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eCommerce Marketing Blog

A 5-Step Checklist to Get Your E-commerce Ready for the Holiday Season

Posted by Vaida Pakulyte on Aug 10, 2016 11:32:33 AM

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The holiday season is coming very soon and if you still haven´t started, now it is the time to map out your marketing campaigns in order to drive the most revenue for your business this year. These 5 steps are everything you might need to turn an average Holiday season into a great one!

Related: 2015 Holiday Seasons Trends & Facts

Holiday Online Shopping Behavior 

Holiday shopping online is growing every year. Looking back at 2015, the most popular online shopping days were Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Total sales during 2015 grew more than 13,4% over the year prior, and 2016 is expected to grow at about the same rate.

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Source: Emarketer

Well-thought out and positioned marketing campaigns come in many different shapes and sizes. Check our roundup of a few ways to prepare for strong e-commerce season this year:

1st Step: Analyze your previous Holiday Season Shopping Analytics 

Before starting any campaign, it´s a must to check data from the previous year and understand not only the mistakes, but also the key performance factors for success.

Do you know where did the majority of your traffic comes from? Was your email marketing successful? How successful? What were you open rates? What were the most clicked-upon items included in your emails? And what groupings of items did most of your customers click, and in what price ranges? You need to understand all of these data points.

Did social media, SEO, or paid search lead to your highest conversions? Have you identified the top business logics using smart product recommendations, and have you removeed low performers to ensure optimal success? You need answers to all of these questions.

Do you understand flow? Have you checked organic keyword acquisition, user movement on your site, main traffic sources and which channel converts the best? You need solid answers to all of these questions.

2nd Step: Create a Promotional Calendar

You need to map your promotional schedule out clearly and simply. There are so many overlooked opportunities during the holiday season, and staying organized is very important to prepare content and digital marketing campaigns in advance. 3 main areas to optimize are your email marketing campaigns, holiday-themed home page and landing pages, and personalized product recommendations. Here are a few simple and practical ideas you can start implementing already today are:

1. Update your home page to be completely holiday-focused. Add a countdown timer to increase urgency. Highlight sales and special promotions on your home-page to make discovery easier. Also, follow Amazon’s lead and let your customers know the day by which they need to purchase in order to guarantee that  their items arrive in time for gift opening.

2. Plan holiday-themed blogs or videos showcasing your products - ideas for gifts, packing, curated lists to attract people who are browsing for gifts.

3. Engage your customers in social media campaigns where you ask them to create a video or send a photo of them using the product - and use this user-generated content in your holiday advertising campaign next year.

3rd Step: Plan Shipping Logistics and Prices

Did you know that unexpected shipping costs are one of the most important reasonsshoppers abandon? Actually 4 in 5 customers feel that free shipping is the most important factor when making a purchase online and can even wait an additional 2 days or more to receive free shipping. Holiday season is also a great time to get organized ahead of time and make sure you are ready for some extra orders, that you can provide clear information about the estimated time. It´s a win-win for everybody.

4th Step: Make Sure to Create a Great Mobile Experience

2015 season was a great indication that m-commerce is booming. According to internet Retailer it accounted for more than one-third of all sales during the holiday season. In order to maximize the most of it, it´s not enough to have an optimized website - make sure images and recommendations are optimized for mobile and that the checkout process is easy.

5th Step: Don´t Forget Personalization

During the holiday season, people may be a bit more selective when it comes to shopping, discovering products, comparing, and looking for alternatives. Retailers that target different segments and behaviours tends to drive up the average order value. One of the best ways to create compelling email campaigns is also to apply data.


Are you ready for the holiday season sales? If you are still struggling to keep up with all the optimization to be done this season, don´t wait. If you have any doubts, take a 20-minute consultation and we will help you out! Holiday Shopping Demo

Topics: holiday shopping, ecommerce holiday shopping, 2016 holiday shopping season, retail marketing, holiday season, retail sales, shopping trends, holiday shopping season

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