There are less than 100 days to go until Christmas! If you haven’t already, it’s time to plan your 2023 holiday campaign and promotions. Even in the midst of the cost of living crisis in 2022, we still saw a 2.3% YoY increase in consumer spending on ecommerce sites in the US during Black Friday, according to DigitalCommerce.
With 2023 forecast growth to be even bigger, it’s time to get planning. Aside from taking learnings from last year’s performance, here are some key things to consider when planning your holiday digital campaigns.
Optimise your mobile experience
This may sound cliche and basic to many of you, however, even though we are seeing mobile conversions and sessions continually grow YoY, businesses still focus primarily on their desktop experience. Shift your focus to mobile first. Find ways to make the path to purchase seamless. Reduce steps to conversion, add close up images that help decision making, reduce overwhelming text volume, improve load speed, remove buttons/features that distract the user from making a purchase.
Build brand awareness in September & October
It’s time to double down on your social media presence. Although consumers might not be purchasing gifts yet, they are entering the time when they will start considering what gifts to buy. And this is where you need to make sure you are the brand that is top of mind when they come to making that decision.
Grow your social media following and increase your engagement rates.
Your content on social media doesn’t have to be ‘salesy’, but rather engaging and likeable. Perhaps this is a time to re-establish your unique selling points and your brand mantra to your audience too.
Create short, engaging Reels to boost your engagement, so when it comes time to show case your holiday promotions, you are already in your audience’s feed. If your budget permits, you are also able to build your brand awareness via other channels like display, TV, BVOD, OOH, YouTube. Be sure to make use of trends and hashtags in your creative to boost your exposure.
Plan your promotions early
For many brands, the most business critical time of the year is the sales made during the holiday season. So don’t leave your planning to the last minute. Here are some key things to consider in your planning.
A) Choose the juiciest promotions for the BFCM weekend. Perhaps you may want to save an even juicier offer for Cyber Monday for a single day. Do not make the mistake to offer your BFCM offer too early or for too long. This will likely soften sales when it matters (as competitors will have limited time offers), and hurt your margins when you don’t have to have an offer.
B) Plan promotions for other peak periods like Singles Day and Boxing Day. These don’t need to be as strong as BFCM – But you don’t want to be forgotten when your target market is shopping.
C) Plan for the post promotion dip in sales. What will you do to combat it? Offer a gift with purchase? Offer a $10 voucher for their next purchase, launch a new product? Free gift wrapping?
D) Remember to have periods during holiday when you don’t have a promotion/offer. It will improve the performance of the promotions you do run, and the demand will come simply by positioning your product as the perfect gift, or focusing on your USPs that your customers already love.
Market your holiday/BFCM promotions
Once you have your promotion strategy down, consider how you will market your offers to your customers. The obvious and non-negotiable channels are email and social media. You may want to tease to your customers that a big offer is coming. (But not too early as this could cost you sales in the meantime). Many online brands will be doubling down on their marketing strategies leading up to Black Friday and you should, too. What will be your media mix? Google Ads, YouTube Ads, Meta Ads, TikTok Ads? How will you merchandise it on your website? A great tactic is to offer your customers a secret code to shop your promotion a few days early to increase velocity a little early. Ultimately, any ecommerce brand that has a promotion during BFCM is your competitor, there is finite disposable income your customer has, and you want them to choose to spend it on your brand before they have time to consider another brand and their offer.
Test, test and test again
As this is such a crucial time of year for many brands, you do not want to be mid-way through Black Friday and your promotion, website or marketing campaign is not working for some reason. Do not leave room for error. Test, test and test again.
Often times brand activate promotions or paid marketing campaign for BFCM for the first time, and haven’t tested anything until it’s go-live time on the day. Don’t be that brand. Conduct test transactions during off peak times, preview the ads, activate a campaign to ensure it’s approved by the tech partner and working.
Test, test and test again.
Cross-sell and Up-sell
It is no mystery that the cost of customer acquisition has sky-rocketed in the last couple of years. So rather than trying to acquire more customers during the most expensive time of year – increase the average order value, which increases overall sales. Display other product recommendations on product pages and throughout the checkout process. Perhaps even send an email after they have checked out with other exclusive offers to get them to shop again.
You can improve the upselling and cross-selling process by utilizing data-driven recommendations and offering incentives like stacked discounts. This will give your customers a more satisfying shopping experience while boosting your sales. Whilst we know every business is different, and some other steps need to be taken in planning for the holiday period, these general steps are some fundamentals to keep in mind.
Need a helping hand building your holiday marketing strategy? Get in touch with us if you need assistance in making this holiday your best yet.