Getting ready for the holiday season is a daunting task for every retailer or marketer between planning early, and considering everything from ad copy to site navigation for the rest of the year. But before you begin to get overwhelmed, take a deep breath, we’ve got your back. We’ve been around the Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) block a few times and wanted to share the expertise of our Professional Services department strategists.
We’ll cover how to use holidays for achieving your sales goals, ways to optimize returns on your current customers, and how to set your site up for BFCM success.
First, let’s break down how to use certain holidays to achieve two marketing goals: conversions and lead capture.
Prices for paid ads will increase throughout the holiday season and competition for premium spots will be fierce. Get ahead of the competition by pushing people to your site and encouraging them to sign up for information on sales, early access to products, etc. that grows your email list BEFORE the holiday rush. Turn these efforts off before Thanksgiving though, because after that, your focus should be on conversions and not lead capture.
For the days leading up to and on Thanksgiving, run a countdown banner for when the sale starts that’s visible to either your entire site’s traffic or to those who have previously signed up for early access. This creates a sense of anticipation for what’s to come and lets visitors know when they can start shopping for your killer deals.
Create static coupons for each of the sales days, ensuring that they expire at the end of their specific holiday. This helps fast-moving shoppers check out quicker and eliminates the possibility of a coupon being used from earlier days.
It’s crunch time, so keep it simple and don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Center promotions are consistently high performers for a reason, so use them to announce coupon codes and sales directly. Banners are also a great option for amplifying certain incentives, reinforcing your center promotions, and encouraging quick-moving shoppers to checkout.
Both New Year's Eve and New Years Day are great days to run sales. Do an inventory sale starting in January to clear your shelves and encourage people to get what they actually wanted during the holidays. Consider additional reductions to already on sale items to help clear inventory for the new year. If your brand doesn’t mesh well with discount offers, consider a free gift with purchase to get rid of these overstocked items.
Use clear and easy navigation for these promotions and site-wide coupons. Simple and straightforward tactics make it easier for drunk shoppers to navigate your site and don’t forget these are visitors who’re more likely to act on impulse if they see a fast way to save.
Pro Tip: The intoxicated shopping industry is worth $45 billion a year, and the average order value for the year is $444. It’s especially worth considering impulse sales on a holiday with a distinct theme of champagne….
This segment is best to focus on between November and December. Encourage your existing customers to become repeat buyers with segmented email marketing focused on past purchases. Use real-time personalization that reminds them to come back and check out your deals on items you know they’re already interested in. Repeat buyers are an extremely profitable audience, and encouraging subsequent purchases based on buying and browsing patterns is a no brainer.
This is another segment that is best to be focused on between November and December. Create ads and sales messaging that centers around a curated VIP experience, and offer discounts early so you can stay relevant with these shoppers throughout the holiday season. These are customers who you know like your brand and products, make sure they feel extra special this holiday season so they’ll stick around during this fiercely competitive time.
The holiday shopper is an entirely different person than they are during the rest of the year. Their mindset, motivations, desires, and expectations are vastly different, all wrapped up in a layer of stress and overwhelming choice. Knowing these qualities means you can understand and leverage them to give shoppers what they really want.
If you want to create a sense of ‘this is as good as it’s gonna get’, use already an applied discount plus an additional percent off code for a double whammy. The deal will be so good they won’t shop-around and will want to act fast.
Design matters, so make sure yours are relevant to the season. Make them feel personalized and eye-catching so they understand these are specialized deals. Festive promotions tend to be more compelling during holiday seasons so lean into the holidays and have some fun with it.
Be sure to focus on the user experience of your site as a whole as well. Make information easily accessible and don’t just create messaging around sales. Informational and helpful content like gifts guides, shipping deadlines, etc. are great ways to add value to a visitor’s session and endear yourself to them. Use countdown timers during December to let visitors know deadlines they have to order by to get it for a specific holiday in time to create loyalty and trust.
Don’t use multi-step promotions that require much effort from visitors, the more steps they have to go through means they’re more likely to leave without converting. The same can be said about your checkout process, make it as simple as possible and make sure a guest checkout is an option. Frictionless processes are key to getting consumers to completing a sequence of activities, implement this thought process across your site to simplify as much as possible.
Use these tips to tweak your holiday game plan so it can be as straightforward as possible. It can seem like too much to think about but just remember: thoughtful messaging, relevant onsite experiences, and simplified navigation are key components to winning over shoppers and closing sales. Tune into the Justuno holiday corner for more content throughout the rest of the year with strategies for making the most of your marketing campaigns and optimizing for the holidays.
This article was originally published by our friends at JustUno.