Improve Your Digital Shelf to Drive Holiday Sales

Start Preparing Now for December Success

This holiday season, your brand faces a battleground on the digital shelf. Retail sales grew by $33B during last year’s holiday season. And $16B of that came directly from ecommerce. Every retailer, from digital leaders like Amazon to traditional players like Macy’s reported record highs in digital growth last year.


It’s not easy to go-to-market effectively across the hundreds of websites consumers will be browsing and buying on. Here are four actionable steps your brand should follow as early as possible to prepare:

  • Organize your internal teams and processes
  • Lock down your channel processes and strategies
  • Plan your holiday search strategy
  • Prepare your product pages for seasonal shoppers
Organize your people and processes as soon as possible

Digital commerce moves at a rapid clip, and the holidays only accelerate that pace. Ensuring you have the
right people doing the right things the right way can be an uphill battle. Get these three pieces of your internal operations in place as far in advance as possible. That way, you have time to outthink your competition and can react rapidly


On average, brands push 76% more product page refreshes during the holidays
New SKUs and refreshed content for existing SKUs are holiday necessities – is your team ready for that heavy lifting?


  • Centralize and weaponize your product data: Before anything else, make sure all the information you need to operate efficiently online (content, inventory, pricing, etc) is centralized and can be easily accessed by everyone on your team. Rawlings, a Salsify customer since 2016, shaved 5 months off their annual product launch just from centralizing their content.
  • Organize your ecommerce strike team: Make sure you have someone responsible for every moving part of the digital shelf. A good starting point is to ensure you have someone who can write/edit copy and other content, someone familiar with technical processes and systems, someone to manage retailer relationships, and a leader to coordinate efforts across multiple stakeholders.
  • Knock down siloed decision making to ensure every department is on board: Marketing should be involved in content creation and product page branding, IT should enable easy access to product data, and sales should ensure strong relations with your retailer contacts. Even teams like legal and logistics should be ready to act as soon as your team identifies issues.



Make sure your team is built for the level of speed required during the holidays. The earlier this is set up, the better your team’s grip on your holiday strategy.

Build a communication strategy for your key retailers

Every single retailer requires different information from you to power their unique consumer experience. Their content requirements are constantly changing – and at no time is this more pressing than the holiday season. Most stores must rally all their skills to create engaging experiences online and in-store. You need a strategy for how to handle multiple demands coming in from all your retailers during the holiday rush.


Holiday sales represent nearly 20 percent of total retail industry sales

With so much profit at stake, retailers want to have the best merchandise front and center for the holidays. How can you ensure your products rise to the top of their digital shelf?

  • Navigate changing content requirements, at scale: Put a process in place to adapt to new retailer requirements quickly. You need the ability to refresh product content before the holidays are in full swing. The sooner you can set up new holiday items the better. By capturing some early sales and reviews, you’ll better position your new product on the retail search engine results page (SERP) during November and December.
  • Know which retailers you’re going to prioritize: Amazon is the obvious 800 lb. gorilla, but traditional retailers and digital upstarts see lifts in traffic and sales during the holidays too. Rank your sales channels based on how they perform for your most important holiday SKUs. This will help your team focus on what matters when requests are coming in from all sides.
  • Have an Amazon battle plan: One of the most crucial elements during the holidays is managing inventory properly on Amazon. Many shoppers will use the site as the first stop for research, if you are losing the buy box to third-party sellers of your SKUs or you’re ranking on the second page of search results, you will lose revenue. 


Develop an understanding of your most critical sales channels and invest in teams and technology that can help you navigate the requirements it takes to win on each retailer.


Get your products discovered by making critical updates

A majority of shoppers (71%) begin their buying journey with a search4, whether that is in a traditional search engine or on a retailer’s website, the onus to make your products discoverable is the same. Your brand has an opportunity to influence that initial interaction if you take time between now and Black Friday to hone in on the SEO aspect of your product content.


Consumers use a wider array of search terms during the holiday shopping season

There was a 30% increase in the number of top retail search terms in November and December compared with other months5. Update your content to include new and holiday-focused keywords.

  • Determine which seasonal terms apply to your product: There’s a spike in key holiday terms, so think like a shopper as you audit your product titles and descriptions. Phrases like great stocking stuffers, games for families, gifts for women, gifts for men, etc. tend to see a spike over the season.
  • Put language and terms from customer reviews onto your product page: Customer reviews are full of the keywords and terms that the average shopper uses to describe your products. Frequently read them and regularly refresh your product content to reflect how shoppers actually speak and think about your products. This will improve your product page search results.
  • Analyze competitive data for top keywords: There are several ways you can generate suggested keywords for your industry or product type. You need insights about what terms your competitors are using and which terms currently match your product pages so that search algorithms will rank your product higher in relevant searches.


Being found on search leads to being bought. Include relevant holiday keywords across all of your SKUs to improve your visibility during the holiday season.


Close the sale with compelling product content

Refreshing the content on your product pages is a necessity for the holidays – not just to drive discoverability but to help close the sale, as well. More shoppers are making considered purchases around the holiday time, they want the confidence that the item will arrive on time and be what they expected. You can leverage your product descriptions, images, rich media, reviews, and other tactics to build trust and win holiday sales.


More content on the product page drives conversions

For example, a product page with more images will convert higher and outrank the competitor 53% of the time. It’s a small but significant change. Do you know which changes will improve your sales?

  • Include relevant terms in your product descriptions: The longer your product descriptions, the more product info they contain and the more shoppers can learn about the items you sell. But don’t just make them long for the sake of it. Include extra attributes about your products, detailing the specifics of those items. This is particularly important if your products are often compared to competitors.
  • Make your product page easy to scan: Don’t just show pack shots - go big on lifestyle imagery and marketing copy that turns your product into the crux of a happy holiday, not just a commodity. Help shoppers envision how they or their gift recipient would use the product. Images should reinforce the holiday themes.
  • Consider the full buyer’s experience: Your product page is one touchpoint amid a whole series of research that could take place online and in-store. Shoppers expecting a tailored, immersive, and curated experience and are more likely to trust brands that are consistent across every touchpoint. Build loyalty with helpful information and considerate post-purchase customer experience.


Want to see how your product pages compare? Visit to see how your brand pages rate on Amazon and Walmart.