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6 Simple Ways to Drive Holiday Shopping Conversions

Angie Tran

Content Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for — the year is finally coming to a close. For retailers, however, the celebrations can’t start yet. The next few months will be crucial for sales and engagement. 

While there isn’t enough time to completely redesign your site’s online shopping experience, you can prepare at this point in the year to increase the likelihood of holiday success. Here are six tips to help you increase holiday conversions.

1. Run Exciting Sales on Lesser-Known Holidays

Everyone knows Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge shopping events in the latter half of the year, but what about holidays that don’t get the spotlight?

Super Saturday — the last Saturday before Christmas — is typically the last chance for procrastinators to shop ‘til they drop. In 2022, an estimated 158 million consumers were anticipated to spend on this day. Other holidays to participate in include Blue Monday or Boxing Day. By offering discounts, promos, and sales on these days, you give your customers additional opportunities to get their hands on holiday gifts, and you have more conversion points available.

Find out which holidays you should be preparing for here. 

2. Use Retargeting Ads

The power of retargeting ads—whether for social, search, or email—cannot be overstated. Instead of spending your precious marketing resources to target everyone online, you can make sure that they’re going toward converting the relevant, high-quality prospects that may have already shown an interest in your products or have shopped with you before. By leveraging retargeting ads, you can personalize your creative campaigns and segment potential shoppers based on their interests, shopping behaviors, and demographics. It’s a great way to catch attention. 

3. Offer Free Shipping

Big box retailers, savvy D2C brands, and e-commerce behemoths have set a new consumer expectation — shipping must be free, fast, and reliable. And with a record number of packages zipping around the globe this holiday season, order fulfillment is an important consideration factor when shoppers choose which companies to support. 

According to, 12.95% of packages shipped through UPS and FedEx had delays prior to the holiday shopping season in 2022. If you’re unable to guarantee a three to five day delivery schedule, you’ll want to offer free shipping, even if it requires a minimum order subtotal. And make sure to inform your customers about cut-off dates when they’re browsing your site (this is where a pop-up or sitewide banner comes in handy) and provide continuous delivery updates after they checkout.

If free shipping makes your business unprofitable, you’ll want to opt for a flat-rate shipping cost for all customers. There’s nothing more frustrating than adding new goodies to your cart and having to abandon it because of exorbitant shipping costs. Remember: always set customer expectations up front. 

Pro Tip: You can offer in-store pickup and incentivize people to select this option by providing a discount. Not only will you be able to score some big wins by offering time-strapped shoppers the option to snag their pre-purchased gifts on their own time, but you’ll also alleviate some of the pressure from your shipping operations. 

For more on holiday shipping, check out this guide. 

4. Have a Generous Return Policy

The holidays are a hectic time. Return policies can be a significant consideration factor for shoppers, especially those who are purchasing gifts last minute, and they’ll flock to retailers who are flexible and generous with return options. Show some empathy to shoppers’ circumstances and extend your return period, if only temporarily. 

5. Remove Friction Points

The fewer roadblocks a customer encounters in their journey, the more likely they are to convert. Optimize your shopping and checkout experiences. This includes:

  • Making sure your site speed is as fast as possible. Roughly 40% of online users abandon websites that take more than three seconds to load — ouch! Take the time to conduct a site audit and jot down areas for improvement, including optimizing images, removing unnecessary plugins, and pruning old pages. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to review your site speed and areas that might be lowering your score.

  • Compiling a gift-guide tab with best-sellers or holiday items in a variety of price ranges. Don’t forget to prominently feature the best reviews for each of these products and their value propositions. Even better, add a sitewide banner that links to this page. 

  • Removing the requirement that shoppers sign up for customer accounts. Allowing shoppers to checkout as a guest can significantly streamline the checkout process.

6. Provide Top-Notch Customer Service

To distinguish your brand as one that genuinely cares about its customers, take care of shoppers with excellent customer service, whether it’s through a 24/7 hotline, live chat, or thorough FAQ page. Customer service is an excellent opportunity to alleviate some of the holiday stress and nurture brand loyalty. Just make sure that your customer service associates are well-trained — you may want to hire some additional employees to cover the holiday rush, just in case. 

For more customer service tips, check out our resource.

It’s Time to Convert

Ultimately, the holiday rush is both a challenge and an opportunity for brands. By placating holiday anxieties with a memorable and efficient customer journey, you can be the retailer that comes in and saves the day. 

Though some of these ideas may be temporary improvements to your operations, merchandising, and marketing, many provide a foundation for a better customer shopping experience that you can implement permanently. If you’re ready to get started, check out how AdRoll can provide you with the essential tools to serve delight to your customers.