Building Blocks for Planning a Successful Holiday Season

Retail Dive recently reported that November and December drove 30% more revenue for online retailers than non-holiday. This year, we are expecting an even higher jump online due to intense digital adoption. For these reasons, marketers everywhere are laser focused on the holiday season (especially digital) due to macro factors at play such as high demand coupled with global supply chain setbacks.

As marketers, we’re currently in ‘planning’ mode. Here are some tips to prepare your marketing efforts for this holiday season: 

  • (1) Maximize Average Order Value (AOV)

Encourage customers to purchase more than they originally planned by:

  • – Reminding them of free shipping / offering a threshold for free shipping; an effective way to get an additional $5-10 to AOV.
  • – Share personalized recommendations based on what is in their cart or what they browsed.
  • – Merchandise add-ons.
  • – Utilize pop-ups to enhance the check-out journey.
  • – Create and market gift bundles.
  • (2) Lean Into Unique Promotional Messaging
  • As online shopping continues to soar in popularity, competition will be higher than ever. Ensure that your offers are obvious not only in your marketing, but in your site experience as well. Entice customers with promotions such as:
  • – A value proposition: Do you value sustainability? Are your products ethically produced? Do you have socially responsible partnerships? Can you encourage shopping locally or small business Saturday? Customers are seeking reasons to purchase from your brand.
  • – One-click gifting: Offer filters in your navigation, demonstrate savings with a countdown, feature an easy check out experience.
  • – Point to time-saving extras such as gift-wrapping, quick delivery, BOPIS, and more.
  • (3) Get Ahead of the Rush with Site Traffic

It feels like holiday shopping has already started. Get ahead of the competition we discussed earlier and market right now – before the official start of the holiday season (Thanksgiving weekend) – using some of these tactics:

  • – Determine why customers would want to shop early; offer limited-edition collections, partnerships, limited stock messaging, brand / founder favorites, shipping incentives – anything that gives a sense of “must-have” or “buy early.”
  • – Highlight must-have items in channels that promote authenticity or feel personal such as influencer or email marketing.
  • – Use promotional emails for sales, but we recommend using sparingly.
  • (4) Build a Marketing Calendar to Facilitate Engagement

It is important to understand what you’re marketing and why. While this may seem like an internal exercise, it is reportedly one of the most impactful planning tips. A calendar will help reduce message fatigue, grow sales, enhance product variety, and strengthen customer experience. Here is what you can do:

  • – Analyze inventory to determine the largest and smallest buys.
  • – Identify products you’d like to market.
  • – Map out communications daily.
  • – Ensure there is enough product variety and that your marketing tactics mirror your merchandising efforts.
  • (5) Add a Site Merchandising Plan to Boost CTR

This will create a streamlined path to conversion. Your merchandising strategy should mirror your marketing strategy.

  • – For example, your home page should match your email marketing, which should then match your social strategy as well as the product itself. Consistency is key!

Stay tuned for next week’s post on ‘selling’ mode (hint: it’s November & December!). We will share tips for increasing sales and how to handle the end of Q4 in terms of sales strategy.

Sources include Retail Dive and Mailchimp’s eCommerce Masterclass Series.  

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