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Your 2017 eCommerce Holiday Season Checklist is Here

Your 2017 eCommerce Holiday Season Checklist Is Here

The last few years have witnessed an increase in the number of consumers who prefer to shop online during the holiday season. Looking at the data from 2016, online sales have skyrocketed to $91 Billion between the months of November and December.

Now that we are fast approaching the most important season of the year, it pays to get prepared. In fact, most online store owners have already started planning their holiday campaigns. If you haven’t started planning your holiday campaign, we have the perfect checklist to get you started.

Analyze Your Site’s Google Analytics Data

Stop looking for information about how to market your eCommerce website on the internet. All you need is your Google Analytics data which will show you where your audience is and when you should target them.

What to check:

  • Where you get most of your traffic from?
  • Which social media platform brings you maximum traffic?
  • Traffic data for holiday season 2016. Understand which days brought you more traffic
  • Which campaign converted the most?
  • Which keyword had maximum traction
  • Best-selling product
  • No. of session/days taken for a person to convert

Create A List Of Products You Want To Give Discounts For

It’s the best time to pull out your inventory and figure out products that are not so popular with your customers. Also, there are times where you will be stuck with products with just one or two sizes that don’t move. Create a list of such products.

Points to remember:

  • Create different promotional categories like ‘Gifts Under $20’ or ‘Best Sellers At Discount Prices’
  • It works if you can have some products with 50% to 70% discounts to attract customers
  • Include some of your best-selling products in your promotions – It gets customer’s attention

Build Landing Pages And Marketing Materials

It’s essential to create a landing page that talks about different products on promotion. It’s the perfect page that will let you measure your campaign success. This page should be customized to bring in the holiday spirits as well as used to create a sense of urgency in helping customers convert.

Your landing pages should be used to:

  • Create hype about the promotion as well as give a sneak-peak on various products that will be on sale.
  • Provide coupon codes to encourage customers to visit the website often.
  • Conduct contests or reward customers with unique shopping codes for talking about your products or online store on social platforms. This will help promote your website and campaigns.

Best practices to create the perfect holiday campaign:

  • Create multiple landing pages to promote different campaigns. You should create one for Halloween, Christmas, Black Friday/Cyber Monday as well as New Year. This way the theme of the page can reflect the holiday mood and spirit.
  • Create various images that you will be using to promote on social media.
  • Banner images to be updated on your eCommerce landing page.

Create Targeted Customer Segments

It’s important how you market these products to your customers. This is where most eCommerce marketers go wrong – they send the same email to their entire list.

Pro Tip: It’s important you create a segmented email list and design separate email messages to your customer database.

Group customer database into these various segments:

  • Dormant: Customers who haven’t logged onto your website for more than 3 months
  • The Doubters: Customers who have never made a purchase
  • The Abandoners: Customers who have abandoned products in the cart
  • Active Customers: Customer who have made at least 2 purchases the last 3 months
    • Category Based Segments: Customers who have purchased products in a particular category
    • Budget Based Segments: List could be based on customers who have only spent $50 on each transaction or $100 for each transaction. This will give a clear idea of the spending capability of particular customer segments.

Now Create Emails Mapping Your Customer Segments Along With The Products On Promotion

It’s essential to connect with customers with the right message and incentives. Let’s target the various segments with the right message to improve customer engagement and conversions.

Mailers ideas for each customer segments

  • Winback Emails: It’s the perfect email that helps you target dormant customers. The customers under this segment would have engaged with your online store on multiple occasions, but haven’t visited your website recently.

    Email Inspiration: The perfect win back emails will emphasize that you are sad that the customer has forgotten about you and you would love to win them back. Include a coupon code to get customer attention to take action on the email.

    Recommended Subject Line: Pair it with the perfect subject line that states ” We miss you, – Special Discount Coupon For you Inside”.

  • Driving The First Time Sale: You will have a list of subscribed customers who are yet to make their first transaction. These customers would have browsed your website, but they are yet to make the first buy.

    Email Inspiration: Design a mailer that talks about the great products that are on promotions along with ‘first-time coupon code’ to help them convert. Include recommended products in the mailers. This will help you engage customers better. The TargetBay personalized recommendation engine will help in generating tailor-made suggestions for each customer.

    Recommended Subject Line: <Name>, We Have Plenty Of Offers On your Favorite Products

  • Get Cart Abandoners To Convert: It’s easier to get them back to your website as they have already added products to their cart before. Statistics show that 80% of customers abandon their cart with the intention of getting back at some point.

    Email Inspiration: The perfect email will be talking about the great products that are on promotion.

    Recommended Subject Line: ‘<Name>, The Products You WANT are On Sale – Grab Them Before They Are Gone’

  • Targeting Active Customers: It’s easy to get your loyal customers back to your website. But, as the spirit of the holidays to get them to come to you for all their shopping needs.

    Email Inspiration: Thank them for being your loyal customer and provide them a custom coupon code for their next purchase. This will help build a better relationship with your happy customers. These are the customers who will be ready to recommend you to their peers and family members.

    Recommended Subject Line: <Name>, Thank You For Being Our Loyal Customer, We Have A Surprise For You Inside.

The idea is to create custom emails used to target a segment of customers.

Creating Social Media Campaigns

Social media is where 80% of your target audience is active. Plan campaigns on driving traffic to your landing page to get customers to sign up for offers.

  • Paid campaigns and re-targeting campaigns to get the maximum number of users to know about your promotions. List your top-selling products in the ads to engage the maximum customers.
  • Build multiple marketing creatives that reflect the mood of the holiday and talks about the great products that will be on promotion.
  • Plan social media contests with coupon code giveaways. Let customers use these coupon codes during one of your campaigns, to ensure you have that customer shopping from you.

Making Use Of Important Holidays To Promote Your Online Store

Now that you are all set with what needs to be done for the holiday season, you should create a marketing calendar to plan all your campaigns.

October 31st – Halloween

Consumer spending on the spooky holiday is projected to rise to $10 billion by 2018. Since customers are ready to spend, how well are you prepared to showcase your products to customers?

  • Create a scavenger hunt sale in your online store. This will encourage customers to navigate through your website.
  • Send out some candies and spooky treats along with orders placed during the Halloween campaign.
  • Send out coupon codes to use along with their purchases made during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

October 31st - Halloween

November 23rd – 27th: Black Friday/ Cyber Monday

The average spending of shoppers during Black Friday is $290 in 2016. This makes it one of the important days for you to reach out to customers.

  • Get bargain hunter’s attention by listing products with more discounts on your landing page
  • Have a countdown timer on the landing page. Provide the maximum discount for one product every hour. This will keep customers glued to your website.

Black Friday/ Cyber Monday

Landing Page With Shipping Day Reminder

A shipping reminder is the perfect landing page that lets your customers plan their shopping. Create a landing page that lists important shipping days, this will help customers plan their shopping in advance.

Landing Page With Shipping Day Reminder

December 25th – Christmas Bonanza

The landing page is purely designed to drive Christmas gift sales. Design the page with various Christmas elements to make it look festive and appealing. Start driving traffic to this page from December first week onwards to help customers select all their presents on time.

  • List products under the title ‘Best Picks Under $10’ Or ‘Gift Our Best Sellers’.
  • You can also create gift guides which will help shoppers find their ideal Christmas gifts
  • You can also sell gift cards which will, in turn, bring customers back to your website.

Create A Christmas Gifts Landing Page

Don’t Forget To Include The Marketing Hype In Your Messages:

It’s all about working with customer’s emotions to improve engagement with the various marketing materials you send out. Creating a sense of urgency or fear of missing out on a great deal will push customers to open your emails or visit your landing page.

  • To include the sense of holiday spirit, including messages like ‘Get Ready For A Spooky Sale’, ‘Santa Thinks You Have Been Good This Year’, etc. This should be included in your first set of emails, even before the campaign starts.
  • To create a sense of urgency include messages like ‘Last Day’, ‘Don’t Miss’, ‘Only 2 Days To Go’, ‘Stocks Running Out’, ‘Low Stock Alert’. These messages should be included during the campaign and also at the end of promotion dates.

This checklist will help you kick-start your holiday campaigns. Create the basic plan which should list out the various landing pages and marketing messages to schedule your campaigns. It might seem like small tasks, but putting together a high performing campaign is a lot of work.
I will do a follow-up post on how to monitor campaign results and optimize them. You can also reach out to us through our twitter handle @TargetBay and get help in optimizing your holiday campaign. Cheers!

Picture of Krithika Siddharth

Krithika Siddharth

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