You may well have noticed that your TV screens have been flooded with Christmas Ads. From Marks & Spencer and John Lewis to Argos and Aldi, each retailer is hoping that their festive campaign will see them reach the top spot. If you too are in retail; whether you are ready or not, Christmas is just round the corning so it's time to get geared up for the main event.
This year retailers can expect £91 billion in sales over the holiday period as consumers spend on holiday gifts for family and friends. Up £2.3 billion from last year, according to Verdict Retail, it is expected that online retail will play a key role in Christmas sales.
Let it snow
You might already have a Christmas marketing strategy in place, but as one of the busiest periods in retail approaches, we want to make sure that you know what you are doing to maximise the holiday rush for your business.
If you're a little behind or are still working on perfecting your plan, we've got some top tips to help add some sparkle back into your ecommerce this holiday season. From personalised email marketing to social promotion, we've got everything you need to plan an epic Christmas marketing campaign.
Outline your campaign strategy
The ideal season to kick your brand into gear, Christmas is about the only time of year when consumers are guaranteed to spend, so why not make the most of the opportunity with a great seasonal campaign.
Take inspiration from some of the heavy hitters. Both this year and in 2013, John Lewis received an overwhelmingly positive response to their Christmas adverts. In 2013, the Bear and Hare received 13 million YouTube views and was the most talked about advert of the season – this year is set to be no different.
Introducing Monty the Penguin in their 2014 ad, John Lewis has generated an impressive amount of social chatter; even launching a personal Twitter account for Monty. Complimented by traditional media and related merchandise, there is a lot to be learnt from this impressive campaign.
- Create content for specific channels – John Lewis launched their Christmas ad on Twitter and YouTube before it was even launched on the website.
- Go the whole hog – If you want consumers to get involved with your marketing campaign publish it across every medium. Create consistent Christmas branding.
- Launch at least 4 weeks before Christmas – To maximise your potential reach start your Christmas campaign as early as possible, this will give you time to generate social buzz.
Update your marketing materials
Christmas is the perfect time to refresh your marketing collateral whether it's a new gift guide or seasonal branding for your website and social profiles, now is the time to get festive.
If you're a retailer why not create a holiday gift guide or festive promotion. Take your target audience and product into consideration, creating a special promotion that gets consumers excited. Both H&M and House of Fraser have released Christmas marketing emails to coincide with their Christmas promotions on site. This is a great way to extend your marketing collateral across your brand. Add videos, graphics and gift buying tips to give a complete and totally special Christmas experience.
If you are a service based business, there are lots of great ways to get in the festive spirit. Think about how you can tap into the holiday buzz to boost sales. If you're a hairdresser you could try a special Christmas party offer for those who want to look their best at the work do. Similarly, if you're a plumber or carpenter offer a package to those who want their work done before the Christmas period.
All sectors can offer consumers Christmas vouchers and deals. On top of that, especially if you are in retail, why not extend your opening hours. Make sure to keep customers up to date and informed. If you're an online only business make sure to let customers know about order deadlines and delivery expectations.
In 2014, mobile shopping is set to sky rocket. Since the arrival of 4G along with larger devices and high-res screens, shopping on your mobile now offers a more immersive experience. Invest in a mobile channel for consumers or make sure that your site is responsive if you want to see an extra few coffers in your bank.
The expectation is that those with a mobile shopping experience will see a large increase in sales over the holiday period.Image: emailmonks
Used appropriately, social media marketing can be one of the most effective tools to use during the holiday season. Whether it’s simply dressing up your brand for the festivities or committing to a full-on campaign, there are plenty of options for you to take advantage of.
One of the best examples of social media in action is Starbucks. Every year they release their red holiday cups in November. Now seen as the unofficial start of the holiday season by many, Starbucks floods their website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts with these festive designs. The Starbucks red cup campaign is so successful that their is now a countdown timer produced counting down the days.
Starbucks also launch a number of different Christmas flavoured beverages to encourage both new and existing customers in store. All flavours are featured on the website as well as on all their social platforms.
Get some help from the elves
If you are stuck and not sure the best direction why not get some extra help from an expert. At Netmatter we have many different Christmas marketing campaigns planned for our ecommerce customers and would be more than happy to help with yours. From festive site wrappings to Christmas promotions on site and using social media, we can help with it all.
For more information call 0845 467 1221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.