Holidays are an exciting time for eCommerce businesses, especially during the holiday season. People have saved up money and they want to spend it on their loved ones and themselves. eCommerce businesses have the unique opportunity to meet their needs from wherever they are. It’s proven to be a high-earning opportunity.
Unfortunately, not every business takes full advantage of the holidays. They run their eCommerce store just like any other day, failing to recognize their customers’ seasonal needs. By not fulfilling what the customer wants and communicating the right message, businesses fail them and lose out on potential increases in revenue.
Today, we can apply foundational principles to meet the needs of our customers and make the most sales we can. It starts with communicating the right message. Through effective planning, we can achieve the best eCommerce holiday marketing results.
Invest in Your Promise
Before developing the best marketing plan you can, it’s important to make sure you can actually deliver your promise. Not only is it essential to make sure you can execute on what you commit to, but it’s also an essential step to the marketing process. By auditing your logistics and capabilities, you can identify your strengths and value proposition to promote for holidays.
Certain perks or logistics suddenly become much more important during an important holiday. For example, those who celebrate Christmas in December will make almost their entire purchasing decision on whether the item can arrive on time during a hectic delivery season. If it arrives a day after Christmas, you’ll get a high percentage of failed conversions. Make sure you optimize your processes as much as possible to fulfill all needs for holiday shoppers.
Make sure you can back up what you say. This is the best form of marketing as it powers word-of-mouth and has an ROI through brand marketing that will come back the next holiday.
Create a Holiday Campaign
Far too many businesses promote their product during a holiday with a general message. It’s either the same kind of advertising they do all the time, or they mention the holiday but fail to connect with the audience.
The best campaigns are unique to the holiday and the target audience. The closer you can get to the core of the holiday and your audience, the more effective it will be. The best way to do that is to identify the heart of the holiday and connect with emotions.
For example, New Years Day is a celebration for the new year to come, a reflection of the last year, and a dream of a better tomorrow. Imagine a commercial or email campaign that highlights a new relationship milestone, a big accomplishment, or something that can change someone’s life? These themes resonate with people. You could tie in those emotions with your product.
Holiday campaigns are powerful because they are focused on the emotions people connect with most during the season, which gives your product a greater chance to resonate with audiences.
Customize for the Holidays
Advertising and promotions are only one part of the marketing process. A stand-alone holiday campaign isn't as effective as one paired with effective brand marketing. Brand marketing goes beyond your colors and logo, it’s about the full experience connected with your company.
You can use this powerful form of marketing to connect with the passion we all have during a holiday. By customizing your brand and company to the holiday, you form a powerful experience.
Companies like Coca-Cola do a great job with this, often changing their bottle labels to highlight a season. Think of tweaking your packaging, social media graphics, fun contests, and other forms of marketing and experiences to represent the holiday and get people excited.
You can also add small surprises like packaged candy in your boxes during Halloween or a holiday ornament during December. Small, unexpected things can make a big difference. While some of these things may go to already-existing customers, it also powers word-of-mouth marketing. For targeted audiences, customized graphics and media serve a similarly unique experience.
When the holiday arrives, it’s too late! Not only is it hard to play catch-up, but your competitors have the chance to get way ahead of you. Great holiday marketing requires planning, the time to develop materials needed, and a dedicated strategy to execute. This can’t be done too close to the date. By the time you’ve reached a few days before the holiday, everything is essentially done, moving in motion.
Planning allows your team to think creatively. They can develop a campaign way ahead of time and effectively connect with your customers. If you are planning a packaging change, that takes a lot of time through designing it, getting it produced, and marketing it to future customers to show them what you have for the holiday.
The best way to do this is by reviewing the calendar at the beginning of the year. Decide which holidays you want to take an active part in. This can go beyond holidays and include appreciation months for minorities and protected classes. Think of ways you can add value to your audiences and communities.
Once you have an idea of which holidays you want to create something for, develop a program to make it possible. This gives you ample time to get your holiday marketing featured on email newsletters and other forms of media and PR and educate your target audience of the campaign.
Develop a Referral Plan
Word-of-mouth comes naturally but we can do our best to equip customers and encourage them to share their experience with their immediate circle. One of the best ways to do so is a referral plan.
If you don’t have an account-based business but you are a B2C, you might be thinking about how you can do it on a practical level. You see it all the time with deals on subscriptions if someone signs up because of you.
In our case, think of how you can create a plan for holidays. People are excited to give and spend time with friends and family. Some platforms integrate with your email newsletter that can give tiered prizes based on how many people subscribe to the newsletter based on your share or recommendation.
Using strategies like this, you can highlight a specific holiday. For example, for Easter, a brand could offer a treasure hunt set when someone gets 5 of their friends to make a purchase or sign up. Or you could give away a book on national book day based on referrals. There are tons of relevant strategies you could use for many holidays.
Appeal to the Heart of the Holiday
Ultimately, you want to celebrate the holiday in your marketing message. Your goal should be for people to associate the good things of the holiday with your brand. Through effective planning, you can develop a strong marketing strategy for your eCommerce business for effective results.