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Holiday Playbook for E-commerce Stores

The holiday season is not just your typical holiday. It’s everything for the e-commerce market. It’s a race to attract new customers and entertain loyal customers. It’s all about holiday gift guides and giveaways and optimizing your landing pages with SEO. It’s about creating the perfect messaging. It’s the perfect time to bring your unique holiday advertising ideas to life. As such, it will be one of the busiest times of the year for e-commerce stores.

This holiday playbook from ADMS will show you how to set up your e-commerce stores to make holiday magic. Let’s begin with the best advice and insights to help you win this holiday season.

The 2022 Holiday Marketing Playbook

According to the National Retail Federation, sales rose 14.1% from 2020 to 2021 to an astounding $886.7 billion. 57% said they still intended to shop online, and only 43% went in-store.

Retailers rely heavily on the holiday season for a large portion of their annual revenues. However, the level of competition in the e-commerce market is high, especially during the holiday rush. You need to come up with new ideas to stand out while making it easier for shoppers to find you and your products or services online. Furthermore, you need to make your website more accommodating so that shopping with you will be a breeze.

Here are practical tips and tricks in our e-commerce playbook to help you stay ahead of the competition and have the best holiday season ever.

1. Be ready for incoming traffic.

Holiday shopping can mean more traffic to e-commerce stores, especially during peak shopping like Cyber Monday. Nothing is worse than an outage at one of these crucial times. Your preparation should start with the following:

  • Stock up on your inventory: Increased number of shoppers means more inventory. Check in now with suppliers to ensure you are adequately stocked. Avoid long wait times or frustrated customers discovering the product they;re looking for is out of stock.
  • Verify your reliability: Your website must be able to scale and maintain stability to meet increased traffic demands. You need your site to be available when you need it, regardless of how much traffic is coming in.
  • Assess your third-party integrations: Make sure your third-party integrations are up-to-date, test them, and don’t add more. App add-ons not required by your site may slow down or disrupt your flow.

2. Design a stress-free customer experience.

Holiday shoppers want to get their needs met quickly and with minimal friction. Your site should offer options that cater to their needs and an easy path to checkout.

Let’s look at the most important ways you can update your website to exceed customer expectations during peak seasons.

  • Speed test your site: Verify page load times on every website element. Conduct load testing to determine visitor numbers and traffic patterns.
  • Allow cart abandonment notifications: Send push notifications to remind customers of what they have left and help them make a purchase.
  • Rethink your merchandising strategy: Present your holiday products. Organize gifts in one location to simplify shopping. Think about how you will display seasonal items on your website. You could even have a holiday-specific section in your site navigation.
  • Personalize the experience: Maximize the use of AI to understand your customers’ buying habits and personalize their experience. Provide them with product recommendations, relevant content, product collections, and images or CTAs.
  • Optimize your checkout: Optimizing your checkout page is about making it as easy as possible so that customers don’t have to leave the site before they complete the purchase. The Baymard Institute found that 17% of US online shoppers abandoned their shopping carts because of a lengthy and complicated checkout process. A single checkout page can be all you need to create a seamless checkout.

3. Establish social media presence.

Holiday promos also play a significant role in social media. Here are the essential elements to make social media work for you:

  • Profiles on the top four social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest
  • Instagram stories and Facebook reels: Promote discounts and deals through stories and reels, or tweet a campaign featuring a #hashtag.

4. Market, market, and market!

Whatever marketing playbook examples you find on the internet, always remember to coordinate your promotional strategy. Here are additional tips to remember:

  • Grab their attention: Make a specific offer for a product. Your messaging should be consistent across all channels – email, website, ads, and social media.
  • Take them to your website: But not just the homepage. Be sure to direct customers exactly to the page that contains the specific item your customers are looking for.
  • Offer complementary products: Complementary products can be offered on the same page as via email (e.g., This skirt would be perfect with that top! The complete look is available here!)
  • Instill a sense of urgency and scarcity: They are a common sight in Black Friday sales every year. They work!

5. Make sure you use the right promotions.

Lousy promotion can destroy even the best holiday marketing plans. It’s crucial to carefully plan your holiday promos strategy before investing a dime in a marketing channel.

These are some tips to help you with your promotions:

  • Offer free shipping: Free shipping is a significant purchase driver compared to BOGO (buy one, get one) deals and Cash Back incentives. Offer free shipping for holiday promotions and ensure customers are aware of this offer by using a pop-up or bold graphic to promote it.
  • Deals. Deals. And more deals!: Customers expect great holiday deals. Offer steep discounts to attract and keep their attention.
  • Don’t forget gift cards: It’s easy for people to forget this critical promotional tool in the holiday madness. Even though the gift card is small, it’s still a big business. Ensure that shoppers can purchase gift cards online or in your physical store.
  • Run better contests: Marketing professionals know that contests are a tried and true marketing tool. It isn’t easy to stand out among a sea of other businesses that seem to be running their contest. So, how do you run a successful holiday contest?
    • Choose the right prizes: Offer something relevant to your customers. For example, give them quality gear if your customers are passionate about traveling.
    • Make it social: One way to encourage sharing is to link the contest to social media. You can offer participants additional entries for each referral to encourage sharing.

Keep the Holiday Spirit Alive for Your Business

The holiday shopping season offers excellent opportunities to increase business. Although it’s hard work and there is pressure, the potential rewards can be huge.

Remember to start early, be active on social media, and offer discounts to attract customers. Create a marketing strategy for your store to increase holiday sales and surpass last year’s results.

Additionally, a St. Petersburg SEO company like Advanced Digital Media Services (ADMS) can help you maximize the holidays’ opportunities. Learn how ADMS can get you that marketing strategy that lasts for all seasons. Call us.

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ADMS Paul Donahue

About Paul Donahue

Paul Donahue has been in the digital marketing realm since 2009. He has an intense passion for creating a dynamic digital presence for his clients through modern websites that rank well on Google. His company’s website is Colorado’s top-ranked SEO company. Author of three books published on Amazon, he is particular about staying abreast with the constantly changing SEO and digital marketing industry trends.

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