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.

Image Source

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.

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.

It’s Time To Prepare For The Holidays – Here’s My 2016 Review

It’s hard to believe, but holiday season is right around the corner. If you haven’t already started, it’s time to get prepping.

I thought I’d make a post going over some of my 2016 in review, complete with “ahas” I learned, stats, and general lessons-learned that may be beneficial to you.

I’m going to be completely transparent about…

  • My monthly sales numbers for Amazon
  • How much of my yearly revenue was earned during the holiday season
  • Which products sold best
  • Things I did – and did not – well

My hope is that this helps give you a nice point of reference. You may have different results, but I find it’s always helpful to have some kind of basis of comparison.

Quick disclaimer: this post is covering my print-on-demand Amazon income only. It isn’t covering Etsy, eBay, private label products… or even my information marketing courses or warehouse earnings, for that matter.

I wanted to stick with what would likely be most beneficial to you.

Time sensitive: If you want to supercharge this year’s holiday sales, click here for a very “limited time only” package.

That said, let’s start the review…

Here are my 2016 Amazon sales details: 

From January through June 2016, I was earning anywhere from $2k-$7k a month, pretty passively.

When June rolled around, I launched Low Hanging System and showed people what I was doing. Everyone’s excitement got me even more motivated; plus I wanted to have more case studies to update the course with, so I added in more products.

From there, income (mostly) went up month after month.

The cool thing this is all mostly passive income that adds up as you make more and more designs:

July 2016 – $10,644.39: 

It's time to prepare for the holiday season and review your 2016 sales!
August 2016 – dipped down to $6,310: 

It's time to prepare for the holiday season and review your 2016 sales!
September 2016 – $9,257: 

It's time to prepare for the holiday season and review your 2016 sales!
October 2016 – $12k: 

It's time to prepare for the holiday season and review your 2016 sales!
November 2016 – $36k: 

It's time to prepare for the holiday season and review your 2016 sales!
December 2016 – $115,795: 

It's time to prepare for the holiday season and review your 2016 sales!

Here’s how much the holidays accounted for compared to total sales…

Below, you’ll find a *mostly* accurate breakdown of what the percentages were for the items I sold during the four months closest to Christmas in terms of my total 2016 sales.

(I say “mostly” accurate because going through Amazon reports is very time-consuming and there may be some slight deviations. I spent a good deal of time on this until the process turned into a major headache. But you get the gist.)

September – 4.51% of total sales

October – 6.5% of total sales

November – 17.56% of total sales

December – 56.24% of total sales

Crazy, right? 73.8% of total sales were made in November and December.

The 80-20 Rule In Effect

Based on the percentages above, you can see that the 80-20 rule is (mostly) in effect, with November and December equaling 73.8% of my total sales for the year.

Here’s another example of the 80-20 rule: 19.197% of my products were responsible for 79.6% of my sales.

Product Breakdown:

Of that 79.6 sales percentage, here’s what my product breakdown looked like:

  • White mugs accounted for 74.31% of those sales;
  • Black mugs accounted for 21.10%;
  • Shot glasses accounted for 2.75%;
  • Color-changing mugs accounted for 1.834%.

The percentages for black mugs, shot glasses, and color-changing mugs may seem low, but I have FAR more white mugs — accounting for around 90% of my inventory — so the other products may actually sell at higher rates if I were to look at the sales ratios.

If we look at how much each product accounted for top sales, we see a different story:

Of the top 10.64% of sales (sold by .75% of total product inventory), they were  50% black mugs, 25% white mugs, and 25% shot glasses.

Of the top 19.45% of sales (sold by 1.5% of total product inventory), they were 62.5% white mugs, 25% black mugs, 12.5% shot glasses.

For the top 20% of sales in 2016, I found this VERY surprising, but 12.5% of the top 20% were text-only. Another 37.5% included text with a very simple image.

Don’t take that to heart, though – Of my top 10 products sold in 2017 so far, 70% are text-based.

What I did well…

The main thing that I did well was actively adding new SKUs and designs to Amazon. In February 2016, I had 48 mugs listed. And by December of last year, I had 946 products.

Adding new SKUs and designs is really important for Amazon because the more you add, the more Amazon rewards you. The more you list, the more sales you make.

What I wish I did better…

Last year, I didn’t do anything during the Christmas season! All of this was passive income. Working 36-hour shifts, I was absolutely losing my mind at the warehouse while we 12xed the business. I basically lived at the warehouse from November 8 (because of the election) until Christmas.

We were totally over-worked and under-staffed and it got to the point where I was basically placing Craigslist ads and hiring people on the spot. I actually had to fire one person because he came in to work drunk! But I was in no position to be choosy.

That said, I did nothing for my Amazon business because of all the craziness. But here’s what I wish I’d done differently to increase my sales:

  • Added in more designs
  • Tried my hand at promotions
  • Included additional types of products besides mugs – e.g. In 2017, travel mugs and pillow cases are selling like hotcakes. Last year, shot glasses did really well, but I barely had any for sale!
  • Sent more to FBA – FBA handles shipping for you and it makes things a lot easier (NOTE: There is a deadline for this so if you want to send some in, I suggest doing it NOW!)

Also — I haven’t told anyone this before — but I actually lost my account for a few days right before Christmas last year. The warehouse was totally nuts and I was prioritizing customer orders over my own, so I lost my account and had to appeal.

Thankfully, though, I was able to get my account back pretty quickly. But had I not gone through that and had I been able to fulfill all of my orders, I never would have lost my account and my December sales would have been higher.

This year, I’m definitely more prepared. We have a huge staff on-hand and we’re more experienced. Plus, we have better systems in place. So we’re in a far better position to do really well and I’m excited to see how things go now that we’ve had a chance to process our mistakes and learn from them. :-)

Here are some additional suggestions for how you can improve your ecommerce sales during the holiday season:

  1. Make your call-to-action obvious
  2. Offer a guarantee
  3. Bundle products together (covered in LHS)
  4. Offer discount codes
  5. Most importantly – get as many designs up as possible

Hopefully this helps give you a nice idea of what you might expect, although obviously everyone’s experience may vary.

Over the next few weeks I’ll add in some more holiday content so you can be as set up for success as possible.

If you liked this post, please leave a comment – I’d love to hear what you thought of this post, if you got any “a’ha”s, or if your results matched up with mine percentage-wise.

And one more thing…

Do you want my help for this holiday season?

I’ve made a Holiday Jumpstart package for a limited number of people. It’s a high end package where you get everything you need to make this holiday season incredible. It includes done-for-you designs, free mugs shipped to Amazon for you, GearBubble credits, planning resources, laser coaching, access to a software I recently created that helps you find hidden gem niches that have many searches but few results on Amazon, accountability, and some behind-the-scenes looks at advanced strategies I’m testing out.

If this is something you’d be interested, click here to learn more. It’s available for a very limited time only, so make the time to go through that ASAP if you’re at all interested.