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There are more public holidays, shopping periods, events and occasions in the last 3 months of the year than the other 9 months.
This time of year, people are ready to buy either presents for themselves, or indulge in things that they find at a good price.
This is traffic that you, the online retailer, can easily leverage. But, like most successful things in life, you need a plan.
In 2016, retailers said that the period from Black Friday to Christmas Days pulls in 56-112% more revenue compared to the rest of the year.
Google Trends shows us that for the last 3 years, people have started searching 'Christmas Gift Ideas' around the start of September.
This kind of spending-spree only happens this time of year - and it's essential that you use it to sell more and to build a loyal fan-base.
To create a marketing campaign around this idea, you need one thing - a goal.
- Sell more
- Gain more followers
- Increase loyalty
These are just 3 simple ideas. Ideally, we’d like to achieve all of this, but by focusing our efforts on one, we often find that the others simultaneously happen.
Ben Franklin said ‘If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail’ and he was probably onto something good.
By planning how you will navigate the Christmas period, you can achieve more, focus on what’s important and reach your goals easier.
When it comes to promoting a range of products in the lead up to Christmas, you need to promote the right products.
- What worked last Christmas? Did something sell exceptionally well last year? Why? Can you make it happen again or was it a trend fixed to late 2016? What did you do last Christmas that drew a lot of attention to you? Can you improve on that?
- What’s been popular throughout the year? Is there any product that has been very popular throughout the year? These are the products that you want people to see when they first arrive at your store.
- Is it a ‘stocking filler’ gift or a once in a lifetime purchase? Disposable, consumable and generally cheap products are usually stocking fillers and need to be promoted differently to things like brand name electronics or higher end gifts. Stocking fillers are great to get people to increase their cart spend, whereas high-end gifts require a lot of trust and product education.
- Is the product marketable? Certain products naturally take to promotion better than others. A black leather bomber jacket is sexier than plain white socks. Pick which products are more desirable and draw attention to them.
Quite often, discounting a product is the first way we think to make a product more attractive to buyers. But lowering your profits isn’t the only way to do so.
- Free shipping - Offering free shipping for all sales is a great way to offer value to buyers. Free shipping over a certain threshold encourages people to spend more to make the most of your offer.
- Bundles - take 2 of your most popular items and offer them together as a single bundle, lowering the price by 5-10%.
- Gift Cards - just like retail stores, gift cards are the go-to gift for people that are difficult to buy for. Offering a $50 gift card for $45 is clever way for you to get the sale and customers to get products they actually want!
- Gift Wrapping - offer to wrap your customer’s purchases for them. This adds value to your customer, as it’s a menial task that they don’t have to do.
The Christmas period and Cyber Mondays are days you simply must be a part of. But occasions like Yom Kippur, Canadian Thanksgiving and even National Pizza Day are other events that you can use to spread your brand into new audiences.
Get creative with how you relate products to holidays. As mentioned, not all promotions need to be discounts.
- Nov. 11 - Veterans Day. 20% of all proceeds go to charity.
- Oct. 29 - National Cat Day. Cutest cat photo gets 50% off next purchase.
- Nov. 20 - Universal Children's Day. 10% off the kids range.
- Nov. 5 - Guy Fawkes Night. Free postage to the UK.
Social media will, without a doubt, be the main platform you use for your marketing campaign. The holiday season is the best time to go for some big reach and exposure.
- Use what you know. Now is not the time to go exploring new social media platforms. If Facebook and Instagram are what you’re more familiar with, don’t spend time on Twitter.
- Add value and help. Stop making yourself the focus of your pages. No one will follow you if all you do is promote yourself. Create and share content that is going to be of value to your followers. Bed bath and Beyond created a guide that shows how to decorate your christmas tree like a pro.
- Behind the scenes. Showing how you operate behind closed doors is a fantastic way to build trust. Interesting production techniques open your brand up to many more audiences. Blair Clemo of ABC Pottery got over 50,000 views of his video on Instagram, because his production process is interesting.
- Facebook Ads - Dynamic Ads or Multi-Product ads are a great place to boost your Christmas sales. No one goes on Facebook to buy things, so spend some time crafting your ads so they don’t look like an advertisement.
There is so much more to making the most of the Christmas period than a few flash sales and giveaways. For more information about things like...
- Insane statistics for the Ecommerce Industry over Christmas
- Email marketing in the lead up to Christmas
- Returns & Customer Service around Christmas
...head over and download Shoplo's free Holiday Marketing eBook.
Along with it, you’ll get a free calendar of the last 3 months of the year with promotional ideas, cut off dates and the best events and occasions for your brand to get involved with.