If you haven’t started planning for your Christmas Promotional activity yet, now’s the time….
Planning your Christmas Marketing Campaign
Yes, it is only September, but you have probably noticed that many shops have Halloween decorations and costumes for sale – this is the first indication that Christmas really isn’t that far away. Why? Because the minute that Halloween is over, it’s a very quick slide into Christmas.
Christmas presents a massive opportunity for many businesses, both from an energy and excitement perspective, but more importantly from the ever important sales to gift hunters! In Australia, the five weeks from 11 November to 15 December accounted for almost 15% of all eCommerce transactions in 2018. Did you know that online shopping accounts for over $23 billion annually in Australia? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that 15% of $23 billion is pretty significant and definitely something that online retailers should take advantage of! It’s also worth bearing in mind that more than 73% of Australian households shopped online in 2018 (Source: Australia Post).
1. Start planning.
Shopping centres and supermarkets take down the Halloween pumpkins and cobwebs and start hanging up the tinsel and holly. Make sure you are ahead of the rush and not on the back foot – think ahead to what you want to boost your sales during this key time. Whilst doing this, it’s important to look at what you did in previous years – what worked, what didn’t. Did you notice something that your competitor/s were doing that seemed to create buzz and generated activity for them? Sometimes you don’t need to look too far to find some great ideas that you can leverage.
Here are a few thought-starters:
- Can you provide customers with special offers and gift packs
- Gift vouchers, gift cards and gift certificates are a great last minute gift, so have you got them available on your website for sale, do you offer e-vouchers for those last minute emergencies?
- Do you offer standard and express postage, as well as international shipping to cater to as many people as possible?
- Have you allocated a Christmas marketing budget?
- Prepare Christmas marketing materials – themed social media images, website creative, email marketing campaigns, social media advertising…
- What are your objectives for this campaign? Sales and other metrics (eg. increase number of Facebook “likes” by XXX)
- Consider your different demographics… will you have separate campaigns for each?
- Get in touch with your suppliers to see if they are offering any special offers that you can leverage
- Will you give your customers a gift? If so, start planning!
2. Create a Christmas marketing schedule
Be sure to include each element of your campaign (you may want to continue it into the New Year so that you aren’t working over Christmas!)
- List every task with a deadline and allocate time for graphic designers, design review, your website designer to get their work done.
- Plan backwards starting with your delivery or ‘go-live’ date in mind – or perhaps even the the Christmas cut-off (will you be selling up to midnight Christmas Eve or is there a delivery deadline?)
- Create your Christmas branded imagery for social media, your website, advertising, etc. There are loads low-cost graphic download sites if you’re not a designer, for example Canva or RelayThat. Store all your graphics elements carefully as some you will be able re-use next year.
3. Get your website ready
Make sure your website is ready for Christmas with fresh content, useful features like promotional codes and special offers, and you can even look to “jazz it up” with some festive creative! Make sure that your website is user friendly and offers multiple ways for customers to pay – options such as PayPal, AfterPay, and Zip Pay are all a great way to build confidence with customers and flexibility of payment options.
It’s also important to consider what is referred to as “Seasonal SEO”. Attracting shoppers with a Christmas focus will not only engage your visitors, but will also help you to rank in search results for Christmas themed enquiries. Using Christmas themed landing pages can also be a great way to optimise your site and attract new visitors and customers.
Offering online gift guides, or segmenting your products into “Gifts for Her”, “Gifts for Him”, “Gifts under $50”, etc will not only engage your visitors but also helps make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for.
Here are a few other special features that you could look to build into your site – these are not only great for Christmas, but all times of the year!
- Offering bundle deals through your online shop is a great way to increase the transaction size, but does your website allow you to do it?
- Can you offer gift wrapping and hand-written gift tags as a special feature for Christmas?
- You can also have gift vouchers setup to be purchased and emailed automatically, a great time-saver in the busy Christmas season. Especially great for those last-minute gift hunters!
- Automated discounts that can be pre-scheduled?
Do I need to mention the need for being optimised for mobile, or does it go without saying?!
4. Ensure you measure ROI.
No matter what Christmas marketing activities you have planned, it’s critical that you analyse the results so that you can learn for future years and campaigns. One of the most useful tools for doing this online is Google Analytics, and look to keep some of these key questions in mind as you review your activity:
- When is your website getting the most traffic – day of week / hour of the day? What about last year?
- When is your website seeing the most conversions, does it match with when you get the most traffic?
- What pages are the most popular on your website – what products?
- What products and pages generate the most conversions?
- Were there any under-performing pages and/or products from last year that you should consider removing or revamping?
Another great thing to review in Google Analytics is your traffic source. Do this by going to Acquisitions > All Traffic > Channels. Set your date filter to an appropriate date range and you will see where your traffic is coming from. This can help to identify strengths and weaknesses. For example, you may have lots of traffic coming from Instagram and much less from Facebook, but are you getting more conversions from one over the other?
Make sure you have “enhanced eCommerce reporting” enabled within Google Analytics too!
Did you know:
On Facebook, there are more posts, shares, and comments during the Christmas holidays than any other time of year and each year more people are using mobile devices to shop online, access website and find deals and gift ideas BEFORE they head to the shops or even instead of! If you are using Facebook adverts, make sure you have them optimised for mobile as well as desktop!!