The eCommerce sales in the US have been steadily rising during the holiday season over the last decade. From $528.8 billion worth of sales in 2010, the value soared to $789.4 billion in 2020. Not just for online stores, the holiday season is sales-friendly for brick-and-mortar stores too.
Furthermore, about 48% of customers prefer to shop with brands they trust during seasonal sales. This makes the holiday and festive season a grand opportunity to drive your sales, increase revenue, and improve customer loyalty.
However, planning your strategies on the eve of the holiday season or “on the go” is a very inefficient and ineffective way to boost your sales. In American author Mark Twain’s words,
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
Hence, for a winning holiday season that helps you improve your relationship with the customers and increase your revenue and sales, you must start planning and strategizing early. Here are the top seven digital marketing strategies that will help you in this task.
Important Digital Marketing Strategies
1. Offer Easy Checkouts and Easy Payments
For many years now, the cart and checkout abandonment rate has fluctuated between 60-80%. The higher your cart abandonment rate, the worse your sales are affected. One reason for this to occur is a complex shopping journey on your website or app.
Imagine shopping on a website during a holiday or festive season, adding your favorite products to the cart, and then facing problems with the checkout page or the payments page.
Such circumstances cause a lot of problems like:
- High chances of people abandoning the cart
- Loss in sales
- Reduced customer loyalty
- Harm to your brand’s reputation and name
During the holiday season, customers don’t have a lot of time they can devote to shopping. Furthermore, customers might also go on a shopping spree by adding many items to the cart, thus increasing cart value. These things make every purchase critical for your business.
In such cases, a slow interface can frustrate and annoy your customers leading to cart abandonment. This is why you must build websites or apps with fast loading time.
The next thing that you should focus on is to make your website or app more convenient to use, especially in the checkout and payment section. One way of achieving this is by securely allowing customers to save necessary information like their addresses and card details to decrease the number of steps to checkout and maximize conversion rates.
Take leading companies like Amazon, for example. Once you have created an account with them, you can save your delivery address, billing address, credit/debit card details, etc. This pre-saved information makes checkouts and payments quick, easy, and convenient for you.
You can also digitally market such features to attract more customers to your brand.
2. Personalize Your Customer’s Journey
Personalization is an essential factor in improving your brand name and customer loyalty. Through personalization, customers realize that you acknowledge their presence and appreciate them. Around 80% of customers say that their chances of doing business with a company increase if they offer a personalized experience.
In eCommerce stores, personalization generally works in two ways,
- Personalized greetings (like using the customers’ name when they enter your digital store)
- Personalized recommendations (displaying relevant products that match the customers’ interests or search history)
But another way of personalizing your customers’ journey is through customized packages and gifts. You can use special occasions like holidays and festivals to roll out limited-time offers during which you can deliver personalized packages along with the customer’s order.
As an addition to such offers and deals, you should also personalize your advertising. Show relevant products and deals to your customers on social media platforms and simultaneously promote your customized package offers.
A few more tips that can help you in this personalization step are:
- When sending out customized packages, add a personalized message on a gift tag or card to make the entire experience wholesome.
- As the holiday season is hectic for everyone, there might be delays in the deliveries as well. So, ensure that you consider this factor while planning.
3. Festive Offers and Themes
Have you noticed how a few websites change their layout or design to match a theme? This theme may be for a prominent festival or event. Doing such things catches the viewer’s eye even before they start browsing your website, and it also helps you connect with them.
But why is designing and updating a website so important? One reason is that 48% of customers say that a website’s design is their most important factor in deciding on a business’s credibility. Having a good website design and updating it according to holidays and festivals shows your customers you are credible and also up-to-date.
For instance, during Christmas, you can redesign your webstore by adding Christmas trees, snowflakes, bells, etc. Similarly, you can follow the same technique for other holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween.
During such occasions, you can also offer special discounts and sales. However, you must always ensure two crucial things.
- Don’t overstuff your website with too many holiday-themed objects. You want to add festive themes to your website, but not at the cost of your brand voice and business. The focus should always be on the product and the theme must complement it.
- Recollect the first point again. Your website must be fast. While redesigning your website, ensure that you do not compromise on its speed and efficiency.
It’s not just website and digital stores; even brick-and-mortar stores have been redefining their store experience and services to match a festive theme. Popular restaurants and eateries often redesign their cutlery to fit the festive spirit in the air. While this was initially limited only to a few places, today, the number of outlets following this tactic is rising.
4. Enhance the Mobile Experience
When it comes to enhancing the mobile experience, there are two broad categories. Both these categories highlight the importance of omnichannel shopping and marketing.
The Mobile App Experience
Did you realize how we mentioned “website or app” in a few places in the previous points? It is because the digital marketing strategies are not just limited to your brand website alone.
Did you know that 35% of US customers use their mobile phones for shopping? Moreover, shopping apps have a 48% higher than average usage compared to other apps.
Hence, when so many people like using apps, you might as well build one for your brand. This way, you can connect with more people through mediums that they prefer.
However, just like your website, build easy-to-use, efficient apps, have easy checkouts and payments, etc. You must keep your app up-to-date with festive themes as well.
The Mobile-first Approach
The mobile-first approach involves designing the website or the shopping experience for the mobile before doing the same for desktops or laptops. Why is this necessary, you may ask?
Building and designing a website for mobile browsers is slightly different from that for desktop browsers. The website that you create for desktops will not be compatible with mobiles. The layout will be mismatched, and the interface won’t be user-friendly.
The mobile-first approach isn’t a little thing that you can neglect. Over 51% of global internet usage (including visiting browsers) comes from mobiles and tablets alone. This mobile usage is crucial for your business, as 57% of customers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed website for mobiles.
It can cause severe damage to your business sales and revenue. To avoid such situations from arising, ensure that you design and build mobile-friendly websites that have the same features as the desktop website – fast, convenient, smooth, up-to-date, etc.
The same applies to mobile ads. Edit your digital marketing ads to match the mobile’s system and dimensions.
While you should ensure proper execution of all these pointers throughout the year, it is even more vital to do so during the festive season as this is the period when customers judge a brand’s performance and decide on their loyalty.
5. Blog Marketing
Writing blogs for your website can help you achieve two things.
- You can market your products and talk about special holiday offers.
- Instead of writing only one-liners about your product, you can explain every feature in detail.
Studies also show that businesses that use blog marketing witness 55% more customers on their websites than businesses that don’t use it.
Take Costco Wholesale Corporation as an example. They publish content and blogs on different topics, including holidays and seasons. Through their blogs, they also link items and products that they sell. Frequent blogging with proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can drive more customers to your website.
6. Push Notifications with Festive Flavor
Informing your customers of festive offers and sales through push notifications is another effective digital marketing strategy for a great holiday season. Push notifications are only compatible with mobile devices.
The best part about this feature is that it pops up on the customers’ mobile screen, whether they are using the device or not. So, the chances of your customer seeing the notification and responding to it are high.
Try and use words and phrases that relate to the festival or event. Apart from messages on holiday season offers and discounts, you must also try personalizing the message. Statistics show that personalization in push notifications can improve the open rate by about 9%.
Pro-tip: Timing your push notifications can deliver better results. For this, you will first need to understand your target audience and what sector they belong to. Based on this data, you can send them to push notifications during their breaks or time-offs. Such timing will help drive more customers to your app.
7. Email Marketing
Although email marketing is an old model, it’s still widely used as it’s an inexpensive form of marketing. You can easily personalize it according to your customer and brand voice. You can also send reminders to your customers and follow up with them. However, you must make sure that you take email marketing to a higher level during the holiday season.
It is because customers always have an eye open for deals on their favorite products during this season. Along with push notifications, sending them emails can increase the number of touchpoints, thereby enhancing engagement.
But to catch the customers’ attention immediately, use unique and effective email subjects or titles that your buyer persona or targeted customer will like and appreciate. You can also try and personalize the email by greeting them. The entire idea of this step is for the customer to know they are conversing with a human and not a bot.
Apart from high engagement, email marketing also increases your revenue as it has a high ROI. A survey conducted in the UK showed that for every 1 pound spent on email marketing, you get around 42 pounds in return.
Digital marketing strategy by any outsourcing web development agency has its power and effectiveness. For a winning holiday season this year, executing only one of these strategies might not be enough. But putting in the required effort on all these strategies, along with managing the day-to-day operations of your business, cannot be easy.
Such a high number of tasks can drastically increase your workload and hamper your team’s productivity. However, there is an effective solution for this.
Instead of taking such a high workload, you can outsource your digital marketing duties.