5 Digital Tips to Prepare For The Holiday Surge

April Forbes
November 25, 2020

We all know the holiday season is right around the corner. We know that consumer spending goes through the roof during this time. We also know that we all really needed this break. That’s why people are going to buy gifts for their loved ones, and treat themselves in the process… More than ever before.

Remember, over 80% of consumers expect to be swayed by holiday promotions (Deloitte). So let’s get to work! 

Tip 1. Mobile First

This is a tricky one to put succinctly. Mobile purchases count for only about half the conversion rate compared to desktop browsing. However, the shopping process is two-thirds more likely to start on mobile than on desktop, and the traffic rates are much higher than desktop (Adobe).

Simply put, mobile devices are more often used for the initial consideration rather than to close the sale. 

We see a cool product at the shops and think, “what are the reviews like?” or “how much is this at a different store?" We then whip out our phones and start searching for good deals with social proof, and Google has the data to prove it (Google).

During those searches, what do you think will happen to websites that a. don’t have much info, or b. looks horrible on the phone?

*close tab*

So what can you, as a business/website owner do in preparation?

Here’s a quick checklist: 

  • Check all the pages on your website on your phone.
  • Check all the pages on your website on a different phone (Android, iPhone, or vice versa).
  • Check to see if all the text is easy to read.
  • Check if the menu is easily found/accessible.
  • Check if the search function works (hot tip, check both generic words and specific product model numbers).

Tip 2. Offer Early Gift Ideas

After Black Friday, “gift idea” related searches show an uptick. Consumers are out hunting for a gift idea (Google). Why not leverage this? 

Don’t forget, given similar price points, people enjoy purchasing more unique products over generic ones (Deloitte). 

Some ideas: 

  • Market gift ideas on social media.
  • Target various specific niches.
  • Offer incentives for early bird purchases.
  • Make simple themed, but unique product packages (not everyone needs to get the most thoughtful gift ever that reflects their most cherished memory from when they were six years old reminding them of their grandma’s warm embrace. Most people are fine receiving a simple “five exotic barbecue sauces package” from their secret Santa).

Tip 3. Offer Straight Up Discounts or Free Stuff

Have you tried to purchase something, but it came with a plethora of conditions where if you jump through a bunch of hoops, you might get a discount? 

How did it make you feel? Confused? Unsure? Apparently, a lot of people think so too. 

That’s why simple deals work better than convoluted conditions. 

Consumers prefer price discounts and free shipping vastly more than 'buy one get one free' or 'cashback deals' (Deloitte). From the shop’s perspective, BOGO might seem like a good way to squeeze more money out of the customer, but it’s not as effective as simply discounting prices. 


  • Don’t try to get your web developer to make super confusing rules of purchase on your online store. (waste of development time, for weaker return).
  • Make simple, easy to remember coupons that work across the board so there’s no confusion whether customers will get that discount or not. 
  • If you want to offer free shipping, prominently display the announcement on the site and on your socials. 

Side note: Searches for “free shipping” increase around mid-December, because, frankly, the window for delivery is closing, but consumers are still looking for a deal (Google).

Tip 4. It’s Not Just Ecommerce

Good news! The holiday expenditure is not just limited to online shopping. Of course, sometimes, we all just want to hang out. That’s why food and beverage is the second most popular spending category, and almost 60% of socialization spending is for restaurants, and a quarter is for accommodation (Deloitte).

Restaurant websites are usually not Ecommerce, but there are still a lot of actionable things you can check: 

  • Make sure your website works well on mobile. (See the list from tip 1) 
  • Make sure there’s a reliable way for people to book online. 
  • Make sure your phone number is listed on your Google My Business account.
  • Make sure your phone number is shown on Google Maps.
  • Make sure your phone number is easy to find on the website. 
  • Consider adding more photos to your website and/or Google listing.

Tip 5. Store Hours

Right after the window for delivery by Christmas closes, the surge in 'store hour' searches goes up. Combined with people wanting to socialize, get ready for (socially distanced) foot traffic coming your way. 

The search term 'store hours' show the largest spikes on Christmas eve, Black Friday, and boxing day (Google). It’s not surprising if you think about it, but it’s easy to overlook. 

So, what do you do about it? 

  • Make sure your business' Google accounts have trading hours listed, and is updated. 
  • Make sure it’s easy to find on your website. (somewhere in the footer or header should work)
  • If you have special holiday trading hours, make sure it’s prominently shown
  • Update your socials to show trading hours


Australia has been very good in controlling the pandemic, and we’re now on a sure track to have a huge holiday economic boost. Have a think about the list of actionable suggestions above, and let’s all get ready for a fun, safe, profitable holiday. 

Is your business ready for the holiday surge? It should be.