Last Minute Shoppers – We’re Down to the Wire

last minute holiday shopping, last minute christmas shopping, digital gift certificates, holiday selling online

Time for holiday shopping is running out. There are still several tips to help you pick up last minute shoppers. Learn more about picking up more revenue as the clock ticks down on this holiday season.

Hello. My name is Matt and I’m a procrastinator.

There, I admitted it. I haven’t done any Christmas shopping whatsoever and I’m leaving town in less than three days for the holiday. I drove by the mall yesterday, didn’t see a parking spot for miles and sped away as quickly as possible – my panic has now turned into antisocial fear. Thus, I went back to my place, double bolted the door and went online. I was safe.

First, something for my brother. I checked out several sites, decided on his gift and began to comparison shop. The site with the least expensive product couldn’t guarantee delivery by December 24. Ouch. And for overnight delivery it would be an extra $40. Double ouch, but I had no choice but to purchase.

Next up, my two best friends. Gift cards would have to work here since I have absolutely no idea what they want. I went to several of their favorite stores looking for a way to pick up a digital gift certificate or to just print one out, but no dice. Now I have to go back to that awful place they call ‘the mall’ to get them something. (Never fear, you can easily put gift certificates on your site using Volusion – check out how here.)

After this, I gave up and decided to be the Grinch who did nothing for Christmas. Take a look at some of the following tips on how to make the best for desperate, down-to-the-wire customers:

  • Specifically state what the absolute final day to purchase is to guarantee arrival before the holiday. You can do this by updating your home page graphics or adding some text to your product descriptions. We’re willing to pay for overnight – we just need to know about it.
  • Make your gift card/certificate offering as prominent as possible. You can even create a new category for this to help customers quickly navigate here and pick something up.
  • If you have a brick and mortar store, allow for in-store pickup, if possible. Simply have your customers place a note in the order comments that they would like to purchase online and pick the product up at a certain time. NOTE: be sure to have a solid internal plan in place to make this process seamless between your online and retail locations.
  • Give your customers some gift ideas when they get to your site. Half of the battle is deciding what to buy so make it simple. Try offering some quick suggestions on your home page or category pages.

There’s still a huge market of last-minute shoppers that you can tap into. To make sure you get a nice piece of that pie, prepare yourself to handle the influx. In other words, make it easy for your customers and they will come.

And if any of you are at the mall this evening, please save me a parking spot.

-Matt Winn, Marketing Associate

Do you have any last-minute online shopping tips? Are you still looking for gifts this late in the game? How do you handle requests this late in the holiday season? Share your thoughts and advice below!


Matt Winn is Volusion’s Senior Brand Manager, where he helps oversee the organization’s branding and communications efforts. Matt has created hundreds of articles, videos and seminars on all things ecommerce, ranging from online marketing to web design and customer experience. Beyond being a certified nerd, Matt is an avid college football fan, enthusiastic home cook and a self-admitted reality TV junkie.

2 Responses to “Last Minute Shoppers – We’re Down to the Wire”

  1. Jenn Davis

    Great tips!

    Another idea might be to provide a printable IOU or “the gift is coming” card for shoppers who placed orders that will arrive after Christmas. That way, customers can print something official to wrap and give to the recipient on Christmas day.


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