What Is Holiday Readiness?
If you are in the Ecommerce industry, it is obvious that you know the answer to this question. But let’s start with that anyway! Holiday readiness is nothing more than getting ready to promote your business and products way before the holiday season even starts.
And the holiday season is almost here again this year. So, it’s time to start getting ready for it! Last year was hard on every one of us because of the unprecedented Covid 19 situation. Most of us spent our holidays apart from our loved ones and this year is going to be different!
People are going to meet their family for the holiday season and they still don’t prefer going in person for shopping.
And that’s why the Ecommerce industry needs to take advantage of the opportunity and spread happiness through your business by getting holidays ready!
Don’t forget to check our Holiday Readiness Email Marketing Guide if you’re looking for email marketing tips for the entire holiday season.
Holiday Readiness Checklist 2021
In the U.S., the holiday season starts towards Thanksgiving and the season only ends after the New Year 2022. If you are an online business, there is no better time than now to finalize your plans and capitalize on what is expected to be another long, Ecommerce-driven season.
It is predicted that in the U.S., the holiday season 2021 will increase Ecommerce sales by 11.3% compared to the holiday season 2020.
Of course, there are still concerns about the how the post-pandemic market is going to look like but it is better to be prepared for what’s coming.
Before we move to the checklist, here’s a list of holidays that are coming our way!
- Halloween – Oct 31, 2021
- Thanksgiving – Nov 25, 2021
- Black Friday – Nov 26, 2021
- Small Business Saturday – Nov 27, 2021
- Hanukkah – Nov 28, 2021, to Dec 6, 2021
- Cyber Monday – Nov 29, 2021
- Christmas Eve and Day – Dec 24, 2021to Dec 25, 2021
- New Year’s Eve – Dec 31, 2021
- New Year – Jan 1, 2021
Phew, this list might seem overwhelming but when in actuality it is as easy as an American pie. Let me walk you through the Holiday Readiness Checklist 2021 you must be familiar with!
Send Out those Email Campaigns Early
People get hundreds of emails a week and most of them get lost in that pile or mistaken for spam.
So the first thing you need to worry about is how to stand out from the crowd. The subscriber should consider your email valuable enough to open it.
Here are a couple of things you can do to improve your open rate for holiday readiness:
- Keep your email list fresh
- Segmentation is key
- Use an authentic email address
- Avoid spamming them with too many emails
- Schedule your emails ahead of time
- Put effort into your subject line and preview text
- Personalize your email subject lines
And the next thing you need to worry about is spam complaints. If you don’t think of possibilities of getting marked spam, then you are doing it wrong.
Here are a couple of things you can do to avoid spam complaints as much as possible for holiday readiness:
- Schedule the holiday email campaigns
- Start your email campaign early and give proper intervals between emails.
- Give useful content
- Send out emails that are valuable to the subscribers like discounts or coupon codes
- Personalize your email
- Send your emails from a valid email address with real people’s names or your brand’s name.
- Don’t just focus on selling, focus on your customer’s well being too.
- A/B test your emails to know what works for your brand.
- Don’t use cliche subject lines
- Don’t use too many images as some people with bad internet connectivity might not be able to view them and mistake your emails as spam.
- Optimize your emails for smartphones.
Create A Smooth Customer Experience
Think about this for a second, people visit your store’s site because they like something about your products and they want to buy them immediately or they are browsing it to buy later. So you know you have the traffic.
But if the checkout process is extremely complicated and you haven’t thought about making the experience easier on the customer, then that’s a huge loss for you!
Not putting your customer experience first is why your abandoned cart rate is higher.
Here are a couple of things you need to do to exponentially increase customer experience for holiday readiness:
- Increase your website page speed.
- Enable exit intent pop-ups with coupon codes.
- Make your homepage design attractive
- Keep your homepage minimalistic, informative, and easy to navigate.
- Display the holiday products and merchandise them properly to your target audience.
- Search Engine Optimization should be done for your product description.
- Personalize the experience.
- Give a lot of payment options.
- Send out an order confirmation email as soon as they make a purchase.
- Ask for quick feedback to know how happy they are with the shopping experience.
Create Loyalty Programs
Most of the Ecommerce store owners and marketers miss a huge pool of customers because they focus too much on getting new customers. What they should be doing is focus on the existing ones!
Give importance to your existing customers and give them what they want!
Or risk losing the customers you earned.
So want to keep your customers and not lose them to your direct competitors? Give out holiday loyalty programs for them
Here are couples of things to improve your customer loyalty for holiday readiness:
- Never underestimate the power of discounts. Just dish them out!
- Launch a reward program before the holiday season.
- Give out free shipping.
- Give them exclusive access to products earlier than new customers.
- Don’t stop with just discounts or coupons, try gifting your most loyal customers a dining experience as a gift or any other real-life experience.
Overall, make sure that they know that they are being cherished by you!
Know Your Audience
Whichever marketing channel you are planning to use to promote your brand, know who your audience is and what they need!
Especially, if it’s email marketing. Compared to other marketing channels, if you want better results in email marketing, you need to segment your audience.
On the other hand, email marketing gives you better results compared to other marketing channels as it’s more targeted.
In addition, people sign up to your email list because they want to hear from your brand which is not the case for social media marketing or traditional marketing.
Segment your audience according to their
- Time zone
- Purchase behavior
- Online behavior
- Email engagement (whether they are active users or not)
Email Segmentation also helps you get higher open and conversion rates and lower bounce and spam rates!
Option For Contactless Product Delivery
After Covid 19 hit, the dynamics of online shopping has changed. Although the pandemic has subsided compared to 2020, people still prefer contactless delivery.
So ramp up your delivery model for this holiday season and give an option for contactless delivery. It will also help your brand image if you display images or videos of product manufacturing with proper sanitization!
Let’s Wrap It Up
Holiday season 2021 is a hope for many. It represents that the hard times are finally winding down with as many people are vaccinated. And so it’s time to show compassion to your customers by preparing for holiday readiness earlier than before to communicate with your audience better!
This will create a sense of community and improve your brand image too!
Let’s end this year with hope and gratitude!