The holidays are a great time to relax after working hard. But if you are in the eCommerce business, slowing down doesn’t always feel like a feasible option. Marketing campaigns aren’t easy and the logistics of running one during the holidays can be daunting.
In the spirit of giving, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you set up your campaigns so they can go off without a hitch.
Tips for running a successful eCommerce marketing campaign
1. Send the right emails
Did you know that 99% of consumers check their emails every single day? When you combine this stat with the fact that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average ROI is $44, you’ve got a powerful medium on your hands. The trouble with holiday promos is that everyone is doing them. So if you want to stand out in the inbox, you need to think differently.
- Send “primer” emails that get subscribers excited. A few days before the “official” launch of your holiday marketing campaign, send teaser emails that build up excitement around your upcoming holiday sale.
- Send announcement emails that put the sale front and center. According to research by eCommerce giant Shopify, your customers are looking to buy, don’t disappoint them. Send sales emails that clearly show what you’re offering, how much it costs and when it will ship. Now’s not the time to be shy about selling.
- Tie your campaigns together under a common theme. To stand out, add a theme to your campaign. Choose something that will make your customers excited to open every email over the next few weeks.
2. Optimize your abandoned cart emails
Abandoned carts are the worst. Your customer was excited to buy your product, put it in their digital shopping cart and proceeded to disappear. So what happened between the excitement and execution? And more importantly, how do you bring them back?
Send an abandoned cart email that reminds would-be customers of all the awesome reasons the product waiting in their cart is perfect for them.
Platforms like Shopify and Klaviyo have an abandoned cart flow you can use. It typically starts when an item is selected. The software then tracks that item through to purchase. Any cart that doesn’t have a corresponding sale is flagged as abandoned and enters your flow.
But – when setting up your emails – watch out for the timing. If you send an abandoned cart email too soon, your customer is going to feel like there’s a pushy salesman following them around their inbox. If it’s too late, they might purchase elsewhere. Setting a 2-4 hour delay on emails after the cart is flagged as abandoned seems to be the sweet spot for most eCommerce with a follow up email sent 2-4 days later.
3. Capture distracted shoppers with abandoned cart pop-ups
Sometimes the best time to resolve an abandoned cart is to reach out to the customer before they leave your site. Exit intent pop-ups give you the chance to convince your buyer to complete their purchase instead of vanishing into the night.
OptInMonster, Privy and Getsitecontrol have tools that can help you create an abandoned cart pop-up campaign to fit your regular and holiday marketing strategies. And just like setting up an email campaign, tools like OptinMonster have step-by-step guides on how to set up this feature.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Use pop-up copy to match your customers where they are. If someone placed an item in their cart, it’s typically because they’re thinking about buying. Right now is a good time to test adding special discounts or free shipping to tip them over the edge.
- Add a dash of urgency. Holiday campaigns have a built-in sense of urgency in the form of an external deadline. You can use this to great effect with countdown timers and shipping schedules. Including available inventory in a pop-up can also spur action from customers not wanting to miss out on a desired item.
- Get the placement right. Abandoned cart pop-ups shouldn’t discourage customers from shopping for additional items. So, aim to activate these on payment screen abandonment. It’s far more useful to set up your timing to display on exiting your website or storefront page.
4. Optimize your cart for mobile
Did you know that 55% of millennials and 48% of GenX plan on doing holiday shopping on their phones? That’s why your product listings and promos have to be mobile optimized – or you’ll lose traffic.
Here are some quick things you can do to improve the user mobile experience immediately:
- Increase overall loading speed. Decreasing load speed increases conversions. Use Page Speed Insights – or a tool of your choice – to analyze your page and use the suggested changes to increase load speed.
- Optimize product images. While general page speed matters, when you’re in eCommerce, images are king. As a rule of thumb, the faster images and videos load, the better your bounce rate. This guide from Google will show you what you need to know.
- Optimize your copy for small screens. Product copy will look different on a phone screen. Make sure that your reader sees the most important things first. Use boldface, italics and text size to draw the eye to the most important parts.
5. Use live chat to answer important questions
Holidays are ultra busy for both you and your customers. You don’t have the time to answer every FAQ email that lands in your inbox if you’re trying to meet shipping deadlines.
You can also include current and future promotions sales and product availability depending on the software you choose.
6. Use tools to trigger social proof
Being able to show social proof can help you drive conversions home. In fact, 92% of online shoppers read reviews before deciding on a purchase. If you want consumers to trust you enough to convert, you should introduce them to some happy customers with tools like Proof or Nudgify.
Here are a few things you can try:
- Show live updates of who is making purchases right now. Having real-time updates of live purchases helps show buyers they aren’t the only ones interested.
- Include testimonials on your homepage. Showcasing the positive experiences of current customers will build trust in your brand.
- Show your star ratings. Invest in customer reviews, and display them on your product pages. Most shoppers recognize that 5 stars means an excellent product.
- Add a testimonial to each email newsletter. Meet your audience where they are and get those testimonials in front of them. Be sure to update your newsletter with a new testimonial for each issue.
7. Make your delivery and return policies easy to find
Holiday shoppers want to know two things, above all else:
- If I order this today, when will it get here?
- Can I return this item if someone doesn’t like it?
Your answers to these questions should be easy to find. To avoid confusion, create a clear step-by-step policy, telling your would-be customers exactly what kind of delivery service to expect. Will they be able to track it? How long does it take on average? Then, do the same with your returns policy.
When you’ve clearly outlined both, add this information to your homepage – you can use a holiday banner at the top of your website that highlights 2-day deliveries and free returns.
Next, add this information to relevant product pages and emails. If you use live chat, make sure your customer support team has a copy for easy access.
8. Curate similar items
There’s a reason many of the major marketplaces show a “frequently bought together” or “customers also buy” section below each item.
Consider batching your items in groups that are either similar to each other or complementary, and delivering other item suggestions to shoppers as they browse.
Testing and optimizing these item suggestions for conversions is beneficial since it can raise your average order price, giving you more ROI for bringing in a single customer.
During the holidays, you can create specific landing pages that feature things like holiday bundles, top 10 gift ideas, or a collection of items that are on sale for a limited time.
You can also use curated item lists in your holiday emails. Look at their shopping habits, such as what they added to their cart and then abandoned, to customize product offers straight to their inbox.
Set your shoppers and your holiday marketing campaign up for success
When you follow these simple tips, your marketing campaign will run smoother and your shoppers will feel more confident buying from you.