As we are fully entered into the holiday season — boom time for online stores, many of whom get the bulk of their annual sales during this time — we’ve sourced five marketing strategies your e-commerce brand can implement today to take full advantage of the season.
Online shopping continues to grow exponentially. It exploded since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday officially behind us (and I hope your brand had great success with them!), it’s time to look at the rest of the holiday season. More people than ever before are turning to e-commerce for their holiday shopping, so it’s time to make sure you capture your share of the market!
1. Create a promotion strategy & calendar
Before just jumping into marketing and advertising, take some time to formulate a well-thought-out plan. First, begin building a strategy around peak promotional periods and sales for your e-commerce company.
Search Engine Journal recommends diving into your numbers from last year to find out what worked and what didn’t work. These numbers should help guide your plan based on the keywords and holidays you’re looking to target. Remember, you don’t have to participate in every holiday (that would be madness!) — choose what holidays fit your brand personality.
Next, Anna Crowe writes at SEJ, you can put together a promotional calendar to map out the steps of your holiday campaigns. She provides a snapshot of promotions you’ll want to include:
- Creatives, dates, and human resources of email marketing campaign
- Creatives, dates, and human resources for customized social holiday content
- Updates to any retargeting ads or banners
2. Create holiday-specific keywords and content
Take a look at last year to see what keywords drove the most sales and conversions for your store during the holidays, and use a keyword planning tool to help generate more relevant keywords. You can then use this legacy data to match Google Trend search patterns with keywords that represent your user’s intent to purchase.
“Now that you have the keywords, you want to target begin writing holiday-specific content paired with keyword terms,” Crowe says. “If you’re targeting similar keywords from the past, you’ll want to unarchive past landing pages to utilize the momentum, links, and performance from those pages.”
It is the same scenario if you’re creating a new page targeting a holiday-specific keyword, she adds. “You don’t want to delete that page, just archive it for future repurposing. And, try to give yourself a 45-day window to publish content ahead of the time.”
3. Create a shopping guide for your customers
This is both an excellent way to capitalize on the holidays and keep customers on your site and more engaged by providing them with a very useful tool, as well as an evergreen piece of content that you can repurpose over and over.
Your holiday gift guide (coupled with an original and creative email campaign) will inspire your shoppers and increase sales. Here are some examples of great holiday gift guides from top e-commerce brands.
Goop is a fantastic example — they don’t just create one gift guide, they offer multiple guides!
Oh, and did you notice that Gift Guide examples from above includes one very important e-commerce marketing tool: the quiz? Customer quizzes, especially product selection quizzes, are one of the most powerful things your brand can do to send conversions and repeat loyalists through the roof. (Luckily, BrandYak can help you with that. We’ve created awesome quizzes for several of our clients — read our article about the power of quizzes here!).
The online equivalent of “What should I buy for this person?” is, as you might have guessed, gift finder quizzes. While BuzzFeed-type websites are full of gift generators, a handful of e-tailers also seize this opportunity to capture holiday shoppers.
4. Bundle offers and create gift set packages
This is a great way to upsell your customers and increase total sales from the customers and site visitors you already have. The holiday season is perfect for bundling, because visitors are already looking for gifts and ideas.
The customer engagement platform MoEngage suggests creating a combination of three or more products and offering the whole package at a discount.
“People always want to get the best value for their money,” writes Shane Barker. “Therefore, bundled offers work like a charm during the holiday season. Additionally, you can look for opportunities to give freebies with the combos and still make a profit.”
If you sell complementary products for your core product, he recommends offering a product bundle of core and complementary products. For example, if you sell wireless headphones, offer a Bluetooth speaker and a power bank as a bundled gift set.
5. Test your site speed
This is a simple, but very important, thing that often gets overlooked. It doesn’t do a lot of good to drive visitors to your site if they leave because it’s too slow and clunky.
Page speed is very important to user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. A one-second site speed improvement can increase mobile conversions by up to 27%. The Shopify Blog explains more.
For an e-commerce store, it’s easy to do the math from that — just take your sales and see what that would jump to if your conversions increased by 27%!
We offer a very simple and inexpensive Site Speed Optimization service. You can contact us to learn more or set up a chat. It’s a great investment before you launch your holiday marketing campaign! (And it’s also an important thing to do several times a year, to maintain and improve your website’s speed and UX).