E-commerce buying patterns vary drastically by industry, and apparel/accessories and computer/electronics are particularly sensitive to the holidays.
The bottom line is obvious: regardless of industry, as long as you’re selling something to someone, November-December are the most important months of the year.
Just how important is the holiday season to your bottom line?
Check out some of this data:
- Holiday sales are expected to increase 5% to 5.6% over last year’s shopping season, reaching a peak of $1.10 trillion at 2018 holiday season
- As a whole, for some businesses, November and December account for up to 30% of annual revenue
- Holidays revenue keeps growing at a steady rate YoY
So what do you do to get the most out of them? You get ready, in advance. And that’s exactly the purpose of this article – to help you get ready on time. In the following pages, you will find recommendations for holiday-related services you can get done in numerous fields.
All your business wants for Christmas is…video content? Here are just a few reasons why you need to focus your attention (and marketing budget) on video this holiday season:
- 50% Of holiday shoppers report using online video while actually shopping
- 60% Reporting finding new ideas and purchase inspiration while watching video
- 90% Said they’ve discovered new E-commerce products and services on YouTube
A week before the holiday selling season begins and marketers have concerns. Will their video be a hit or a bust? Will it fly high? Or crash and burn? Is their message the right one? Or too much of a hard sell? When is the best time to send it? So many questions. So little time. Here are some tips to help point you in the right direction.
- Make it Personal
The holidays are a time to spend with freinds and family—including your customers. So keep it light in your seasonal greetings, and take a genuine and affable tone in all marketing materials. The holiday season is a great time to also show your culture and build personal relationships with your audience.
- Keep it Fun
Make your video fun and lighthearted. Include your own employees and showcase their personalities. They can give a personal holiday greeting or even talk about the worst gift they received.
- Use Well-Known Themes and References
Don’t be shy about doing a take-off on a well-known theme such as a song, movie or story. Just make sure it will have meaning to your audience.
Branding is obviously a year-round affair, with advantages raging from top of mind awareness to premium collection legitimacy and customers loyalty boost. During the holidays, seasonal branding helps with all of this and also allows you to support your differentiation, create a dynamic, up to date appearance, encourage your personal connections with your customers and boost you holiday promotional season.
Here are four ideas to help juice your holiday branding.
- Be Consistent
If you are going to give your brand a quick “makeover” this holiday season, we recommend being consistent with your branding on all channels. Own a color or a specific look and feel, and be sure that it’s portrayed across all platforms that you will be using.
- Be Colorful
Depending on the holiday, use festive colors in your branding, colors that resemble that specific holiday – be true to the season. However, it’s important that you stay true to your existing brand so that your customers are still able to recognise you.
- Be Timely
If you are going to update your branding for the holidays, be timely. Make sure that you’ve created everything well in advance and everything is either scheduled out or already implemented. If you are sending out an email newsletter, make sure you are sending it out before everyone leaves for the holiday break.Quality over quantity. Get your message across in a few short words and don’t bombard your customers
Fight the pre-holiday crush at the mall or kick back on the sofa and order online? Increasingly, Americans are choosing the couch over the crush. At 2017, online sales hit a $108.2 billion all times record, increasing of 14.7% from the year before.
How can you get a piece of this exploding pie?
Before digging in, make sure your online store is ready for visitors and ensuring those visitors can find your site. Start with a website audit and hung for broken links, 404 errors and web access issues. Check for search engine optimisation and content. Check site performance and reduce load times. And as in 2018 50% of millennials will use their smartphones to purchase make sure you’re mobile ready & friendly
One method to encourage higher average orders is bundling —providing several items for sale as a single combined product. During the holiday season, as shoppers are busy finding gifts for everyone in their list, bundling may help make their buying decisions easier.
- Flash Sales
Create several sales campaigns for different dates. Research found that flash sales emails win 14% higher open rates compared to regular campaigns.
- Free Shipping
Customers always enjoy free shipping. 58% of shoppers purchase more items just to qualify for the shipping and 83% are willing to wait an extra 48-hours for delivery to get the free shipping.
People LOVE discounts, and holidays season is a great opportunity to give them exactly what you want. Give your loyal customers a discount to feel their appreciation. Give your new customers/subscribers a meaningful welcome discount, and earn their long-term loyalty
Social media is constantly changing and has dominated desktops and mobile devices globally. No other, single advancement has changed lives and culture as dramatically.
Make the most of the holiday season and enjoy a major revenue spike with optimized use of social media. When done right, social media can build a strong brand identity and drive sales.
Exactly how important social media during the holidays is? A lot:
- 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others
- 32% said they turn to social media to find information about holiday gift purchases
- Interest in promotions is the #2 reason for people to follow a brand.
With huge growth projected for the 2018 season, use every available conduit to market your business, using these tips:
- Festive Holiday Content
Create content with festive images as a way to show customers you are in the holiday spirit and remind them it’s gift buying time. Be consistent and make sure your content and advertising is cohesive, as Social Media Design includes channel specific banners, media covers, logos and more.
- Deals & Exclusives
Holiday shopping is frequently synonymous with exclusive seasonal deals. Promote these deals through social media as a way to give to your followers and incentivize new followers to follow your social profiles
- Influencer Gifting to Boost Holiday Sales
Influencers can transform products and services from the ‘hidden gem’ category to the ‘must-have’. Their enthusiasm can turn you into a household name overnight. Influencer gifting can be a challenge. Selecting the right gift for the right influencer can be solved with a little work
Email is always a great channel to communicate with your clients, and in the busy holiday season, it gives you a way in through the noise. To make sure you’re making the most out of it, here are some tips to running a successful email marketing campaign this holiday season.
Marketers often see an increase in revenue attributed to email from segmented campaigns. Basic segmentation means separating the active subscribers from those who are inactive. Then send different messages to each group. Segmentation can go deeper as you focus on things such as age, gender and browsing activity
Personalization is a key element. It can be as simple as using the subscriber’s first name on the subject line or re-targeting the consumer with similar items to buy. If you can personalize – you should. Business Insider points to personalized recommendations as increasing revenue by 39% while cutting buyer churn by 46%
80% of holiday shoppers are influenced by the internet before making a purchase.15 And what exactly do they see online? Content. Content is the best way to convince your potential clients and needs to be written well in order to do so. So exactly what should you be aware of? Check these tips out.
- Avoid Cliches
“Wrap up the holidays” and “stuff your stocking with savings” has been used by every brand around. It’s time to wrap it up and say goodbye to cliches. Stuff your stockings with new catchy phrases instead
- Build Urgency. Now.
The holidays happen only one time a year, so create a sense of urgency in the content. Urgency moves the buyer to get out their credit card and make a purchase – now.
- User-Generated Content
A recent survey shows that not only consumer reviews outweigh free shipping when making buying decisions, but it is also more important for shoppers than their own family and friends’ recommendations.16 Leverage user-generated content to drive increased sharing and discovery. User reviews have been a driver in decision making for a long time and user-generated content lends credibility to the message
When talking about holiday content, the key is early preparation. Start now and think about what your customers care about. Holiday content is your opportunity to stand out.
So what kind of content can you create?
- End-of-Year Update
List the best-selling products you have. Highlight the awards you have received and talk about community events and celebrate employee achievements
- Holiday Gift Guide
Content devoted to holiday gift ideas is perfect to give value to your target market while highlighting your products at the same time. With shoppers willing to spend over $600 for friends and family, one way to stay competitive is an online gift guide. Such type of content can Engage shoppers early, increase conversion by encouraging shoppers to make a selection, cater to last-minute shoppers, and improve promotional mailings
- Look Ahead
Look at future trends in your niche and highlight your plans for next year. In short: give customers something to look forward to
- Don’t Forget Lesser-Known National Holidays
Content-based activity around well-known dates is good. Using lesser know nationally known holidays is exactly the sort of things can grant you a competitive advantage. For your convenience, here’s a full list of the holiday season important dates:
- November 4th: National stress awareness day
- November 11th: Veterans day
- November 22nd: Thanksgiving
- November 23rd: Black Friday
- November 24th: Small business Saturday
- November 26th: Cyber Monday
- November 27th: National day of giving
- December 2-10: Chanukah
- December 6th: Miners day
- December 14th: Free shipping day
- December 15th: Ugly Christmas Sweater day
- December 24-25th: Christmas Eve & Christmas
- December 26th: Thank you note day
- December 26th: Boxing day (Canada)
- December 31st: Make up your mind day
- December 31st: New Year’s Eve
As a business owner, the holiday season is a huge opportunity to make an impact in your bottom line.. Make sure you’re ready to get the most of it by checking the relevant freelance services off your to-do list.