15 Christmas Promotion Ideas for Your Ecommerce Store

15 Christmas Promotion Ideas for Your Ecommerce Store
Charlene Boutin Charlene Boutin Nov 22, 2023 —  12 min read

If you run an ecommerce store, it’s never too early to start planning for the holiday season.

While that may have elicited some groans from some of you, remember that the earlier you start planning, the more prepared you will be when it’s time to launch seasonal promotions.

Not sure how to make the most of the holiday season?

Here are 15 Christmas promotion ideas that can help you make more sales and increase customer loyalty.

Feel free to jump to the one that picks your interest:

  1. Start your email campaign early
  2. Add a “gift navigator” to your website
  3. Create a gift guide
  4. Bundle gift products together
  5. Launch a countdown
  6. Offer free shipping & returns
  7. Remind your customers of shipping deadlines
  8. Create a holiday-themed quiz
  9. Run a holiday contest or giveaway
  10. Promote gift cards
  11. Run a “12 Days of Christmas” promo
  12. Create festive packaging
  13. Update your website design
  14. Run a Christmas-themed ad campaign
  15. Partner with a charity foundation

1. Start your promo campaign early

Before we move to more specific promo ideas, here is a general principal worth considering, especially if you’re a small brand:

There’s no rule saying you must wait until mid-December to start promoting your offers.

You can begin sending your holiday-themed emails as early as November. This is especially relevant if you have a limited Christmas collection or if your products often end up being gifted.

For example, last year, Candle Delirium announced the launch of their Christmas candles on November 15th:

Candle Delirium sent their Christmas promo email on the 15th of November

Note that your Christmas promo emails don’t have to be all about sales and discounts either. For example, Posh Puppy Boutique made their first December email about products that make good stocking stuffers.

Posh Puppy Boutique Christmas promo email featuring holiday must-haves

Here are five other email ideas that will create a sense of excitement around your brand:

  • Teasers about upcoming promotions
  • Countdown to the launch of the sale
  • Gift ideas, broken down by budget
  • Pre-sale offers for VIP customers
  • Holiday must-have products

Starting your email campaign early allows you to build anticipation and ensures that your brand is top of mind for your customers.

2. Add a “gift navigator” to your website

Pop-up gift filter is one of the easiest tactics you can implement in your store, and you can do it even without a developer. Not only does it show that you have gifts for every budget and every type of audience, but it also streamlines your customer journey by helping them navigate.

Whether your online store runs on Shopify or any other platform, you can add a filter like this one using Getsitecontrol – a no-code popup builder. All you need to do is select a popup template, adjust it to your store, and assign product collection URLs to each button (read tutorial).

3. Create a dedicated gift guide

Ever went online to buy a gift and just couldn’t pick anything to buy due to the mountain of choices available to you?

Your customers are probably experiencing this, too!

Holiday shoppers will most likely either be overwhelmed with options and promotions, or unsure of what to purchase for their loved ones.

In both cases, gift guides can be a helpful way to inspire them on what to buy.

Gift guides will help to avoid the dreaded analysis paralysis.

When you create a gift guide for your customers, you have two ways to deliver it to them:

  1. Publish the gift guide directly in a blog post or on a web page.
  2. Turn the gift guide into a lead magnet and exchange it for email addresses.

Just place a sign-up form on your website and provide the guide (or a link to the guide) in exchange for an email address:

Which option is better? It depends on your goals.

Chances are, fewer people will be willing to give up their emails for your gift guide, but if you do things right, they are more likely to turn into paying customers. Why? Because you’ll be able to send them an email reminding them about gift shopping and your holiday specials.

4. Bundle gift products together

Many of your customers will be busy during the holidays. Every decision takes mental energy, and when there is so much to do around this period, they’ll be happy to offload some of these decisions.

When you create gift bundles available during the holidays, you’re offering a win-win situation!

Bundles benefit you because you will sell more than a single product, while your customer benefits because they have one less decision to make. Instead of having to curate their own bundles for a loved one, they can choose from existing bundles and skip the curation.

If you offer an advantageous price for your bundle – meaning that the price of the bundle is cheaper than buying everything separately – your customers will also benefit by saving money.

This is exactly how Duluth Pack, a company crafting outdoor gear and apparel, promotes their bundle:

Duluth Pack prepares gift bundles for adventurers who want to save

There are many creative ways to “pack” gift bundles and present them to your customers as value packs, gift baskets, bundles for him, for her, for the little ones, etc.

While you may not have as high of a profit margin on gift bundles, you’ll be more likely to sell more of them – another win for you.

5. Display a countdown timer

We’ll talk a bit more about website preparation later in the article, but a quick trick you can do without changing the design of your store is adding a timer counting down to the beginning of your Christmas sale.

Alternatively, if you’re running an early Christmas promo, use a timer to let customers know how soon the sale will be over and create a sense of urgency.

Countdown timer as a part of an early Christmas promo campaign

If you’re using one of the popular website platforms, you should be able to add a countdown timer to your website without dealing with the code, by using dedicated apps and plugins. For example, there is HurryTimer plugin for WordPress, Countdown Timer app for Shopify, and Elfsight Countdown widget for Squarespace.

6. Offer free shipping and returns

To obtain gifts for all their loved ones, your customers will most likely need to source products from several places.

This means that shipping fees can quickly add up.

Increase the chances of converting holiday shoppers by offering free shipping during the holiday season – if you don’t offer free shipping already. If your online visitors have a choice between a similar store that offers free shipping while yours doesn’t, they’re likely to pick the option with free shipping.

Additionally, if you don’t already offer free returns, consider adding this to your list of Christmas promotion ideas. Your customers may worry about whether a certain product is a good idea for their loved one.

What color should they pick? Will they even like this gift?

And the more they worry, the less likely they are to buy. So just remove the risk factor from their purchase by allowing them to return the item for free!

To make sure all of your customer are aware of the promo, you can place an eye-catching sticky bar like this one below:

It’s up to you if you want to offer exchanges or full refunds, but in either case, your customer knows their loved one will have options if they don’t like the gift or prefer a different variation of the same gift.

7. Remind your customers of shipping deadlines

And while we’re on the topic of shipping, here is another quick idea for your Christmas promo campaign: let your customers know your shipping deadlines, so they adjust their plans accordingly.

Ideally, you want both your store visitors and subscribers to know your schedule. To reach your visitors, you can simply display a pop-up reminder on your website:

Pop-up holiday shipping schedule reminder

… and to reach your subscribers, you can create a dedicated email campaign, as Made by Mary did last year:

Made by Mary reminds its subscribers about Christmas shipping deadlines via email

Note, that instead of a single reminder, you can send a short series, such as:

  • Holiday shipping schedule announcement
  • Reminder to order before a certain date
  • Last call for those who want to get their order on time

8. Create a holiday-themed quiz

Quizzes are an amazing way to grow your email list and generate more leads on your website. They can help you:

  • Add a fun way for your website visitors to convert into subscribers
  • Obtain valuable data about your new subscribers (hint – every question they answer can be valuable information for you!)
  • Send more targeted emails based on quiz results or answers

But just like gift guides and gift bundles, holiday quizzes can also help reduce analysis paralysis.


Depending on the results your visitors get, you can curate relevant gift ideas directly on their results page or via email. Because this curation is based on information your visitors gave you, they will be much more targeted and relevant than a general gift guide that’s suited to everyone.

Quizzes are also an excellent way to attract new customers. Coco Village, a company selling furniture and toys for kids, advertised their quiz on Facebook and led people to a landing page built specifically for that campaign:

Coco Village uses a gift-shopping quiz to attract new customers during the holiday season

After answering a few short questions, a respondent receives gift recommendations and a $10 bonus. Meanwhile, Coco Village receives an email of a potential customer and information about their gift-shopping needs.

If you’re planning to employ this Christmas promotion idea, remember: the more relevant the curation, the more likely your quiz takers are to convert into paying customers.

Plus, a holiday-themed quiz will help your visitors get into the spirit of the times and make their experience on your website more enjoyable.

You can even add questions in your quiz that are for entertainment purposes only and that aren’t necessarily used to calculate the results. For instance, asking your visitors what holiday song they can’t resist breaking out into dance when they hear won’t necessarily tell you much about their purchasing habits, but it will add a fun element to the quiz.

9. Run a holiday contest or giveaway

You can run contests and giveaways all year, of course. But make sure you give yourself the bandwidth to run holiday-themed contests and giveaways especially during this time of the year.

In an effort to complete their holiday shopping on budget, your visitors are likely to be interested in entering contests and giveaways during this time.

Plus, this is the season for gift-giving, so why not take advantage of this time to cultivate more loyalty from your customers by running a giveaway?

You can create a giveaway page on your website or use this Christmas promotion idea for shaking things up on your social media like Scented by Hattie did:

Scented by Hattie runs a Christmas giveaway to grow their Instagram account and attract new audience

In addition to running a traditional giveaway, consider adding a small gift for each purchase that surpasses a certain price threshold. Just make sure the production cost of the gift is in line with the price threshold you choose so that you don’t cut into your profits too much.

10. Promote gift cards

While promoting specific products and gift ideas will help you increase your sales during the holidays, remember that many shoppers are looking for more simplicity.

Sometimes shoppers just won’t know what to get for their loved ones, even if you help guide them with gift bundles and guides.

If you have gift cards for your ecommerce store, don’t assume that your customers know about them, and don’t assume that they will think to check on their own.

Instead, be proactive and promote your gift cards during the holidays.

Whether you promote gift cards in your holiday newsletters, existing ad campaigns, social media feed, or as popups on your website, just make sure that you let your audience know that your gift cards are an option, too.

11. Run a “12 Days of Christmas” promo

“12 Days of Christmas” is a common Christmas promotion idea that adds some variety to holiday ecommerce marketing.

During this type of promotion, each of the 12 days will typically focus on promoting one discounted item every single day.

Here is a vivid example from Sally Beauty Supply. Starting December 7th, they promoted a different beauty product each day:

Sally Beauty Supply runs a 12 Days of Christmas campaign to promote a new product each day

But this type of promotion does more than mixing things up for your visitors – it adds an element of scarcity to your holiday marketing efforts.

That’s because each item is discounted for only 24 hours. So if your visitors are interested in your discount of the day, they know they have to purchase on that day if they want to take advantage of this promotion.

On top of that, a 12 Days of Christmas promo acts like a fun event! Customers who follow your brand will be excited to follow along for the ride and anticipate what happens next.

Keep in mind that you can do more than offer a different discounted item on each day. You can also:

  • ❄️ Announce a new limited-edition item
  • ❄️ Perform a surprise giveaway
  • ❄️ Launch your new holiday-themed quiz
  • ❄️ Offer double the loyalty points for purchases
  • ❄️ Run a buy-one-get-one-free promotion
  • ❄️ And much more!

Feel free to get creative with the resources you have to make your 12 Days of Christmas promotion as exciting as possible for your customers.

12. Create holiday-themed packaging or limited-edition packaging

Your packaging says a lot about your brand – and for some consumers, a difference in packaging can be just as important as the quality of your products.

7 out of 10 shoppers claim that product packaging has an influence on their purchase decisions.

This is especially true when influencers purchase your products to unbox them on social media, because many viewers will see your packaging without even needing to make a purchase themselves.

Gift-like packaging makes 61% of shoppers more likely to make repeat purchases with your brand if you’re a luxury brand, and 40% more likely to make repeat purchases if you are an average brand.

So, what’s the point here? If you have the resources to offer holiday-only packaging, you should do so. This won’t just help you make more sales this year – it will impact what your customers think about your brand and may help increase your sales for the year to come.

If you have collectors in your audience, some of them may decide to purchase your products specifically because you’re offering limited edition packaging.

13. Update your website to create a holiday theme

Attract your holiday loving customers by adding some holiday flair to your website!

Whether you update your header, change up your featured images, or edit the color of your buttons, creating a holiday theme on your website is a fun way to get your customers in the mood for gift-shopping.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul in which you spend thousands of dollars on development and design.

Something as simple as adding a short script to your website to create a falling snowflake effect can be enough to add a fun, festive feel to your brand.

Additionally, you can update your usual opt-in widgets with holiday-themed colors and imagery.

Get creative and try to find the low-hanging fruit that you can change to make the most impact possible.

14. Run a Christmas-themed ad campaign

Does your ecommerce brand have a paid advertising budget?

If you’re running pay-per-click campaigns on search engines, you should start targeting keywords that will typically be used during the holiday season instead of relying on your usual keywords.

If you keep your existing PPC campaigns as is, you’ll likely see a decline in results as people are shifting their search behaviors in preparation for holiday shopping.

Additionally, you can run social media ad campaigns to supercharge the results of your existing holiday promotions. For instance, if you’re running the previously mentioned 12 Days of Christmas promotion, you can expand its impact using Facebook ads.

Or just take a page from Amazon’s book and start running your Christmas promotion in October while the competition is still low to encourage customers to start gift-shopping early.

Amazon starts running Christmas-themed ads on Facebook in November to encourage customers to shop early

Keep in mind that if you are brand new to Facebook ads, now may not be the time to start. It takes time to begin seeing results from this type of advertising as you accumulate data on which audiences respond best to your ads – and if you don’t have this data yet, it will be difficult for you to get a positive return on ad spend during a short-term promotion.

15. Partner with a charity foundation

Making sales and ensuring your ecommerce store is profitable is important. But contributing to helping make other people’s holiday season a little better can be just as important.

The customers who spend the most on your products will most likely be the ones who can afford it – and many of them will be looking for ways to give back.

By partnering with a charity foundation, you’ll help attract those types of customers your way, meaning you can increase your sales AND make a positive impact – another win-win!

The type of charity you choose should depend on your brand’s values, as well as what your audience values most. For example, if you have a smaller brand with most of your customers coming from a more local group, consider partnering with a local foundation instead of something more global.

Make an impact this holiday season with these Christmas promotion ideas

By now you should have a few Christmas promotion ideas brewing in your mind to help your ecommerce store make the most of this holiday season.

Remember that you don’t have to run all of these promotions in order to succeed. Pick the ones that make the most sense for your brand, as well as what your audience is looking for. And if you run a smaller ecommerce brand, choose the promotions that will be easiest for you to implement while giving you more bang for your buck.

Charlene Boutin is a freelance content writer & email marketing strategist for hire specializing in helping Ecommerce and SaaS businesses increase conversions by growing authentic relationships with their audience. She loves helping business owners tell their unique stories to capture the hearts of more customers.

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