With Christmas now only a few months away, we thought it would be timely to write a post on putting together a successful online marketing strategy for the festive period. Firstly though, an apology for the lack of updates on this blog recently. It’s been a really busy couple of months in the office, and the blog gets a little neglected sometimes. Fortunately we have lots of ideas for future content, and even a new website coming up in the new year, so watch this space!
Planning your Christmas Marketing
While for most regular folk the run-up to Christmas is an exciting and happy time, for online retailers it can be the busiest, toughest period of the year. Last year they had to battle against the unusually adverse weather conditions, as snow and ice threw everyone’s delivery structures out of whack, and this year it is the deathly economic climate that poses the greatest challenge. Consequently, if you retail online you need to be more prepared than ever in order to make this Christmas a successful one.
So what more can you do to drive more traffic to your website and boost sales in this crucial Christmas run-up? Here are a few tips that we think will help to make the festive season go with a bang for your online business this year…
Pay Per Click
When advertising with Pay Per Click, you are inevitably going to have a limited budget, and will need to decide carefully where to distribute your spend. It makes sense to focus on products that you know make popular Christmas gifts (if you are not sure, use Google Insights to look at seasonal searching trends). Once you have decided on which products to promote, write a number of different ads and split test them against each other to see which are performing most strongly. To give shoppers a little extra incentive to click on your ads, try to mention a USP such as free delivery/shipping in the description fields.
The current John Lewis tv advert explicitly mentions that you can now shop online, in-store, and mobile. With more and more of us using smartphones as part of our everyday lives, retailers are expecting mobile shopping to make up a significant proportion of overall sales for the first time this year.
By the latest reckoning, mobile visits now account for 10% of all e-commerce, so it’s important that your site is capable of rendering on a phone screen as well as a pc. To this end, it helps to keep your site simple and your shopping cart process as straightforward as possible. Conversion rates are currently much lower for mobile visits than for pcs, because mobile customers are likely to abandon anything that they find too fiddly or time consuming.
The run-up to Christmas presents a wonderful opportunity for online retailers who are switched on to the potential of social media. All across the country, people are wracking their brains trying to come up with something to buy their friends and relatives. Take advantage of this by tweeting gift suggestions and advice – this will project a positive brand image and drive new traffic to your website.
Recent years’ statistics suggest the 4th and 5th of December are the most lucrative days for online retailers, so you may want to increase the frequency of your tweets and Facebook posts around this time. Keep it up in the final week before Christmas, to capture all those last minute shoppers and push them towards your site.