Important Dates for eCommerce:
- Thanksgiving (US), 24 November 2016
- Black Friday, 25 November 2016
- Cyber Monday, 28 November 2016
- Christmas Day, 25 December 2016
- Boxing Day, 26 December 2016
- New Year’s Day, 1 January 2017
With consumers beginning their shopping early, it’s important that you also begin preparing your online store’s holiday marketing strategy well in advance. If you’re a bit behind on this planning, fear not. There are plenty of ways in which you can make up for lost time and get your holiday marketing efforts in place. Here are some of our top tips and advice for making this season successful for your eCommerce store:
1. Offer Customers Amazing Deals
The competition is tough for online marketers during the holiday season. If you want to drive traffic to your eCommerce store and increase your sales, it’s critical that you meet your customer’s high expectations this year. Your competition will no doubt be offering some big discounts, and it’s up to you to provide value to your customers this year. Consider offering them a discount on one of your best-selling items to make them feel valued and special this year.
2. Optimize Your Holiday Email Campaign
There is a lot of revenue at stake with your holiday email marketing campaign. In fact, we found in a recent study of holiday marketing efforts from 2015 that revenue from email marketing accounted for 76% of all holiday revenue. Unfortunately, your competition knows the importance of email as well and is also increasing the frequency and personalization of their emails.
To make your own holiday email campaign stand out, you should be thinking of enticing subject lines that will convince your customers to open your emails. Coming up with these subject lines early will allow you to test them before deployment to find out which ones will work best. In addition to promotions and sales, don’t forget to create amazing gift guides to boost your holiday sales!
3. Get your shipping and fulfillment in order. With the Saturday before Christmas (typically a huge shopping day) falling on Christmas Eve this year, consumers will be even more time-crunched than usual. The weekend before Christmas (December 17-18) will take on greater importance for small ecommerce retailers who can’t offer same-day shipping. Use email and social media marketing to alert customers about this year’s unusual holiday calendar, have shipping deadlines prominently displayed on your ecommerce website, and plan how you will handle rush shipping.
4. Get Your Website Ready
Successful holiday campaigns will result in large amounts of traffic. The last thing that eCommerce merchants want is for their website to have an outage. Testing your website to ensure that it can handle these spikes in traffic is critical if you don’t want your customers to become frustrated and give up on the sale. Have a plan in place for these jumps in traffic and a backup system as well.
5. Get Ready for Mobile
In 2015, smartphones and tablets played a significant role during the holidays, with mobile commerce accounting for 18 percent of total online sales in November and December—up 13 percent from the previous year. With consumer spending now fully revolving around mobile devices, it’s critical that your eCommerce site is mobile-friendly.
To improve your customer’s mobile shopping experience, make sure that your site’s mobile-friendly version uses larger text so that users can read it clearly, and that it uses whitespace around your links so that customers don’t click on something else by accident. You can also improve their mobile experience by streamlining the payment process for simple checkout. Give them several different options for payment methods, and don’t make them give tons of information in order to complete a purchase.