Published December 23, 2009

3 Ways to Ring in Last-Minute Holiday Sales

Many stores believe that Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year - and for good reason. However, December 24 is the second busiest, if not THE busiest shopping day for some businesses. Many holiday shoppers wait until the last minute to do their shopping, so why not take advantage of the "Procrastination Club" and be prepared for last-minute holiday sales? Even if you operate a retail website, you can still generate sales from customers who are shopping on Christmas Eve.

Here are three great ways you can boost your holiday sales with last-minute deals:

  1. Host Clearance Sales

    If you still have an abundance of certain inventory at the end of the season, create a demand for clearance items. Such inventory might include holiday specific items such as ornaments, decorations, holiday clothing, etc. Or you may have an abundance of inventory that you thought would sell before the end of the holiday season. Reduce your inventory by cutting prices up to 50%, 75%, or more.

    Send notices of your clearance sale through email, signage, your website, or any other way that will let customers know that you are letting inventory go at slashed prices. Your sales numbers may jump, and even at reduced prices and profit margins, your bottom line will be glad you held a clearance sale.

  2. Promote Gift Cards

    Gift cards are always a great last-minute purchase. Be sure your store provides and accepts them. You can offer gift cards as a physical card or certificates that customers can buy and give to their recipients. Or you can also provide e-gift cards, which is an electronic gift card redeemable through your online store.

    However you choose to offer gift cards, be sure to highlight them as a great gift idea for last-minute holiday sales. Display cards on or near your register. Include a graphic and link to purchase an e-gift card on the front page of your website, and include gift card links on all other pages as well.

    Another idea to promote last-minute gift cards is to offer an additional gift card of $10 or $20 to the purchaser for buying a gift card valued at $100 or greater. This is a great incentive to encourage higher priced gift cards.

  3. Offer a Gift Announcement

    Towards the end of the holiday sales season, it is usually too late to ship items that will be received by Christmas Day. However, you can offer last-minute customers a way to purchase gifts that need to be shipped by providing a gift announcement.

    A gift announcement is simply an email notice to a recipient that a gift is on the way from the sender. This lets them know that they were not forgotten and will receive a gift shortly after Christmas.

  4. Last-minute holiday sales promotions are a great way to boost your holiday revenue and reduce your unwanted or unneeded inventory. These are just a few ways you can boost your bottom line. Take advantage of these tips, and discover other ways that can help you increase your holiday sales before the season is over.