For online retailers getting ready for the holidays involves both shopping and getting ready for shoppers. Preparations for the holidays seem to be starting earlier each year with shelves stocked with Halloween candy in August and artificial Christmas trees selling in September. The biggest shopping days, of course, include Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the newly coined Panic Saturday. Ecommerce sales are expected to reach almost $150 billion this holiday season, which would be an increase of almost five percent from 2018. Adlucent’s 2018 “Holiday Discoveries Report” shows that retailers who invested in digital delivered an 18.1% increase in ecommerce revenue year over year, a 35% increase in orders, and a 41% growth in revenue driven solely from paid search. Regardless of how you’ve been marketing during the first part of the year, the holiday season is a time to dig in and amp up. 

Types of Shoppers

An easy way to segment your campaigns is by when people shop. This gives you ample opportunity to reach each type of shopper with different value propositions. Much like personality tests, holiday shoppers can be placed into three categories: 1) The Overachiever; Emoji: Superhero. These types are hyper-organized and aim to get their shopping done before the Thanksgiving turkey goes in the oven. This means they are starting to shop right after Columbus Day. They talk boldly about their achievement in hopes of catching praise from others who are still in a Halloween candy coma. 2). The Deal Hunter; Emoji: Prayer Hands. These people put items in their carts and are ready to hit the buy button at 12:01 on Black Friday and again on Cyber Monday. They are known for serving Thanksgiving dinner ridiculously early so that they can score a good place in line at a big box store right before they open on Thanksgiving evening. 3). The Zen Master; Emoji: Peace Symbol. On the opposite end of the spectrum from the Overachiever, the Zen Master exhibits only good vibes and shows no signs of caving from peer pressure. They usually end up scoring exactly what they want at killer prices. 

To help you develop campaigns around when people shop, here are a few marketing ideas that will help you reach your audiences for not a lot of money. 

Email

Even if you don’t embark on email campaigns during the year, this is the perfect time. Consumers expect that brands they buy from will send email that includes some great offers. One thing to focus on during the holiday season is abandoned cart emails. Adding items to a cart is a way for people to feel like they’ve actually started shopping, but as an online retailer, that doesn’t matter much unless visitors make a purchase. Construct emails that speak to the buyers’ concerns like getting a good deal now or checking items off their list. To borrow a phrase from real estate brokers: “Time kills deals.” So try to get people to buy now.

Social Media

Whether it be organic or paid, social media should always have a place in your holiday advertising mix. Organic social should serve as the personal conversation you have about the business and/or its products. It’s a place where you can provide more details and show the benefits of products through content, photos, and videos. Paid social supports your organic efforts by going out and finding targeted audiences and bringing them back to your page or your website. Organic posts overlaid with targeted social and remarketing ads, are a great way to saturate the platforms. 

Landing Pages

Creating a few holiday-focused landing pages is a solid way to direct the sales funnel for holiday shoppers. Landing pages help consumers get precise information about certain products or services without having to navigate through your homepage. Make sure the landing page has clear copy, a compelling headline, a large image, a call-to-action, and most importantly, works to convert. Think of it as an opportunity to speak directly to the benefits of a specific product or service, and remember to include social proof in the form of testimonials.  

Remarketing

We’ve all been there. We’re reading an article and glance over to the right and see an ad for something that we’re interested in. If it’s something that we’re seriously considering, we might bounce from the website we’re on and head over to see that product one more time. We may or may not purchase it, but as an online retailer the point is that remarketing ads keep products top of mind and nudge people to purchase. Unlike cold advertising, remarketing targets warm prospects who have visited your website and simply need another reason to buy. And, during the holidays when people are in a purchasing mindset, the task may not be so difficult. 

Text

If you haven’t tried texting as a way to keep in touch with your customers, now may be the time. As the statistic goes, 94% of all SMS (text) messages are read within 5 minutes of being received. Text messaging can be used strategically to keep in touch with your customers with “package sent” confirmations, relay information about time-sensitive deals or special products, or request feedback. When used for the right reasons, text serves as another critical touchpoint with messaging that reaches them quickly. 

Reviews 

Studies show that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so don’t let a few bad reviews ruin your holiday sales. Look through all of the places where consumers have left reviews and, if they are relatively recent, be sure to answer them directly on the platform where they left it. Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, shows that you care about the customers’ opinions. If you think that a bad review is fake, be sure to contact the platform and report it as such. 

Scheduling your holiday marketing around when people shop with tactics that reach them where they are, can help you better manage your efforts and increase sales. Carve out an hour or two each day to set up an email campaign, create a landing page, or write some social media content. Once the tactics are set up, you will just need to change the content and photos as you proceed through the holiday season.

Need help with your online advertising? Contact New Target, and we’ll have our specialists create campaigns that work for you.  

Sources:

Digital Commerce 360 – http://bit.ly/2mZmsyj and http://bit.ly/2lo7MbO

BrightLocal – http://bit.ly/2mR8lvd

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.