The Essential Checklist to Prepare & Increase Christmas Sales for Your Business
E-commerce is a sector that is greatly affected by seasonality. Sales periods, holidays, and weather conditions can all influence consumer purchases. With Christmas fast approaching, it is important to ensure that your e-commerce site is prepared to handle the influx of Internet users.
To make the most of this busy period, you can educate your prospects on how your business can help them, or promote your offers to your existing customers. To ensure that everything is in order, here is a checklist that you can use to carry out all the necessary checks. It’s better than a gift list!
- 1. Analyze data from the end of the previous year
- 2. Bring the festive atmosphere to your online store
- 3. Building Christmas-specific landing pages
- 4. Optimize your product photos
- 5. Create a special Christmas pop-up
- 6. Maximize up-selling and cross-selling
- 7. Offer limited-time Christmas offers
- 8. Make delivery costs attractive
- 9. Reassure customers about delivery times
- 10. Ensure your e-commerce is mobile-friendly
- 11. Offer interactive mobile content
- 12. Set up email marketing campaigns
- 13. Don’t forget to retarget
- 14. Content marketing
- 15. Create a plan for content marketing for the end of the year
- 16. Schedule messages on your social networks
- 17. Optimize your Google Ads ads
- 18. Emphasize the packaging!
- 19. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience
- 20. Do A/B testing
- 21. Manage and track your e-commerce inventory
- 22. Stay organized and focused this Christmas season
- 23. Adapt your e-commerce strategy according to your activity
- 24. Thank your customers and partners
- 25. Anticipate the day after Christmas
1. Analyze data from the end of the previous year
To begin with, it is important to analyze the data from the end of the previous year. Take some time to sit quietly in front of your computer with a cup of coffee or tea, open an Excel spreadsheet, and note down the ideas that worked well and the good practices used.
This is a simple task, but many businesses tend to ignore this valuable resource. You should try to identify where the majority of your traffic came from during the same period last year. Was it through email marketing, social media, paid search, or organic traffic? Also, try to determine what led to conversions.
On the other hand, you should also think about areas for improvement, problems encountered, and decisions that can be improved. For instance, if a business estimates that email marketing was responsible for 40% of its conversions during the past holiday season, it would be wise to implement larger email campaigns this year.
By doing this, you will have a solid foundation for your end-of-year marketing.
2. Bring the festive atmosphere to your online store
During the Christmas season, colors play a significant role in evoking emotions and influencing purchasing decisions. Therefore, it is essential to decorate your e-commerce site with colors that reflect the festive atmosphere.
You can be as creative as you want and use colors like red, green, gold, bronze, blue, etc. to give your site a Christmas vibe. However, it is not necessary to change your theme completely.
The best approach is to choose a color palette that evokes the Christmas spirit and add small touches to your design. You can update your visuals to celebrate this wonderful occasion. It would be a missed opportunity not to embellish your emails, website, or blog in a simple but effective way to attract potential customers to your products or services.
3. Building Christmas-specific landing pages
To prepare for the holiday season, it’s important to create several landing pages that are specific to Christmas. This will allow you to test different pages and gather data early on, rather than waiting until the last minute. By doing this, you’ll have a wide range of data to start your holiday marketing with.
Identifying the most effective landing pages early on will allow you to direct your traffic to those pages sooner, and stop using low-performing pages. This will help you make the most of the holiday rush and ensure that you’re maximizing your chances of success.
4. Optimize your product photos
Product photos play a crucial role in determining whether a customer will make a purchase or not. During the holiday season, your website traffic is likely to increase significantly. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all your product photos are of high quality and load quickly.
In addition, it is recommended that you display your product photos in a large size, especially on mobile devices. This will help customers to view the product details clearly and make an informed decision.
5. Create a special Christmas pop-up
During the Christmas season, it’s important to grab the attention of consumers who are looking for discounts, promotions, and other deals. One way to do this is by creating a pop-up that offers them exactly what they’re looking for.
To make your pop-up effective, keep the following things in mind:
- Size: The pop-up should not be too big, ideally no more than half the screen.
- Title: The title should contain your offer and be big enough to attract attention.
- Call-to-action: The call-to-action should be clear and easy to understand.
Your pop-up can offer flash sales, private sales, discounts, gifts, or any other personalized offer that meets the expectations of your customers. By creating a well-designed pop-up, you can easily satisfy Internet users and increase your sales during the holiday season.
6. Maximize up-selling and cross-selling
To increase your sales and revenue, it is important to focus on up-selling and cross-selling. This means encouraging your existing customers to buy more from you. It is easier to sell to a current customer than to a new one.
However, not all products can be sold through up-selling and cross-selling. You should focus on the following three types of products:
- Your best-selling products: These are your most popular products, and since many customers buy them, there is a greater chance of them being purchased again.
- Your top-rated products: Consumers trust recommendations, and products with many good reviews will convince them more easily.
- Your most relevant products: You need to identify what is relevant for each of your customers. This can take time, but there are many tools available today to automate this task.
7. Offer limited-time Christmas offers
During the Christmas period, it’s important to make the most of the limited time available. One effective way to do this is by offering time-limited sales and promotions. By creating a sense of urgency, customers will be more likely to make a purchase quickly, rather than risk missing out on a great deal.
8. Make delivery costs attractive
During the Christmas period, it’s a good idea to make delivery costs more attractive to customers. You can show generosity by reducing delivery costs or even offering them as gifts.
If you’re worried about the impact on your margin, there are different ways to “remove” these fees without affecting your profits too much. For example, you can:
- Offer free delivery for orders over a certain amount.
- Include the cost of delivery in the price of the product.
- Reserve free delivery for certain geographic areas.
- Reserve free delivery for subscribers.
- Offer free delivery on certain products only.
By making delivery costs more attractive, you can encourage customers to make purchases and increase your sales during the holiday season.
9. Reassure customers about delivery times
During Christmas, one of the biggest concerns for consumers is the delivery time of their gifts. They want to ensure that they receive their gifts on time to put them under the tree or integrate them into their newsletter. As Christmas is a busy time for all professions, it is important to prepare in advance to meet your objectives and increase your turnover.
One way to reassure your customers about delivery times is to offer Christmas delivery. This will not only provide an opportunity to communicate with your customers but also convince them to make a purchase.
10. Ensure your e-commerce is mobile-friendly
With the increasing number of mobile internet users, it is important to ensure that your e-commerce website is mobile-friendly. In France alone, there are over 30 million mobile users, and a significant proportion of them will use their smartphones to browse and make purchases during their free time or while commuting. Some may even use this time to order gifts or contact companies they may need during the holiday season.
To ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, start by testing it with Google’s mobile-friendly test. However, it is also important to test your user experience with real visitors. Ask your friends, family, employees, and even strangers to access your site through their mobile devices and provide feedback on their experience. They should navigate your pages, access your offers, send forms, communicate with your company, and so on. Honest feedback is crucial, as it will help you identify any issues that need to be addressed.
11. Offer interactive mobile content
During the holiday season, it’s important to create interactive mobile content that engages your audience. You can create short and entertaining content that stands out from the crowd. To refine your content, you can use tools like Google Trends and the keyword generator. You can also use Feedly and Pocket to centralize your research in one place. To automate your content search or distribution, you can use IFTTT. Canva is a great tool to create visuals that stand out, and Hootsuite can help you distribute your content across multiple platforms.
12. Set up email marketing campaigns
During the Christmas season, it’s important to plan and schedule your email marketing campaigns. You should think about the promotions you want to offer and how to personalize them. Your email campaigns during this period may differ from your traditional ones. For instance, you may need to be more aggressive and send more frequent offers to your customers.
You should also consider boosting your campaigns through social media competitions and promotion codes for a limited time. It’s a good idea to write your emails in advance and take the time to plan how to attract and convert your traffic from your email campaign. Sending a bunch of emails at the last minute will result in a low conversion rate. Therefore, it’s crucial to plan and organize your email marketing campaigns in advance to ensure a successful holiday season.
13. Don’t forget to retarget
Retargeting is a powerful marketing technique that involves displaying ads on websites to users who have previously shown interest in a product on another site. The conversion rates for retargeting ads are impressive, making it a must-have strategy for any business. Additionally, retargeting can also be used in email marketing, such as sending abandoned cart reminders or presenting complementary product offers. Don’t miss out on the benefits of retargeting and start implementing it in your marketing strategy today.
14. Content marketing
Content marketing is often overlooked or not executed well by many e-retailers. It is important to understand that content marketing cannot be approached in the same way as purchasing keywords on Google Ads or buying ad space. It is a long-term strategy that may not have a high ROI (return on investment) in the short term, but it is more sustainable and allows e-retailers to create intrinsic value.
To effectively promote content, e-retailers can use marketing automation solutions such as Responsys or Webmecanik, depending on the size of their website.
15. Create a plan for content marketing for the end of the year
As the end of the year approaches, it’s important to start planning your holiday content marketing strategy. By starting early, you can schedule all your blog posts in advance and ensure that your content is optimized for the festive season.
One key consideration is to increase your posting frequency during this time. This requires careful planning, especially in collaboration with your team’s SEO manager.
Your blog articles, product descriptions, and sales pitches should all be tailored to the holiday season. Consider creating useful content with Christmas-themed advice, and focus on specific keywords that are relevant during this time.
For example, an e-retailer could provide a list of gift ideas for different profiles (such as dad, mom, geek, teenager, etc.) featuring products available in their store. Meanwhile, a freelance graphic designer could write an article on how to create a beautiful Christmas newsletter.
Scheduling messages on your social networks can be a game-changer for your online presence. If you haven’t started using an automated social media tool yet, it’s high time you do so. For instance, Hootsuite is a great option that costs less than $120 per year and allows you to plan your messages well in advance. You don’t need to automate all social networks, but it’s always good to have posts scheduled that can spark interaction and bring traffic to your site.
During holidays, it’s important to use holiday-specific images, hashtags, and messages to attract more attention. Making offers and promotions can also be effective during this time. By using the right hashtags and keywords, you can easily attract potential customers to your business.
17. Optimize your Google Ads ads
During the Christmas season, businesses are in fierce competition to attract potential customers and encourage them to make purchases. To achieve this, it is recommended to invest in advertising campaigns, such as purchasing keywords in Google Ads or sponsoring social media posts where your target audience is primarily located. Here are some tips to help you optimize your ads and make the most out of your advertising budget.
Enable Dynamic Search Ads
Enabling Dynamic Search Ads can be a game-changer for your advertising strategy. With this feature, keywords and ads are automatically generated based on the content of your landing page. This means that any keywords you may have missed are automatically added, saving you time and effort.
This tool is particularly useful for companies with content-rich websites. By using Dynamic Search Ads, you can ensure that your ads are always relevant and up-to-date, without having to manually update your keywords and ads.
Use Google Ads Price extensions
If you want to showcase your various offers for a product or service and display their prices directly on the search results page, Google Ads Price extension is the way to go. With the help of extensions, you can easily highlight the range of products and services you offer to potential customers, which can help increase your sales.
Optimize bidding on every device
It is crucial to optimize bidding on every device. Nowadays, more and more internet users are making purchases from their mobile devices. They tend to conduct research on various websites before making a purchase. Therefore, companies must adapt to this trend and incorporate it into their marketing strategy.
Another important factor to consider is that the cost per click (CPC) is lower for mobile devices. Hence, it is essential to allocate marketing budgets wisely to ensure maximum return on investment.
Change keyword matching
During certain seasons, it’s important to expand search queries to ensure product visibility on search engines.
Rely on Google search partners
If you want to improve the click-through rate of your Google Ads, consider using search partners. This will allow you to display your ads on websites that are not directly affiliated with Google, which can help increase your visibility and reach a wider audience. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity to expand your reach and attract more potential customers.
Don’t overlook showcase shopping
It’s important not to overlook Showcase Shopping. With the updated Google Shopping format, users can now explore a wider range of products. Unlike the previous version, which only displayed a single product, the new Google Ads update allows you to showcase multiple visuals of the same product range.
Regularly analyze your ad statistics
It is crucial to regularly analyze your ad statistics to optimize your conversion rate. Importing data from Google Analytics into Ads will provide you with an overview of your statistics, such as click-through or conversion rate, which you can evaluate to guide your decisions.
When analyzing data from advertising campaigns, it is important to focus on the time slot and days of the week. This will help you determine the ideal time to offer auctions and optimize your return on investment.
18. Emphasize the packaging!
It’s important not to let your customers down by delivering a package that looks like any other day of the year, especially during the festive season. Take advantage of the Christmas spirit and add some joy to your packaging by using glitter, paper snowflakes, or a red and green ribbon in traditional Christmas colors. By doing so, you can create a memorable experience for your customers and encourage them to order from you again.
19. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience
When creating content, it’s important to focus on your audience’s interests rather than just trying to sell something. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what benefits you can offer them. Consider what will make them enjoy reading your content and what they will get out of it. Ask yourself what will make them feel like they’ve gained something valuable from reading it.
To help you manage your content creation process, there are several useful tools available. These include Hootsuite, Trello, Embedly, Google Docs, WordPress, MyEmma, SemRush, and Analytics. You can use these tools for monitoring, social media, infographics, content platforms, managing your editorial schedules, and communicating with your clients.
20. Do A/B testing
Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and marketing automation tools offer A/B testing for advertising campaigns, landing pages, and emails. Use these features to determine the most effective formula for your target audience and objectives.
Read more: 7+ of the Best Shopify A/B Testing Apps
21. Manage and track your e-commerce inventory
With Christmas around the corner, it’s important to prepare for the surge in orders and express deliveries. Make sure you have all the necessary packing materials and let your friends know that you may not be available as much during this time.
It’s also crucial to plan your stock. Running out of inventory in the first few weeks would be a costly mistake. If this is your first Christmas, analyze the best sales of the year to determine the right stock. For more experienced e-retailers, evaluate previous years to better organize yourself.
To ensure optimal user experience on your e-commerce site, regularly check that the products displayed on your site and in the Google Shopping feed are in stock. Failure to do so may result in lost sales.
22. Stay organized and focused this Christmas season
Don’t use Christmas to sell to the masses. Instead, focus on a smaller, qualified target audience.
23. Adapt your e-commerce strategy according to your activity
Companies that heavily rely on the Christmas holiday period for generating revenue should plan and offer appropriate content such as Advent calendars, Santa’s wish lists, gift advice, travel advice, holiday preparation checklists, and recipes.
Since many other companies will also be implementing Christmas marketing strategies, it is important to have a unique approach and stand out with original communication. Similarly, in terms of products and offers, it is advisable to think outside the box and offer packages or items that others do not have, in addition to the classic ones.
24. Thank your customers and partners
As we approach the end of the year, it’s important to remember that Christmas is just around the corner. If your business has been successful, it’s not solely due to your hard work. Your partners and, most importantly, your customers have played a significant role in your success. This is a great opportunity to express your gratitude and thank them for their support.
25. Anticipate the day after Christmas
The period following the end-of-year holidays should not be neglected! Customers who have ordered from you will probably have the opportunity to come back if you have given yourself the means to convince them.
It’s important to keep in mind that Christmas is approaching quickly, and every day counts. If you haven’t already done so, don’t hesitate to apply our advice to increase your sales. Of course, not all of the practices mentioned in the article are mandatory. You should ensure that everything is in line with your existing strategy.