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In e-commerce business, there is no letting up.
The holiday season is as good an illustration of this as any; while everyone else is relaxing and winding down, you need to be making a concerted effort to drive more traffic to your website and increasing cash flow!
Holiday marketing can be an important factor in the success of an e-commerce business through the year. In fact, marketing the brand effectively during this period can drive sales up to a whopping 40% in some cases!
However, to get the most out of your holiday marketing efforts, you should have a clear game-plan and checklist for the holiday season, with ideas and strategies that you can implement to boost sales.
According to a research conducted by the National Retail Federation, holiday sales are poised to increase by 3.6% annually. If you plan to extend your holiday marketing dollar and prop up your business, you might consider some of these tried and tested methods to go about it:
You definitely won’t want your e-commerce business to miss the chance of making the maximum out of the holiday season, so you shouldn’t wait!
Start planning for your holiday marketing early. This way your e-commerce business will be able to focus on day-to-day operations more precisely and you can roll out your holiday marketing campaigns and plans time-wise comfortably.
From business analytics and historical trends, you should find out which holidays and times customers are most likely to be buying your products.
For example, in the US, Cyber Monday surpasses even Black Friday in terms of total sales, thereby being the busiest online shopping day for e-commerce businesses to focus on.
As well as having a marketing strategy in place, your business inventory should be prepared well in advance of the holiday season.
This refers to planning the holiday product line and stocking up to the required level – proper planning can ensure that you sell off the stock that you bring in, rather than being left with a surplus or shortage.
Decorating your logo or even just your website according to the flavour of the holiday season can help marketing efforts considerably. If you have the budget, it’s well worth having your designer rework your website for the big holidays through the year, to help customers engage further with the brand.
You’ll see a good example from Google or Google Doodles for Holidays.
Don’t forget to incorporate a ‘time till holidays’ countdown box on your ecommerce website.
Implementing a holiday countdown box generates a feeling of “scarcity of time” or a sense of urgency, encouraging users to make impulsive purchases and increasing conversions for your ecommerce business.
Remember to tweak your business’s social media pages using holiday relevant visuals and messages too. Change your Facebook cover photo with season greetings, upload holiday offers as profile pictures, post-holiday offer updates on Instagram and decorate your Twitter background! Let everyone know – “The Changing of The Season is Here Now”!!!
Most ecommerce websites have their own blogs and it’s a good idea to feature posts about your Holiday Products Line and Holiday Gift Guide here.
Use eye-catching visuals in blog posts and link to all featured individual products.
To spice things up a bit and boost traffic to the blog, arrange a Holiday Giveaway where one lucky blog reader can win exclusive prizes by sharing the posts and product links.
The experience of buying and giving a gift to someone is rewarding, but some people simply aren’t sure what their friend or family member wants! That’s what makes gift cards such a good option, and why you should offer them on your online store.
Not only will it make you more profit (given that shoppers that are undecided about what to buy have another option before leaving your website) but it can also act as a bit of a saving grace to your customers.
During your peak season incentivize consumers to spend a little more by offering things like discounts, extra points for your loyalty program, or free gifts with purchase if consumers spend over a certain amount of money.
Bundling up items enhances the upsell process. Don’t just hope that users find all of your related products; make sure they get everything they need with fewer clicks of the mouse. Your bottom line will thank you.
Google product search includes links to buying guides at the bottom of its shopping search results pages. Take advantage of this by linking the buying guide to each page and optimise it by including the term ‘buying guide’ in the title tag, meta tag, header, content, and other onsite elements. The better optimised the page, the more likely Google will include your buying guide in its product search results.
It’s a good idea to create a holiday gift section as one of the categories of subcategories. Include products that make perfect holiday gifts and/or any products you’re discounting/promoting for the holiday in question.
Make sure this category is highlighted on the home page or in the sliding banner too!
The world is going mobile! Both feature phone and smartphone usage are skyrocketing. And while mobile responsive ecommerce website design may come to mind first, don’t forget about SMS marketing as well.
Send text messages to your subscribers about new products or unique coupon codes for a discount. This encourages repeat business and enables you to market to the users that don’t own smartphones as well.
Your website may render differently depending on the web browser. Make sure your website and web pages render properly in major web browsers including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.
After doing all the hard work, don’t lose out on sales just because your site doesn’t appear properly or looks broken on certain web browsers. It’s easy to check and test your website, so take the time to do it regularly.
In order to take advantage of the holiday festivities, businesses tend to invest a lot into SEO and PPC to create effective campaigns during certain periods.
Not sure where to start with it all? Here are a few ideas on how to maximise your online presence and improve the experience of your site visitors:
Perform keyword research to identify any relevant holiday-specific search terms for your market and incorporate these keywords into your updated holiday copy and category web pages. For example, holiday gifts, holiday gift ideas, gifts for kids, kids Christmas gifts, unique holiday gifts, men holiday gift, women clothing gift etc.
Update title tags and meta descriptions to include any holiday promotions. For example, if you offer 20% off certain products or offer free shipping only for the holidays, put this into your homepage title tag and meta description. It can help you rank and will attract more search engines browser that happen to see the description in SERPs.
Email Marketing is a great way to encourage business during holiday season. Write an eye-catching newsletter with interactive visuals in e-mail layout to showcase your offers.
Send out an email encouraging previous customers to shop on your store. You can also offer loyal customers an incentive, like 5% off their next purchase.
Quite simply, if you can’t ship in the amount of time the consumer wants, you won’t make the sale. If you traditionally offer five-day shipping, add a two-day shipping option for the holidays.
The difference in delivery time may only be three days, but it can make all the difference between a sale and lost revenue, especially during the closing days of the holiday shopping season.
Write a guest blog post for example ‘The 10 Best Unique Holiday Gifts for Kids’, and include some of your products and those of other brands too. If it’s well written, thoughtful and informative, chances are you’ll be able to get it posted on someone else’s blog. Include your product as one of the gifts and link to your product within the post. Submit your guest post through something like blogger link.
Competition is getting stiffer. In fact, there will be more than 3 to 4 million active E-commerce stores online this holiday season. With the competition growing and a large influx of e-commerce businesses coming into play, sources forecasts that the online store holiday revenue will skyrocket this year about 8% to 11%, and will reach a staggering figure of $110 billion (appx.)
Boost your business this Christmas Season with some of the aforementioned holiday marketing hacks!