Updated: Jan 11
When done right, a good holiday marketing plan can be a very rewarding experience for you and your customers. The customer harvests great products at the best price, and the seller gets to clear a lot of inventory and bolster their capital. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the focus to online shopping, and eCommerce retailers this year must have a solid holiday marketing plan in place to make the most of it .
While many look forward to the festive season in anticipation of happy shopping and awesome deals, it can be a very stressful period for those at the selling end. There are many decisions to be made ahead of time that can ensure successful selling. It is vitally important to have your festive season marketing strategies locked and loaded, and deploy them as the season commences.
Holiday marketing strategies for small businesses, in particular, can be tricky to pin down. Should small brands and businesses focus on marketing their own brand website at this time, or partner up with big and famous marketplaces like Amazon that will run their separate blockbuster sales? Is this the right time to tap an influencer? Should they focus on branding or clearing inventory? How should they disseminate their media budget? Our festive season eCommerce marketing strategies and ideas are here to help.
1. Cash in on the anticipation of the festive season by prepping your audience for what’s ahead: great products, discounts and offers before they go live. In a rather similar way to the setup Amazon offers to its Prime customers, offer them a special sneak peek or special discounts page where they can view everything that is up for grabs. In exchange, request them for info such as an email address or other details you can then use to personalize their offers for them. Offer special deals, coupons, and other add-ons like free shipping for registered users. These will entice your customers to make the purchase and seal the deal. If you are a small business with an existing clientele, these are effective eCommerce marketing strategies to engage your paying customers and offer them great rewards and show how grateful you are to have your business.
2. Send out emailers with calls to action as well as push notifications. Run ads on Google and social media for raising awareness about your brand and to bring traffic to your website. Pick the social media channel that brings you the most eyeballs. Highlight offers related to the festive season. your USP. If your products are great as gifts, highlight that both in your choice of forums and ad copy. If they promote an eco-friendly way to celebrate the festive season, keep that at the forefront of your messaging.
3. You could also think about floating a series of promotional videos on social media showcasing behind-the-scenes, interesting tidbits about products, or the people behind them, to name a few, building up to the festive season. Try a few things and see which ones strike a chord with your audience. This will help you understand your brand loyalists better. Jump in on “webrooming” and similar trends that are very contemporary and popular. Webrooming is showrooming brought online: your prospects can enjoy this cool mode of discovery of a new line of must-have products, for instance. They can examine a product they are interested in from every angle, just as they would in a brick-and-mortar showroom.
4. Use the time before the festive season to segment your existing customer base according to personas and buying choices, and come up with suggestions for products or bundles tailored to their preferences. You may even float some early-bird specials for the super-organized who like to get their shopping done well ahead of time. Today, several consumers align with brands that uphold and share their values concerning the environment, or other issues. Send them updates about your achievements in such sectors, tied in with product info.
5. If you are not particularly focused on building your brand, but simply looking at clearing inventory in bulk, and gaining better visibility, and sales, you may consider partnering with a major marketplace. However, do note that your product might be placed alongside similar products to offer a spectrum of choices to the consumer. You must have an attractive price point that doesn’t damage your margins, or another great hook to enable the customer to choose your product over others.
6. Get technology to work for you. Pepper your website with internal links from site pages that receive traffic so that customers landing on those pages also discover these pages and also get links from other websites. If you are partnered with affiliates to sell your products, get on board with their marketing and outreach activities. Your posts should have the same hashtags, to begin with. Share their posts that pertain to your product or broader product category, and provide links to your own product page to maximize the digital footprint. Have your team engage them on social media platforms through likes and strategic comments.
7. Your inventory management software is invaluable at this stage in helping you move and track inventory between your various channels, managing price points, discounts, and other parameters.
8. Promote your festive offers on other third-party sites or enter into a partnership with bloggers, Instagrammers, or YouTubers for external mentions. Influencer marketing can be a useful strategy if you can find and partner with the right influencer. Here’s a guide on influencer marketing, and how to go about choosing the right partner for your brand and product promotion.
9. Retargeting customers who don't convert is necessary to bring in the stragglers and those who have abandoned their shopping carts. If they registered on your eCommerce website with their email or mobile number, you have an avenue for reaching out to them with reminders about items still in their carts, or markdowns or timed offers.
Finally, once the festive season is over, it is time to do a post-season analysis to measure the success of your festive marketing campaigns. You must examine the data and collate the insights about which of your marketing strategies fanned the most buzz, got the most eyeballs, and landed the most conversions.
You will not only know your big-ticket products that sell with or without discounts and offers but will also be able to nail down your marketing strategies for the holidays. This knowledge comes in handy when deciding where to allot your precious budget for maximum ROI during holiday sales.