Christmas is the most anticipated time of year for many and the busiest time of year for all businesses, so it is important to prepare your marketing plan and strategy for the festive period in advance. This blog will help you understand why you should have your Christmas marketing plan ready, the importance of knowing what you are going to do over the Christmas period and why it's not too late if you haven't prepared yet.
Regardless of what your business specialises in, there are many ways you can prepare for the peak season - we'll reveal some tips you can use for your business' Christmas marketing!
Table of contents:
- 5 actions for a successful holiday season.
- Steps to prepare your eCommerce for the holiday season.
Are you ready to experience the biggest and most important season of the year for marketers? "Not yet" is often the answer, but it should be a definite "Yes!". To help you get there, this blog will guide you through some important points of the holiday season and what to expect in the coming months both in the physical shop and in your eCommerce.
5 actions for a successful holiday season.
Every year, retailers rely on the holiday season to generate a large portion of their annual revenue. To stay ahead of the competition and make this your strongest holiday season yet, here are the steps you need to take for a successful holiday season:
1. Order supplies
Check last year's orders to anticipate how many basic supplies you'll need, whether it's shipping and packaging supplies, paper towels or branded gift cards for holiday shoppers. If this is your first year in business, your network can guide you through your first holiday ordering season. Remember to order early to avoid rush shipping charges later in the season. Being prepared can help you meet your customers' needs with ease.
2. Make holiday schedules
The time has come to determine the hours of operation during the holidays. Will you be open longer than usual? Are you planning to close your business for a few days? Make sure you inform your staff about holiday schedules and explain your expectations of them during the holiday season. Ask your team to request holiday time off before a certain date, so you can plan employees' schedules accordingly.
3. Additional inventory stock
Anticipate holiday orders by manufacturing additional products or placing orders with your suppliers. Your suppliers are under their own pressure and may have order deadlines to deliver product to you in time for the holidays. Mark these deadlines on a calendar that you can easily see so that these order deadlines are not overlooked.
4. Check your website
Check your company's website to make sure it's ready for a busy festive season. Is the design neat and user-friendly? Can customers easily find your most popular products or services? Does your e-commerce checkout run smoothly? If you are the person who works on your website most frequently, give this task to a trusted staff member or friend. They will be able to spot problems that might be overlooked.
5. Plan a new marketing campaign
Why will customers want to spend time at your small business this holiday season? What makes it unique? Determine the answer and create a marketing campaign around it. Maybe you have the best selection in town. Maybe your customer service can solve any shopping conundrum. Develop your holiday marketing around what makes your company stand out from the crowd.
Steps to prepare your eCommerce for the holiday season.
This year, people are starting to come together and expect to get back to normal. A survey by Numerator found that 85% of people expected to "celebrate normally" for Thanksgiving and 92% for Christmas. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that e-commerce numbers will return to normal any time soon.
E-commerce's share of the retail market remains high, as does the competition. To become a shopper's favourite for gifts, you need to make the shopping experience easy, flexible and include options that suit their needs. And a good time to start doing all that is right now.
Let's take a look at everything you need to prepare your eCommerce and make holiday magic with the following steps:
- Get ready for incoming traffic.
Holiday shopping means higher traffic for your ecommerce, and especially during peak shopping days like Cyber Monday. There's nothing worse than a site outage during one of these crucial times.
- Make sure your inventory is stocked.
An increase in shoppers means an increase in inventory needs. To avoid long wait times and frustrated customers discovering their must-have gift if it's out of stock or on backorder, check with suppliers now to make sure you have adequate stock, especially for potential gift items.
- Surprise and delight with shipping and fulfilment options.
To execute a great customer experience strategy, you'll need a clear plan for where to sell your products and how to ship and fulfil orders.
Your e-commerce shop isn't the only place to spread holiday cheer. Consider other sales channels, such as:
Online marketplaces: connect with major players like Amazon and Walmart Marketplace, but don't forget about other popular options like Wish and eBay.
Social commerce: update your product catalogue and tag items to sell on Facebook and Instagram.
Physical shops: make sure your efforts are consistent across online and offline channels.
- Create strategic marketing and promotions for the holidays.
Whether it's new technologies or promotional strategies, retailers have had to adapt their shops to deal with many unexpected changes this year in order to sell their products in the most efficient way.
That's why it's important to make sure your shop is fully optimised and ready with its campaigns and promotional strategies before big holiday spending periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Improve your customer service and support.
The holiday season is fast approaching and to be set up for success, both your business and your customers need the right support.
Make sure your e-commerce platform has 24/7 support and premium security features.
Our support team can help you with everything related to selling online and growing your business, such as driving conversion, improving the shopping experience, managing catalogue transfers and recommending solutions for tax, payments, shipping and software integrations.
Need to design holiday marketing materials? If you would like more advice on planning your Christmas marketing strategy and other tips and tricks such as choosing when and where to advertise, producing Christmas blog posts, having a Christmas brand and considering a Christmas redesign and much more... get in touch, we'd love to help!