04-Step Planning Guide For Your Online Holiday Sales (2022 Updated)

This is the first chapter in our expansive guide about Online Store For Holiday Season

I. Why It’s Sink Or Swim This Holiday Season

Data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) finds that holiday retail sales, including online and other non-store sales, for the November through December 2021 grew by an impressive 14.3% over the same period in 2020, reaching $886.7 billion. This was a stellar testament to the dynamic growth of the eCommerce Industry.

We’re here one year later, when New York, LA, Berlin, London start crawling back to life and 68% of world population has receive at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, it’s not absurd to expect a booming holiday season for eCommerce business.

Gearing your store for online holiday sales in 2022 taps into the huge well of new eCommerce shoppers that have emerged amidst the pandemic. Let’s take a look at the upcoming holidays to be able to effectively plan that perfect holiday calendar.

II. Top Holidays Every Online Stores Should Be Ready For

In this section, we’ll name the most popular holidays that you might want to gear up for, and some product ideas – which can either be used as your special holiday-themed products to cross-sell and increase your AOV, or as the starting point for your online store – if you are pondering upon riding the wave in the holiday seasons with a dropshipping store.

01. Halloween – 31st October 2022

We start off with a holiday that brilliantly illustrates the strangeness of this brave new world: Halloween! The simple fact of the matter is that the virus is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, and this includes the fall of 2022.

The stalwart products of Halloween – costumes and candy – will almost certainly receive less interest than in previous years. However, spending is likely to be redirected towards things like decorations, simple costumes and activities to deal with children staying at home.

Halloween Product Ideas to Boost Online Holiday Sales


Halloween banners


Halloween Lantern


Halloween Candle

Kids’ costumes

Kid costume for Halloween

Adults’ costumes

Halloween costume

Pet costumes

Pet costume for holiday

Craft kits

Halloween craft kit

02. Black Friday and Cyber Monday25th & 28th November 2022

Regardless of the pandemic, online stores have been revelling in an undeniable advantage over brick and mortar stores for the past few years ‒ no crowds!

Online stores need to prepare for the oncoming surge early, having their store ready by at least the middle of October 2022. This means checking your site speed and simplifying the checkout process among other things to maximise your online holiday sales.

The traditional sectors that do well on Black Friday (computing, tech, jewellery) have an almost inexhaustible amount of accessories that are perfect for dropshipping.

We take a look at some more marketing strategies in depth in chapter 2 of this guide.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Product Ideas to Boost Online Holiday Sales


headphones - popular Black Friday product for sales

Laptop Cases

Popular Black Friday product - laptop

Power Banks

Power bank - popular Black Friday product


Popular Black Friday Product - Watche

Phone Holders

Phone Holder - popular Black Friday products


Earring - popular Black Friday product for sales


Ring - popular Black Friday product

03. Christmas and New Year 25th & 31st December 2022

If Black Friday is the FOMO-fueled heavy metal fest of holiday shopping then Christmas is a slow symphony of shopping. It starts as early as August before building into a crescendo over the last couple of days in December.

Not that Christmas is any new phenomenon; digital stores have been making incredible online holiday sales for years now, all while managing to alleviate the pain of the crowded, last-minute present rush.

You can sell pretty much anything for Christmas, so try to narrow down your products to a specific niche. As always, people all over the world are going to need decorations and Christmas jumpers

Also, as New Year’s Eve house parties are likely to outweigh club nights this year, it’s a great chance to sell party decor and tableware.

Christmas and New Year Product Ideas to Boost Online Holiday Sales

Fairy lights


Christmas stocking - Holiday ideas

Christmas kitchenware

Christmas kitchenware - Holiday sales

Christmas clothing

Christmas clothing - product ideas

Novelty balloons

Novelty Balloon - holiday sales product ideas

New year’s tableware

Tableware for New Year - holiday sales product ideas

04. Valentine’s Day14th February 2023

The days where only retailers selling cards, chocolates or flowers profited from Valentine’s Day is long past. An innovative online shop retailer can take advantage of the conscious avoidance of cliched gifts and market a huge range of goods that are becoming increasingly popular year-on-year.

Whether you gear up for the red and white wave of sentimentality, or opt to go with the ever-growing “Anti-Valentine” movement, be sure to stick to a central theme to maximise those romantic holiday sales online!

Generally speaking, you’ll still do well with jewellery, relaxing gifts and plants, but offering a unique spin on these gifts is a great way to establish personality for your store.

Valentine’s Day Product Ideas to Boost Online Holiday Sales

Jewellery boxes

Valentine Product ideas to sell - Jewellry box

Romantic furniture

Valentine Product ideas to sell - romantic furniture

Bath products

Valentine Product ideas to sell - bath products

Pop-up cards

Valentine Product ideas to sell - pop-up cards

Plush toys

Valentine Product ideas to sell - plush toys

Artificial plants

Valentine Product ideas to sell


Valentine Product ideas to sell

05. St. Patrick’s Day17th March 2023

As is the case with many holidays, St. Patrick’s Day depends on scores of people gathering and celebrating together ‒ something that might be impeded by COVID even after more than a two of dealing with the virus.

This means that stores will have to set out differently this time around. There’s no telling right now how the usual revelry of drinking and dancing will fare against the backdrop of a pandemic, but it’s safe to assume there’ll be many more house parties than in previous St Paddy’s Days.

As gifts are pretty much always drink and party-related, you can boost your store’s online holiday sales by prioritising drinkware, decorations and costumes for the home.

St. Patrick’s Day Product Ideas to Boost Online Holiday Sales

St. Patrick’s Day clothing

Patrick Day product idea - Clothing

House decorations

Patrick Day product idea - House decoration


Patrick Day product idea - Bracelets


Patrick Day product idea - Balloon

Pet costumes

Patrick Day product idea - Pet costume


Patrick Day product idea - Drinkware


06. Cinco de Mayo5th May 2023

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that is becoming more and more important in the United States, while it has enjoyed steadfast popularity in Mexico itself.

If you’re selling to either of these two countries (primarily to the U.S), you’ll find that your online holiday sales revolve mainly around party supplies

Be wary, because this holiday also presents a number of culturally sensitive pitfalls that could lead to a store being perceived as tone-deaf or out of touch. In chapter 2 we’ll take a deeper look at avoiding those pitfalls when it comes to marketing strategies.

Cinco de Mayo Product Ideas to Boost Online Holiday Sales

Gift bags

Cinco de mayo product idea - Bag

Photo backdrops

Cinco de mayo product idea - Photo backdrop


Cinco de mayo product idea - Tableware

Party decor

Cinco de mayo product idea - party decor


Cinco de mayo product idea - Kitchenware

Novelty costumes

Cinco de mayo product idea - Novelty costume

Pet costumes

Cinco de mayo product idea - Pet Costume

07. Mother’s Day14th May 2023 (19th March 2023 in UK)

Consumers embrace Mother’s Day and buy into this sentiment without fail. It’s human nature. Who wouldn’t want to do right by the woman who birthed and raised them, right?

It’s exactly this soft spot that online retailers can play into, shaping their marketing strategies to maximise only holiday sales for this day. There’s no reason you can’t do the same through stocking the traditional gifts of jewellery, perfumes, relaxing products and homeware.

Mother’s Day Product Ideas to Boost Online Holiday Sales

Unique cups

Mother day product ideas - Cups


Mother day product ideas to sell online - Cards

Shared jewellery

Mother day product ideas to sell online - Shared jewellry

Scented candles

Mother day product ideas to sell online - Scented candles

Unique soaps

Mother day product ideas to sell online - Unique soaps

Plant nursery box

Mother day product ideas to sell online - Plant nursery box


Mother day product ideas to sell online - Kitchenware

08. Father’s Day18th June 2023 (3rd Sep 2023 in Aus and NZ)

The relative newness of Father’s Day, and by virtue of the wide breadth of dads out there, means that there’s not yet a ‘traditional Father’s Day gift’. Almost anything can be a Father’s Day gift, ranging from sports items and gadgets to experiences and outings.

It might take some creative thinking and a little bit of rebranding to sell your products, but the windfall from your online holiday sales will definitely be worth it. Whatever the biggest sellers on your store are, if you think they’ll work for a middle-aged audience, make it part of your Father’s Day promotion.

Father’s Day Product Ideas to Boost Online Holiday Sales


Father day product ideas - glasses

Grooming products

Father day product ideas - grooming products


Father day product ideas - Birdhouse

Weighted blankets

Father day product ideas - weighted blankets

Robot vacuum

Father day product ideas - Vacum robot

Home comforts

Home comforts

III. Profiting from Online Holiday Sales ‒ 4 Easy Steps To Keep Up With The Joneses

Now that we’ve looked at some of the most important and profitable holidays coming up this year it’s time to turn our attention to the proper planning that will be needed to be able to profit from those events.

Any effective strategy to profit from online holiday sales basically boils down to 4 easy and executable steps that every digital store should take to ensure they are not left behind for this and next year.

Here, we’ll talk about planning, preparing, executing and tracking your online holiday sales.

Step 1: Planning for Online Holiday Sales

Comprehensive planning is essential to any successful campaign, whether it’s war or just a Google Ads campaign.

The first step you should take is to recap your previous year’s holiday campaign ‒ noting what went well and examining what didn’t work. This will give you precious insights on what is worth redoing, what is worth reexamining and adjusting and what is worth abandoning.

If this is your first-holiday planning session we recommend you sit down and pick 3 or 4 holidays to focus on. Don’t take on more than you can handle, but rather make sure that the holidays you do focus on becoming machines that generate great holiday sales online.

With planning comes the inevitable excitement of thinking up new marketing campaigns. You should know what products or services you want to promote, who you want to target with this promotion and, finally, how you are going to stand out from other online shops doing the same.

We’ll take a closer look at marketing campaigns in Chapter 2.

Questions you should be asking yourself during this phase are:

  • What did we do right and what did we do wrong last year?
  • How was our campaign timed?
  • Which platform or channel saw the best return on investment?
  • How and where can we improve?
  • Where can I set goals and develop strategies to realise those goals?

Step 2: Preparing for Online Holiday Sales

Proper preparation will help you to actualize all of those great ideas you came up with during your planning phase.

If you haven’t already, now would be the step where you set up your eCommerce store. As the world’s number 1 eCommerce solution, Shopify can get your started easily and get you profiting from online holiday sales before you know it. Try them out on a 14-day free trial below.

Open Shopify Store

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Don’t be overwhelmed, check out our beginner’s guide to start selling on Shopify.

Once you’ve got your store up and running, you’ll need to focus on your timing. As we mentioned before, timing is absolutely key to the effective implementation of any plan or strategy. That’s why preparing a comprehensive holiday promotion calendar should be at the top of your to-do list. This calendar should tie back to all the holidays you’ve decided to concentrate on, as well as your set of goals.

To be able to deal with all the strategies for your promotion, it would be well worth it to divide each strategy into 3 key phases:

  • Pre-launch: Period during which your business builds up excitement for the coming promotion. This should start at least 2 weeks before the actual launch.
  • Launch: The launch of your promotion. It’s always a good idea to couple the limited offer with a countdown timer to help convert that FOMO into cold hard cash.
  • Post-launch debriefing & follow-up: This is usually the 3-5 days after your promotion in which you will assess how well it went and follow up any leads that were generated during the promotion.

Now it’s up to you to identify exactly how close to the holiday you want to run your promotion. This depends on the type of product or service you are selling and whether they fit with the type of buyer who’ll make a purchase well before the holiday or those who impulse buy during the peak of the holiday shopping window.

After you’ve figured out all of this, you should turn your attention to any potential pitfalls or pressure points that might derail your campaign.

Remember not to get too bogged down in the products. If it’s your shop that doesn’t convert visits into sales, maybe because of its slow speed or poor navigation, all of your planning work would be for naught and your online holiday sales will really suffer.

You can familiarise yourself with some of the best practices of conversion rate optimization (CRO) by clicking on the link.

Step 3: Executing Online Holiday Sales

The festivities have begun! It’s officially the holiday season and you need to get your message, consisting of your product and your store, out there. Yet, a carefully optimized holiday landing page is all you need to boost holiday traffic, and improve overall search visibility.

Big, beautiful landing pages are invaluable at this time. We’ve got loads of practical help on designing the perfect one in chapter 3 – holiday landing page templates – so be sure to check that out.

To fine-tune your landing page template and to make sure your store is ready for the onslaught of online holiday sales, you’ll need a professional page builder. PageFly is the most trusted, highest-rated page builder on the Shopify app store, with a simple drag and drop system that makes optimizing your store not only easy but fun. The best part? It’s completely free to use.

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If this seems daunting, you can also enlist professional help from a freelance site such as Fiverr. They’ll create your landing page and even your entire store for you, all for a fraction of the price you’ll get from your eCommerce holiday sales.

Once you’ve got a great-looking store, the perfect product and a landing page that links it all together, there’s not much to do but sit back and watch how it all unfolds. This leads us to the final step…

Step 4: Tracking Online Holiday Sales

The battle has started and any military strategist would tell you that a great general is able to adjust their strategy according to what is happening on the battlefield. Well, here, you’re the strategist AND the general.

The tracking stage is all about making adjustments to maximise engagement while the holiday is still happening. To do this, you’ll need to delve into the world of Google Analytics, but don’t worry if this scares you ‒ we’ve prepared a step by step guide to show you how to integrate Google Analytics with PageFly and exactly how it works.

By implementing this step you’ll be able to track exactly how your pages are performing and be able to swap out those pages that aren’t performing as they should.

What Next?

If you’ve worked through and completed these four steps, you will be able to run meticulous holiday campaigns and maximize your online holiday sales for years into the future.

But, don’t hit that Publish Page button just yet! It’s time to move on to chapter 2 in which we will look at some brilliant marketing ideas and tips to further boost your sales!

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