The holidays are closing in fast, and it’s time to start prepping an e-commerce plan if you want your business to cash in.
With surveys showing that 92% of adults in the US are expected to spend over $800 on average during the holidays, and 58% of them are planning to shop online, there is immense revenue potential for savvy retailers who can captivate this massive group of online winter shoppers.
But you’ll need an effective holiday e-commerce strategy in place now to set your brand up for seasonal success. Here are a few insider tips to achieve that.
Start Planning Today
Procrastinating is not an option if you want a smooth holiday season. December is here and official Christmas and New Year deals will start flooding in any day, so if you don’t have an advertising plan yet, it’s time to hustle.
Pull your team together ASAP to brainstorm creative ways to wow seasonal shoppers across digital platforms.Here are some additional tips to help make the most of the holiday sales season:
- Start promos early. Run special deals and offers at least a week before the peak days to get shoppers engaged.
- Optimize for mobile. Over 70% will shop on the go using their smartphones this season. Ensure your site and ads display properly.
- Remind subscribers. Send personalized emails and push notifications to subscribers about deals. Time them right before the sales.
- Highlight best-sellers. Showcase hot gift ideas and top products to inspire impulse buys.
- Be social. Share holiday joy and deals on social pages. Run contests and interact with followers.
- Review logistics. Confirm inventory levels, staffing, and shipping to handle customer influx.
- Add holiday flair. Deck digital halls with festive banners, icons, and colors to excite shoppers.
Give Shoppers a Sneak Peek
Ever wonder why movie trailers preview all the best scenes weeks before a film’s release? It’s to get fans excited and buy their tickets early. Brands can take a page from Hollywood’s playbook by promoting holiday deals ahead of time to boost engagement too.
Giving your audience a glimpse of upcoming promotions helps them budget and allows anticipation to build. Get strategic with ads on social media and Google’s Display Network so shoppers know exactly what’s in store deal-wise and when.Here are some additional tips for getting shoppers excited about holiday deals:
- Create teasers. Post sneak peeks of top deals in ads and emails. Build suspense and urge readers to stay tuned.
- Share gift guides. Curate products by interest like gifts for foodies or fashionistas. Help them discover items they’ll love.
- Run holiday contests. Encourage sign-ups and social shares for a chance to win prizes.
- Partner with influencers. Work with relevant creators to organically showcase promotions.
- Go behind the scenes. Give a backstage pass showing holiday prep like gift boxing and inventory.
- Poll customers. Ask for deal ideas and feedback to tailor offerings to them.
- Have holiday characters make cameos. Sprinkle in festive personalities in ads and campaigns.
Stick With Your Best Customers
It can be tempting to chase new audiences outside your normal spheres when competition and customer acquisition costs skyrocket during the holidays. But with amplified competition, sticking to proven big spenders just makes smart business sense right now.
Instead of risky new segments, focus resources on remarketing to re-engage previous brand interactors. If someone’s visited your site or taken advantage of past promotions, strong odds are they’ll readily convert when you present new deals to them.Here are some additional tips for remarketing to proven customers:
- Segment lists. Separate hot leads from cold to customize messaging.
- Craft value stories. Share how new deals give more for less to compel action.
- Time it right. Remarket mid-week when competition dies down.
- Personalize outreach. Build emails with dynamic content using names and past purchases.
- Create exclusivity. Offer special promos only for remarketed folks.
- Use chatbots. Program them to engage site visitors who left items in carts.
- Monitor daily. See which creatives and copy perform best.
Test Your E-Commerce Platform
With site traffic and order volumes hitting yearly highs, nothing will shatter your credibility and revenue faster than a website that crumbles under pressure. Begin load testing and optimizing your infrastructure now to catch any flaws before the seasonal surge.
Reach out to your tech teams ASAP to audit site capacity, run diagnostics, and implement necessary upgrades. Ensuring stability and reliability enables you to smoothly handle drastic spikes in visitors and sales. And don’t forget to optimize for mobile too since most holiday shopping happens across smart devices.Here are some additional tips for optimizing technical operations:
- Stress test early. Simulate traffic to reveal site issues. Resolve them fast.
- Get cloud support. Add flexible servers to manage varying loads.
- Monitor in real-time. Track site analytics to catch problems quickly.
- Prep the team. Review processes and roles to handle customer issues quickly.
- Allow order staggering. Let folks back-order out-of-stock gifts.
- Create status pages. Keep shoppers posted on site performance.
- Have backup plans. Know how to quickly redirect traffic if needed.
Deliver White Glove Customer Service
While technical details like site infrastructure are vital, equally prioritize the experience shoppers have throughout their buying journey and after purchase too. Look beyond the initial conversion by making customer service teams clearly visible and readily available across channels. That way buyers can get support with product questions, shipping issues, returns, and anything else they require help with.
Enable chatbots to efficiently handle basic FAQs at scale while preparing backup contingency plans your staff can mobilize to resolve more complex customer problems. By proactively identifying and having solutions for potential pain points, you can deliver positively memorable service even when problems pop up.Here are some additional tips for delivering great customer experiences:
- Have live chat visible. Make it easy for shoppers to connect with real people.
- Share real emails. Don’t hide behind no-replies. Build relationships.
- Empower service staff. Ensure they can quickly resolve issues.
- Set SLAs. Promise response times under 24 hours so customers feel valued.
- Create help hubs. FAQs and guides can solve simple issues fast.
- Send follow-ups. Check if customers are satisfied post-purchase.
- Incentivize reviews. Gather feedback to improve further.
Wrap Up a Winning Season
The holidays will be here in the blink of an eye, so taking the initiative now by prepping with these holiday e-commerce strategies will empower your brand to capitalize on seasonal sales. Just remember, once this cycle winds down, it’ll be time to start planning again for success next year.
If you need a marketing team to help drive your e-commerce success, our growth experts at Freedom Media would be excited to collaborate.
Learn more about our results-driven services at www.freedommedia.com/about-us/. With in-depth expertise across industries, we craft holiday campaigns that delight customers and deliver revenue growth.