We know, marketer: ‘Christmas’ is the word that you most fear hearing during the fall.
Have you already heard it in your planning meetings but you don’t know how to innovate in your marketing strategy for this year? We have good and bad news.
The bad news is that you have no choice but to start now: campaign preparations must begin quite early and some practices are useful and should be upheld every year.
But now the good news: innovation and creativity are also fundamental, and we’re here to help you with the ecommerce trends for Christmas 2020.
Prepare before the Christmas 2020 campaign
The basics of a sales and marketing campaign should still be present at Christmas.
Apart from prior planning, you should undertake a good seasonal SEO study and analysis for your product and catalog texts and for your ad campaigns and PPC campaigns.
These trends change continuously and depend on many factors like your product type, the demographic sector, the market, the geographic area, etc. This year, there will be different expectations depending on the country, age group, and even the city in accordance with the impact that COVID has had in each area and on each consumer type. It is essential to update all that information now.
Another fundamental aspect are new launches. Whether you were going to launch a new product before the COVID crisis or after, don’t give up on trying it. The important thing is to do it with a lot of prior planning and without mistakes – and to accomplish that, your best ally is a PIM solution (Product Information Management).
With PIM software, you can centralize all your product information in one single place, in the cloud, and make it accessible from any device and from anywhere in the world. A PIM solution helps a great deal with launching new products quickly and on many sites at the same time with different data depending on the channel, country, and language.
Lastly, because of the COVID crisis, a lot of the population has begun to make purchases online. Don’t forget to review the optimization of your apps and the responsive design of your webpages for cell phones and tablets. In this time of the year, these are devices that are frequently used for online purchase queries, but they have a low conversion rate. The better the digital shopping experience is, the more loyal customers you’ll get.
3 actions to help you avoid the impact of the pandemic on your business at Christmas
- Supply: if you are a retailer, contact your providers to ensure you’ll have available stock in the amounts you will need. If you are a brand, review orders with your distribution network in anticipation.
- Distribution: there may be providers with less stock than normal or some of your usual buyers may cancel their order. In both cases, retailers and brands should have alternatives in terms of supply channels to avoid collapses and stock scarcity.
- Customers: can you do anything to discover what your regular customers are thinking? What types of purchases are they going to make this year? Under what conditions? Surveys and research can help you to better understand these questions.
6 ecommerce trends for Christmas 2020
It is true that, for years, many buyers take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to start off their Christmas shopping.
This year, purchases will be more digital then other years and they will start even earlier – and this will be positive for sellers and for consumers. The aim for everyone is to avoid the breakdowns in shipping to homes or pickup points which are common in the weeks leading up to Christmas Eve as many will continue to avoid shopping in physical stores and large malls with a lot of people.
Brands and retailers can provide incentives to making purchases from now forward, making it easier for consumers to buy and ensuring more stable income throughout the last quarter of the year. Making sure that your customers will get their products on time is the best strategy to gain conversions and avoid the most undesired effect of 2020: stress and uncertainty.
The COVID crisis has had a negative impact for many families’ financial situations. Nevertheless, after a year that has been as hard as this one, everyone needs to enjoy a bit of a break during the holidays.
While at first sight it may seem to be a loss of income for you as a brand or retailer, wisely applying a special discount or promotion to attract customers who have to tighten their belt a little more this year can be a good idea.
Another option is to guarantee free shipping on all orders before Christmas and extend the amount of time customers have for refunds and exchanges. This will allow you to take care of the biggest fears that buyers have during these dates: “Will my products get here by Christmas Eve or Epiphany?” “What happens if grandma doesn’t like her gift?”
A good idea is to include questions of this type or a table with deadlines for orders on your website and other sales channels to clear up any questions that customers may have about foreseen shipping times and show that you are committed to offering an effective and safe shopping experience.
More digital contact
While users used to mark any type of message as spam before, now they are starting to expect and wait for these messages more than ever.
A lack of frequent contact with physical stores has made many consumers depend on digital channels to stay informed. Discovering new products, getting to know trends, and finding deals are things that have begun to be done online, via social networks, and by email.
Thus, this is a unique opportunity to refresh digital contact with your customers. The custom of sending Christmas cards is gradually being lost, but as an ecommerce marketing strategy it is a tradition that you can recover.
Marketing emails have up to a 176% greater chance of conversion than social networks. Before the Christmas season, try to increase your usual frequency of mailing list correspondence to be able to stand out amongst the many emails that customers get – and be creative with what you send.
The key is for your emails to always be useful to the buyer, like newsletters with original content, gift guides, and custom promotions for the most loyal customers. You’ll have to work on the wording of subject lines for each email and draft catchy sentences to keep your messages from being erased without being read and without your site being visited.
In addition, you can strengthen your email strategy on many fronts: newsletter subscribers, customers registered on your website or who have not made a purchase in a while, buyers who leave the shopping basket full without checking out or who have open wishlists, etc.
Your ecommerce business is your products, but what sells is the experience surrounding your business and your brand. In this time of well wishes after a difficult year, it is important to give your customers a constructive message.
A way to take advantage of Christmas to accomplish just that is to offer creative content on your website, blog, social networks, and in your emails. Any content that is complementary to your normal content will do the trick as long as your products and services can be highlighted therein and it is also related with the holiday time of the year.
For example, if your online shop sells teas and coffees, you could offer recipes for special drinks for cold days and for the holidays. Your regular customers will be thankful for the extra advice and users who were not familiar with your brand could find you by searching for this type of content, like a mulled wine recipe.
Creativity has no limits, and depending on your product niche you could come up with a great variety of contents like videos, music playlists, and downloadable materials (templates for Christmas cards, place cards to mark where people should sit on Christmas Eve, cut-out ornaments for the tree, etc.).
Perhaps you offer this option in ecommerce normally, but it is something that is quite valued by users and which few shops offer.
And we are not talking about the typical ‘gift package’ option that sends out the typical box like always with a piece of paper full of promotional logos.
Make your orders stand out with unique packaging that emphasizes the details and can be used to send gifts directly to those who are far away and for customers to receive packages that are ready to put under the tree or give to whoever they are intended for.
This year, many will spend Christmas away from their loved ones and friends due to the pandemic, and you can gain a lot of happy customers if you help them to send gifts that arrive in an attractive way.
Yes, this option has a risk: the customer cannot check the order’s contents until the crucial time when the other person opens it. That’s why it’s so important for your ecommerce business to intensify its efforts at Christmas with a PIM solution that makes sure that the product data is correct on all channels.
The right PIM software is the safest way to guarantee that each Christmas order will be exactly what your customers wanted.
If users are spending more time with digital channels, they are of course spending more time on social networks.
In terms of trends for Christmas 2020, this year Instagram and TikTok will have a great influence among buyers, depending on the age niche of your audience.
Each market has different festivities that can be taken advantage of for unique social media strategies. And given that this year the most typical festivals will not be conventional at all, you have the freedom you need to organize your own digital alternative. From a system like ‘Secret Santa,’ a Christmas lottery, or digital Wise Men, the key is to take the excitement of other years to those who are going to have a very different Christmas this year.
On social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, it is increasingly more useful to turn to micro-influencers to promote your products to a small but spot-on audience.
Besides all these Christmas 2020 ecommerce trends, what is always in style and is necessary year after year is a good organization process for your ecommerce business.
These actions are good to get public exposure, but remember that proper catalog distribution over all the sales channels is essential for gaining customers.
Try the product catalog and information management software that prepares you for your orders and Christmas season, and do so for free with Sales Layer for 30 days: it’s our Christmas gift to you.