7 Christmas Marketing Plan Ideas for Online Retailers

Take a look at your calendar and check the date – we are mid-October.

This means that we have only 10 weeks to go to Christmas. 10 weeks!

The holiday season is coming fast. And when you are busy preparing for it, December 25 is coming even faster!

How are you preparing for the upcoming holiday season?

While most people associate the holiday season with heavy shopping and looking for presents for their loved ones, as a business owner you should position yourself on the other side of the counter as well.

It is best to prepare now and action your Christmas marketing plan as soon as possible. When the time comes, you will be prepared and will apply those holiday season strategies you have been refining for weeks. This means more money for your business by getting the most from Christmas time and the sales opportunities this holiday brings.

Online shopping during the holiday seasonChristmas Marketing Plan

What we are trying to help you with in this post actually is your online shopping strategy. E-commerce is a fact growing for Australia, and during the holiday season, as you already know, sales skyrocket. The purpose is to see your sales rising to an exponential level as well.

CBA managing director retail Nick Aronson said 2017 had seen a rise in “desktop shopping”, with the growth in online retail spend up 20% on the previous year compared with in-store spending, which grew only 2%.

“The holiday season is notoriously busy for everyone. The increase in online spending, and shift in spending on experiences, reflect a trend of consumers placing higher value on the quality of their time,” Mr Aronson said.

The state of online commerce in Australia

Online shopping in Australia had estimated revenue of USD 18,628 million in 2018, and with an annual growth rate of 8.9%, the market volume is expected to reach USD 26,208m by 2022. The largest market segment is fashion, with a market volume of USD 6,595 million in 2018. The user penetration as of 2018 is 72.2% – which means there is a large audience of Australian consumers that your business can cater to.

Another fact to keep in mind is that the holiday season of 2016 saw 34 million domestic parcel deliveries in Australia – compared to 5.6 million parcels shipped from overseas. And when businesses make sure their customers get parcels before Christmas Day, they often see them coming back for more.

The question is – how will your company break through the noise and get consumers to make holiday purchases from your business? For this post we have prepared 7 Christmas marketing plan ideas that you can implement starting now:

1. Create your holiday offers

With so many different types of offers to choose from you should only be focusing on promoting what makes the most sense for your customers. Remember that during the holiday season, customers usually shop for gifts and also spend a great deal of money on Christmas-themed products.

However, many people find it rather tedious to look for the perfect gift and this is where you can step in and prepare holiday offers that make Christmas shopping more delightful. On the one hand, customers find the desired products faster, and on the other hand, you manage to attain your sales objectives in the most effective manner.

2. Create an email marketing strategy

There’s no better way to boost your holiday sales than to send deals straight into shoppers’ inboxes.

This is because email marketing is one of the most effective Christmas Marketing Plan promotion techniques, with the highest return-on-investment of all. Crafting emails and sending them to customers requires limited resources, but the response is amazing.

An email feels more personal compared for instance to a social media post or a print advertisement, and recipients feel more responsible about the action they’ll take after finding a message addressed to their own person in the inbox. Another great thing about email marketing is that it allows you to make use of a wide range of promotion tools, including image, video, personalised marketing, re-marketing, discounts, and other incentives – all can go into a compelling message that will send audiences directly to your online store.

The conclusion is you absolutely need to include email in your Christmas marketing plan – do it now and you will thank us later.

3. Add a countdown timer for sales

Creating a sense of urgency is one of the most effective strategies to make consumers feel that something valuable is being offered that they don’t want to miss out on. Even if another limited offer is just around the corner, this tactic still works and makes customer leave anything else behind just to place an order as soon as possible.

A sensitive aspect when it comes to Christmas shopping is making sure customers get their parcels on December 24 the latest, so your countdown timer could focus on this. For instance – “2 days 14 hours 7 minutes left to get your parcel by Christmas”. Aside from creating that sense of urgency that stimulates customers even more at Christmas time, you will avoid complaints from people who didn’t get their products in time and failed to offer those presents to their loved ones on Christmas Eve.

4. Think about a shipping strategy

Most of our clients are small and medium sized businesses, so the advice we provide is focused on their particular needs. And we all know that when it comes to spending money on Christmas presents, people like to choose the easy way. They usually don’t have time to worry about payment, shipping, and refunding policies. So, if you feel like the shopping experience on your website could be improved, this is the time to do it.

Upgrading your shipping strategy may be something you have postponed for months, but is a crucial aspect of your e-commerce strategy and Christmas marketing plan. Here are some reasons why you should reconsider it:

  • Safe payments – don’t make customers cringe when they provide their credit card data – or they might change their mind before completing the process. Fortunately, there are many payment processors that can solve the problem for you.
  • Multiple payment options – some people will still prefer cash-on-delivery, other will expect reliable online payment services.
  • Fast delivery – 2-3 business days is the average delivery time in most parts of Australia.
  • Shipping costs – by reducing shipping costs for your customers, you’ll increase your chances of shoppers buying from you instead of choosing a big-box retailer.
  • Clear refunding policy – make the conditions of a purchase clear from head to tail and this also includes the event of a return, when the customer should be convinced they will get their money back fast.

5. Holiday-themed content

Content marketing is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site, so add a little holiday cheer to your blog and social accounts. Your website should really show it is Christmas time, as this will make customers feel they have landed the right spot for a holiday online shopping spree.

Examples of attractive holiday-themed content include: upgraded homepage designs, blog posts, images of people wearing holiday-themed apparel, holiday editions of editors’ picks, replacing typical cart icons with holiday-themed icons, adding a “Happy Holidays” note to your homepage, and holiday gift ideas.

6. Create a social media strategy

Capture the attention of shoppers on the lookout for deals, and to inspire a cheerful connection between consumers and your brand. Create social ad graphics ahead of time, to save you stress and getting them out there too late.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the Christmas marketing plan budget of big brands; you can still create some social media magic that will attract increased returns. Ideas include creative content that puts the customer at the centre of the marketing campaign, encouraging users to create their own content based on your business and its products, making your social media profiles look festive, sharing ‘Merry Christmas’ messages with your followers, and offering holiday coupons.

Christmas Marketing plan

7. Create a gift guide

Finding the perfect gift can be stressful, so make things easy for your customers by creating a holiday gift guide. Avoid being too salesy and add more than your company’s products in the gift guide. For instance, if you sell Christmas-themed table cloths, that can go perfectly with a homemade pie or some mistletoe.

Your readers should leave with the impression they were counselled by an expert rather than feel you have pushed your aggressive promotional messages at them. The whole idea of a gift guide, just like any other piece of content marketing, is to educate and entertain audiences first, while creating a relationship with potential customers. This way you cultivate prospects and attract qualified ones all over through the sales funnel, instead of communicating to an undisclosed mass of consumers.

Getting back to the calendar – the countdown to Christmas starts now. Will time work in your favour or against you?

It’s all up to you.

You can make a Christmas marketing plan in a hurry, a couple of weeks before holidays, and maybe have some luck and raise your sales level a bit.

Or you can start implementing the 7 ideas we have presented above right now.

If you feel overwhelmed, don’t worry and don’t give up on your Christmas marketing plan. Visual Marketing Australia can help.

Our digital marketing agency can handle it all, from web design to social media content, from CRM to the emails you send to your prospects. We will be happy to assist you with this year’s Christmas marketing plan and enable your business to make its best Christmas season ever! Give us a call at 1300 158 708 or contact us online here and let us know how we can help!

 

John Bond CEO of Visual Marketing

With over 38 years’ experience in Print Media, Sales and Marketing, Online Services & Marketing plus Financial Service industries. John brings a wealth of knowledge to Visual Marketing Australia. As a Certified Google Partner, his Digital Marketing knowledge includes: Web Design & Development, SEO, Mobile App. Development, Online Marketing, Online Video Marketing and Email Marketing Solutions. With 8 years experience of using Zoho CRM it is a natural progression to become and Authorised Consulting Partner so we can now ad Sales and Marketing Automation to the list.