Most people think about Christmas in July as a sort of early present. However, for businesses starting in July and August for the Christmas season is just prudent planning.
After all, it is never too early to prepare for the biggest shopping season of the year. And with 25% of consumers now finishing their purchases before the end of October, it is an ideal time to help you get a jumpstart on your holiday marketing efforts.
If that is not enough to convince you, then consider the fact that 48% finish shopping before Cyber Monday. Since that is the biggest online sales day of the year, it is important your e-commerce efforts are well underway before then.
Below we give you some other strategies besides starting early to help you holiday marketing efforts.
7 Steps to Jumpstart Your Holiday E-Store Marketing
- Create a plan– You probably have a marketing plan for your business already. However, the holidays require a different type of plan.
That is because traditional marketing plans have a long-term approach. Marketing for the holidays is more like event marketing. You have a specific deadline to get as many customers purchasing from you before this deadline.
Therefore, you need to have a plan that fits with this different marketing approach.
One of the best ways to accomplish your goals is to create special offers for the holidays. Even if there is not a direct connection between your products and the holidays, you can come up with a tie-in to the holidays.
For example, if you sell smartphones you can offer a Christmas discount of X% off the regular price. If you don’t want to give a discount. Then you can provide a Holiday Bundle package that gives you more overall revenue, and a significant discount to customers.
Be creative with your plan, and have a specific focus.
Bonus– Have a specific plan for last minute shoppers. They need simple, quick ideas from you to save the day. The easier you can make the process, the more you can see late gains in the Christmas season.
- Dress up your online store– Christmas is the time of year when it is perfectly acceptable to wear red and green. Your site should not be the exception.
At the very minimum, have your designer add some holiday greeting icons on your store to keep your site festive.
Is it corny? Absolutely! As long as you do not overdo it, customers will appreciate your efforts. Remember this is appropriate for the season. It creates a joyous feeling in people coming to your store. Joyous people are happy prospects. Happy prospects are much more likely to become satisfied customers.
- Mobile Ready– As we discussed in the 6 Steps to Mobile Dominations and Google Mobile Algorithm articles, mobile marketing is extremely important today.
During the Christmas season, more and more consumers are purchasing goods on their phones. Having a mobile responsive site that can generate sales is vital.
Make sure you use 16-point font or greater, so mobile users can read your specials. Then use large, clear images that adjust in size to different devices.
Do not leave out mobile optimization from your holiday bag of tricks.
- Have quality products– If your products are lacklustre you might not be joyous on December 26th when the return orders start coming in the door.
This is common sense for any business, but it is especially important to make sure your products are in good condition prior to the holiday season.
You do not get a second chance with Christmas presents.
Along those lines, make sure your product descriptions are accurate as well. A quality product that does not do what it promotes online is just as bad as a faulty product.
- Promotional Calendar– You have a limited time period to promote specific products and/or services over the holidays.
When you create your plan, also come up with a promotional calendar to plan out your social media, email, and content marketing campaigns.
Part of your promotional plan should include which channels you want your business to use for your holiday marketing efforts. Do you want to create holiday videos for YouTube and Facebook or photos for Instagram and Pinterest?
Knowing your promotional calendar in advance provides a smoother marketing plan in the fall and winter.
- Payment Options– Make sure customers can pay for your products in the shopping cart. One of the biggest challenges for e-stores is the high rate of shopping cart abandonment.
A shocking 68% of prospects abandon their shopping cart in the middle of the purchase. That means if 1,000 people visit your e-store, perhaps 100 put goods in the shopping cart. However, only 32 visitors complete the transaction.
While payment options do not eliminate this challenge, having the right payment processors in place can help you convert some of those lost sales.
- Follow Up- Additionally, build upon your holiday marketing efforts. While the holidays are a great time to make money, they are also a terrific time to add to your customer list.
By following up consistently with those who purchased you can add them to your email list and social media accounts where they can continue to learn more about the specials you offer throughout the year.
The Christmas seasons presents e-stores with a lot of promise. However, if you want to get it right this holiday season, you need to start early.
With the strategies we discussed above, you can begin to prepare your e-store for the Christmas season.
If you still have questions about how you can improve your Christmas marketing plan for your e-store contact us at Shout for a free, initial consultation.