How to Catch Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers Using SMS [2023]

November 16, 2023 | By Sam Pelton
Shopping for Christmas

Listen to this article here:

“Holiday shopping” does not begin in December, or even November.

In fact, one study indicates 56% of consumers intended to start their holiday shopping in October last year.

Only 9% of consumers intended to start in December.

And yet there is still that 9%—the people who either procrastinate or are too busy or simply prefer to wait to start their holiday shopping until closer to Christmas.

And even those who start their shopping early often still have final shopping to do as the holiday approaches.

So how can you reach and capture last-minute holiday shoppers?

One answer: SMS.

Here are 5 SMS strategies you can employ to catch those last-minute holiday shoppers…

  1. Capitalize on the Timeliness of the Holiday

SMS example of capitalizing on the timeliness of the holiday

The great thing about Christmas for businesses is that it comes at the same time every year!

Consumers know this, and yet sometimes life gets busy. So you have parents and husbands and wives rushing at the last minute to make sure their loved ones aren’t left out.

You can help guide them along by reminding them not to procrastinate and giving them simple and clear calls-to-action via SMS that will be easy for them to follow in the midst of their hectic schedules.

Running out of time? Give the gift of choice with e-gift cards! Instant delivery, perfect for last-minute shoppers. Plus, get a free $20 gift card for every $100 spent. Add a gift card to your cart here: [Link]

  1. Capitalize on Abandoned Cart Recovery

SMS example of capitalizing on abandoned cart recovery

If you have a consumer’s phone number, SMS is the best way to follow up with them if they abandon their carts.

Through SMS, you can include a direct link to their cart and even offer an individualized incentive to get them to follow through with their purchase. For example, you could give them free shipping if they check out within the next 24 hours, or an additional 10% off.

(You can do this in conjunction with email abandoned cart recovery emails for maximum effect.)

🎁 Don't miss out on your holiday shopping! Your items are waiting. Click here to complete your purchase within 24 hours and you’ll get an extra 10% off: [Link]

  1. Shoot Over Last-Minute Promos

SMS example of sending last-minute holiday promos

Get a Free 14-Day Trial with Mobile Text Alerts

set password visible

A last-minute promo has the dual benefit of getting a few more stragglers to purchase before Christmas and also helping you clear out your inventory so that you’re not overstocked in the post-holiday season.

You just don’t want to make your promo too good, or else consumers that took advantage of your Black Friday / Cyber Monday promos may be upset that they planned ahead!

Happy Christmas Eve! Still have shopping to do? Get an additional 25% off all Christmas-themed items. Shop now: [Link]

  1. Include Gift Guides or Product Recommendations

Example of SMS including a gift guide or product recommendation

You can use SMS to send over gift guides or product recommendations based on data that you have on record in regards to your customers’ age, gender, location, and/or purchase history.

Even if they don’t take advantage of the items that you recommend, it could still remind them of your business and what you offer as they go about their last-minute holiday shopping.

Hi [name]! We noticed you haven’t made a purchase in a few months so we thought we’d send over a last-minute personalized gift guide to help you with your holiday shopping. Check it out here: [Link]

  1. Gamify!

SMS example of gamifying

One tactic you can try is to use SMS to present people with a fun interactive experience, to help engage them with your brand and your product.

Some ideas would be:

  • An interactive “scavenger hunt” on your website that encourages people to look for clues in order to unlock discounts
  • A “spin-to-win” roulette awarding different prizes
  • A contest in which people can get “entries” based on certain behaviors (i.e., watching videos on your site, sharing your links on social media)

Ready for some holiday fun? Find the hidden holiday Santa 🎅 on our website and unlock a special 20% discount. Start now: [Link]

It’s Not Over ‘Til It’s Over

The “holiday shopping” opportunity isn’t over until the New Year comes around.

You’ll have stragglers making holiday purchases not only up until Christmas but even beyond. In fact, some consumers intentionally wait until after Christmas because they know that there will be post-holiday deals.

So don’t be afraid to try some of the strategies listed above to help capitalize on the last minute holiday shoppers and maximize the holiday opportunities for your business.

So What?

Go ahead and select one or more of the above strategies to hone in on this Christmas season. Employ that strategy to engage the people on your list who still need to get their holiday shopping done, and you just might be helping both them and your business.

Get a free trial to see how easy it is to send SMS with Mobile Text Alerts.

Get a Free 14-Day Trial Account

Start sending mass text messages to your entire list today!