When you consider holiday shopping, Labor Day might not be the first holiday that comes to mind. But for ecommerce merchants, Labor Day represents a major seasonal milestone and a critical chance to reinvigorate your revenue after the dreaded “summer slump” that many ecommerce stores experience.
If Labor Day weekend snuck up on you this year (it’s the first Monday of September), it’s not too late to gear up your ecommerce store for this pivotal holiday. Here are five last-minute preparations you can make during the month of August to master the Labor Day sale and kick off your best holiday shopping season yet.
1. Highlight the Right Products
As you shore up your Labor Day sales strategy, consider the types of products that have historically performed well on Labor Day. While all types of industries can throw successful Labor Day sales, certain verticals perform better than others: namely, consumer-friendly “Back to School/Work” products like apparel, school or office supplies, and electronics.
It’s also a good idea to consider the economic realities of today’s consumer. Last year, 66% of shoppers celebrated Labor Day on a smaller scale, and 39% were more budget conscious. It may take steeper discounts than usual to entice this year’s consumers, so factor that into your strategy.
2. Count on Email
Studies show that email marketing drives 30% of all Labor Day sales—more than any other channel including direct traffic, paid search, and organic traffic. That’s great news for your last-minute Labor Day planning, because unlike the more time-intensive strategies like SEO, a month leaves you with plenty of time to prepare an email campaign (as long as you’re already running an email marketing strategy).
This month, prepare the design and messaging of the emails you’ll send out to your customers to remind them of the Labor Day sale. In addition to sending out an email blast the day of or before the sale, you can also build a series of countdown emails to get customers excited in advance.
3. Prepare Your On-Site Merchandising
It may seem like a headache to switch out your banners and other merchandising slots for a minor holiday, but fortunately, design programs like Canva can make whipping up a new banner fairly painless. If you’re not a design expert, stick with a template and change only the colors and messaging to fit your brand. Canva templates may not have the flash of your traditional homepage banners, but they’ll get the important work done: delivering your message while standing out to the customers who have grown “blind” to your usual on-site banners.
Remember, too, the onsite merchandising slots that offer you quick, easy wins. For example, sticky headers are a fantastic way to announce a holiday sale or link customers to a particular page, and they take about 30 seconds to update.
4. Get Social
As you map out your social strategy, remember what Labor Day is really about: it’s a celebration of American workers and laborers. If you can, try to wrap the spirit of Labor Day into your sale by focusing on American-made products or giving special discounts to “Essential Workers” who can’t take the day off. When that’s not possible, you can at least keep the spirit of the holiday alive through your social media posts. This is a great time to publicly highlight and thank your own workers, too.
5. Think Forward
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or concerned that you’ve missed the boat on Labor Day sales this year, don’t worry—just plan ahead. Labor Day is a great reminder that your major holidays—Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, etc.—are just around the corner. You still have plenty of time to prepare for these business-critical holidays, so if you’re feeling under the water, let go of Labor Day and parlay the missed opportunity into a redoubled focus on this year’s major holiday season.
Also, remember that Labor Day sales don’t need to be complicated. You can often use Labor Day to kick off a longer, more complex promotion like a “Back to School Week/Month,” which makes the sale on the day itself less of an “end all be all.” Or, you can simply use Labor Day as a time to send out an email or put up a social media post calling out and thanking your workers.
No matter how you decide to wrap Labor Day into your larger sales strategy, there’s still time to prepare. Start with the tips on this list, and get ready to say goodbye to the summer ecommerce slump—your busiest and most exciting season is about to begin.