Prepare now, wow them later
Christmas holidays are almost always the most profitable time of year for many businesses especially for e-commerce. E-commerce has seen a steady growth in recent years. For American consumers (one of the largest group of consumers), it starts around Halloween and ends a few weeks after New Year’s.
Take the extra step and start planning four to five months before the holiday season. It is during this time that you should prepare for the holiday onslaught. Why? Because if you have set up your online store for the holidays in advance, you can focus on your customer service and sales during the holiday mad rush.
Use the following tips to stay months ahead of your competition when it comes to marketing your e-commerce store for the holiday season.
Organize a promotional calendar
Here are a few steps to help you organize your promotional calendar:
- Create a promotional calendar that outlines the deals you’ll be offering to customers from mid-October through to the end of January. Don’t worry too much about brand erosion because consumers expect by to be a busy time of year for sales, bargains and promotions.
- Set up holiday marketing campaigns in a Google Docs spreadsheet, in Dropbox, etc. that is easily accessible to your entire team. Everyone should be on the same page so to speak regarding your holiday marketing.
- Make sure your landing pages match your e-mails, the copy in your ads and all visuals used across social media. Present one persuasive and creative message to returning and new customers throughout the holiday season that stands above your competitors. Pick a theme and run with it. It will help promote recognition among customers during the holidays.
Add incentives to your display advertising
Your web visitors can easily get distracted during the holiday season. It’s a busy time for most and the competition is fierce. Combat that by offering incentives to your customers with promotional codes on your display ads that offer 10%, 15% or even 20% off their cart. Shoppers always love free shipping, too. These incentives can help ensure they return to shop on your e-commerce site for the holidays.
Use the power of social media promotions
During the holidays, the content shared on social media advertising your product and service offerings will often be more far reaching if combined with your promotions on other marketing channels—such as the offers on your e-commerce site. And make use of paid advertising on your social networks by promoting your Facebook posts or tweets to help shine above the competition. Be sure the content and any sales posted on these platforms are relevant and appealing to your audience to ensure your ads return a strong return on investment.
Get your customer service staff involved
Lastly and equally important is to include every part of your organization in your holiday marketing plan, especially customer service. Keep in mind that customer service representatives are the front line of your e-commerce business. They should know what the goals of your holiday marketing plans, such as what products and incentives will be offered to holiday shoppers. Armed with this information they can promote your marketing plan and create a fun shopping experience for your customers by making them feel they are getting “special” deals.
With a little organization, careful planning and the assistance of your staff, you can remain ahead of the competition. Just remember to start early so you can focus on great customer service when the holiday shopping season is in full swing.