Oct 30, 2018

Your Guide to Ecommerce Holiday Planning

With Halloween quickly approaching, the holidays are almost in full swing, which is why it’s time to finalize your marketing strategy. Our mission is to empower retailers and ecommerce business owners to own their digital marketing process throughout the whole year. With the holidays fast-approaching and the new year right around the corner, this guide will touch on a few ways to take advantage of the 2018 holiday season.

The top revenue-generating days during the holiday season are Thanksgiving (this year on November 22), Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Cyber Tuesday and Christmas Day. To drive sales during the holiday season, it’s essential to start executing early. Here are some actions you can begin implementing now.

Grow your email list

Email is huge! If you’re not emailing your list, start now. If you are, that’s great, but you may need to up the ante and increase the frequency at which you are emailing your customers during the holiday season. Try the following tips to grow your list:

  1. Create content that your subscribers will want to share or forward
  2. Revamp your older email list with an engaging opt-in message and remove any contacts who don’t wish to re-opt-in
  3. Create exciting lead-gen offers or free tools and resources as gifts for subscribing to your emails
  4. Promote those tools, resources or other giveaways and offers through social media
  5. Create a pop-up on your site for first-time site visitors
  6. Include a subscription box on your blog

Gain social media followers

Social media will work in your favor when you continuously grow a steady, loyal following. First and foremost, be consistent with how much and how often you post. Sporadic or over-posting will not serve you well, so try to find the sweet spot given your target audience. Set aside a few minutes every day to engage your audience. Here are some key points to consider when growing your following:

  1. Utilize Lookalike Audiences to seek new followers based on your current following, which ensures you target interested users
  2. Create and boost posts to gain new likes and follows
  3. Promote an online contest that requires people to “like” or “follow” your page
  4. Promote an offer that requires your followers to tag other people
  5. Partner with other brands in a “collab” to mutually benefit from their follower base, and vice versa
  6. Create engaging content that your followers will want to share
  7. Use relevant hashtags that are branded or relate to your business
  8. Attract new followers with engaging through Instagram Stories

Publish original content

You’ve heard it before and now you’ll hear it again… content is king! It’s not enough to just copy and paste anymore. Your content needs to be fresh, original, relevant to your target audience, and have a clear call-to-action. Here are some tips to improve your content marketing strategy.

  1. Research keywords and content your potential audience is searching for with tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Google Trends.
  2. Focus on creating quality content vs. a high volume of content
  3. Create strong headlines that will resonate with your audience
  4. Optimize your meta tags & descriptions
  5. Create a content calendar, using a tool such as Airtable, to help your team organize

Effectively market your products

As a retailer, the most important factor when planning your digital marketing strategy is, of course, the products! To effectively market those products, you need to create a promotion timeline, know your goals and choose the right channels to work with. Here are some key questions to ask yourself:

  1. Which products will be discounted?
  2. What will be offered during the pre-sale, sale, and post-sale?
  3. What retargeting methods should be employed for customers who have already purchased your product(s)?
  4. Am I alerting customers of abandoned shopping carts?
  5. Do I have an Amazon Store set up for my brand?
  6. Am I running Google Ads to capture demand from shoppers who are actively searching for products like mine?
  7. Am I thinking about voice-search compatibility with my product listings?

Set up shoppable products on Facebook & Instagram

Take advantage of how easy it is to get people to shop your products on Facebook and Instagram. Depending on the CMS you use for your ecommerce website, you may be able to install a plugin that only takes a few minutes to set up and instantly turns your Instagram profile into a shoppable feed. You can also use services such as Like2Have.It that allow you to curate your photos, tag your products and promote galleries right on your site.

Facebook gives you the ability to create a store and sell items directly to your page followers. To get started, all you have to do is go to your Facebook Business Page and add the “Shop Section” tab. Once you’ve finished setting up your Facebook Store and added all your products, you can start tagging products in your Facebook posts.

Optimize your website experience

Furthermore, you will only be ready for the holidays if your website is easy to navigate and purchase from. Your brand’s presence should be prominent throughout the site. Your check-out experience should run smoothly on mobile and desktop devices. You’re likely losing sales if your website isn’t optimized for mobile and doesn’t lead customers down the conversion funnel.

And last but certainly not least, make sure you’re collecting product reviews on your website. While this data might not help for this holiday season, it will surely come in handy next year to give you a head-start on planning, revising and building upon your strategy.

Conclusion

Preparing for the holiday season can be a challenge for a lot of retailers. To take full advantage, you need to plan and execute flawlessly. Take the time to understand what your customers are most likely to purchase online and then offer them incentives they just can’t pass up! Finally, after the holiday selling season is over, it’s time to turn those new customers into repeat buyers with tactics such as personalization, post-holiday campaigns, and by showing some gratitude through email and social media for a great holiday season.

Need help planning or executing your holiday campaign?
LEARN ABOUT OUR ECOMMERCE SERVICES

SOURCES:
printful.com/blog/holiday-ecommerce-email-marketing-guide-with-templates-visuals
offers.hubspot.com/ecommerce-holiday-success-guide
shopify.com/enterprise/holiday-ecommerce
shopify.com/enterprise/holiday-ecommerce-strategy
blog.workarea.com/ecommerce-holiday-planning-guide-from-set-up-to-post-holiday-selling
blog.adeptmarketing.com/10-ecommerce-best-practices-for-holiday-planning
shopifynation.com/marketing/preparing-ecommerce-store-for-holidays
bigcommerce.com/blog/ecommerce‑holiday‑readiness