Holidays can make or break a retailer’s season. Offering last-minute deals to savvy shoppers helps boost the bottom line; and best of all, this strategy can pay off throughout the year.

Online Christmas

Let’s talk online Christmas. Order deadlines for online retailers mean that last-minute shoppers won’t get their items on time. If your customers don’t buy by your shipping deadline, they’ll look elsewhere. Here are some ways retailers can entice last-minute traffic:

  • Online retailers that also have a bricks-and-mortar presence (such as Walmart, Sierra Trading Post, Target, or REI) offer click-and-collect services, where customers order online and pick up in-store.
  • For online retailers without a physical presence, one option is to use digital gifting. E-gifting allows gift recipients to choose sizes, models, and colors before the item ships. On Christmas, they receive a lovely card, and then they get the pleasure of shopping and getting exactly what they want, plus there’s the undeniable fun factor that comes with “second Christmas” in January.
Last-minute deals

Long a favorite of people looking for cut-rate flights or hotel accommodations, last-minute deals are readily found on online travel sites. You can apply this strategy by offering coupons that tie into holidays, customer’s birthdays, or dates relevant to your industry (for example, the kickoff to football season, ski season, BBQ season, etc.).

Deadlines create a sense of urgency; where many retailers traditionally offer President’s Day sales, you can apply a “last-minute” sense of urgency when you tie your offer in with a date that is more real - and more emotionally compelling - to the customer. If your customers want to have the latest-and-greatest gear before ski season, offer a “last-minute” deal that coincides with opening day at a big resort.

The key to the last-minute-deal strategy is being proactive in letting your customer base know that last-minute deals are available. Whether you communicate with your customers via social media, email, snail mail or online advertising, they must be alerted to enticing last-minute deals to take advantage of them. It’s also important to remove any anxiety or doubt your customers might have by taking your last-minute offer. This means being clear on what they get, reducing distractions (don’t give them too many choices, which can lead to overwhelm), and reassuring them with a solid money-back guarantee.

Creating online coupons and featuring them on mobile coupon apps will help you reach a broader audience, and this approach is especially enticing for those customers who are actively hunting for last-minute deals. Grab Qpons offers real-time discounts to last-minute shoppers but they can also increase sales throughout the year, and give your business a needed boost outside of the traditional holiday shopping season.