Time to plan your holiday eCommerce strategy!

Planning your holiday eCommerce marketing strategy

Holiday season is quickly sneaking up on us. It’s time to get promo pro-active and line up marketing for your eCommerce over the Silly Season.

There are a multitude of opportunities to get creative and plan those short and long lead campaigns to get your goodies in to your customers hands.

It’s important to make sure you get in on the action. Business Insider reported that holiday online sales were at $126 billion last year — up from $108.2 billion in 2017. That is an increase of 16.5% in online sales!

Ready to burn some rubber? Fasten your seatbelts… !

1) What’s your goal?

What are you most hoping to achieve with your holiday marketing campaign?

  • Sell a certain amount of products?
  • Up your average spend on your website?
  • Grow your email list?

Generally the goals around the end of the year are conversion and sales (other goals include such things as brand awareness and community building). After you have them set, make sure you decide what metrics you will measure to determine success.

Get crystal clear with what you want to achieve so you can use it as the base for the rest of your planning.

2) Get strategic

Now you have your #Goals, it’s time to figure out how you will nail them by selecting what online marketing tools and social channels to use.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Mailchimp will all need slightly different strategies. Think about how to engage each audience in a way that suits the platform.

You might be having a huge Christmas sale and want to grow your email list before the big email invitation goes out.

As an example, for the Flox 2018 Xmas sale we ran a campaign to get her social audience to sign up to her newsletter so they could get VIP access to the sale.

The Flox Facebook page had high click through rates so we decided to focus on that channel. We rolled it out on the week the sale was about to start and within a three day period we saw a 13% increase in email subscribers! They got a treat by getting VIP access to the sale, and Flox can utilise those email addresses in future campaigns and other cool things like Facebook targeting.

You’ll want to make sure you plan back and around the key dates these holiday. We’ve compiled a handy list for you below!

Key dates for the 2019 holiday season

New Zealand Labour Day: Monday 28 October
Halloween: Thursday 31 October
Black Friday: Friday 29 November
Cyber Monday: Monday 2 December
Christmas & Hanukkah: Saturday 1 December – Wednesday 25 December
Boxing Day: Thursday 26 December
New Years: Tuesday 31 December

When you have decided which dates you will build campaigns around you will need to think about

And lets not forget the all important Christmas shipping dates!

NZ post normally puts out specific dates for Xmas shipping around October. Looking over previous years we’ve averaged out the dates for previous years and estimated the dates for this year. Remember – earlier is always better!

Service Australia (EST) South Pacific, Asia, North America, UK & Europe (EST) Rest of the world (EST)
International Air Sat 7 December Wed 4 December Sat 30 November
International Courier Sat 14 December Wed 11 December Mon 9 December
International Express Courier Mon 16 December Sat 14 December  Wed 11 December
Standard Post, Standard Parcel, Tracked Parcel Wed 18 December
Courier Parcel, Courier & Signature Parcel Sat 21 December

3) Lock in your creative

Woohoo! The fun part (well actually, we think it’s all fun!).

You will need an overarching creative direction that will distinguish your campaign from the other marketing that you are doing.

For her 2018 Xmas campaign Flox used the hero image which could be reformatted to suit her Facebook cover, Facebook posts, Instagram and Mailchimp campaigns. Doing this creates a cohesive look for the social campaign and makes sure that when anyone sees that image they know it’s a post about the Xmas sale!

Flox Christmas 2018 Facebook campaign
Flox Christmas Mailchimp campaign

Make sure you get the image sizes in the correct format for each social channel.

Social Sprout have an “always up to date” social media image size guide, and Mailchimp has a handy list of image size recommendations.

4) Plan out that social media calendar

Planning time!

It’s time to put figure out how to maximise the effect of your social campaign with precision timing. Make sure to leave enough time beforehand to work this out.

We love to do a build up, launch date and then post-launch hype. Make sure you have planned enough time to maximise your campaigns – if it’s looking like too much work because you either have too many dates or too many ideas you might want to scale back so you can create quality over quantity.

We use a great system called Kontentino for our Social Media planning. It allows us to visually plan out content and then get internal and client sign off within the program. We have been loving it!

A spreadsheet or Google Calendar can also do the trick 😉

5) Track your success!

And now for the REALLY fun part – watching all your beautiful work roll out! No only is it good to see how you are smashing your goals out of the park, but once the campaign has rolled out you will have awesome intel for next years social media campaigns.

Want the inside scoop on how your socials are running? The best place to start is by making sure you have Google Analytics and a Facebook Pixel installed in your website.

Here’s some handy tips on getting started with Google Analytics and how to set up a Facebook Pixel.

In there you can track how many people are coming to your site from your socials and Mailchimp campaigns, and you can even track where your website sales are coming from!

A fun thing we like to do at Tanker when we run a website VIP sale is to watch the Google Analytics after we send out the launch email. Woohoo!

Google Analytics Realtime state

It’s fun to see all your hard work in action.

After all that, measure up your results against your goals.

Some good questions to ask are:

  • What worked well?
  • What didn’t work so well?
  • Did you meet your targets/goals?
  • Where did you get the most engagement and click throughs to your website from?
  • What content was the most successful?

And there we have it! Get in to gear to race through your holidays like a champ. You can blitz your holiday ecommerce goals with a bit of good planning and social media marketing.

Looking for a team to help with your silly season online sales? Get in touch with us! We are specialists in digital eCommerce campaigns.

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