Q4 is the ultimate rainmaker for well-prepared e-commerce brands. In fact, back in 2020, US Christmas e-commerce sales soared to $188.2 billion, a mammoth 32% jump from 2019’s Q4 figures. 🔥
With the right approach, Q4 online sales can bring more cash and customers into your business than at any other time, helping you scale faster and more freely.
The problem is: with so many sales, comes stiff competition.
But don’t sweat it. With a solid plan and a dash of creativity, your brand can also hit the big time in Q4.
To inspire your Q4 prep, we’ve collected strategies from 5 retail brands that used the holiday season sales to take business sky-high. We’ll also share some unmissable tips and tricks to help you mimic their success.
The scoop on Q4 online sales
- Q4 success strategies: 5 brands that got it right
- Tips and tricks for explosive Q4 online sales
- The right way to prep for a profitable Q4
Need capital to prop up your Q4 strategy? SellersFi can help!
Q4 success strategies: 5 brands that got it right
One of the great things about Q4 is there’s no set way to make your mark. You can take strategies that suit your brand’s style, goals, and resources, and run with them.
To set your store up for more online sales this Q4, let’s explore some winning strategies. Here are five rockstar brands that nailed it last year:
1. Farfetch: Get your digital house in order
Over the years, shoppers have come to want more from the purchasing experience.
Consumers now expect businesses to stay informed on buyer trends and expectations to make the shopping process as fun and painless as possible.
Brands that step up and wow shoppers with a superior experience are more likely to win shoppers’ attention. Plus, these brands are also much more memorable beyond the Q4 buying frenzy.
Luxury fashion brand Farfetch led the way last year with an epic customer experience. By investing heavily in its digital framework, the five-star brand made a massive improvement in its supply chain operations and e-commerce platform to accommodate the huge shift towards online shopping.
And their dedication paid off. Farfeth pulled in $540.1 million in Q4 2020, a 43% increase from the previous year. 👌🏽
Here’s how you can follow in Farfetch’s footsteps to elevate the digital experience and secure more Q4 sales:
- Invest in robust servers to handle your projected traffic volume.
- Optimize your website for multiple devices like mobile, desktop, and tablets.
- Install heatmaps to track shopper behaviors and use the data to optimize your site.
- Use personalization software to recommend offers shoppers will want.
- Allow shoppers to save details for faster checkouts in the future.
2. Amazon: Make advertising a priority
As online footfall rises during Q4, it becomes even more important to optimize your marketing campaigns and strategies so you can appeal to a wider gift-buying audience that wouldn’t typically shop with you.
Amazon is the e-commerce behemoth we all know and love for finding weird and wonderful products, especially during Q4 — and this isn’t by chance. From flash sales to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, Amazon knows how to get its visitor’s attention and convince them to buy.
Now it’s your turn. Here are some ways you can use advertising to stage a Q4 e-commerce takeover like Amazon:
- Boost your PPC budget and experiment across platforms (e.g. Facebook, Google Shopping, Amazon, or TikTok).
- Work with influencers to generate more product awareness.
- Craft helpful blog posts showing visitors how to get the most from your products.
- Customize your website with seasonal banners, collections, and promotions.
3. Walmart: Stock up on what people want
Already known for being an all-rounder store, during Q4 Walmart cranks its one-stop-shop vibes to the max by filling its shelves with popular customer favorites. 🎁
Walmart’s clever strategy ensures consumers don’t have to go anywhere else to get their Christmas shopping done, meaning more sales with minimal effort.
The best part about Walmart’s success? It’s not out of reach for your brand.
Check out these tips to get more sales this holiday season:
- Remain on the lookout for areas to expand into for the holidays (and beyond).
- Research what your target market gravitates towards for holiday shopping.
- Stock up on these staples ahead of time.
- Decide on a plan for storing and distributing your goods to ensure you stay in stock throughout the holidays.
4. The Body Shop: Test new products
Every Q4 sales plan should include a little room to test new products and markets. Don’t be afraid to experiment with small quantities of seasonal products, as these can be super profitable.
Brands like The Body Shop have their seasonal product testing strategy down to a ‘t’. Each year, The Body Shop treats its eagerly awaiting customers to limited-time fragrances, beauty products, and its much-loved advent calendar.
The Body Shop’s Christmas spread is so good, shoppers keep coming back even after Q4. So it’s no surprise sales from their online and ‘At Home’ stores recently surged by 130%, accounting for 40% of the brand’s revenue in 2020.
For best Q4 results, analyze last year’s sales and ask:
- Which items sold well?
- Can we create offshoot items that would call previous buyers back?
- Are there any rising star items in our niche?
- Could we test a new territory or sales channel?
- Can we bundle any products to make our items more giftable?
- Can we launch anything special to get shoppers excited for this Q4 (and the next)?
5. Coty: Focus on high-priced goods with strong margins
Shoppers are in a buying mood when the holidays roll around. So, even if you sell low-priced items it’s important to capitalize on consumers’ shopping behaviors by launching some high-end options.
Cosmetics umbrella company Coty, which owns brands like Chloe, Covergirl, and Burberry, uses the high-end approach year-round to double down on markets like teen e-commerce. These tactical moves contributed to an 89.6% uptick in Q4 sales and a whopping $4.63 billion in 2020’s annual sales.
Need a hand creating a high-end line? Here are some simple pointers:
- Look for any natural places where you can inject high-end products into your portfolio that shoppers might want to snap up this Q4.
- Provide opportunities for shoppers across different demographics in your target market to splurge, so that every shopper has access to higher ticket options.
- Dive deeper into the reasons someone would choose to buy a more expensive product — like buying a gift for their boss, partner, or in-law. Then create products to attract those consumers.
Tips and tricks for explosive Q4 online sales
Now that you’re armed with some awesome Q4 inspiration, it’s time to get fired up and supercharge your year-end strategy with some winning hands-on tactics.
Let’s explore some of the must-knows to help get your brand Q4-ready:
Price your items competitively
To take advantage of the increased interest and traffic in the market, it’s vital you price your products to grab shoppers’ attention.
Look at your margins to figure out where to boost order volumes in order to make a healthier profit. A calculated approach towards product promotions and sales will help you increase order volume, without losing profits.
For example, you could create time-sensitive deals to trigger shopper FOMO:
- 3 for 2 offers for 24 hours only
- Buy-one-get-one-free deals for 2 hours only
- Flash sales with a percentage discount decreasing by the hour
Focus on increasing Average Order Value (AOV)
From stocking fillers to Secret Santa gifts, selling small products during the holidays can pack a big financial punch.
But if you really want to push Q4 sales to new heights, don’t rely on customers to remember to buy smaller gifts. Instead, put the ideas in front of them so they can’t resist.
For example, you could put suggestions tabs on your product pages and home page, or integrate upselling tools to do the hard work for you at checkout.
However you choose to increase your AOV, make sure your brand’s shopping process is quick and effortless. The easier it is for shoppers to buy goods (especially after they’ve finished their initial order), the more cash you’ll make.
Create a strategy to build relationships with new customers
Q4 will come and go fast. Look beyond your Q4 sales plan and take the time to strategize for your brand’s future.
It may seem like another heavy task to add to your already full plate, but forward planning now will help you launch into the next stage of your brand’s growth and kick off next year’s strategy, with zero fuss.
To get prepared for life after Q4, think about things like:
- How you’ll invest your Q4 profits to keep the momentum going.
- How you’ll keep existing customers interested in your brand.
- How you want to nurture relationships with new customers.
- What you need to do to increase your brand’s relevancy and competitiveness in the market next year.
Create a buzz around your store with exciting giveaways
The holidays are an exciting time for shoppers, and your brand should aspire to give shoppers a fun, festive experience.
If you want to be seen as a brand that knows how to celebrate, giveaway competitions are a great place to differentiate. Not only will you drive more traffic and engagement, shoppers will also want to stick around to see what else you’ve got in store (pun intended) — giving you even more opportunities to convert.
You could also take it up a notch by partnering with related brands to expand your reach and make the prizes even sweeter.
Here are some examples of competitions you could host:
- Host a ‘win your shop back’ giveaway.
- Have participants play a game/post a photo/make a social story to win ‘X months’ worth of your product.
- Create a lucky dip draw from existing orders to get an item of their choice from your store.
Get your financial house in order
If there’s one thing you need on your side during the Q4 online sales rush, it’s cash flow.
Extra capital will give you the freedom you need to make strategic moves this Q4 and ensure your brand maximizes all the opportunities that come its way.
For best results, look for a flexible funding provider that specializes in e-commerce, so that you’re free to take whatever actions you need to make Q4 extra profitable. And if possible, remember to set up your funding before Q4, so you’re ready to go when the busiest time of the year hits.
Looking for quick access to flexible cash? Find out how SellersFi can get you Q4-ready in as little as 48 hours.
The right way to prep for a profitable Q4
Q4 online sales can open your brand to more customers and unlock your next growth level. But to get ahead of the competition, it’s vital you take time to plan your Q4 attack.
Take inspiration from the successful e-commerce brands that have gone before you to gain new insights on how to make this Q4 even better than the last.
With the right e-commerce funding to power your way through the final quarter, you’re guaranteed to increase sales and boost profit margins. So, what are you waiting for? Get to work on your Q4 prep today and you’ll be smiling all the way to the bank come January.
Ready to crush Q4? Learn how SellersFi can help you win.