The holiday season – the one time of year when customers actively shop en-masse towards a common goal: value for money at maximum convenience.
And today’s shoppers won’t settle for anything less than perfect, the bar is set higher than ever, with seamless order fulfilment, on-time delivery and stellar customer service, top of the Christmas priority list.
Getting it right can mean unparalleled opportunities to attract new customers and drive advocacy and this is powerful stuff. If you can strategically surpass expectations enough that you create loyalty and even advocacy – according to Bain research you will soon be outperforming your competitors by up to 3x in organic annual growth.
Think big picture and you can leverage the Christmas-mania shopping frenzy as a powerful springboard, catapult your business ahead of the competition and create lifetime value from holiday value customers.
So gather round; it’s time to take a different approach to your holiday promotion. There is a way to maximise your brand presence, attract and retain customers and 10x your sales, all without offering a freebie:
- Leverage off SEO. Creating a bespoke Christmas landing page will enable you to rank for keywords your customer might be searching at this time of year. Think: stocking fillers, gifts for dad, dog’s first Christmas…you get the picture. Producing engaging content through blog posts, with the same keywords in mind, will also boost your ranking.
- Introduce a new payment method. Today’s online shoppers want a choice of payment options, so implementing a new method before the Christmas shopping really gets underway has two advantages. 1. More payment options = more sales long term 2. It gives you a great excuse to promote, promote, promote.
- Offer free shipping. OK, we know we said no freebies, but technically shipping doesn’t count. Offer it across the board as a short term promotion, or introduce it as a continuing incentive, over a certain purchase threshold – do the maths and work out what makes sense your business. If there’s one thing we know it’s that customers love free shipping and it has a direct correlation to an increased bottom line.
- Use the power of personalisation Do you know what your customers bought last year? What they put in their basket last week but didn’t purchase? Which product they’ve read all the reviews for? Great, then use this data to target them with a promotion that’s personal to them – give them a little piece of Christmas magic
- Get social. A well-executed campaign on social can be cost-effective, highly shareable and attracts customers right to you, rather than you going to them. Check out this list of awe-inspiring promotions compiled by the oracle of inbound marketing – Hubspot. A prime example of competitions done-well is homewares store Papaya, who last year asked their Instagram community to share an image that represented Christmas Spirit, with the winner receiving a $500 store voucher. Shareability through the roof, high engagement across their online community and a legion of new followers = winning all round
- Hold a flash sale. A flash sale is like a normal sale on Berocca. Sometimes held for as little as a two-hour window, the sense of urgency and FOMO can encourage customers to head over to your website and spend right then and there. As this article explains the trick to success is getting the perfect balance of surprise, support and promotion.
- Don’t forget email – there’s still a place in your customer’s heart for email. SendGrid found that 74% of consumers prefer branded inbox love, to other types of communication. Keeping email comms consistent with your holiday branding is important, but less is more. Yes, Lifecycle Marketing found that engagement rates dropped dramatically when holiday theming went overboard.
So with conflicting press making it difficult to master, what is best practice when it comes to email marketing?
- Ensure ordering is simple through clickable links, a simplified checkout process and add additional payment options.
- Including % discounts and price points in the email subject line leads to increased open rates and bumps in conversion
- Create a sense of urgency, scarcity and warn of limited stock to ensure customer’s click through from the email then and there
If you define your objective from the outset and execute in a way that’s the right fit for your brand and your customer, you can be reaping the revenue rewards for life, and not just for Christmas.