It may only be October but the countdown to the profitable festive period has already begun. With Christmas purchases accounting for a large chunk of annual e-commerce sales, it is essential to prepare your marketing strategies as early as possible in order to make the most of the lucrative holiday season.
Christmas in October
If Google Trends is anything to go by, consumers have already started feeling festive. The graph below shows how searches for the term ‘gifts for christmas’ have been increasing since July – with the interest rising more rapidly since September.
Searches for ‘gifts for christmas’ have been rising since July
(Can't see the graph? Click to view it on the Google Trends website)
Consumers are ready to start spending and you need to take action to ensure it’s your online store they open their wallets
to. Be inspired by our five bright ideas for making your e-commerce website stand out this Christmas.
5 Great Online Marketing Ideas for Christmas 2013
1. Hop on the Black Friday bandwagon
Last year’s Black Friday sale on Amazon.co.uk
If you’re a regular Amazon user you may already be familiar with the term ‘Black Friday’. For those who are not, Black Friday is the name given to the day after Thanksgiving in the USA
. Across the pond, Black Friday is a major retail event
, with massive sales occurring nationwide.
, Amazon brought Black Friday to its UK site
and has been running it on the fourth Friday of November (the date of Thanksgiving changes every year) ever since. In recent years, other brands have followed suit, including Asda, Tesco and Apple. Not all have christened the event with the same name as its US counterpart, but these retail giants appear to have agreed the date – being approximately four weeks before Christmas – is a great time
to grab the attention of consumers by slashing prices.
Capitalise on this emerging trend by making your brand a part of it. This year’s Black Friday falls on 29th November
2. Give your E-Commerce site a festive makeover
It’s not just the halls you need to deck this Yuletide – get your E-Commerce site ready for Christmas shoppers by making a few design
and structure tweaks.
Majestic Wine gave its website a new look last Christmas
Think about what consumers are likely to be looking for and create product categories for these sought after items. For example, try themes like ‘Personalised Products
’, ‘Secret Santa Gifts
’ and ‘Gifts for Dad
’. Place these terms and links to their accompanying pages in a prominent place within your navigation menu in order to grab gift buyers’ attention immediately
. These are also popular search terms, so you’ll likely experience SEO benefits
Once you’ve finished re-organising your website, consider how to make the home page look more festive. That’s not to say you need to transform it into a winter wonderland, but it’s worth adding some festive images
to draw attention to your new Christmas range. Last year, Majestic Wine opted for this subtle approach, kitting their website out for the celebratory season with a few small but effective changes
In the screenshot to your right, you’ll notice that red and green are the dominant colours – both in shades commonly associated with Christmas. Other touches like the use of snowflakes and propping product photos with Christmas decorations
add to the effect.
When refreshing your website’s look and feel for the holiday season, ensure festive photography and Christmas-themed calls to action are given prominence
. On the Majestic Wine home page, it is the festive shade of red and phrases like ‘Christmas Offers’ that catch the eye.
Ensure your website looks its best and functions without glitches at this vital time of year by hiring experienced web designers and developers to take on your holiday project. To read about our web design and development services, click here.
3. Ask your employees to share their Christmas wish lists
Fashion label Hurley ran a similar campaign back in 2011
No, we don’t mean you need to buy your entire workforce a present (although we’re sure they’d love it if you did!)
Instead, choose a few members of staff and ask each one to pick five of their favourite products
sold on your E-Commerce site. Create a blog post
for each staff member, with product images, links to the relevant product pages on your main site and a little bit of information about that employee and why they love each of the five products so much. It’s a simple way of showcasing
your festive wares in a personal, engaging
As an alternative, you could ask employees to write about what they intend to buy for other people instead. ‘My sister would love this’; ‘One for Dad’; ‘This is perfect for my friend Sarah’ – you get the idea.
4. Explore the multitude of opportunities offered by Pinterest
All social media sites are great potential marketing avenues but Pinterest offers some particularly exciting opportunities for the festive period.
Not yet on Pinterest? Sign your business up today
Avid pinners will no doubt head to Pinterest on the hunt for gift ideas, so take advantage of this by creating gift guides in the form of pin boards
. Set up boards with titles like ‘Gifts for Mum’ and ‘Gifts for Geeks’ and pin images of products directly from your website. You’ll find people repining and spreading the word
about your products in no time - creating links back to your website
along the way.
Craft marketplace Etsy often invites ‘guest pinners’ to pin their favourite items from the website
Pinterest also allows you to invite other users to pin to a collaborative board. This is a great opportunity to really make your customers feel involved. To add somebody as a contributor, you will need their username or email address. Request this information via your other social media sites or email newsletter.
Once the selected customers have successfully been added, they can start pinning their favourite products from your website. Call the board something fun like ‘All You Want for Christmas’ or ‘Most Wanted’. Not only is a fantastic way to get users more engaged with your Pinterest page and products, but it also offers you interesting insights into which items are really striking a chord with your market – useful information to take on board (no pun intended) when making future stock-related decisions.
Social media marketing is time-consuming, but it really pays off. The more hours you put into planning and executing your campaigns, the higher the return. Not got time to spare? No worries: our social media experts can help
5. Focus your blog posts on Yuletide priorities
Creating a cosy atmosphere at home is important to consumers at Christmas, so write a blog post advising them how to do so
With the big day involving so much planning, consumers will be keen to absorb advice
about how to make this year’s Christmas the best ever. Any tips you can offer on your blog are likely to be lapped up. If your business sells home furnishings, a blog post on decorating the house
for Christmas would be ideal for your audience. If you’re a wine specialist, why not write a post about choosing the perfect wine
to accompany Christmas dinner?
Of course, your blog posts should look beyond focusing on solely the products you sell. Try to include one or two on topics that aren’t necessarily very relevant to your business, but would still be of interest to your customers
. Here are some examples to get you started:
- How to prepare the perfect Christmas dinner
- Office Christmas party survival guide
- Gift buying for all the family
- Christmas traditions from around the world
- Luxury touches – how to make this Christmas extra special
Have our five bright ideas left you feeling inspired? What have you got planned for your Christmas marketing campaigns? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
About the team behind this blog post
De Facto Software's Online Services team creates feature-rich websites and innovative apps for businesses in a variety of industries. Click the link to find out more about our online solutions.