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Best Practices for A Successful 2019 Holiday Ecommerce Season

The arrival of the holiday season signals to many ecommerce brands that busy times lie ahead. Year after year, online sales continue to grow, and 2019 is shaping up to be no different. According to Deloitte’s holiday shopping forecasts, online sales in 2019 are projected to increase by 14-18% in comparison to 2018, which means that more people are going to be shopping and buying online than ever before!

Ecommerce brands should look to take advantage of this unique time of increased website traffic and online conversions. If brands are looking to have a rewarding holiday season, it’s important that they have a strong strategy in place that will resonate and stand out from their competitors. It’s also important to note that an effective marketing strategy takes time to develop. Online marketers should look to start their holiday ecommerce planning as early as they can.

Before the holiday season gets started, check out our list of best practices that will set you and your brand up for holiday success in 2019.

Practice Integrated Marketing Tactics

When developing your holiday strategy, make sure that you’re practicing integrated marketing tactics across all your advertising. Integrated marketing tactics involve creating a seamless experience for your consumer. When they interact with your brand online, they should be experiencing similar messaging and imagery across all channels. Creating an integrated marketing experience can make your brand come off as more trustworthy, and you will see consumers start to stay on your page longer because of this positive experience.

When it comes to the holiday season, many brands may start to use unique holiday messaging and imagery in their online advertisements. If a consumer decides to click on your holiday advertisement, direct them to a holiday landing page that is consistent with the creative from the original advertisement. Also, ensure that your holiday campaigns are putting out similar content that can all be linked back to one branded campaign. You don’t want your brand to appear fragmented, with different messaging appearing across different platforms.

By practicing integrated marketing strategies, your brand can attract more consumers and begin to stand out from competitors who aren’t engaging in these strategies.

Make Your Online Ads Relevant to the Holiday Season

Consumers enjoy when brands showcase ads and messaging that is in-season and relevant to this time of the year. Instead of sticking with the same messaging that your brand has been using for the past 9-10 months, switch it up for the holidays and incorporate themed messaging and the use of special deals. Brands can easily improve their online advertisements by changing their call to action, customizing the messaging in their ads, and incorporating new creative imagery into their marketing.

Changing up an ad’s call to action is a simple change that can result in more conversions and higher CTRs for your brand. Instead of saying “Learn More” or “Call Today”, like brands have routinely done in the past, why not make it more holiday related by using themed messaging such as “Shop our Black Friday Sale Today” or “Check Out Our Holiday Deals!” This small switch in ad copy can draw more consumers in and create a more engaging experience for the consumer.

Customizing the messaging in a brand’s online advertisement can also be very beneficial during the holiday season. Make sure that your brand is calling out special deals that you may be running for the holidays or informing consumers of promotions that are especially unique to this time of the year. Like we’ve previously discussed, however, if your brand wants to start using holiday messaging in their advertisements, then your website and/or landing page needs to be consistent with the ads being showcased. Make it a seamless experience for your consumer that you know they will enjoy.

While designing new creative imagery may take some time, it can turn out to be a very beneficial practice for your brand. It can especially be helpful if your brand is engaged in email, display, or social advertising. Using holiday imagery can spark the minds of the consumer and get them interested in what you have to offer. Be sure to stay relevant by utilizing new creative and not repurposing old imagery that consumers may notice if they are loyal to your brand or business.

Analyze Historical Data

Brands should be regularly checking and analyzing their historical data, but this practice becomes extremely important during the final months of the year. With more competitors in the market than ever before, brands need to be fully aware and of how their performance is doing and if they need to adjust their strategies or planning before heading into the holiday season. Brands should be analyzing all types of data, including performance from Quarter 2 and Quarter 3, performance from previous holiday seasons, and performance from their competitors.

By evaluating how your brand has performed in previous quarters, you can get an idea of where consumers are engaging with your advertisements. If you have seen great success this year in paid search ads or shopping ads, then you may want to start to invest more money in these channels before the holiday season begins. If you notice that social media has been a huge driver for leads and conversions, then your brand may want to pivot towards using a more social strategy. Be sure to study the recent trends of your brand so that you can be fully aware of where you need to be spending your marketing dollars.

It’s also important to be informed on your brand’s performance in previous holiday seasons. By being knowledgeable on past years’ performance, you can begin to analyze what went well and what didn’t. If you know your brand ran a certain holiday promotion last year and experienced great success with it, then you may want to consider running the same promotion again in hopes of capturing those repeat consumers. Brands can also analyze where they may have fallen short in the past and ensure that they change things up this year to avoid that negative performance. Rely on past years’ data to guide your strategy for the current year.

Finally, brands want to make sure that they’re investigating their competitors and studying up on what they’re doing in the holiday market. Are there new competitors that are beginning to take up market share? What about old competitors that are dying off, but are still producing holiday advertisements? It’s important to study the market and be knowledgeable on who you’re competing against.

Brands can now study competitors even more by using auction insight tools to get a clearer idea of how their competitors have performed in the past. Be sure to stand out from competitors by keeping your advertisements fresh, relevant, and new. Don’t let them grow stale and be unattractive to a potential consumer.

Be Prepared for Delays and Struggles

When implementing your holiday promotions, make sure that you are prepared for delays and longer approval times. It generally takes more time for certain ads and marketing efforts to get approved during this time of the year, so be prepared by anticipating longer wait times. Start your holiday planning early and consider these delays, so that you’re not falling behind with the holiday calendar.

If your brand is planning on running promotions and special deals, then make sure you have a calendar that has these deals already slotted out. Having a prepared calendar will make it easier on your brand to keep track of what promotions should be running. Promotions throughout the holiday season can bring in large increases to both traffic and conversions and can really push your brand’s performance in a positive direction. Before implementing these, however, it’s always important to first get them approved.

Marketers should always be taking advantage of these best practices when implementing their holiday ecommerce strategy. By following these tactics, brands can begin to see great improvements in their holiday performance. Want to know more about best practices to follow for this upcoming holiday season? Check out the ecommerce infographic below!

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