Believe it or not, the holiday season is almost here!
Soon enough, companies will be preparing for the festive months of November and December. It still may be hot outside, but the calendar is about to turn to fall soon.
The holiday season is a critical juncture for companies and particularly e-commerce brands. More and more people would rather shop from home than deal with the last-minute lines at stores. Concerns over the COVID pandemic also have led to a boost in e-commerce sales.
The signs are trending in the right direction for e-commerce companies and Google is projecting a 15.5% increase in sales for this upcoming season.
This comes on the heels of e-commerce sales reaching $211.41 billion last year, according to digitalcommerce360.com, which marked a 10% bump from 2020 and 54.9 % from 2019.
E-commerce sales also grabbed 20.9% of all sales last year (up from 14.6 in 2019) per Google.
This data provides noteworthy trends that should be followed and used for designing your e-commerce marketing campaigns for the upcoming holiday season.
Here are some tips and strategies for how to make this upcoming holiday season the best one yet for your company!
BE READY FOR THE MASSES
Our first tip may seem simple but it’s worth repeating: You have to make sure your site is ready for an influx of visitors and sales, and easy to find.
If your site is slow or can’t handle mass orders, that’s a surefire way to lose customers. People want to use sites that are easy and fast. If your site presents problems, they will go somewhere else. That’s much easier to do when shopping online than when you’re at an actual sale.
You also want to ensure you have all the needed information available so that customers aren’t spending 10-15 minutes searching for basic details.
Being easy to find means your company/brand has done the proper SEO (search engine optimization) research to ensure you are presented when customers search for the keywords or products that are associated with your brands. You have to be easy to find.
You also want to make life as easy as possible for your customers when they are checking out and this means providing multiple ways to pay. You need to account for digital wallets (Apple Pay or Google Bay) or even a pay later option that is popular with a younger demographic.
Have a photo for all your viable products. Square reports that 88% of items are sold with photos, compared to just 11% that don't have a photo.
You need to have photos that showcase your products. Since customers can’t actually touch the item, they need to see what it looks like. We recommend having multiple photos if possible.
‘TIS THE SEASON
Embrace the holiday cheer on your website. You want to trigger the emotions and memories that are associated with the holiday season.
Think of central themes that you want to convey that associate with the holiday season, and don’t be afraid to use holiday themes with your messaging.
This ties into your email marketing strategy. You will want your email campaigns to promote your holiday specials and remind them of certain products for the holiday season.
An email retargeting strategy could be quite helpful during this time, especially for items left in a cart. You want to get those customers to the finish line. A friendly nudge doesn’t hurt.
WORD OF MOUTH
It helps to have strong customer reviews for your products during the holiday season since that can help quell any concerns customers may have about the product.
There will be slight hesitation when customers can’t see the actual product, but seeing what others have to say about the product can help sway their opinion with 84% of customers trusting online reviews, according to Inc.com. That’s a significant [percentage that is quite revealing.
Having reviews also helps with your SEO, which can be critical during a period when customers are searching for products to buy.
Start prioritizing reviews if you have not already. You can even offer promotions or discounts for those who leave reviews, providing an incentive for customers to do so.
Your company needs to be proactive and try to begin your holiday efforts early.
Google also reports that 49% of customers used early holiday sales or promotional offers before Thanksgiving and 37% wished they had started shopping earlier than they did. Think about that for a second. That’s more than one-third of customers who wished they started earlier!
For this upcoming season, 51% of Americans are planning to shop earlier than they have in the past, according to Google. That’s a great sign if you have your plans ready to go.
Thanksgiving weekend also received 180 million unique shoppers, a 14.1 year-over-year increase per Google. Your holiday efforts need to be starting in November.
One way to stand out during the holiday season is with promotional offers. There are so many different brands and companies for customers to choose from, and having great promotional offers could be what your company needs to stand out from the competition.
Google reports that 65% of customers expect to be offered targeted promotions. This indicates that not only are they expecting to receive discounts, but you will also have to stand out from the competition. Spend time creating a promotion that is too good to pass up.
Having a flash sale or even the release of a new product certainly doesn’t hurt since they are exciting and raise brand awareness. You want to be on your customers’ minds.
Be sure to promote if you have a loyalty program as well. If you get new customers to sign up for your program, they could be more inclined to make further purchases if they’re receiving discounts and/or news about your latest products since they are part of that program.
SEASON OF GIVING
Some customers are just going to want to buy gifts for others. After all, it is the season of giving.
You’ll want to have the option for customers to buy gift cards or to package their purchases as gifts. Make it as simple as possible for them to buy a “gift” compared to just an item.
Google reports that 57% of all shoppers will start their holiday shopping via either Google or YouTube, and 63% of YouTube users purchased a brand after seeing it on the platform.
Be sure to spend time crafting the perfect ads for these platforms. We have covered how to create the best YouTube advertisements and tips for Google Ads Performance Max. If you haven’t been advertising on YouTube, this is your notice that you should plan to do so.
Google recommends implementing Enhanced Conversions on at least 60% of investments since that leads to 5% bumps on Search and 17% on YouTube. It also advises opting into Value-Based Bidding since that will help drive more value from campaign conversions.
You also should be selling on social media platforms if the site allows since 98% of consumers planned to make a purchase via a social media platform, according to socialsprout.com.
These tips should help boost your approach this holiday season, but hopefully they will also lead to more customers and perhaps multiple-purchase shoppers. You are going to want these customers to return in the other months of the year and keep returning to your brand.
Be sure to keep checking Digicom for the latest tips, strategies and articles on how to increase your marketing efforts!
SO, WHERE DO YOU FIND THIS PARTNER?
Well, aren’t we glad you asked! We at DigiCom are obsessive data-driven marketers pulling from multi-disciplinary strategies to unlock scale. We buy media across all platforms and placements and provide creative solutions alongside content creation, and conversion rate optimizations. We pride ourselves on your successes and will stop at nothing to help you grow.