Christmas Giveaway Ideas
for E-commerce Businesses

Christmas Giveaway Ideas to Boost Your Online Sales

Hot cocoa. Jingles on the radio. Fireplace crackling (even virtually!). You know what that means: the holidays are fast approaching and while they may look a little different this time around, there are still ways to celebrate. As an online store owner, this also means planning for the most active sales period of the year, and what better way to get into the season of giving and spread some joy to customers by providing an opportunity for them to win some sweet perks?
To help get your ecommerce business ready in time for the holidays, we’ve put together a list of Christmas giveaway ideas to start the festive season right!

Table of Contents

How can I increase my Christmas sales?

The season is already on your side! With consumers on the lookout for great gifts and preparing to participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, you’re ahead of the game just by having a well-designed and well-stocked store. However, given that BFCM sales are competitive, that also means getting creative with how you choose to market your online retail and giving people a reason to opt for your business is especially important during this period. Let’s go through a quick checklist for getting your online presence optimized and ready for the Christmas season:

Make your online retail and social media platforms holiday-themed

Deck the halls (and your website) with festive banners and landing pages, and seasonally appropriate products. This can include a Stocking Stuffers collection, gift sets, and Christmas-themed pop-ups. Creating online content in the holiday spirit can allow for a more enjoyable browsing experience and helps visitors better relate to your online retail.

online retail and social media platforms holiday-themed

Holiday kits & advent calendars

Bundle up! Putting together a Christmas-themed product set can be a great deal for both you and customers. They provide additional value by allowing visitors to purchase pricier products while also getting additional goodies, and it increases the chances of them discovering other products from your inventory that they may not have considered!
Holiday kits & advent calendars
Also, if you are in a position to set one up, advent calendars serve a similar purpose, plus they’re a festive month-long reminder of some of your store highlights!
Holiday kits & advent calendars

Mobile friendly = customer friendly

With an increasing number of consumers using their phones to make purchases, making sure that your ecommerce store is optimized for mobile browsing can have a direct impact on conversion and bounce rates. With Shopify’s theme editor, this is easy to test out, and optimize, so head on over to your dashboard and double-check your website’s mobile view to ensure it’s easy to navigate from any device!

Gift guide

People are already looking for great Christmas gifts to get for their loved ones, so why not make it easier for them and curate a list of gift ideas that include carefully selected items from your e-commerce store? Particularly relevant for inventories with a wide variety, you can also break down your gift guides by themes and interests, and make it even more accessible for folks to find what they’re looking for.
Anthropologie’s example:

Prep your email newsletter sequences

It’s not too early to start planning ahead! After you figure out your sales and giveaway game plan for the holidays, make sure you prepare your email marketing strategy accordingly. This can save time in the long run, and also helps to build anticipation for your Christmas promotions.

Go big on your Christmas discounts

As the biggest sale event of the year approaches, now’s the time to get creative and launch your most buzz-worthy discounts and campaigns. Consumers are expecting to save during this period, so offering them an opportunity to purchase more for less allows you to stand out and create more value for potential customers. We’ve seen discounts as big as 80% off, so don’t be afraid to cut prices! Also given that major retailers are not waiting until mid-December to launch Christmas sale, consider offering mid-season discounts earlier on in the season too. While discounts look different for every e-commerce store, evaluate what profit margin makes sense for your products, and launch your sales campaigns accordingly.
Tip: Consider giving your email subscribers early access to your Christmas sales before they launch site-wide!

Free + express shipping

Convenience matters. Potential customers are not only looking for savings on their gifts but also easy delivery options, so offering free shipping can be a major selling point for your store. Also, as a tip of the hat to last-minute Christmas shoppers, consider adding an option for express shipping as well!


While this option may not be relevant for all online stores, given that during this period many online consumers are looking for items to purchase for others, they may appreciate the option to add a personalized touch to their Christmas gifts. If you can, and if it makes sense for your brand, consider including products in your inventory that can be personalized with names, notes, and other messaging.
Some examples are Uncommon Goods’ personalized family mugs and puzzle:

Gift wrapping

Some examples are Uncommon Goods’ personalized family mugs and puzzle:
Gift wrapping

How do giveaways increase sales?

It may be counterintuitive, but offering items for free can majorly increase brand awareness, strengthen customers’ loyalty, draw in new customers, and boost conversion rates long term. Let’s go through a few of the ways that giveaways can be an effective marketing strategy:

Increased brand awareness

When announced on social media, contests and giveaways offer an opportunity to gain a larger following, but also for discovery that your e-commerce business might not otherwise get. Even if viewers do not actively participate, through other social media users tagging friends and sharing to their social networks, giveaways can increase familiarity with your brand, which can lead to an overall lift in brand recall later on.

Engaged social media followers and a larger remarketing audience

Particularly if a giveaway involves more steps to enter to win, participating can also translate to stronger investment in your business in general. As a result, terms of entry can be a useful metric in identifying followers that actively engage with your ecommerce business and will be more responsive to future updates and campaigns. If this giveaway is also taking place on your site, it can lead to an increase in visitors, which may in turn help populate an audience that will be open and receptive to remarketing.

More email subscribers

When tailored to your target market, giveaways can be a fantastic way to drive sign-ups for your email newsletter. These types of giveaways are particularly effective when requiring additional steps for entry so that you can ensure that those who are signed up are already enthusiastic about your ecommerce business and willing to stay updated on your store’s future announcements and promotions.

Stronger brand loyalty

You may already have a large engaged audience – giveaways are still for you too! Aside from all the other benefits mentioned, hosting a giveaway is also a way to reconnect with subscribers, and give them exclusive reasons to opt for your e-commerce store. Plus, it’s just a nice way to give something extra to the people most engaged with your brand.

Christmas Giveaway Ideas

12 Days of Christmas

Mark your calendars! One way to build anticipation and celebrate the festive season is by hosting a series of giveaways that lead up to Christmas. Whether it’s 12 days of giveaways or discounts (or both!), customers can check in daily to see what your store is offering. The fact that this type of giveaway is a 12-day long event also helps your business stand out during what is already a discount-heavy season.
Here’s a look at Swell’s example of its 12 Days of Christmas campaign:
Christmas Giveaway Ideas
Christmas Giveaway Ideas

Personalized Promotions

This one’s for the email subscribers: consider creating personalized discounts based on your audience segments. With Socital’s lead generation technology, users can sign up using their social media platforms, so as an e-commerce owner, you have a better understanding of their interests and can tailor your email marketing campaigns accordingly. You can offer personalized product recommendations to subscribers, and a larger “Welcome” discount to those that have recently signed up. It helps to keep the discount codes festive, too! In any case, keep your subscribers posted on any BFCM and Christmas sales you’ll be having, as they are some of the people most invested in staying in the know about your brand!
Personalized Promotions

Loyalty program

If you don’t have a loyalty program yet, the holiday season may be a perfect time to launch one! Offering users an incentive to sign up for your rewards program can in some ways be even more effective in the long run than encouraging potential customers to follow your social media platforms or subscribe to your email newsletter, since built into a loyalty program is the incentive to continue to engage with your brand actively, and can lead to more conversions later on. You can offer automatic points just for signing up or another perk. If you already have a rewards program, you can introduce new holiday-themed rewards, or, for more advanced loyalty program users, change the structure so that with each action, members can get double or triple the points.
Cents of Style rewards campaign:
Cents of Style rewards campaign
Here’s SweetLegs offering double reward points as part of its 12 Days of Christmas giveaway:
SweetLegs offering double reward points

A year’s supply of products

Truly a giveaway that keeps on giving. To help start winners’ new year off right and help them have a Merry Christmas if your business is in a financial position to do so, consider hosting a giveaway where the prize is a year’s worth of a hot-ticket item offered in your store. For example, for an online education provider, this could mean 12 months of free access to courses, and for a sock company, this could mean a few pairs of socks a month for a full year. Whatever the product you decide on is, unless it is specific to your target market, more social media followers may be a better goal in this case rather than collecting email addresses, given the size of the prize. This can help keep your email list more focused, and ensure that the main incentive for their signing up is a genuine investment in your brand.
Example of the Crunch Cut’s Cereal for a Year campaign:
Crunch Cut’s Cereal

Brand collaborations

Spread the Christmas cheer by partnering with a fellow online business! Joining forces with another brand can mean double the prizes for those entering, but also double the opportunities to spread the word about your giveaway. Consider which company may have a similar target market and complementary products to those you are offering in your giveaway and reach out! Remember, the holidays can get hectic, so particularly when it comes to collaborations, it’s best to plan ahead. Particularly for online stores with a smaller social media presence, it can really boost your marketing efforts to partner with other larger accounts.

Holiday Hashtag Contest

Put those social media hashtags to use! If Instagram is going to be the main way you publicize your giveaway, consider hosting a Holiday Hashtag Contest. Here’s how it works: you create a festive hashtag relevant to your brand, and then ask followers to post content based on your prompt using that hashtag. This not only means that the social networks of those who enter will see content related to your brand on their feed, but it also increases the chances of brand discovery through Instagram’s Explore tool. As a bonus, consider reposting entries on your main feed or stories to continue the conversation with your followers!
Velvet Caviar’s example of a Holiday Hashtag Contest:
Holiday Hashtag Contest
This Christmas marketing strategy also leads to more user-generated content, which can validate your brand to potential customers even more. Some prompts you can consider are:

Gift cards

Versatile and particularly useful during the holiday season, a gift card giveaway lets winners do the choosing! Whether from your brand or another large retailer, a gift card can have wider appeal because of how it can be used.
Tip: If it’s a gift card for your online retail, it may lead to entries from people who are more engaged with your business. If it’s not, consider asking the brand whose gift card you are offering if they would be interested in sponsorship!
In this example, Casely hosted a Black Friday giveaway where the prize was a $500 gift card to sign up for early access to its sales:

Win Your Wishlist Contest

Let your customers make a Christmas list (no need to check it twice) with products from your store, and give them the opportunity to win one or more of the items on it! Even the process of entering the giveaway familiarizes those who enter it with your inventory, which can spark interest to purchase from your website later on!
Here’s Anthropologie’s example, combining two giveaway ideas in one:
Win Your Wishlist Contest

Refer a Friend

This type of giveaway can have everyone join. Consider launching a Christmas referral program, where each referral is eligible to receive a discount, a set dollar amount off, or a gift with purchase! This can be a useful marketing tactic for branding among participants’ social networks and can lead to a boost in sales during the Christmas season.

Holiday Survey

Customers have opinions, and a survey gives you the chance to hear them! By launching a holiday giveaway that asks participants to fill out a questionnaire, it is not the only opportunity for them to win some freebies but also can give you valuable information on how people are responding to your brand. Especially if the survey is tailored to your online store with detailed questions, or only emailed to subscribers, it can also help encourage participation from people who have genuinely engaged with your ecommerce business.

Gift with purchase

Who doesn’t like some fun extras in their mail, especially around Christmas time? One of the more effective Christmas marketing ideas is adding a gift with purchase for all qualifying orders. This can increase sales, boost conversion rates and order values, and also incentivize visitors to follow through with their check-outs.
Bonus: you can also have several different gifts for customers to choose from as this can also increase the chances that one of the gifts on the list will resonate with visitors. Consider creating a specific landing page outlining their options, configure the relevant discount codes and you’re good to go!
Gift with purchase
For a twist on the gift with purchase giveaway format, consider making the extra items you sent out a surprise! You can let visitors know the possible items they might receive, or keep them guessing with hints – either way, it’s a fun take on an already popular giveaway setup that will spark people’s interest and boost Christmas sales.
Ulta’s Mystery Gift Cyber Monday campaign:
Gift with purchase

Where can I promote my giveaways?

As you evaluate marketing channels to promote your holiday giveaway (as many as possible is also an option!), consider your giveaways’ goals. Is it more social media followers, which require less engagement from participants? Is it to collect email addresses? Or is it orders, which require more commitment from those entering? While it may likely be all of these, narrowing down on a few specifics will allow your giveaway marketing strategies to be more focused, and help you pick the promotion methods that work best.


Now, this may be an obvious one, but we’ve included it to point out a couple of things. Launching a giveaway ONLY on your website means that those entering have already engaged with your brand on their own. This can be a particularly effective form of promotion if what you’re looking for is to add more qualified leads to your email list. In terms of design, consider a gamified and festive template to encourage even more participants!

Email newsletters

No matter the platform you’re promoting your holiday giveaway on, make sure to let your subscribers know! They’ve already taken an active step to stay up to date with events and special offers in your store, so keeping them in the loop may also lead to more entries! To encourage even more participation in the giveaway, if one of your steps is to sign up for your email list, be sure to emphasize that they automatically have steps completed. This can provide additional incentive to complete the rest of the steps required for the giveaway!

Blogs & listicles

If you’ve ever seen blog posts online listing “Best Advent Calendars of 2020” or “Best Retail Christmas Contest”, you know that having your e-commerce store’s holiday giveaway featured in one can mean a huge boost in entries. Content marketing can really work, so consider reaching out to publishers to negotiate a feasible way, like an affiliate structure, to have your website featured, and go from there!
Buzzfeed, for example, has an entire section dedicated to their holiday gift guide articles:

Instagram influencers & pages

Like we’ve mentioned previously, particularly if you’re just starting out, it can be useful to host a giveaway with another influencer or account with a larger following. This benefits both parties involved since the terms to enter the giveaway typically involve engaging with both hosts. Consider an Instagram influencer that resonates with your target market or another business that offers complementary products to yours.

Social Media Channels

Facebook and Instagram announcements are a great place to start when launching social media Christmas giveaways, but don’t be afraid to branch out to other platforms as well! Pinterest, with image-heavy content, and Reddit can be one of many social media platforms to explore.
Need more Christmas marketing ideas? Check out our seasonal guides linked here.
Now, ready to get started?
Have fun hosting one (or more!) of these Christmas giveaways and have a wonderful holiday season!

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