Seasonal marketing for e-commerce brands.

What's the best way to go about your seasonal marketing campaign?

By Craig Cartwright30th October 2015

It’s that time again where brands are thinking seasonal marketing campaigns; campaigns that, when done right, are hugely successful. Christmas themes are beginning to hit physical shops up and down the country. We are yet to see much of the festivity online, though. There’s a legitimate reason for this. Because before Christmas is Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and of course, Halloween.

Dig deeper and you’ll uncover a whole range of other seasonal marketing opportunities in between this period. Thanksgiving is a prime example in the US, but equally around the world back to school campaigns have recently come to an end. We can both agree, there’s serious e-commerce opportunity here.

If you’re an e-commerce brand, brace yourself.

This is a time where your digital shop could see a surge in traffic and sales. History confirms this, and there’s nothing to suggest that this seasonal trend is going to just disappear. If you sell things related to Halloween, you’ve probably already experienced this first hand. There’s a good chance that you’ll keep on seeing sales related to Halloween over the next few days as it all gets spooky this coming weekend.

These are customers that can turn into return customers quite easily.

Events and holidays as such are perfect for running time-sensitive offers. Not only are they well-timed, but they’re always well-received by customers; customers actually want products under different conditions. These are customers that can turn into return customers quite easily. Not to mention quickly. So we then turn to the marketing.

Your marketing campaign.

Studies have shown that as we move into winter where the nights become darker, we tend to do more online shopping. Nights out are being replaced by nights sat next to the laptop. An e-commerce brand should see this, and seasonal events, together as the land of opportunity.

Consider your offer.

Coming up with your offer is perhaps the trickiest, and therefore, most exciting part. Get creative and assess how your product may be received within this time. Consider the competition, too. Remember, this isn’t a period where you can always expect to make big profits. It’s more a period where you can bring new customers into your shop and begin the customer relationship. So find a compelling offer, and use the right tactics to entice the market. Free delivery is a start.

Identify the theme, and create the content.

From mother’s day to Christmas day; there are so many seasonal events that it’s difficult to keep track. Build an event calendar and decide on the events most relevant to your brand and your e-commerce website. Put the foundations in place to first realise your offer. Time should be spent on this phase; specifically the content creation aspects.

Optimize your website.

Once you’ve decided upon offers, you’ll need to tailor your e-commerce website accordingly. Build landing pages specific to your promotions. Set up designated sections to communicate the offer clearly and always consider user experience between these sections. Personalisation can also go a long way here where you can go beyond your products – articles, ideas and inspirations are great ways to set the scene and attract visitors.

Be visible.

Now is the time to start thinking about making noise; targeting the people that wouldn’t always interact and purchase from your e-commerce site. Stir things up on social and email. Even consider PPC and video. The crazy thing is that customers actually expect to receive these offers during holiday and seasonal periods. So conversions will naturally be high.

Stay true to yourself.

A somewhat challenging prospect is to make sure that everything created is consistent and in-line with your brand and your other efforts. Although this is a seasonal marketing campaign, special care must be taken so that it doesn’t appear a gimmick. Design according to the theme, but never sacrifice your brand.

Don’t get complacent.

Sure, seasonal offers are predictable just as they are reusable. Which makes them a safe bet in most instances. But be aware of external factors that could affect your promotions. The weather may even affect things… which may open up a new opportunity in itself. Do a quick analysis. Because these factors can change customer behaviours.

Keep up with the trends (and the technology to tap into them).

Business technology evolves fast. You may know the trends, but you may not always know all about your customers and target customers. Do they prefer to use mobile or browser? The channels and technology that connect this market to your e-commerce website should be considered. Retargeting is something to look at as it's a proven win-win in e-commerce.

You always can’t do it by yourself.

Knowing your audience, can you reach them all by yourself? Probably not. Remember, this is an added campaign to your evergreen campaigns. You need a strong team around you to get things done. A team that also has experience in running such campaigns because this is a competitive arena to enter.

Keep an eye on what’s working (for the next campaign).

As an e-commerce brand, you’ll really need to be doing this on a consistent basis if you are to see the benefits. These benefits, though, are substantial if done right. Review your analytics. Keep an eye on your social insights. Build on every campaign by knowing what works, and what doesn't. Be sure to load test and secure your site - because you will be getting more traffic. That's a given. You may need to review your customer service team, too.

40% of holiday shopping occurred online last year.

Think With Google state that 40% of holiday shopping occurred online last year. With more and more people going online to shop, there has never been a better time to be working within an e-commerce brand. Seasonal marketing, among other targeted campaigns, is a proven alley of success. Just make it fun for people to visit your e-commerce site!

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