The Holiday Season Marketing Blueprint For eCommerce Stores
Holiday season is here. And with Holiday shopping beginning as early as during Halloween, it makes sense for retailers to start early. The same can be said for online retailers or eCommerce stores, who are on the winning side during the Holiday season when customers throng online stores for shopping. This is owing to the following facts:
- More variety of products
- Price comparison options
- Better deals and discounts
- No crowd or lack of parking space
- No waiting in the line for billing
- Products are delivered (often for free) to their doorsteps
- Last-minute compulsive shopping is a breeze
Having said that, eCommerce stores still need to have a marketing strategy before setting sail. Here’s a Holiday Season marketing blueprint that will come in handy:
Identify Peak Days of Shopping
Everyone is aware of Cyber Monday and Black Friday, which ring in maximum sales in the eCommerce sector. On mobile alone, the conversion rates jump 30% on Black Friday and 50% on Cyber Monday as compared to November 1.
Because online sales see a definite rise in these two days, and of course, a few days before Christmas, online retailers often give away lucrative deals on their websites to drive more purchases.
Begin by identifying the days when customers are more likely to make a purchase and customize your sales for them.
Five Top Days For Holiday Sales
- Thanksgiving Day: November 24
- Black Friday: November 25
- Cyber Monday: November 28
- Bounceback Thursday: November 29
- Green Monday: December 12
- Free Shipping Day: December 16
Offer Free Shipping and Easy Returns
As per Econsultancy, 83% of consumers will shop more online, provided that they are offered ‘free shipping’. Make it a point to offer free shipping and even ‘next day delivery’, if it is feasible. Everyone needs their shopping goods delivered on time and the quicker they get it, the more thrilled they tend to feel!
Even ‘easy returns’ go a long way for customers. For instance, some of them may want to exchange a product that didn’t fit them or return a product that didn’t match their expectations. In fact, they are ready to pay for expensive goods and order them without seeing them first. And because they are taking this risk, they obviously, would want returns to be hassle-free.
Moreover, an easy returns policy translates to more sales as you earn brownie points in terms of customer loyalty and trust. If you are looking for long-term benefits, then let me tell you that it also guarantees repeat business.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that customers read the return policies before making purchase decisions. And it may happen that they may abandon the shopping cart after finding that your return policy is too complex.
Provide Personalized Product Recommendations of Ecommerce Pages
Consumers are increasingly depending on their smartphones to take key decisions, which are often in the spur of the moment. This makes it necessary for marketers to identify the micro-moments and use them in their strategy.
Google puts this in a very simple way:
- Create a moments map
- Know what your customers’ needs are in-the-moment
- Make use of the right context and deliver the right experience
- Strive to optimize their online shopping journey
- Analyze and measure every moment that matters
In fact, the search engine giant is in winning at micro-moments by making continuous efforts.
Personalization goes a long way in taking the advantage of the micro-moments. Customers love personal attention and realizing that they matter. On eCommerce stores, one of the ways to show that you care for your customers is through personal product recommendations.
According to a study by Barilliance, during Q4 2014, up to 31% of the eCommerce website revenues were generated from personalized product recommendations. Also, the worldwide average of the revenues generated from product recommendations on websites were 13%. The same study also found that above the fold recommendations were 1.7 times more effective and the conversion rate of visitors who clicked on product recommendations were 5.5 times more than those who never clicked them.
A case in point would be that of Amazon, which offers brilliant personalized product recommendations based on their customers’ purchasing and browsing journeys, leaving an impression. Because it also saves their time and helps them take an informed decision, these recommendations often prove to be of immense value to the customers.
Publish Holiday Shopping Guides on your Ecommerce
It is no secret that many shoppers do their homework and use their mobiles as a research tool before they start shopping for the Holidays. Therefore, many online retailers create and publish gifting guides, that can prove to be useful for their target users and generate more sales.
While you can always publish these Holiday shopping/gifting guides on your eCommerce website, you can also inspire your target audience to buy products from your website by posting write-ups or listicles on Holiday shopping and sharing them on social media channels.
As an alternative, you can also tweak the idea a bit and target platforms like Pinterest, which has “buyable pins” or use Instagram’s latest offering of the new “buy button” to give your customers an ‘in-app impulse shopping experience’.
Run Unboxing Video Campaigns
Unboxing videos on YouTube are changing the ways how customers shop or know what to shop. The popularity of “unboxing” escalated in the past couple of years, with people making a beeline to subscribers to the channels with unboxing videos. In 2014, unboxing videos on YouTube saw a growth of 57%. This is what makes unboxing videos on YouTube a must-do thing on every eCommerce retailers’ checklist.
The best part about these videos is that there is no fixed format and they can be shot using a smartphone camera. You can also come up with your own ideas of how the unboxing should take place on the screen, what should be the duration, will there be instructions or just music playing in the background, should any special effects be added to it and so on and so forth.
Alternatively, you can also collaborate with famous YouTubers who have already been doing this for a long time and give them the products for free. Similarly, you can also opt for a paid unboxing video or pay a fixed amount up to a certain number of views on the video and giveaway the products to the vloggers.
This was our Holiday marketing blueprint for all eCommerce businesses. Make use of them to rake in profits this Holiday Season (and escape the dreaded post holiday sales slump). Don’t forget share your views with us on the same!
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