It is Never Too Late To Prepare Your 2015 Holiday Marketing Strategy
By this time, you must have seen local stores getting decorated for the holiday season. Halloween was great for the eCommerce community as a whole, but it was not as great for every eCommerce store, probably because they were not ready for it.
Holiday eCommerce sale is predicted to be $80 Billion this year. Every eCommerce store should be ready by now to handle the influx of traffic and to get the maximum possible share out of the predicted sales. This blog is for the ones who missed out the Halloween and haven’t planned anything for this year’s holiday season and it is also a checklist for the ones who are ready with their holiday marketing strategy.
Following are 10 points which an eCommerce entrepreneur needs to follow while making an eCommerce holiday marketing strategy.
1. Plan in Advance
" A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there. " -H. Stanely Judd
This quote defines the importance of planning in a true sense, planning helps you come up with every adverse situation you will face in the future and the ways how to avoid it in the present. The reason some eCommerce entrepreneur missed the Halloween sale is because of lack of planning. Prepare a marketing calendar now, decide some realistic goals and stick to it and make sure that everything is done before the end of November.
2. Give your website design a festive feel
3. Mobile friendly website
Take a look around any footpath, any subway or airport and even at the work, you will find a lot of people glued to their phone. Almost 60% of the Internet traffic today is from mobile. Does your website offer an optimized and friendly version for mobile and tablets? If you still don’t have a mobile-optimized website, you will be invisible to the holiday shoppers or the bounce rate of your website will be higher than your competitor’s. Improving the mobile view and making the website mobile friendly should be the number one priority for this holiday season..
4. Optimize your ad copy to reflect holiday season
Yes, the ad copy matters! I see too many advertisers having the same ad copy throughout the year and they are content with that. But this is the biggest mistake they are committing. Your Ad Copy should reflect the holiday season sale and the promotions which you have undertaken. Your call out extensions, Sitelink extensions, everything should reflect the festivals. If you have a product which can be given as a gift on holidays, you can make a different page for different days for e.g. Gifts for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas and New Year. These days can be mentioned in the sitelinks which can bring in highly targeted users.
5. Increase the budget of paid advertising
If you are doing paid advertising, you might have probably noticed the CPC is getting high. If you have not changed your budget you might have seen a collapse in ad position. It is the time to spend more on ads, everyone is bidding high on the keyword, it is always a tough competition in the holiday season. Even people, who are not advertising on normal days, advertise on the holiday season. This makes the competition even tougher. You should also do the same to be on the top. Most of the people advertise on Adwords and avoid the power of Facebook. If you too are not advertising on Facebook, it’s time to do it now.
6. Send out emails to customers
If you are having an eCommerce store, you will be having a list of email of customers who have already purchased from you in the past. The stats say that 40% of an eCommerce store’s revenue is created by 8% of its customers and there is a 60-70% chance of converting of a returning visitor according to the book MarketingMetrics. Send out emails to your existing customers offering them special festive discounts with a coupon code and make them your loyal customers.
7. Come up with a unique holiday promotion plan
When I say unique, it has to be really unique. Every eCommerce store gives price discounts and discount coupons in the festive season but that are too mainstream and the customers are no longer attracted to that. To stand out from the rest, plan something unique in your niche, make the best possible content which evokes emotional feeling and nostalgia. Give away a freebie, do something charitable, run a social media contest, make a holiday themed video or ask customers to generate their own video. Come up with something unique which strikes a chord in the customer's mind. You can also do the traditional pricing strategy, if you do it, keep it genuine price discounts and not overpricing the product first and then offering discounts (you know what I mean).
8. Capture researching customers
Every customer buying a product properly checks it on other websites and in the holiday season people expects high discounts on key days, so before those days people just surf around and decides what they are going to buy. Capturing these researching customers has 2 advantages- 1) It gives a boost to the pre-holiday sales 2) Early bird advantage as the competition is too high on key days. Offer what you are going to offer on key days before the holiday season and convert these type customers. This strategy is simple and effective.
9. Shipping Policy
Shipping Policy is one of the KPI of the conversion rate. Free or discounted shipping is a ‘Deal Closer’. Most of the eCommerce entrepreneurs have adopted the policy of free or discounted shipping, if you don’t offer that, your customer will prefer your competitors over you. Shipping policy is also helpful in increasing AOV of your store. High shipping cost is one of the main reasons customers abandon their shopping cart. Use shipping method in a way that it increases your conversion rate and is also beneficial to the customers.
10. Real-time Customer Support
Driving traffic to your website is hard, engaging them is even harder. Your website may have a good landing page, your product might be fairly priced but the visitors won’t convert if they have a small doubt about the product. If the doubt is solved instantly there are high chances of converting a customer and making an everlasting impression in the mind of customers. Live chat can be a direct chat on the website or a phone call too. If you don’t have a real-time customer support, you will lose a good amount of customers. A simple ‘May I help you’ can earn you a customer.
This holiday season, as predicted, will be big for eCommerce industry. The time left is too short for running a full-fledged campaign, but it is never late to start something. Act now, and make the best possible use of the time. Do share this blog with your mates, who have still done nothing for their eCommerce store, also comment your expectations and strategies adopted by you for the coming holiday season.
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