Now is the time to get ready, whether that be ordering extra stock, analysing last year’s best sellers, looking at industry trends or creating/updating your festive shopping area of your website, it’s time to create your Christmas Campaign. Having worked in the eCommerce sector for many years and now as an agency, helping eCommerce clients with their marketing campaigns over the festive period, we have learned that in order to capitalise on the £21.0bn spent online between mid-November to the end of December. Just to reiterate, that is just online, the total sales in this period (traditional retailers & online) accounts for over £77.6bn.

Now, this period also includes Black Friday, which is becoming an increasingly apparent feature of Britain’s Christmas Shopping trends. Which this year occurs on Friday 24th November, which is only a couple of weeks away. If you want to re-familiarise yourself with what Black Friday is and a couple of ways in which to capitalise on the pre-Christmas shopping frenzies, head to our blog here with last year’s top tips!

Therefore, we recommend creating a campaign for Black Friday, that can then create a nice segway into your Christmas campaign. With a particular focus on the week running up to Christmas, as Christmas Day falls on a Monday this year, consumers who like to leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute have a whole week to get those last minute presents, either online, click & collect style or the old school, traditional methods. In 2016, the week up to the 25th December saw online orders rise by 51.1%, this is partly due to the increase in next day delivery, allowing those last minute shoppers to have those presents delivered in time for Christmas day.

Your Christmas Campaign & Plan

Staff

As can be expected, many employees may have holidays, traditions or simply take a long break over the Christmas period, as an eCommerce store last minute shopping accounts for a huge percentage of your festive sales, as mentioned in the paragraph above. Having staff in the warehouse to make sure all orders are received and packed on time, specifically if you offer a gift wrapping service. Making sure you have reliable couriers to ensure that your products are being delivered on time, especially for those who are last minute shoppers.

Delivery Promise

Next Day Delivery has become almost expected of eCommerce stores, in the run-up to Christmas it is important to make it obvious if you have a cut off date for delivery, if you avoid certain postcodes and what the cost of the delivery is. We recommend offering Free Next Day Delivery if they spend a certain amount if you are working with a website developer they should be able to code this into your website in order to include it over a certain spend. It is paramount that you understand your capabilities as if you do not deliver on time someone will be without a Christmas present and your reputation will be at risk! Potentially affecting any future purchases that could have been made with you rather than your competitors.

Website Functionality

Your website is your shop, so imagine you’re doing some last minute Christmas shopping, you want to be able to do it quickly, no waiting in checkout queues, no stock in the size you are after.

christmas campaign notonthehighstreetConsider the same for your store, make sure your site has a quick loading time and make sure that your checkout process is as seamless as possible. Also, consider creating a sub category on your website that directs users to an area that is home to an array of Christmas gifts that can then prompt them to consider product ranges for other friends, family or colleagues. Consider creating something similar to the example from www.notonthehighstreet.com.

Another point worth mentioning is the rapid increase in mobile first shopping and this is just as relevant when it comes to Christmas shopping. In 2016 42.3% of Christmas spending was made by mobiles, that accounts for £8.87b. Imagine now that your site is not mobile responsive, or gives the user a clunky experience when using your site on a mobile device, you could be losing just under half of your potential Christmas sales! We say it every day, but make sure your site is mobile friendly, not just responsive but easy to use, to navigate and especially, easy to check out.

Stock

Those who don’t leave their shopping until the last minute is likely to research to find the best products for their friends and families & potentially buy at a later date. Therefore it is important to review previous year Christmas lines in order to make sure you have stock of those extra popular products. We also recommend that you consider the potential product trends that may happen for Christmas 2017. Consider things that sold well last year, such as Virtual Reality headsets & games, Hampers, Fitness Trackers & Wearable tech, Smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo, or the novelty style present such a hoverboards & drones.

It is important to understand trends in order to make sure you are stocking the kind of presents that are likely to be popular this year. Competitive pricing is important when it comes to these products, however back to your website, creating a “Similar Products” category can show them other Christmas presents that they can purchase whilst they are there. Especially if they must spend a certain amount to receive Free Delivery.

Take a look at predicted trends for Christmas 2017 so that you can be sure you are stocked up with those popular products, or accessories for those products. It is predicted to be another Christmas driven by tech, especially for Virtual Reality. Consider this when taking inventory of your stock and ordering in products for the festive period.

Marketing Campaign

Creating a Christmas campaign to highlight your Christmas range is advised, in order to direct users to the specific category on your site that is home to all those quirky and almost too perfect for your Auntie Sue. For many the Christmas period starts long before with some Christmas, according to research from RCS, the 3 months (September, October, November) prior to Christmas 70% of shoppers are in the Christmas buying mood, with 38.1% starting their shopping before November. This only gives you a couple of months to get those early campaigns ready.

Also, those who start early are likely to be spending time researching to find “That Perfect Gift”. Therefore creating a marketing campaign that promotes your products to remind them of what is on offer in your store. The most popular methods to do this is by creating Christmas campaign specific Banners for your website, as well as to be shared across Social Media profiles.

A nifty way to capitalise on those shoppers who like to research their purchases is with a Remarketing campaign. Remarketing is where you can cookie a visitor to your website and then show them a specific advert or banner later, in the instance of a Christmas campaign, showing them the products that they were looking at on your website after they have left. Especially once Christmas starts creeping up. This is explained more here if you are unsure of what it means.

Email Marketing can be another element for your Christmas campaign and is another way to remind those who were looking at a specific product or product line that they can receive free delivery is they spend a certain amount, or if there are any offers around the specific products they may be interested in. For those who have bought from you previously or those who are in your email database, you can create a campaign that in the run up to Christmas runs through different offers and different trends that you predict are likely to welcome this year. Almost reminding them of you as well as recommending presents for people they are likely to be looking for, and a fantastic way to promote your best sellers.

Overall

Although Christmas may seem like a way away, we all know how quickly it creeps up on us every year. This year prepare yourself for the madness well in advance, follow the steps and the recommendations above in order to make sure your website is ready for the traffic, your stock is ready to be flying off the shelves but not running out and you are ready for those browsing on Christmas day when Santa didn’t get their wish list and they decide to buy it for themselves.

If you have any concerns about your Christmas campaign, how to prepare for the mad rush of Black Friday or all in between, feel free to drop us a no-obligation email to hello@seotrafficlab.com and we will use our festive eCommerce expertise to help you create a flawless Christmas campaign to make 2017 your best performing Christmas yet.