Nitro-Net.com – A Global Marketing Group Company
The holiday season is most crucial for retail and e-commerce businesses. The last two months of 2017 brought in sales worth $691.9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. Adobe Analytics puts the total US online retail sales, for the same period, as more than $108 billion. The bottom line? There’s money to be made during the holidays and businesses that are not leveraging for the season are losing money. Avoid this loss, as a seasoned and new store owner, by learning from the top holiday marketing campaigns of last year and steering clear of the following holiday marketing mistakes.
1. Not planning for the influx of orders
Plan to have enough hands to cope with the flurry of orders that characterize the season. Avoid overwhelm by planning ahead. Get seasonal workers if you have to. Get excess inventory as well as extra packing materials. Just ensure to fulfill orders to avoid disappointing customers. If you ever run out of stock, try allowing visitors to reserve items for when they are back in stock.
Also, it pays to check with your website host to make sure your site can handle the extra traffic that comes with the holidays. You don’t want a situation where your website crashes and leads to a loss of sales.
2. Lack of live chat and support
Avoid pushing away potential customers by getting their urgent questions answered. Set up a live chat and support line (this could be through email, phone, physical presence, etc) to engage customers and help them in their rush to make good purchase decisions. Ensure to get your team acquainted with the live chat and support systems you decide to use ahead of the holidays. Setting up automated messages can also empower your team to respond faster and get more eyes to become buys.
3. Not investing in paid advertising
Investing in paid advertising enables you to reach new and existing customers. All you have to do is to create a custom audience based on your existing Facebook followership. Running ads to this group enables you to reach customers who are ‘receptive’ to your brand.
You can also target previous website visitors and segment them based on the actions they took. Visitors who added a product to the cart can be encouraged to complete their order with a remarketing ad.
One brand that has recorded success with personalized display ads is nd24, a German beauty, and cosmetics retailer. The company got a 30 percent holiday revenue lift by running retargeting campaigns to reach both first-time buyers and existing customers.
4. Lack of an email marketing strategy
Email marketing helps to maximize holiday sales. A Shopify report for the 2017 Holiday Season said email converted more shoppers into customers, ahead of search, direct mail, and social.
Not having an effective email marketing strategy means losing out on potential sales. To fully leverage on email marketing, you’ve got to know your holidays, plan your campaigns ahead, start your promotions early, segment your list, use holiday email templates (to spruce things up a bit), send post-purchase emails (to drive additional sales), employ the use of urgency, and offer exclusive holiday deals.
For example, The Roasterie, a coffee retailer, used a 13-part holiday email campaign, to boost online orders by 24.4 percent, compared to 2016.
And if you’re wondering how to dodge the the Promotions tab in gmail, here’s the email marketer’s survival guide.
5. Not optimizing for mobile sales
Salesforce’s 2018 Holiday Season Report predicts that mobile devices will drive 68 percent of all e-commerce website visits. The reality is, more than half of your visitors are interacting with your emails and website through phones. Take advantage of this huge shift by making your emails mobile-friendly. This requires that you simplify your email template design, write shorter subject lines, and use an image to link your primary call to action. Also, consider making your landing pages render well on mobile.
6. Poor checkout experience
Steer clear of cart abandonment by making it easy for customers to buy. Make your checkout frictionless by minimizing the number of fields on your checkout form, show progress bars to ease customer impatience, avoid slow-loading checkout systems, allow customers to buy without creating an account, stop the use of captcha forms, and maintain short delivery times. Clothing and supplement retailer HoneyBadger even offers an express checkout option for customers who’re in a hurry.
7. Not leveraging YouTube and social media
68 percent of shoppers visit YouTube before making a purchase. To sell more, you’ve got to have a Youtube marketing strategy like GoPro action cameras. The company doubles profits by allowing users to upload exciting and amazing footages captured with the camera.
Incorporate your social media strategy alongside that of YouTube as 50 percent of users say a brand’s social media presence largely determines whether they’ll patronize the brand during the holidays.
Increase your social media activity during the holidays by decorating your page to reflect the mood of the season, creating a content calendar with key dates, publishing Holiday-themed posts, using festive hashtags, sharing your promotions, creating gift guides, asking questions about the season, including strong visual elements in your content, running giveaways and contests, hosting virtual events, and offering exclusive gifts to encourage referrals through your social channels.
Looking out for the holiday marketing mistakes above will improve your campaigns in 2018. But, you should remember to analyze and learn from last year’s statistics and campaigns. This would help to create better campaigns and meet customer needs. Planning ahead is essential. Avoid a rushed and haphazard campaign by taking the time to prepare and optimize your promotions. So, which of these holiday marketing mistakes are you making?
Akshatha Kamath is Head of Content Marketing at MoEngage.