9 Steps to A Successful Holiday eCommerce Season

Oh yeah, it’s that time of the year again. Where did this year go? (Ha, just kidding).

But if you think Christmas is cancelled this year, think again. AusPost predict that Christmas 2020 is going to BREAK all online shopping records

In other words: ‘Tis the season to be smashing those sales targets.

Yes, we know, 2020 has been kind of crazy. (For more on this: check out our article Advertising in Uncertain Times Without Upsetting Your Customers – include hyperlink).

But one thing is clear: people still LOVE to shop. They’ve just moved their purchasing habits online, that’s all. According to a survey by AusPost, eCommerce growth was up over 80% year on year in the 8 weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

So, there’s plenty to look forward to in the coming months, as long as you follow these 9 steps.

STEP 1 – SAVE THE DATE

There are more than a dozen opportunities you can leverage – pop the below dates in your calendar right now.

Halloween – Saturday, 31st October
Singles Day – Wednesday, 11th November
Thanksgiving (US) – Thursday, 26th November
Black Friday – Friday, 27th November
Cyber Monday – Monday, 30th November
Free Shipping Day – Tuesday, 15th December
Hanukkah – Friday, 18th December
Christmas Eve – Thursday, 24th December
Christmas Day – Friday, 25th December
Boxing Day – Saturday, 26th December
New Years Eve – Thursday, 31st December

STEP 2 – Time to strategise

Having a clear and in-depth strategy is super crucial. Get your team together and brainstorm in person (or via Zoom, depending on where you are).

And if you’re using an agency, make sure you let them know your plans in advance. It’s likely they’ll be working on several other projects, so approval processes might take a tad bit longer this year.

Given how important these dates are, you don’t want to miss out!

STEP 3 – Pick your products carefully

Now that you’ve got your goals written down, go through your product catalogue and select the items you want to promote for each event.

A couple things to consider: inventory, demand, profit-margins and products that have good cross-sell and up-sell potential (for more info on this, check out this article on increasing average order value – hyperlink).

STEP 4 – Get smart about discounting

Don’t just apply a blanket discount strategy or second-guess what offers customers will think are awesome. Pick discounts according to your annual and quarterly goals and make sure you’re happy with your profit margins (double check you won’t go in the red!).

STEP 5 – Build a bank of stunning creative

Have you planned a new photoshoot for a series of stunning holiday visuals? If you’re relying on User Generated Content (UGC) to get your visual assets, start collecting them sooner rather than later.

STEP 6 – Prep some killer copy

Prep your ad copy and email subject lines in advance, so you’ve got a bank of copy to go back to when putting together the final touches of your campaigns.

Besides, you’re in luck: we’ve already done it for you! (Link to lead Magnet with all subject lines).

STEP 7 – Optimise your website & landing pages

Now that you’ve got your advertising assets lined up, check if your website is up to scratch.

Test if the path to purchase is smooth, and that all the discount codes work the way they should.

Oh, and gives a heads up to your web team about the additional traffic that’s coming their way.

STEP 8 – Plan your customer service strategy

Your customer service needs to be absolutely flawless, as the holiday season is the perfect opportunity to get those rave reviews and build that army of loyal customers that keep coming back.

We’ve written about it in more depth here (link to LTV article) and here (link to the importance of organic content post)

STEP 9 – Test, learn and optimise as you go

Finally: given the number of different events where you can advertise, the holiday season is a great opportunity to make quick decisions on what works and doesn’t work.

After each event, optimise your strategy and smash those quarterly goals!

To wrap up…

Despite the ongoing uncertainty, the holiday season is a great opportunity to boost the sales of your online store.

Now, this can be a lot to take in, so if you need help with your 9-step plan, just get in touch with our team and we’ll chat about all we can do to make the 2020 holiday season your best one yet.

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