12 marketplace tips of Christmas - Part 1

Written by The RI Team | Read Time: 5 mins

Christmas comes but once per year, but the Christmas trading season lasts for the entirety of November and December. In 2022, global consumers spent north of $1 trillion on e-commerce in the final two months of the year. This year, almost £25 billion will be spent online in the UK alone. 

For brands selling on online marketplaces, there are a wide range of actions you can take throughout the festive season to boost your sales. So, as our present to you, here’s the 12 marketplace tips for Christmas - Part 1. 


1. Choose marketplaces to suit your products at this time of year

From specialist homeware to second-hand fashion, some online marketplaces are better than others for selling particular goods. When it comes to Christmas, it’s not just the products you need to consider. For example, Amazon only permits brands who’ve met certain performance criteria to sell toys and games during the holiday season (FBA sellers aren’t restricted) and eBay buying habits shift at this time of year - given the time pressure, more people are likely to ‘Buy It Now’ for a fixed-price than wait for a bargain. 

It’s also important to remember that Christmas only means winter on one side of the world. If you sell traditional summer goods - i.e. sunglasses or outdoor furniture - you’re better off selling on marketplaces in warmer climes. For example, Catch.au is ‘Australia’s favourite superstore’ known for its bargains and Mercado Libre is Latin America’s largest marketplace, bringing in $10 billion in sales from 18 countries. If you decide to sell internationally, make sure to localise your listings


2. Be mobile and tablet ready 

In 2022, almost half of the $200+ billion online sales in the US at Christmas were made via smartphone while 73% of shoppers considered buying presents via their smartphone or tablet. With more people away from their computer (either on holiday or visiting family), mobile purchases increase in the run-up to Crhidtmas and peak on Christmas Day itself (61% of online sales are made by phone). 

Sellers should therefore double check their listings on multiple screen sizes. Can you see the full image on an Ipad? Are product descriptions too wordy for a small smartphone? Is all the essential info clear on a mobile interface? In today’s scrolling culture, brands should optimise their listings to stand out amongst the crowd. 


3. Christmas-ify your listings

You don’t have to sell toys, scarves or candles to get a surge of festive sales. Throughout the year, your product listings should use eye-catching images and snappy keyword-infused descriptions, but adapting your images and descriptions to reflect the suitability of your products for the festive season can enhance sales. 

From ‘decorations’ and ‘family-fun’ to ‘gifts for grandma’ and ‘presents for dad’, adding Christmas-related keywords can help customers find your products more easily. For images, think about adding a Christmas touch - such as the crockery you sell being used at a family Christmas lunch. 


4. Take advantage of gifting season 

More than any other point in the year, the festive period is a time of gifting and brands can take advantage in a number of ways. One of 2023’s trends is ‘slow gifting’, which combines consumers' preferences to give something meaningful and sustainable. Adding ‘unique’ or ‘handmade’ to product descriptions, highlighting the sustainable materials used and offering sustainable packaging (especially for gift wrapping) will help you stand out. 

You can also jump on the gifting bandwagon by offering gift cards for your goods (which show more thoughtfulness than cash, but without the stress of making the wrong purchase decision) and creating gift bundles of complimentary items (i.e. a healthy and beauty pack of skincare items). Gift sets help push indecisive buyers over the line and enable you to sell multiple items in one transaction. 


5. Offer free delivery and free returns

Returns are a necessary feature of e-commerce when consumers are buying for themselves, let alone when they’re buying for other people. Last year, 1.4 billion holiday orders were returned in the US alone, accounting for one in eight products. 16% of these returns were made in the six days after Christmas. Meanwhile, delivery charges can stack up when buying multiple presents online and the importance of delivery deadlines becomes heightened every day closer to the 25th (or 24th in large parts of continental Europe). 

Your delivery and returns policy is therefore much more important in converting sales at this time of the year. In fact, many buyers won’t purchase unless there’s a simple post-purchase returns policy. While offering free delivery and returns is not viable for everyone, try and incorporate the charges in the product cost or offer free delivery and returns for items over a certain threshold (i.e. to encourage higher value orders). 


6. Try festive cart abandonment tricks

As customers shop more at Christmas, they also abandon more carts. On average, cart abandonment sits around 76%. That means three in every fourth person has abandoned a purchase. The primary suspects are poor shopping experience, websites or payment portals taking too long to load, unexpected costs or delays (i.e. shipping fees or tax add-ons), friction at the checkout (i.e. need to set up an account) or unsatisfactory returns policies. Sometimes, consumers simply get distracted - and at Christmas, who can blame them.

To minimise cart abandonment, try and leverage the ‘need to get this done’ mentality of Christmas shopping. Sending follow-up emails with a little humour (i.e. Santa forgetting the presents in his sleigh) or offering small discounts for the products in the cart is sometimes all it takes for customers to complete a purchase. 


Part 2

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