PUBLISHED: Jul 14, 2016 4 min read

Christmas in July- How to Get Your eCommerce Store Ready for Q4

I hate to be the one that reminds you, but the holiday season is quickly approaching. Retailers are already beginning to put out the holiday decor (seriously, go to your local Hallmark store and you’ll see what I mean). Although it may be difficult to think about the holidays while relaxing by the pool, it is never to early to plan out your marketing efforts on your eCommerce store.

The major holiday shopping days this year are:

  • Black Friday: Friday, November 25, 2016
  • Cyber Monday: Monday, November 28, 2016

With an early start to the holiday shopping season, it is important to have a plan in place long before the halls have been decked and shoppers have spent their entire holiday bonus.

Step 1.) Determine Your Budget

Many businesses have their fiscal year run from January to December, and use most of their budgets in the beginning part of the year. Then, come Q4, there is nothing left for all the marketing and promotions that theywant to run for the holiday.

Now is to time to see what budget is left, and how you want to allocate your remaining funds.

Step 2.) Determine What the Game Plan Is

Do you want to offer products at discounted prices? Awesome! With Magento, you can set your special prices now, and set when the special prices are valid from.

Special Price in Magento

That way, after your delicious Thanksgiving dinner, you can sit back and relax, knowing that you already updated the prices on your products for Black Friday.

Another popular promotion is a free gift with purchase, where the customer buys an item at full price, but receives a free gift . By default, Magento has a Buy X get Y free (discount amount is Y) promotion, but some find it difficult for customers to use. Shoppers would need to add both items (X, the item they pay for, and Y, the item they get for free) to their cart, and then add the promo code, to have the discount applied.

Buy X Get Y Free with Magento


However, there are some really great Magento extensions that will auto-add the free gift to the customers cart. Once the criteria is met (like, spend over $100), the free gift will automatically be added to the cart. If this is the route you want to take, now would be the time to have the extension installed, configured, and tested. That way, you don’t run into any issues come Q4 where promotions don’t work the way you expected them to.

Step 3.) Get Your Creative Started Now

Plan on sending out fun and festive eblasts, or updating your site’s banners? Use the slow summer months to draft up all your creative assets now, and get them approved by the powers that be. That way, you can save precious time in Q4, and not be rushed to get creative completed. We all  know that the words “final version” rarely means final…

Plus, the solution you use to send emails (like Bronto) may already have pre-set themes that you can use to start drafting emails now.


Step 4.) Let Your Developer Know What Your Plan Is

Once you know what your plan is for the holiday season, let your developer know. That way, they can help you set up anything that needs to be set up, and they can make sure they have the right people available to work on your site. Nothing is worst than having a promotion that doesn’t work as expected. Giving your eCommerce developer advanced notice will avoid this.


The holidays are a crazy, hectic, wonderful time, and should be spent with family and friends, not tied to your ecommerce store. With these tips, we hope you are able to prepare for Q4, and have a successful end to the year.

Need help with getting ready for the holidays? Contact us today, and we’ll be more than happy to help!