eCommerce for the Holidays: What you Should be Doing for Optimal Success

Meredith St. Louis About The Author

October 26, 2020 at 8:00 AM

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People who have annual marketing contracts may have already locked in their eCommerce strategy for the holiday season. Others, however, are just starting to have conversations about holiday marketing. If you haven't started on your holiday eCommerce marketing strategy, now is the time. The sooner you prepare, the greater the likelihood that you will experience optimal success throughout the holiday season. 

How can people shop with you, especially in retail?

This year is going to look very different for shoppers and retail establishments. Many people are more reluctant to venture into stores. Others may become more interested in avoiding in-person contact as shopping picks up and crowds get larger.

Last year, eCommerce spending increased by 13.1%, with more than $142.5 billion spent. This year, those numbers are likely to climb even higher as people try to maintain social distancing while still getting their holiday shopping done.

Carefully consider what options you can provide for easy shopping. Do you have curbside pickup? What about special shopping hours for vulnerable individuals? Do people have to wear a mask when they shop in your store? 

You want to make sure that your customers are well aware of what options they have for connecting with you this holiday season. You should also take care to engage online shoppers--and keep in mind that they may start their holiday shopping earlier than ever this year. 

How are you getting your messages out?

Your advertising medium depends on the type of business you are. For example, lifestyle or clothing stores may want to advertise in Southern Living. If you offer cookware or gourmet food ingredients, All Recipes offers a great lifestyle marketing opportunity. 

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You might also want to consider TV sponsorships tied into holiday programming to help attract customers. Consider programming tied into magazines or tie your message to holiday events in the community. There is a wide range of mediums that will allow you to get your eCommerce message out early and often, and taking advantage of those mediums will allow you to spread the word to a larger audience. Work with a media partner to get a better idea of what options you have for seasonal advertising this year.

Remember that businesses will be advertising earlier than normal this year. Many consumers have already faced shipping delays or product shortages this year. As a result, many of them are choosing to jump into their holiday shopping earlier than usual in an effort to get everything in place by the holidays. Others may choose to shop early so that they can quarantine prior to visiting friends and family members they have not seen throughout the year.  

Making your message stand out: Best practices for holiday advertising

This holiday season, keep in mind that consumers may need to see your ad multiple times before they're ready to make a purchase. The average person sees between 6,000 and 10,000 ads every day. To make yours stand out, consumers need to see it multiple times. A consumer who sees an ad for the perfect holiday gift just once may quickly forget about where they saw it or even what that gift was. 

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Make sure you're prepared for the holiday influx of shoppers to come early this year. Most businesses are choosing to advertise early in an effort to reduce shipping delays and other challenges that could prevent consumers from getting their packages in time. 

You don't want to miss out on those early marketing opportunities, which means that you may need to start your holiday advertising much earlier than normal. Remember, as you plan your last-minute sales, that you may not be able to get products out to customers as quickly through the mail, but you may be able to reach them through curbside or local delivery options. 

Do you have a solid holiday eCommerce strategy this year? Are you prepared for normal holiday marketing challenges as well as the unique facets of advertising in 2020? Working with a media partner can help you set up an eCommerce strategy based on your target audience and their needs this holiday season. If you haven't yet begun your holiday marketing plan, it's time to get started.

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