It may be October, but holiday shopping has already begun. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, 41% of consumers plan to start shopping in October or earlier, with 39% starting in November.  

Not only are consumers starting early, but budgets and deals are top of mind. Ipsos shares that 53% of consumers will only purchase items on sale and that 69% will make a “spur of the moment” purchase this holiday season.

Focusing on your holiday strategies early to capture October shoppers, highlighting deals to sale-focused consumers, and targeting impulse shoppers with best-sellers are key.

Looking for easy-to-implement strategies to help boost your holiday promotions? The Thrive Commerce team has put together five low-lift strategic ideas for Holiday 2023:

Strategic Promotions Play #1: Leverage Holiday Audience Segments to Share Exclusive Targeted Offers

In Fall 2023, Thrive Commerce launched a new way to target Offers throughout a shopper’s journey on-site. We often hear that a shopper’s experience can feel disjointed, with paid, social, affiliate, email, and SMS campaigns not continuing throughout the on-site experience. That’s where session landing page targeting comes into play.

Use targeting for:

  • Loyalty Program Exclusives
  • Holiday Segments Campaigns via Email
  • SMS Campaigns based on past Q4 purchases
  • Location-Based Promotions for In-Store offers
  • New vs. Existing Visitors
  • Traffic from Holiday Paid Media, Social & Affiliate audiences
  • Granting Audiences Early Access

Steps for Using Session Landing Page Targeting: Leverage query parameters to hide or show exclusive offers to specific audiences. Grab a parameter from your landing page (i.e., utm_campaign=blackfriday or source=email) and add it to your exclusive offer. Shoppers that land on a URL with the parameter present, like, will see the hidden offer throughout their 30-minute session on the site, even when they navigate to other pages on the website.

BEST PRACTICE #1: Add the targeted Offer to the Smart Bar, Smart Pages, and Smart Button for maximum impact.

BEST PRACTICE #2: Be sure to pin any targeted offers to the first spot on your Smart Bar, Smart Button, and Smart Pages. To do so, go to Offers > Set Order.

Strategic Promotions Play #2: Using Hidden Landing Pages to Grant Early Access (while growing your email list!)

Start by creating a landing page for early access sign-ups for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Promote the early access Offer on your Smart Bar, driving traffic to sign up for an email notification when access starts.

In tandem, create a Hidden Category within Smart Pages. Assign all early access offers to the hidden category.

Two weeks out from Black Friday/Cyber Monday, send an email blast out to those who signed up with a link to the Hidden Landing Page, granting them early access to the deals. Only traffic with the direct link can access the hidden Smart Page category.

Try using a “5 Days of Deals” campaign to encourage early-access shoppers to return multiple times to unlock different deals.

Once Black Friday/Cyber Monday is in full swing, unhide the category page to make it visible to all shoppers. Use offer tags or countdown timers to customize the promotions and drive urgency.

Strategic Promotions Play #3: Increase Shopper Engagement Through the Holidays with Frequent Offer Changes

Thrive’s Promotion Manager makes it easy to schedule or upload new Offers in minutes, making your offer content dynamic throughout the holiday season to give shoppers a reason to continue returning to the site.

Offer Scheduling
Save time by uploading Offers in bulk. You can schedule promotions in advance by leveraging the Offer start and end dates.

Low Stock or Back In Stock Custom Offer Tags
Add custom Offer tags to drive urgency around products with limited stock or favorites that are ready to ship. Labels like “Act Fast – Expected to Sell Out,” “Low Stock,” “Hot Buy, Going Fast,” and “In Stock & Ready-to-Ship” can all create positive urgency.

Offer Title: ACT FAST!
CTA: Shop Now
Custom Text Offer Tag: In Stock Ships Today
Landing Page: Product or Category URL

Promotions Manager also has a set of easy-to-use preset tags like “Exclusive,” “Featured,” or “Trending.”

Countdown Timers
Set up countdown timers during the final hours to call extra attention to the upcoming code or promotion expiration. To do so, edit your offer under Offer > Edit > Appearance and select the Countdown Timer option. Select the start date as one day before the expiration for maximum impact.

Strategic Promotions Play #4: Highlight Price Points or Best Sellers Instead of Sales

In addition to sales or sitewide promotions, drive shoppers to items or products known to convert well. Try leveraging pages by shopping price point tiers such as “Gifts under $25”, “Sneakers starting at $35”, or “Gift Guide for Mom.”

Best Sellers, Fan Favorites, Top Rated, or New Arrivals can also be highlighted in Offers, calling attention to specific items rather than a sale or code.

Strategic Promotions Play #5: Target Organic Keywords

Take advantage of holiday shopper search behavior by using targeted keywords. It’s common for shoppers to look up variations of “Your Brand + Holiday Sales 2023” and “Your Brand + Black Friday Deals” in search engines to determine when, how, and where they shop. Whether you offer a sale or not, adding these keywords to your site will help drive traffic to your site rather than affiliates or competitors.

Create landing pages for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Holiday Promotions. Include the year in all page headers, subheaders, and copy to capture organic traffic. If re-using a Smart Page category from the previous year (recommended), audit all copy on the page to ensure the year is updated. Leverage Smart Page Start and Expiration dates to control when the page becomes visible.

Try using the suggested targeted keywords below:

Black Friday Keywords

  • Black friday deals 2023
  • Best black friday deals 2023
  • Black friday 2023 deals
  • 2023 black friday deals
  • Top black friday deals 2023
  • Black friday ads 2023
  • Black friday sales 2023

Cyber Monday Keywords

  • Cyber monday deals 2023
  • Cyber monday 2023
  • Best cyber monday deals 2023
  • Cyber monday sales 2023
  • Cyber monday deals black friday 2023
  • Cyber monday sale 2023

Holiday Keywords

  • Holiday sales 2023
  • Holiday sale 2023
  • Best holiday presents 2023
  • Holiday deals 2023
  • Best holiday deals 2023
  • Holiday gift card deals 2023
  • After christmas sales deals 2023
  • Christmas deals 2023

Not doing a big sale or code this year for Black Friday, Cyber Monday or the Holiday season? No problem! Try creating informational Offers on your page highlighting Best Sellers, Gifts under $30, or Gifts for Dad to help drive traffic to products or items you know convert well.

Strategic Promotions Play #6: Leverage Your Exit Intent Popup to Direct Shoppers to Thrive’s Holiday Deals Page

Keep shoppers on site by leveraging your exit intent popup to highlight current deals or promotions. Edit your popup to direct traffic to your Thrive Holiday Deals category page within Smart Pages.

Want to share exclusive offers with your exit intent audience? No problem! Just create a hidden category page instead.

To keep shoppers engaged, try making each day different or creating limited-time Offers.