 

Choose the Etsy listing(s) you want to apply the discount to.

Click Continue.

You’ll then be able to review your discount. For example…

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

If everything looks okay, click Confirm and create discount.

If you choose Fixed amount off…

…there is no next step. You just review your discount. Then, click Confirm and create discount.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

eBay

How to create an eBay codeless coupon:

Login to your eBay account.

Click My eBay at the top.

Select Selling from the drop-down menu.

Scroll down to the Selling Tools section and click Manage Store (you have to have an eBay store to do this).

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

On the left-hand side, in the Marketing Tools box, click Manage Promotions.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Click the blue Create a promotion box.

Select Codeless Coupon from the drop-down (other options include Order discount, Shipping discount, and Sales event).

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Set targeted offer conditions and discounts

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

The purchase discount you can offer will depend on what you have specified for the minimum purchase amount. For example, if you make the minimum purchase amount $5, then you can’t offer a $10 discount since that could potentially result in a negative number.

So the discounts I offer vary, of course, but I might set a minimum purchase of $10 and then offer a $5 purchase discount. Then, I usually say yes, the discount can be applied only once per transaction.

You can also offer a percentage discount if you’d prefer.

Choose qualifying items for your targeted offer

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

If you want to Restrict inventory by rules, you can Create inclusion rule, which gives you the following options…

  • Whole store (All inventory)
  • eBay category
  • My store category

And if you want to Create exclusion rule…

  • eBay category
  • My store category
  • Only selected SKUs/custom labels
  • Only selected Item IDs

You can also restrict inventory by SKUs and Item IDs.

Describe the items that are eligible for the targeted offer

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Create a description for your coupon so people know why they’re getting it, e.g. Friends and family $5 off discount.

Schedule your targeted offer

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

You can make the offer title the same as your description (this is just for your own use). Then, specify when you want your discount to start and when you want it to end, and when you’re ready, click Submit.

Your promotion will become effective immediately as of your specified start date.

But you have to give your discount to people.

On the next page, scroll down to where it says Action.

Click the Edit button and select View.

Here, you’ll be able to get your Offer link.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

When people view your eBay store using you offer link or short URL, then they will receive the discount on anything they purchase.

UseGearBubble

How to create discounts on your Gear Bubble campaigns:

Login to your UseGearBubble account.

Click the blue DISCOUNTS tab.

Click CREATE A DISCOUNT.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Fill in the information in the Create New Discount box.

Code: Input a coupon code of your own, such as WORK, or click the circular arrow button to create a random code.

Type: Choose either Discount or Free Shipping (US).

Amount: If you choose Discount, select whether you want to offer a dollar amount or percentage discount, then specify the amount.

Expire at: Specify the expiration date (if any) of your discount or free shipping offer.

Click ADD DISCOUNT.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

Your discount offer will then be added to your Gear Bubble dashboard, where you can delete it if you so choose.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.

I really hope this post was useful for you! I know this process can be confusing. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought!

And, if you want to supercharge your holiday sales, click here for a very “limited time only” package.

Want to create coupon codes and discounts for the holidays? Here's how to do it on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and UseGearBubble.