The year’s end is the most important shopping experience for ecommerce brands and consumers alike. With online shopping reigning supreme, and a forecasted ecommerce volume expected to reach $4.9 trillion this year, there is immense pressure to make the most of this high-demand season. But a few simple optimizations during the holiday season will set your marketing and ecommerce efforts up for success into the new year.
From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and Christmas, here are 8 tactics for getting more sales before the New Year – and beyond.
1. Revamp Your User-Generated Content Strategy
One of the most powerful marketing assets you have access to is the user-generated content (UGC) created by your happy customers. Because so much shopping goes down during the holidays, the period just after that craze ends is ripe for UGC collection from your fan base. Whether individuals received your product as a gift or bought it for themselves during holiday sales, some of them are probably talking about it online already.
As the year comes to an end and the new year begins, encourage your customers on social media and through your ecommerce site to share their experiences with your brand this year through their own media. This not only brings authenticity and emotion to your brand’s holiday sales approach, but it also instills purchase confidence, because people trust other people like them more than they trust brands.
Share UGC from happy customers excited about their holiday purchases on your social channels and through sitewide inspiration galleries.
Streamline your UGC collection and management strategy by using the right CRM platform to automatically pull in content from your customers. Pixlee allows brands to curate high-quality, converting content and publish it across your brand’s most impactful marketing channels. Brands like Alo Yoga and Lamps Plus are already taking advantage of Pixlee tools to increase conversion and average order value year-round.
2. Introduce Subscriptions
The holidays also give your brand the opportunity to loop more people into your community through subscription services that will help boost sales longer-term. From signing up for monthly product deliveries to exclusive insider benefits, people are often looking to make a change in the new year.
Seattle Coffee Gear focuses many of its marketing efforts on building community, through sharing user-generated content on-site and on its social channels to offering specialized subscription gift boxes for coffee lovers. Giving your most passionate customers a way to connect even further with your brand shows you appreciate their loyalty and keeps them coming back for more.
3. Ramp Up Marketing Efforts With Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the newer emerging trends that leverage prominent social media personalities to represent brands. Both larger-scale celebrities and micro-influencers are able to help you bring products to a broader market, keeping you toe to toe with competitors.
It’s important to note that choosing the correct social media influencer for your brand is essential. Many of them specialize in niche areas, and their followers will also be of like mind. You may also want to consider using the right influencer marketing platform to manage the overall engagement.
Levain Bakery uses Pixlee to discover, manage, and collaborate with influencers on various campaigns, citing online creators as immensely important in promoting new locations and product launches for the brand. The brand’s team can then reshare influencer content on its website and social accounts.
While this tactic can be immensely impactful, make sure you avoid the common mistakes made in influencer marketing.
In some cases, you can handle both influencer marketing and user-generated content with a single dashboard. Pixlee allows brands to manage influencer relationships and campaigns alongside UGC, plus, its influencer discovery tools can help you compare influencer content and metrics to find the right brand advocate for you.
4. Double Down on Community
Today, most businesses use social media as an extension of their marketing arm, but these platforms also offer an abundance of unique community-building opportunitiesIt takes time and consistent effort to build a community on social media, but this approach ends up being much more rewarding than having a one-off post go viral. The users that become your supporters can be converted into brand ambassadors, boost your word of mouth marketing efforts, or even just provide you with some valuable UGC.
As you generate buzz around your brand’s holiday deals and announcements, look for opportunities on social media to engage with your target audience and begin building community. This means asking your audience questions, encouraging them to share UGC, running a social media contest, or practicing social listening. Nurture these relationships after the holidays end and always be on the lookout for community-driven marketing opportunities.
Revel Nail made a point of consistently sharing UGC on Instagram after the holiday season ended last year, celebrating its community and engaging in conversations about its products in the comments.
5. Use Data to Create Unique and Timely Offers
Nothing turns a customer off than stale deals that you’ve been pushing year-round. They want to see something exciting, so convince them you have a real bargain. As sales ramp up during the holidays, you can highlight the most popular items from the year, loved by influencers or everyday shoppers.
Use your purchasing insights from the year to identify these items, and design deals around them. This is also a prime opportunity to feature customer-led UGC — if it’s one of your most popular items, chances are there’s customer content out there related to it. Data on your top-selling products coupled with UGC provides the ultimate social proof shoppers need to go from site visitor to buyer.
Jewelry brand Jane Koenig ran an email marketing campaign spotlighting influencers and showcasing their favorite products from the brand at the moment — you can design something similar for your brand to run during and after the holidays.
6. Consider Adding “Buy Now Pay Later” Capabilities
Not everyone has a fantastic time around the year’s end, and you can help those struggling to provide for their families. Look past traditional payment methods that you accept and consider working with a provider that supports “Buy Now Pay Later” (BNPL).
Some DTC brands even rely on these delayed payment options to increase order value, which can be a unique tool during the busy holiday season.. The integration of this might take some time, but your wallet will thank you for it as more customers start clicking your “Buy” buttons.
7. Add Value In Your Abandoned Cart Process
Holiday shoppers are often buying for others, not just themselves. Ensure your abandoned cart messaging is updated to target those selecting the “buy as a gift” option. One major move to stand out from the competition is to include UGC in your abandoned cart emails; you’re reminding your shoppers what they left behind while helping them envision the product in-action, whether it’s for themselves or a friend.
Revel Nail populates its abandoned cart emails with a Pixlee widget designed to spotlight UGC surrounded by calls-to-action to draw the customer back into their site.
At the same time, marketing campaigns can help keep customers abreast about last-minute offers they might otherwise miss, especially since you know what they are interested in via the abandoned cart contents.
The end of the year isn’t the end, so make sure you keep the momentum going after the holiday buzz ends. You can do many things, from post-holiday sales to special “Thank You” discounts for excellent customers. Always be looking for opportunities to share influencer content and UGC, as the ecommerce stats show their power in increasing conversion rates.
Remember, the key to success is keeping your customers happy, offering them a streamlined experience, and most of all, making sure they’re satisfied with your products and offers. Don’t overthink the margin — imagine the extra sales resulting from just a limited-time free shipping offer.