Christmas eCommerce Strategies, How to Plan Ahead and Increase Sales

Record-breaking sales, mind-blowing revenues, and increased purchase rates, these are just a few of the facts that make the holiday season the most lucrative time for eCommerce merchants. With the surge in eCommerce transactions, it is quite clear that if you plan on succeeding, you’re going to have to plan ahead.

To give you a competitive edge, we’ve put together a few crucial tips and takeaways to capitalize on Christmas sales.

CHRISTMAS SALES BY THE NUMBERS

Before we dive into some of the tips and insights, let’s take a look at why planning for the holiday season is so crucial.

In 2016, holiday season desktop retail e-commerce spending in the United States amounted to 63.1 billion U.S. dollars with the most money being spent online on Cyber Monday. That year, Cyber Monday became the biggest U.S. online shopping day ever with close to 2.67 billion U.S. dollars in online spending

DEFINE YOUR GOALS

As with all online businesses, creating goals for your eCommerce sales should be no exception. Goals drive us forward – they’re what keeps us growing, learning and improving. Without clearly defined goals, you will potentially be leaving money on the table.  Your brand and products won’t see more sales during the Christmas period.

Keep in mind, this is a hyper-competitive season, so don’t let your opportunity go to waste. A perfect place to start is by creating S.M.A.R.T goals.

 

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. For more info on S.M.A.R.T goals, check out this article from Smart Insights about Smart Marketing Goals.

PLAN AHEAD

Now that you’ve defined the goals you’re aiming for, it’s time to put them in motion. If you are thinking that it’s already too late to launch a Christmas Marketing campaign, then you are wrong. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite.

Traditionally Christmas sales increase as of Thanksgiving Day, and the upward trend will continue for another 1 or 2 weeks. If you can ensure delivery of your products by Christmas, you will manage to get a lot of orders from last minute shoppers.

Of course, planning ahead can sometimes be easier said than done. For example, constantly evolving technology, increased competition, and shifting purchase trends are just a few of the major challenges that today’s eCommerce retailers face, especially during the holiday season.

For some of today’s top retailers, assistance comes in the form of Business Intelligence (BI), allowing them to make smarter business decisions. In fact, according to a survey by Helical IT, decisions made using data, instead of intuition, increase the chances of success by 79%.

That being said, BI still only helps eCommerce retailers understand whether or not they’ve made the right business impact in hindsight. At the very best, the lessons learned through BI can be applied to future business decisions and lack a much-needed layer of clarification and flexibility.

Curve’s predictive technology provides accurate forecasts about your eCommerce site’s future purchasing activities. Curve also provides merchants with predictive

GET EMOTIONAL

Emotions are a necessary ingredient in almost all purchase decisions. Christmas is an especially emotional period, and when you tug at someone’s heartstring, you’re bound to get a reaction.

So how can you leverage emotions to impact your online sales? One of the most important aspects is that consumers purchase based on feelings, not products.

Consider for a moment, product descriptions. Rather than writing the minimum details of a product, try telling a story. Use the space to build a desire for the product. You can also use emotion at Christmas time by sharing some behind the scenes imagery. Show off how your brand and employees celebrate Christmas.

PAID & SOCIAL  

While organic and social traffic is an essential part of a holistic marketing strategy, today’s top online retailers will certainly want to employ is pay-per-click advertising.

Paid promotion may cost relatively more and may have slightly lower conversion rates that email or inbound marketing, but since we’re talking about the Christmas season, it absolutely should be part of the mix.

A good way to go is by starting small, testing initial campaigns prior to the busy Christmas season. Consider beginning small, keyword testing PPC campaigns now. Pay-per-click marketing requires a significant amount of monitoring, as you modify keywords, experiment with ad text and images, and refocus customer targets.

Although, you’re almost certainly going to want to include Google AdWords in the mix, look for alternative networks too. For example, Facebook promoted posts can be great converters and tend to have the residual effect of increasing the number of Facebook followers.

TAKEAWAYS

Let’s take a quick look back at everything we discussed in this post. The following holiday marketing tips and ideas will help you maximize your efforts to ramp up sales during the most profitable time of the year.

  1. Start planning for holiday marketing campaigns early.
  2. Offer exclusive deals
  3. Don’t just sell products––sell emotions.
  4. Personalize your holiday selling experience.
  5. Plan and Launch your holiday channel strategy ASAP.
  6. Focus on tactics that are based on data.
  7. Focus on the right metrics to measure success.
  8. Your tactics should include both paid and social (organic) strategies.

There is so much you can do to improve sales during the holiday season. Whether you promote a sale, tinsel up your website, or gather the testimonials of your happy customers for social proof, you should do something for your online shop this Christmas to boost those conversions.

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