Tis’ the season to start thinking about all the upcoming holidays and online events for 2018 & how your brand can capitalize on the silly season! Traditional holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas & Easter are now accompanied by online shopping events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday!

Fun Facts:

  • In 2017, US retailers earned a record $7.9 billion on Black Friday - up 18% from 2016! Source
  • eCommerce companies see around 25% increase during the Holiday Shopping Season (Nov - Dec). Source
  • Businesses can expect up to 120% more visits on the busiest days of the Holiday Shopping Season! Source

So, can you make the most of these opportunities to increase sales and not damage your brands' reputation in the process? Here are our 6 Top Tips to make sure you are prepared to take advantage of Holiday Shopping Season!

1. Start Planning NOW

If you are reading this and haven’t started planning for the upcoming silly season - hate to say it but you are behind the eight ball (soz). There is nothing worse than being unprepared for rolling out a sales event campaign and leaving money on the table. And yes, this includes having enough stock to meet demands!

A good way to prepare for upcoming online events and holidays is to add to your calendar with reminders in advance. We provide all of our eComm clients with a holiday document that outlines upcoming events and what campaigns or promotions they would like to run.

2. Ensure Website Is Ready

It is important to make sure that your website is able to handle the increased traffic generated by a sales event. This includes making sure your website is:

  • Optimized for Mobile Shoppers: During Cyber Week alone (Thanksgiving - Cyber Monday) consumers placed 41% of their orders via mobile phones. Source
  • Up to Speed: 40% of shoppers abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Source
  • Optimized for event/holiday SEO: SEO takes time so it is wise to introduce event/holiday specific product pages as many months in advance as possible
  • Includes landing pages for specific products and promotions: Creating a landing page for specific holiday/event-related products increases the rate of conversion.  Including a countdown timer is a great way to create a sense of urgency.
  • Streamlined checkout process: 27% of people that abandon cart believe that the checkout process is too long or complicated. Source
  • Contains content that speaks to people emotionally: This is especially important when people are purchasing gifts for other people eg Thanksgiving & Christmas.

3. Understand Your Customers Purchasing Behaviours Around Specific Holidays

One of the great benefits of having eCommerce stores over traditional brick and mortar is the ability to review in-depth analytics and historical trends of your customer's purchasing behaviors. For example, do your customers tend to start purchasing a month out from a holiday or do they leave it till the last minute? What products do your customers tend to buy around specific events - such as electronics for themselves on Black Monday or buying clothes as gifts for other people at Christmas?

By properly understanding your customer insights you are able to ensure that your promotions and campaigns hit the mark.

4. Create A Competition Or Giveaway To Create Hype In Lead Up To Event

Creating a competition or giveaway is a great way to create extra value for customers and build hype in the lead up to the event or holiday. There are many different ways to run a competition/giveaway such as:

  • Special discount for people that sign up before the event
  • An exclusive gift when you spend over a certain amount
  • A free product giveaway for one lucky winner
  • VIP access to sales or products before the general public

As well as boosting engagement and sales, running lead generation competitions on Facebook & Instagram are also a great way to collect valuable customer info such as gender, location, age and, of course, email addresses. This data can be then used to create audiences on Facebook and Instagram as well as increase your email database.

5. Email Strategy

Creating an email campaign around a specific event or holiday is a great way to alert customers to an upcoming sale or remarket to them after they have taken action on your website e.g. abandoned cart.  To increase the likelihood of a recipient opening an email and taking the desired action, it is essential to create an engaging email that contains:

  • Intriguing subject line
  • Personalized greeting
  • Relevant copy and creative
  • An extra value offer to entice the reader eg discount or free shipping.
  • A call to action

There are many platforms to help automate your email campaigns such as Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Campaign Monitor & Klavyio.

6. Customer Service

According to a survey by Trustpilot, customer service is the 2nd most important consideration after pricing for consumers doing their holiday shopping. Customer service provides a great opportunity for brands to capitalize on improving customer retention and trust - especially during holidays/events when people are stressed and might leave their shopping till the last minute or be buying for somebody else.

Depending on your product or service, you may be able to improve your customer service instead of having to employ extra staff during the busy periods.  

  • Create a Facebook messenger bot to answer queries such as shipping, returns etc
  • Send a thank-you email to people that have purchased
  • Provide customers with the opportunity to leave reviews
  • Clear FAQ section on the website including shipping and return policies

If you need help devising, implementing and maintaining an all year round digital marketing strategy that capitalizes on opportunities such as online sales events and holidays - book in for a free strategy call with the Expose team!

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