The eCommerce industry just can’t stop growing. These days it seems like the whole world of retail is going to be transferred to the internet realms.
And even though this sounds like good news, the fact that the industry is growing also means that the competition is growing, too. So standing apart from the rest is crucial these days. On top of that, this goal is never an easy one to achieve.
To be better, to be recognizable, one has to have a great sales strategy accompanied by a great marketing strategy, and, most of all, the eCommerce platform has to be considered too. To succeed, one has to implement all the best technologies, strategies, and practices.
However, there is one trick that can help a business owner boost their online store — a holiday campaign!
Holidays are there for business owners to have a better chance of securing sales and growing.
Want to know how? Take a look below and discover all the bits and pieces that will help you come up with a good eCommerce holiday campaign that will rake in new customers and boost sales figures.
Prepare for the holiday season on time
It may be a stretch, but if you haven’t thought about your campaign for holidays yet, you may be late.
In reality, many successful businesses follow a common practice that is called a ‘code freeze’ before the holiday season. During holidays when stores expect the highest numbers, IT experts avoid making changes to the website.
No large back-end changes should be made because there is no point in risking that something could go wrong. So do not modify anything after the first of December. The holiday season lasts for two months in most parts of the world.
Making changes to your web store during the holiday season can confuse customers. Especially if you want to change something regarding website aesthetics and your brand’s logo.
Start planning in Q2 and monitor the figures throughout the season. In February, see whether your efforts were successful or not.
Prepare well ahead of the start of the season, check your landing pages, and optimize your offers. Of course, be open to offering a holiday discount and rich rewards for your most loyal customers. Keep in mind that a holiday campaign without a discount is very unattractive.
Evaluate and compare your past campaigns
One of the fundamental things in the preparation process includes comparing and evaluating previous campaigns.
Think about what has already worked for your business in the past. Spend some time evaluating your campaigns from last year and previous years and try answering these questions:
- What was the main focus of your campaign?
- What were your goals?
- Were the results good?
- Where have you made mistakes?
- What do you need to do to avoid making those same mistakes?
- What did your budget plan look like and what type of return did you see?
Spending time thinking about these campaigns and their aspects can help you understand what needs to be done differently now. You should not repeat the same mistakes if you would like to increase the chance of success.
Additionally, try to learn what other eCommerce stores did to boost sales and fuel growth during the holidays last year.
Focus on content-driven approach
Online shopping has been around for 25 years and customers are more familiar than ever with holiday campaigns. They are used to seeing the same campaigns year after year and if you fail to stand out, they might ignore your efforts completely.
The themes that emerge during 2020 in eCommerce will probably apply to the holiday marketing strategies too. So, it would be wise to presume that businesses will mix them into their Q4 campaigns.
The key theme that will be here again is the content-first approach that innovative and trending brands are using today.
Using content marketing as a method to reach customers means that you need to offer more personalized shopping experiences such as holiday gift guides, shopping assistants, and brick-and-mortar activations.
Add a content strategy element to your overall holiday marketing campaign and keep your SEO game in mind. This helps drive organic traffic to your website and customers might see products that you sell even if they have never shopped with you before.
Develop your theme, idea, and branding for the holidays
To get the return you’re looking for this holiday season, you should spend time developing a strong campaign theme that aligns well with your brand, your products, and, most of all, your audience.
If you want a campaign that works well for all three, think about when you want your campaign to run exactly.
For instance, do you want your marketing campaign to run for all of November and December, or would you rather focus on a specific day like Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
Is your audience looking forward to a Christmas-themed campaign or a Thanksgiving-themed campaign?
Are the people who buy your products spending time with young kids this time of year or are they lone wolves?
Figure out what theme would make the most sense for your business and then let your theme lead your efforts as you build out the remainder of your campaign.
Secure promotion partners on time
To further improve the odds of succeeding, spend time connecting with and securing relationships with the right partners that can help you when it is time to promote the campaign. The goal is to find partners that can help you tap into audiences that are otherwise not available for contact.
- Various other eCommerce businesses that align with your mission and sell products that serve the same audience as you
- Vendors that you already have relationships with and who can promote your campaign
- Social media influencers who are prominent in your industry
- Traditional media outlets that can write journalism-focused stories about you, your company, and the story of your company
So, if you haven’t spent some time connecting with influencers or partners, you should consider doing that as soon as possible.
Bonus tip — hire extra fulfillment help
To avoid getting overwhelmed with the uptick in the fulfillment that you may receive after you launch your marketing campaigns, hire extra help.
Do not let your customers down during the holidays, but instead deliver the products they have ordered. Every promise you make on your website and in your transactional emails has to be followed through.
So, ask family or friends or hire part-time workers to ensure that you have the extra help needed to get every order out on time.
If you keep your customers happy, your brand reputation will grow.
— Guest article by Viktor Zdraveski
Yan Anderson is the Head of Content Marketing at CS-Cart with over 10 years of experience in the eCommerce industry. He's passionate about explaining complicated things in simple terms. Yan has expertise in building, running and growing eCommerce marketplaces. He loves to educate people about best practices, new technologies, and trends in the global eCommerce industry.