Connecting with Your Customers During Thanksgiving

November 14, 2014


If you’re in the eCommerce business, you know that Cyber Monday and Black Friday are important selling days. But did you know that online sales on and during the week of Thanksgiving have been growing by leaps and bounds?

Here are some specific points from the 2014 Adobe Holiday Shopping Prediction:

  • Online prices will hit rock bottom on Thanksgiving Day, lower than on any other day during the holiday season. The average discount is 24%.
  • Online sales will start on the Monday before Thanksgiving
  • Average item will be 20% off during Thanksgiving week

If you’re dubious of Adobe’s predictions, you might want to consider that their Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday predictions in previous years were within 1%. Bottom line: consumers pay attention to this information.

Whether or not you choose to be a part of the low prices and discounting before and on Thanksgiving Day, one thing is for sure: you definitely want to be interacting with current and potential customers during a time when they are ready to buy.

Here are some different ways to connect with your customers at Thanksgiving time:

1. Send a “Not Open on Thanksgiving” message.

There can be backlash against stores being open on Thanksgiving, and the media has started listing stores NOT open on Thanksgiving. “If you think Thanksgiving is for family, not shopping, these stores agree,” announces this article on the Today Show website. If you agree with this concept, why not connect with like-minded customers by letting them know? You could even consider including a coupon that they can use when you’re back open on Black Friday!

While it’s pretty hard to shut down your online store, if you don’t plan on working on Thanksgiving Day, here’s an email message you could send out:

Subject Line: We’re taking Thanksgiving Day off
Body: Yep, we want to enjoy our family, friends and downtime as much as you do. So while our online store is always open, we won’t be taking calls, processing orders or doing any “work” in honor of the holiday and those we love most. Happy Thanksgiving and we’ll catch up with you on Friday!

2. Share (different) photos on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving was Instagram’s busiest day ever two years in a row, with everyone sharing photos of turkey and family. But do you have to share Thanksgiving dinner photos? Michael Kors didn’t, and still made an impression. They increased their standard one post per day and posted twice on Thanksgiving; neither of which involved turkey, and both of which outperformed average engagement.

Thanking you all on Thanksgiving! #CelebrateWith

A photo posted by Michael Kors (@michaelkors) on

The lesson from the Michael Kors campaign is that any brand can capitalize on the holiday season. By posting images that aren’t typical, especially at a time when potential consumers are active on Instagram, Michael Kors was able to stand out.

3. Create a week of Thank You gifts.

From the Monday before Thanksgiving, until the Sunday after, offer “Thank You for Being a Great Customer” sweepstakes or giveaways each day, through social media, emails, and blogs. Everyone likes something for free, and this will keep you top of mind when customers are ready to buy.

4. Create a unique Thanksgiving infographic.

Last year, according to Shoutlet, the NFL released this timely infographic that gained nearly 42,000 likes.

Thanksgiving Football: By the Numbers #happythanksgiving

A photo posted by @nfl on

While you can find hundreds of “perfect Thanksgiving dinner” infographics, you can produce an infographic that creatively ties into your company. For example, if you sell fitness products, you could create an infographic describing how many calories are in a typical Thanksgiving dish, or what types of exercises can work off those calories. Not a designer? There are several free infographic tools you can use to make creating an infographic much easier.

These infographics are more of a branding message than a sales message, as you are providing data in a visual format. However, any time you communicate with customers via emails, social media, and blogs, including when you share an infographic, you are reminding customers about your business, at a time when they are in buying mode.


The ShipStation team hopes that these tips will make your Thanksgiving week sales jump, and lead to your most prosperous holiday season ever!