Planning for the holidays if you have an e-commerce store isn’t the same as gearing up for a couple of days of hearty partying. The Christmas holiday season has always been the busiest time of the year for online sellers, and Statista predicts that 2021 will be even busier.
The thing is, Christmas starts in November for e-commerce stores because people in the United States typically spend most of their Christmas money on Cyber Monday. That doesn’t give you much time to prepare if you’re just starting now, so it’s time to get down to business.
Here are some key takeaways:
- Review your strategies of the previous year to see what worked or didn’t work for you
- Set goals and choose the channels that will best allow you to achieve these goals
- Create promotional content and include gift guides, polls, flash sales, and more to attract audiences and convert them into customers
- Continue reading to learn simple but effective strategies that you can use today to promote your e-commerce site this Christmas
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How Do You Create a Holiday Promotion Strategy?
The first thing you need for promoting your e-commerce site for Christmas is a strategy. How do you do that? It all boils down to the following steps.
Step 1: See How You Did Last Year
Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, look at your successes (or failures) in the previous year. What days and time did you get the most traffic and sales? Which channels drove conversions and traffic? Focus on what you did well and improve upon it.
Step 2: Set Goals
This might seem a no-brainer, but you might be surprised. Sales aren’t always the best goal for Christmas campaigns because that will happen anyway. Instead, set a goal to build better relationships with customers, give back to the community, or create more brand awareness. You’ll be reaping the rewards from these the whole year-round.
Step 3: Choose Your Channels
With all online sellers ramping up their promotions, you can’t afford to have a build-it-and-they-will-come attitude. Use email, mobile text messages, and social media to target different sectors of your market. Be ready to spend some dough on paid ads on Facebook and Google to get people to notice you.
Step 4: Set a Timeline
Schedule when you’ll be releasing ad posts and announcements to coincide with any traction you might have gained from your email and short message service (SMS) campaigns. You don’t want to flood your feeds and landing pages with too much all at once. Instead, aim for strategic teasers to build interest in your product and brand.
Step 5: Create Promotional Content
The best part of any marketing strategy is creating content based on the timeline you made and the channels you chose. Make sure that your emails, ads, and posts are consistent throughout with your messaging and tone.
How Can You Promote Your Business for Christmas?
A strategy is only as effective as its execution. When you create your content, keep in mind that you need people that come to your site or store to buy your products. To promote your business for Christmas, you need to have some awesome lead magnets. Check out the following suggestions.
Offer a Gift Guide
Analysis paralysis is a real problem when shopping for gifts. You can help potential shoppers avoid this and send them to your site at the same time by offering them a gift guide.
The guide can be a blog post or gated content that readers can access in exchange for their email addresses.
Create a Poll or Quiz
Another way to generate buzz around your brand and e-commerce site is to post a Christmas-themed poll or quiz on social media to get their email addresses. Offer a discount to everyone that takes the poll or quiz to get them to sign up.
Alternatively, invite them to click the link that will send them to the landing page, where you can post the quiz or poll. As soon as they finish, a pop-up will invite them to provide their email so you can send them the results and the discount code. Clever, right?
Use the Landing Page as a Greeting
People shopping for Christmas tend to be highly stressed, so your landing page should give them some breathing space and, at the same time, remind them of the spirit of the season. Design something festive but not cluttered, like this one:
Post a cheerful message or offer some Christmas trivia related to the products you offer. For example, if you’re selling silver jewelry, you can say that tinsel used to be real silver, and people put actual candles on their Christmas trees. When they click on your call-to-action (CTA), you know they’re ready to shop.
Make it Easy for Them to Buy
The Christmas holidays are expensive, so buyers naturally have a budget in mind for each gift they buy. You can keep them on your site by letting them filter gifts by price range. That will narrow down their search to products they can afford, making it more likely that they’ll buy.
The best e-commerce platforms allow you to add a filter to your site, so you don’t need a developer to do that for you. Alternatively, you can add something like this:
What Are the Best E-Commerce Site Promotion Ideas?
Now that you’ve got them where you want them, how can you get them to buy? Consider the following promotions you can use on your e-commerce site.
Strategic Free Shipping
The convention is that free shipping drives sales by as much as 90 percent, but that needs qualification. It’s true that many consumers expect free shipping and will abandon carts when they think the shipping costs are too high.
You can offer free shipping, but you need to use this tactic strategically. Set a free shipping threshold, and price your products such that you can afford to ship them free and still make a profit, such as free shipping for orders of $50 and higher.
Create Gift Bundles
Gift bundles are a great way to help customers get their shopping done quickly and get rid of slow-moving inventory at the same time. You can afford to give those items at cost, so it comes out as a nice overall discount for the bundle.
Bundle products frequently purchased together and add one or two that aren’t so popular as a freebie or deeply discounted item. For example, offer a dozen bracelets that include your fastest and slowest-moving designs for the price of 10 and have velvet pouches as freebie gift bags.
Have Flash Sales
Flash sales are fun for both the customer and the seller. The countdown, the limited stocks, and the deep discounts all add to the excitement. More importantly, it creates a buzz around your brand that makes many people sit up and pay attention. Nordstrom Rack, for example, holds daily flash sales with discounts of up to 65%.
A flash sale’s success draws upon the natural fear of missing out (FOMO), and it’s an excellent way to get the word out to a broader audience within a short period. Of course, this strategy is most effective when it isn’t a regular feature on your site. That way, people will be anxious to subscribe so they can get notifications on when the next flash sale will be.
In the spirit of the Christmas holiday, it might be a good idea to be a bit more generous with flash sales. Make sure that the word gets around first before you start ramping it up.
Use Exit Pop-ups
Yes, pop-ups can be irritating, but not when you use them the right way. Create exit pop-ups with a holiday theme to give site visitors timely reminders to avail of an offer or sign up for a discount just as they are about to leave the site.
You get their attention back and potentially increase your conversion rate by 1,300 percent with an enticing offer. It’s sneaky but very effective.
What Should You Do Next?
Your next move should be to take care of your customers. Each person who bought an item from you has the potential to become a repeat customer if you treat them right. Make sure that you send everyone a personalized email thanking them for their purchase and wishing them the best of the season.
You should also make a point of informing customers if there’s going to be a delay in the delivery of their items, which usually happens during the Christmas rush.
E-commerce store owners are savvy about putting a buffer in their delivery schedules, but it can still go sideways. Giving customers a head’s up before they start wondering and asking goes a long way in establishing trust for your store and brand.
The most important thing to keep in mind while promoting your e-commerce site for Christmas is about making connections, not just sales. Sales are essential to your business, certainly, but so is creating a positive relationship with the customer.
If you focus more on serving the customer rather than getting their money, you’ll find that you can have your fruitcake and eat it too.