Last-Minute Tips for Holiday Commerce Success

Sovrn Commerce Team // December 6, 2022

The clock is ticking, but there’s still time to finish the holiday season strong. While inflation is shrinking holiday budgets and making consumers more cost-conscious, it hasn’t stopped them from buying. In fact, the National Retail Federation (NRF) projects that retail sales will grow by 6-8% in November and December compared to the same time in 2021.

That means you still have plenty of revenue opportunities as the shopping season draws to a close — but you’ll need a smart affiliate strategy to capture readers’ attention and capitalize on their purchase intent. Following are some tips to help you close out the year on a high note.

Focus on top shopping days

While the busiest shopping days may have passed, that doesn’t mean you’ll see a dramatic drop-off in momentum. Our data shows that elevated shopping activity typically continues until at least mid-December, so you’ve still got time to meet your revenue goals. Once things begin to level off, focus your efforts on big days when consumers are most likely to be shopping:

December 14: Free Shipping Day
On this day, thousands of online retailers offer free shipping and guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. Many also waive minimum order requirements, making this one-day promotional event a great opportunity for last-minute holiday shopping. The Free Shipping Day website provides a complete list of participating merchants, along with details of their offer.

December 26: Boxing Day
While its tradition is based in the British Commonwealth, retailers worldwide have latched onto Boxing Day as an opportunity to minimize post-Christmas inventory by offering deep discounts. As a result, Boxing Day has become one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year. 

December 26-30: “Cyber Week II”
In recent years, the week after Christmas has become known as “Cyber Week II.” And while it’s not as well-known as the Cyber 5, it presents some enticing commerce opportunities. Many shoppers find themselves with gift cards to spend, while others are looking to buy themselves the gifts they didn’t find under the tree. It’s also prime time to prepare for everyone’s New Year resolutions, which may require any number of goods and services.

4 ways to finish strong

  1. Keep your content fresh. Holiday shopping is a marathon event — not a sprint. Your readers will spend weeks looking for gifts (and deals), so give them a reason to keep coming back. As deals end, swap them out for new promotions. While you’re at it, take a look at your evergreen content and identify opportunities to update outdated affiliate links.
  2. Choose the right affiliate partners. While discounts may start to drop off after Cyber Week, top merchants are paying commission rates of 10% and more. Now is a great time to review your commerce partnerships to ensure your featured merchants will appeal to your audience — and help you generate as much affiliate revenue as possible. Check the Preferred Merchants tab in the Sovrn Commerce dashboard for a list of merchants offering premium commission rates.
  3. Use price comparisons. With tighter shopping budgets this holiday season, earning revenue means attracting as many clicks and conversions as possible. By automatically displaying pricing info from multiple retailers, you can help your readers find the best deals on the products they want — and increase click-through rates by up to 200%.
  4. Start planning for Q1. You probably feel like you’re living day-to-day during the final quarter of the year, but Q1 will be here before you know it. All signs point to a challenging year in 2023, with rising inflation and tighter budgets all around. So there’s no time to rest once the holidays are over! Start the year out right by focusing on categories that historically perform well in Q1 — especially those that are closely aligned with New Year resolutions, like: 
  • Health & wellness
  • Sports & fitness
  • Money & finance
  • eLearning

Let Sovrn help!

This holiday season has been uniquely challenging for publishers — and it’s not over yet! But you’re never alone when you partner with Sovrn. We’re dedicated to helping publishers drive revenue during the holiday season and beyond. Our tools and resources are all you need to make 2022 your best year yet.

  • Our Approved Merchants dashboard has been enhanced with new Preferred Merchants functionality, new filtering capabilities, and new reporting options — all designed to maximize your affiliate earnings. 
  • Our Merchant Promotions spreadsheet highlights deals from Top 100 merchants, and it’s updated in real time to ensure you always have access to the most current promotions. 
  • Our Q4 Commerce newsletters include a Christmas Guide and a Last-Minute Shopping Guide to help you keep up with shipping cutoffs, featured merchants, top deals, and more. 

We’ve also crunched the numbers to uncover trends in EPCs, conversion rates, and average order values. Our findings can help you understand buying patterns and brand reactions in the current economy. 

Download our Data Insights report for the intel you need to maximize affiliate revenue through the busy holiday shopping season and into the new year. 

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