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Concrete Last-Minute Steps for Increased Holiday Sales

By Aron Hsiao  on November 15, 2017

With the weightiest portion of the holiday sales season about to begin, it's time to take concrete steps to maximize your results.

Even if you're a smaller seller or have procrastinated this year on the holiday strategy front, here are three basic things you can do to improve your November and December outcomes.

Even if you've procrastinated on holiday prep, there's still time for some basic optimizations that can make a big difference.

Review and Optimize Your Listing Titles

Search engine optimization (SEO) may sound arcane, but it basically means doing what you can to turn up earlier in shoppers' search results—because the sooner shoppers see your products when they search, the smaller the chance that they'll buy from your competitors instead.

For the pending holiday sales season, consider doing the following:

  • Optimize keywords for search placement. Use Terapeak SEO—you can access a lite version of the tool for free—to find the keywords that are performing best right now on eBay for each of your products. If it's been a while since you optimized your listing titles in a data-driven way, or if this is something you've never done before, start now so that you'll get the best possible search placement for holiday shoppers.

  • Add a promotional term or two. Turning up in search results isn't the only thing you're going for; once someone sees your title, it also needs to encourage them to click, and then to buy. This time of year, shoppers are primed to look for promotions and gift items, so target the listings you're hoping to do best with this season and add keywords or phrases like "Sale," "Gift Set," or "Fast Shipping" to inspire shoppers to take action.

Add Holiday Categories to Your eBay Store

Getting shoppers to your eBay store is a win, so you don't want to waste this attention by failing to show them other products they might be interested in.

Even if you've procrastinated on holiday prep, there's still time for some basic optimizations that can make a big difference.

During the holidays, shoppers have a concrete goal in mind—to check off every box on their gift-giving list. Having the right store categories and either moving existing listings temporarily into them or creating duplicate listings specifically for them can help you to serve this goal and maximize your sales.

There are three common strategies that you can adopt for holiday store categories:

  • Discount or sale categories. In combination with Markdown Manager rules, categories like "Black Friday Sale" or "10% Off Sale" and "20% Off Sale" can help to get buyers directly to items they might be interested in buying based on promotional discounts.

  • Tiered categories. Offering categories that align with gift buyers' budgets and price targets can help in some niches—think "Gifts Under $20," "Gifts under $50," and so on.

  • Recipient categories. If the previous two options don't make sense for you, consider offering categories organized by recipient instead, such as "Gifts for Her," "Gifts for Him," "Gifts for Kids," or similar, depending on your inventory.

Increase Your Support for Multiple Purchases

The numbers and survey data coming out of the e-commerce world over the last couple of years suggest that on balance, shoppers strongly prefer to buy many items from just a few sellers, rather than many items from many sellers, given the choice.

Put more simply, the ability to shop your store for multiple needed gifts rather than just one gift might be the deciding factor in whether they choose to purchase from you at all—so do what you can to enable them to meet multiple needs easily when shopping your store.

Take some time to switch on strategies like:

  • Combined shipping promotions and rules. Use eBay's tools to enable shipping discounts for combined purchases so that shoppers can load up and feel as though they're getting a better and better deal with each additional purchase.

  • Cross-promotions for related listings. eBay no longer supports active content, but links to other eBay pages and images in item descriptions are still fair game, so for your holiday listings, you're free to include links to other, related products in your listings that shoppers are likely to be looking for. Using promotion boxes in your store is another tactic to achieve the same goal—turning buyers on to the idea that you can provide also provide some of the other things they're looking for.

  • Bundled discount listings. For items that are commonly bought together, the holidays can be a good time to create "bundle" listings that also serve as discount promotions. Take two or several items that might "go together" for gift buying and create a "bundle" listing that saves shoppers money on the combined purchase. Then, promote the idea that this bundle listing saves them money both in its title and by linking to the bundle listing from within listings for the individual items.

Get Busy and Take Action

Yes, it's true that larger and more proactive sellers often have holiday strategies that were hatched months in advance, but just because this isn't you doesn't mean that there's nothing you can do to optimize your activity for maximum holiday sales.

The strategies above can be put into play on a last-moment basis in just a few hours, and can pay dividends over November and December—so even if you've put off holiday prep until conventional wisdom says it's too late, don't be fooled.

Get busy, take action now, and get your listings and store ready for holiday sales!


Research a full year of online sales in detail for any product or keyword—average prices, competition levels, top listings, and more. Try Terapeak Research today!

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