With all of the challenges with the Covid-19 pandemic, the upcoming holidays & festive season offers something to look forward to—a light at the end of the tunnel for both consumers and retailers. And due to the pandemic, there will be a marked increase in shoppers doing their Christmas shopping online this year. This also follows the global trend of increased online shopping, pandemic or not.
For marketing strategies to be affective, you need to start planning and promoting well in advance. So make sure you start your Christmas marketing NOW.
Here are some tips for ecommerce marketing for Christmas 2021, to make the most of the holidays and the surge in online activity.
21 Tips for Christmas 2021 eCommerce Marketing
1. Bundle Products
By bundling products into attractive festive gift packs you can move more stock and increase overall spending. This is also an effective Christmas marketing strategy for selling products which are slow moving or unpopular by combining them with bestsellers.
2. Create a Digital Gift Guide
This requires extra effort yet if done well, gift guides are an excellent tool to get your customers thinking about holiday spending. For example, ‘Gifts for Her’ or ‘Gifts for Him’.
A well designed gift guide encourages shoppers with themed imagery and gift suggestions for loved ones. It helps consumers with the choosing process if they’re looking for ideas on what to buy someone (and we’ve all been there). Gift guides can be specific pages on your website that you’ve created specific categories in your online store. You can also offer an extra downloadable version of your gift guides to really help the consumer.
A downloadable gift guide PDF can be exchanged for contact info, fitting nicely into your overall ecommerce marketing strategy.
3. Create a Holiday Pop Up to Collect Sign Ups
Visitors to your website have already expressed interest in what you’re offering. Make sure you cankeep in touch by using a timed or exit intent pop up with a contact field. A holiday themed pop up that mentions discounted products and exclusive seasonal sales is an offer many holiday shoppers can’t resist. Always be mindful that your popups aren’t annoying though or this can quickly lose you business.
4. Refresh Your Blog and Social Content with Christmas Ideas
EVERY business should have a blog on their website. With your blog you can create engaging and valuable content for your audience. These could be as simple as unique gift wrapping tips or fun holiday recipes. They don’t particularly have to be related to your products ( better if they are), but rather a way to provide useful information which shoppers associate with your brand. See how to write effective blogs for your business here.
5. Develop Landing Pages for Specific Products and Promotions
Landing pages are the page where the viewer first reaches your website – and it’s not always the home page. Landing pages are another task that you need to “do your homework” on in advance, especially if you are going to try to position them using SEO. Competition is always high but especially at the festive and holiday season. Ad spending and resources overall need to be used very carefully. Creative and irresistible landing pages are highly effective tools for increasing engagement and ultimately sales.
Remember to add clear and easy to find calls to action – buttons to products in your shop or ‘find out more’ links if you want to direct the customer to another page. Whatever you do, make sure you try to solve your target audiences problems – in the case of Christmas; it’s generally what to buy for Christmas. Make it easy and enticing for them.
6. Add a Countdown to Create a Sense of Urgency
Whether related to specific product deals or holiday sales, a countdown timer taps into shoppers’ emotions and sense of urgency. A countdown could be on your homepage, appear as a pop up when certain actions are performed or included in email campaigns. These are especially effective for Black Friday and Cyber Monday when fear of missing out (FOMO) on uber-deals is high.
7. Launch Exclusive Holiday Products or Product Lines
Many companies develop seasonal products, think breweries and their Christmas beers, or Starbucks holiday coffees. You can join in by adding a holiday themed twist to packaging or to the product itself. Shoppers love limited edition, unique products, especially if they can gift them to loved ones.
8. Research and Execute SEO That is Focused on Christmas Marketing
Keep in mind that, according to Google data, users start looking for ideas for Christmas gifts in August. Be sure to give yourself enough time to be able to position organically. This begins with serious keyword research relevant to your industry and specific products.
9. Reinforce Your Customer Service Staff
The Christmas and holiday shopping season means a serious uptick in orders. This is especially true in 2021 as 84% of shoppers plan to make purchases online. Ensure your team is ready to handle the surge with seasonal staff, contingency plans and holiday specific protocols.
10. Decorate Your Website
An obvious tip perhaps, but well designed Christmas touches on your site can reinforce branding and generate festive spirit which reminds people that it’s time to start thinking about buying gifts for loved ones. Be careful not to go overboard here and distract from the products themselves; a few tasteful additions like a red banner or a green bough, for instance, are sufficient. Don’t forget holiday flourishes on all your social channels, either!
11. Offer free shipping or a flat rate
The price of shipping added on at checkout can sometimes put customers off. Try offering flat rate shipping for national customers or free shipping if they spend a certain amount.
Research has shown that these kind of incentives can be the difference between a sale or an abandoned cart.
12. Be mindful of Postage / Shipping deadlines for the Christmas rush
It may seem obvious but you want to make sure any purchases from your online shop are received by the customer before Christmas. This year, with so much online shopping, parcel delivery companies are bringing their deadlines for last deliveries forward so they can keep up with demand. Whichever delivery or post service you use, check their dates ASAP. Once you know the dates put clear deadlines for last Christmas shipping on your website so that your customers know. This could also be another coutdown if you wish.
13. Wish customers a happy holiday
It’s important to remember that everyone doesn’t celebrate Christmas, so send customers an SMS wishing them a happy holiday instead. A festive SMS is a good way of staying top of mind when customers are compiling their shopping lists. Just be sure to include a link to any seasonal offers or special gift pages.
14. Have a clear call to action
Every marketing SMS should have a clear next step for customers to take. A CTA could be either a link to a specific product, a website page, or to return to an abandoned shopping cart.
Don’t leave customers in any doubt over what to do next, include a link with a simple, easy-to-understand message, e.g.
“Click here for your free Christmas shipping offer!”
15. Surprise Your Customers
We expect to receive messages from companies on the same key days such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, for instance. Stand out from the crowd and contact customers on random days with crafty communication to catch them off guard. Your message will resonate much stronger when their attention isn’t pulled in a million different directions.
16. Coordinate your campaign to be cohesive across marketing channels
All channels should show a unique presentation of the same campaign, while also showing continuity. Don’t forget to add creative, matching campaigns across your social media. This ensures a sense of exclusivity to that particular offer while still maintaining your branding and style. It also allows you to split test various alternatives and find what works best for duplication.
17. Social media shops
If you sell physical products, you really should sell and advertise on the social networks. Instagram store has become increasingly popular and it’s another way to reach a potentially massive audience. See more about how to setup an Instagram shop here.
18. Make mobile channels a priority
Think mobile first and then adapt for desktop. More and more people are making purchases directly through mobile apps and well designed mobile webshops. Ensure your website, landing pages and all promotional content is mobile ready: clear, concise, responsive and easily navigable. User friendly checkout pages are especially vital here when securing sales.
19. Run a Christmas themed user generated campaign
Using creative hashtags you can run a contest or giveaway which encourages customers to post videos or pictures about their Christmas wishes mentioning your brand. This spreads brand awareness and develops community, while also being fun.
20. Thank customers with a gift or loyalty credit
The Christmas sales shouldn’t end there, if you’ve gained new customers you want to try to keep them for repeat business. E-merchants with a decent marketing budget can give customers time-limited discounts on future purchases as a thank you at Christmas time. Not only is it a nice gesture, but it also encourages customers to come back and buy again.
21. Offer a referral discount
Once the customer has purchased, offer a discount to them if they refer you to a friend. The friend should also be offered a discount to entice them to become a customer.
An example is the huge UK retailer, Marks & Spencers; if you purchase from their online store they will give you the chance to opt-in to refer a friend. You get a discount code for 10% off for every friend that makes a purchase. The friends get 15% off their first order. A win, win.
Marks & Spencers use the fast growing Mention Me app that makes it easy to send post sales referral emails.
As well as the above tips, it’s vitally important that your website is performing well before launching any new campaign. Page speed, user experience and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) are just some of the crucial factors for any business website, especially an eCommerce one. Find out more about making sure your website is ready for online sales and marketing here.
Coast Creative creates websites for business large and small, including eCommerce websites. We also provide marketing, social media and SEO strategies as well as website admin & maintenance help. If you would like a no-obligation, free consultation please get in touch.