It’s that time of year again…
Time to think about holiday sales campaigns for your ecommerce store. And in this article we’re going to help you to prepare in advance for the busiest shopping period of the year, which kicks off in late November. But before we dive into that good stuff, let’s get clear on what holidays we’re talking about.
Which Holidays are you Preparing for?
That’s a fair question. If you’ve downloaded a copy of our (free) 2020-2022 Marketing Calendar you’ll already know that there are a host of traditional and little known holidays and awareness days that you can align your brand with to help you sell more through your online store.
But as I write this, it’s November, which means some big shopping days are on their way. And it all kicks off with Thanksgiving which falls on the 25th of November, 2021 and then runs all the way through December and into January for the post festive season sales. Hey, if you have an online store in Australia and New Zealand, you’ll want to be thinking about back to school sales too.
But with so many ‘sales’ opportunities on your horizon, how do you prepare? We think a great place to start is by reviewing your customer’s journey.
Now’s a Good Time to Review Your Customer’s Journey
We wrote about the importance of understanding your customer’s journey here. But here’s a quick recap; the customer journey is every step and stumble a shopper takes between browsing, making a purchase, and coming back for more. Around here, we’re fond of referring to a customer’s journey with your brand as delighting your future (and current) customers.
As you prepare for the holiday sales use data from your ecommerce store to review each step of a shopper’s journey.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Who are your leads? Leads are the subscribers who are yet to make a purchase.
- Who are your repeat customers?
- Who buys seasonally or during sale months?
- Who hasn’t bought from you in a while?
- What sales strategies have worked for you previously?
- Where are your customers coming to you from – what channels have the highest ROI?
And if you’re using a platform like Maropost Commerce Cloud, you’ve got the data you need at your fingertips. Not using Maropost? It’s easy to make the switch, contact us to find out more about this exciting, ‘everything under one roof’, ecommerce platform.
Next up is creating your marketing strategy and content.
Holiday Marketing Strategy & Content Creation
We hate to break it to you, but you’re not the only savvy ecommerce store owner preparing for holiday sales.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t stand out and boost your bottom line during this busy shopping season. But you can’t just drop your prices and expect shoppers to come – you need a holiday marketing strategy along with brand & holiday aligned content that catches the eye of consumers.
We recommend starting with a ‘content-first’ strategy to encourage shoppers to really look at your offer. Remember there are a lot of offers being put before consumers at this time of year. You’re not just competing with your competitors, you’re competing with almost everyone with something to sell. Use content and email marketing to engage your ideal customers by offering more personalised shopping experiences. Personalised shopping experiences include discount codes and holiday gift guides. You also want to pay attention to SEO (search engine optimisation) and a solid paid ads strategy is worth considering at this time of year to help you stand out.
And here’s a tip:
Keep your brand messaging consistent, even when advertising for the holiday dollar. Inconsistent messaging can lead to brand confusion and not being sure about who you are and what you stand for can be the difference between someone finding you and buying from you.
Tighten up Customer Support & Service
Increased traffic during holiday sales puts pressure on customer support and service; which means now is a good time to review things like your response time to customer questions, feedback and concerns, along with order picking and packing.
You should also consider if you will need additional staff to manage the increased demand during busy periods? Or can someone’s day to day role be transitioned to customer support for a short period of time?
And you’ll want to be clear about shipping time frames to ensure your customers aren’t disappointed when the gift they bought their loved one arrives too late. Simply adding a popup to your store that alerts shoppers to ‘order cut off’ times to receive their products by certain dates, will be appreciated. Whilst it’s difficult to guarantee delivery time frames during extremely busy times, if you can exceed your customer’s expectations in terms of order fulfilment, you’ll go a long way to turning them into a repeat customer – which will serve you well all year round, not just at sale time.
Whether you need any of the following, we can help.
- Marketing Strategy
- Paid Ads Campaign
- Social Media or Email Marketing Strategy + Content Creation
- Ecommerce platform that puts your inventory management, picking and packing system and all sales channels under one roof