Deck your (online) stores with boughs of holly…

Published on August 11, 2022

Now that November 1st has passed, the holiday season charades have begun. Cue the holiday e-commerce marketing campaigns launching in an effort to boost transactions and traffic to digital storefronts. Despite the headache it may seem, the time and energy spent on an e-commerce strategy is well worth it.

During this time of year, all businesses will be fighting for consumers’ attention. But this year is unique – pair the holiday frenzy with talks of a recession and you have a very interesting case for marketers and economists to study for years to come.

Not only will businesses need to snag consumers’ attention from their competitors, but they’ll also have to lure in wary shoppers who would rather save than spend. It may be a bit more challenging this year than in the past, but by leaning into the different aspects of your marketing and e-commerce platforms, you can create a robust strategy to drive more traffic to your business.

Time to get decorating

Imagine a wreath hung on a front door: to make it more attractive, many people decorate it with ornaments, lights, and other festive adornments.

Now, imagine the wreath is your ecommerce platform and the decorations are the pieces of your marketing strategy that work together to appeal to your visitors. The wreath and the decorations are the total package for an envy-worthy piece of holiday decor that will be sure to catch viewer’s attention.

Below are our tips for ‘decorating’ your online store for success during the holiday season.

Your e-commerce platform (the wreath itself)

A flimsy, thin wreath doesn’t look great, and neither does a basic website that puts one thought in your viewer’s mind: sketchy. You want a solid ecommerce platform to reinforce credibility and make a great first impression.

To start, double check that your:

  • pages and links are connecting
  • photos are high resolution
  • pricing is updated
  • transactions are secure

If you said “yup, those all look good” then you’re ready to move onto the next step!

Site and user optimization (the lights)

Now, I’m not sure what order you decorate your wreath in, but the next step is usually the lights. They are a foundational part of the wreath – just like optimization is a foundational part of your online store.

Site speed – A speedy site that doesn’t lag is CRUCIAL to an effective e-commerce site, especially during the holiday season. According to Hubspot, “in a 2019 survey by Unbounce, nearly 70% of consumers admitted that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer.” Not only is it a poor experience for your users, but it also turns into a problem for you. Slow sites tend to rank lower on search engines.

SEO – Incorporate high-volume keywords and relevant phrases into your website and social media to boost your website’s ranking. If your site loads fast and has great SEO, you have the basics to set your business up for success.

User experienceUser experience is another important factor to consider. Make sure visitors can easily navigate through your site and can access content that’s most important to them.

Speaking of users, have a dedicated customer support team in order. During the holidays, customers are not always the end user so you may get an influx of questions related to return policies, warranties, exchanges etc. Whether it’s chat, email, or over the phone make sure you have someone ready to respond in order to create an optimal experience for your users.

Promotions (the holly)

With tighter spending this holiday season, consider running promotions that complement purchases your customers make. BOGO (buy one, get one), two-in-one’s and freebies, like samples, are all ways you can set yourself apart from your customer and drive more traffic to your business.

Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. What do they want? More bang for their buck. Use this thinking to guide your promotional strategy and create more value for your customers.

Marketing (the ornaments)

  • Social media – Utilize social media to engage with your audience and create organic content that they’ll be interested in. Along with your website, this is where consumers go to ‘visualize’ your business and products or services.

Clever captions and compelling content will go a long way. Always emphasize the benefits to your customers and humanize their interaction with your business.

  • Email marketing – The winter holidays – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and New Years – are the prime time for email marketing campaigns. Using your user-data to compile segments can help target certain promotions to tailored audiences for increased conversions. To make it even more impactful, create personalized messages and unique subject lines to make a bigger impression on the recipient.

Think about your retargeting efforts. If customers have left an item in their shopping cart, follow up with an email asking if they are ready to check out. Customers who receive content that is relevant to them are more likely to interact with it, especially if it contains a promotion they can use.

Giving back (the candy canes)

Want to use your ecommerce platform for good this year? Consider incorporating a campaign that gives back to non-profits. Lots of consumers look for ways to give back during the holiday season. By incorporating a social impact campaign, you can create an extra incentive for customers to shop with you.

Don’t know where to begin? Consider integrating ShoppingGives’ solutions, like Change Commerce, into your storefront.

Your wreath is complete! You now have a festive e-commerce strategy that will drive traffic to your online store in an effort to boost sales! It looks beautiful, if we do say so ourselves.

Although this holiday season may bring more challenges to online retailers, driving sales and traffic to your platform is not impossible. Now more than ever, your online strategy needs to incorporate the foundational elements of a strong ecommerce platform with marketing and promotional elements that speak directly to your customers.

Want to know how your website’s performing before the holiday rush? Contact Webfitters for a free website audit!