Top Tips for an Effective Christmas Digital Marketing Campaign
Many find the ghouls and ghosts of Halloween scary. For me, it’s the way Christmas creeps up so quickly before I’ve taken down the last of the decorative cobweb. Suddenly we find ourselves at the mercy of uninterrupted loops of loud, often irritating, music. Quite literally, they ask, do we know it’s Christmas?
For retailers, this time of the e-commerce calendar brings aggressive competition, unpredictable spending habits and, most importantly, the opportunity to secure future business throughout the coming new year.
A 21st-century battle: Online vs. Offline
First of all it’s true that customers still prefer to shop in-store. A warming mulled wine ample enough remedy for the inevitable frost-bitten finger. The lure of the festive window, seemingly, irresistible. Despite this, the fact remains. Retailers would be stupid to ignore their yuletide digital marketing efforts. In fact, reports suggest that the practicalities of online shopping far outweigh the inconveniences accompanied by visiting in person. Parking restrictions, lengthy queues and the uncertainty of stock levels all contributing factors persuading consumers to shop online.
The Centre for Retail Research reported that online retail sales for the 2015 Christmas period saw figures boosted by an extra £1.93 billion spend. That extra 11% meant total figures rose from £16.64 billion (2014) to £18.57 billion (2015). Furthermore, Global e-commerce consultancy, Salmon, have predicted a £5 billion online spend between Thursday 24th and 28th November.
What can be done to maximise ROI during the festive period?
1. Plan to succeed
The single most important thing would be to plan the marketing strategy. This creates a clear, outlined summary of strategy, budget and desired ROI.
2. Time to decorate
Add some festive cheer to site landing pages. This shows the customer you are up-to-date and contributes to a nicer customer experience.
3. Our PPC game is strong
Update PPC tactics. Relevant, seasonal ad-copy keeps brand consistent with customer search queries.
4. Where did they go?
Retarget those customers! Online shopping is popular because it is relaxing. Customer’s easily flitter between competing sites. Display ads are a great technique to retarget customers that are browsing elsewhere.
5. On the first day of Christmas…
Remind the customer the clock is ticking! Subtle but extremely effective. Increase conversion rates by building momentum throughout the period. Short-term deals, Black Friday discounts and even a Christmas countdown. Give the customer the push they need to finish their shopping!
6. Man the desk
Keep the conversation alive. Customers can communicate with brands through social channels. Be diligent in efforts to respond promptly. Answer queries, solve problems, have a chat. Be visible in the crowd!
7. Be mobile friendly
Understand that consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices. Give them what they want! Optimise your site to create just as great experience on mobile as online.
Fun fact: Christmas Day is UK’s busiest mobile shopping day (blame all those gifted iPhones).
8. “What do you mean it never arrived?” said Mary after one eggnog too many.
Main concerns over online shopping include delivery and return policies. Give your customer an incentive to purchase by giving them this information without having to look for it. The peace of mind that Auntie Mary’s gift will arrive on time and prevent a festive family squabble is a deal-maker.
9. Don’t forget about old friends
Harness the power of previous customer data. Analyse previous shopping habits and target accordingly. Did they do their shopping last minute in previous years? Drop them appropriate emails to remind them you are there and have what they need.
10. What’s the hold-up?
You’ve taken the time to plan a decent marketing strategy. You’ve implemented things well. Don’t let your efforts go to waste by allowing technology to let you down. Prime your website for the expected increase of traffic. There are few things more irritating than a slow, badly optimised site. Just remember that you will have nowhere to hide if customers vent their fury via social media.
Marketing Analysis & Retail Dates
Christmas is no longer just December. Many leading analysts now recognise November as a starting point to the Christmas rush. Black Friday, traditionally an American custom the day after Thanksgiving, is now recognised in the UK as a major shopping day. Green Monday is also a great example of the inconsistency of shoppers around Christmas. Coined by online giant eBay to describe its best sales day in December; the day itself is now popular enough to expect a hike in sales. This is just one of the several opportunities for retailers to target consumers’ spike in spending. It’s imperative that retailers can exploit the sales surge by maximising their marketing efforts.
Useful retail dates:
25th November – Black Friday
28th November – Cyber Monday
12th December – Green Monday
25th December – Christmas Day
26th December – Boxing Day
The frenzied nature of Christmas presents a plethora of issues for retailers online. Digital marketing can seem intimidating, but is a determining factor that contributes to success. A strategic, methodical plan is a crucial foundation to any digital marketing efforts. The tips outlined here provide an insightful starting point to implementing a plan primed for action. In many ways it takes more to flourish during this time of the year. Therefore allow tools that don’t usually take centre stage their chance to shine.
Everyone is different during the festive season, so your business should reflect this change too. Because consumers look forward to multichannel big-brand advertisement campaigns, strategies must be implemented to firmly grip hold of this icy, virutal landscape. Afterall, Santa Claus is comin’ to town.