Holiday Countdown Tip #4: Pull out the stops on shipping for next week’s revenue peaks

Now that the hype surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday has ebbed, online merchants are looking forward to what may actually be the true make-or-break week for holiday sales.

Starting with next Monday, Dec. 12 — dubbed “Green Monday” because of its tendency to attract peak sales — and ending with next Friday, Dec. 16, which is marketed as Free Shipping Day, merchants have reason to expect sales that may well top the weekend after Thanksgiving. “Green Monday” — defined by online measurement firm ComScore as the last Monday with at least 10 days remaining prior to Christmas — has outperformed Black Friday for the past two years, drawing $954 million in online sales in 2010. Free Shipping Day, too, surpassed Black Friday last year, with revenues growing by 61% to  more than $940 million.

The surge in sales synchs with shipping deadlines. Next week is the last opportunity for shoppers to opt for inexpensive or free ground shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas. It’s time to pull out the stops when it comes to shipping. Whether on Monday, Friday, or the days in between, consider the following tactics:

  • Develop a free shipping offer that is both compelling to consumers, while still paying attention to your bottom line. The offer should encourage shoppers to spend at least as much as your standard Average Order Value.
  • Make your free shipping offer globally visible — not just in the global header on your eCommerce site, but on social outposts, to mobile shoppers, and in email campaigns.
  • Reinforce the promotion in the shopping cart. Alert shoppers to how much merchandise they need to add to qualify and suggest items that will get them over the threshold.
  • Build creative campaigns around Free Shipping Day. Register on the official freeshippingday.com consumer site and use the site’s badges and images, which are available at freeshippingday.com/badges.

To view all the tips in this series, visit the Holiday Tips section of the blog:
http://www.marketlive-blog.com/tag/2011-holiday-countdown-tips/