When the clock strikes midnight, Halloween will end, the holiday shopping floodgates will open, and bam! Christmas will be everywhere.

As a retailer, you don’t need to be reminded of the havoc that COVID-19 has caused this year. While it’s arguable that the worst is over, consumers are returning to the ‘new’ normal as we head towards the busiest time of year. If you don’t have your Christmas strategy in place yet, here are some top ideas for you.

Solidify your online presence

Make sure your online presence is updated to reflect what is happening in your store this holiday period – be it in the form of a complete online store, Amazon presence, or as simple as a Google Local Business listing.

 Click and collect

Let Christmas shoppers know your policy toward click and collect for both your online store and search engine results. Offering shoppers the possibility to collect their orders without having to enter your store may be the difference between a large sale and extra business for your competitor.

Update your online store

If you were forced to sell online because of COVID-19, now is a great time to take stock and ensure that your website is set up as best it can be. In the rush, there is every chance that you did the bare minimum to get online and may have missed something critical to operating an online store. Now is the time to step up your e-commerce game by doing the following:

  • Crafting informative and essential transactional emails.
  • Setting up shipping options to deliver last-minute gifts.
  • Creating sitemaps and conducting keyword research for e-commerce SEO growth.
  • Having easy to navigate website design and effective branding to create a sense of ‘home’.
  • Establishing email marketing basics.
  • Implementing effective return and refund policies for online sales.
  • Writing quality product descriptions that inform and photography that creates that sense of ‘want.’

 Email marketing

Email marketing is a crucial strategy for any e-commerce brand, including brick and mortar retail stores. But for the Christmas period, consider using email marketing as a way to drive your email list to already existing promotional campaigns. For example, send an email to your list that showcases your new interactive digital catalogue or send one about your flash sale. Update the imagery used in your holiday email marketing to show you’re right into the Christmas spirit.

 Sell the solution, not the product

Successful companies focus on showing how their products improve the quality of life of the user like microwave popcorn saves you heating oil in a pot with popping kernels all over the floor. A great way to show how your products solve problems is by showing it in use. Use imagery and videos to show your gadget’s features how it solves problems.

 Free shipping

Today buyers expect free shipping. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a small bottle of beard oil or a fridge, free delivery is an incentive that many people expect, especially during the holiday period. Increasing your prices to absorb the cost of postage isn’t always feasible especially with comparative price engines. A way to overcome this is by putting a minimum order in place to get free shipping – spend an extra $15 and save on $5 shipping.

With a good holiday campaign, you’ll attract many last-minute shoppers the week before Christmas, so you must express postage up until the latest possible date to ensure their gifts are delivered before Christmas day. Last-minute shoppers are happy to pay a premium for this.

Update your imagery

It should be clear to anyone who visits your site, blog, or social media pages that your Christmas promotion is on. Updated imagery is a great way to communicate this. Make sure though that the way it is communicated is in line with your brand. A tacky over the top Christmas look and feel can damage a sophisticated brand and often a sprinkle of tinsel is enough to communicate your Christmas spirit.

As consumers, we have been trained over many years that Christmas messaging normally comes with a special offer of some sort. Use this to your advantage by adding Christmas messaging and imagery to your message, even if you don’t have a special on, as it will guarantee you some extra eyeballs.

 Use seasonal PPC words

PPC marketing, both on Google and social media are an especially important revenue streams for many small businesses. But during Christmas, you’ll get left behind if you don’t adjust your keywords and your bids accordingly. By analysing which keywords have increased search volume over Christmas and incorporating those into your strategy could result in extra sales this Christmas. Remember though, a good PPC campaign relies heavily on solid research and testing!

 Black Friday & Cyber Monday are your Christmas marketing friends

It’s pretty obvious how big these two days are in the world of both retail and e-commerce and these are two days that you can leverage by using them to bring more attention to your brand and your holiday marketing campaign. Of course, you can offer the massive discounts that all other retailers do, but what will make you stand out is the value you add to each purchase. Bring Black Friday and Cyber Monday buyers back for Christmas by

  • Offering a coupon that’s valid for the rest of the year
  • Adding a stocking filler product for free
  • Offering free postage and free returns
  • Including or extending the warranty or guarantee

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great opportunities for you to increase your sales. You can also use these occasions to grow an email list in the lead up to the Christmas rush.

Don’t forget post-Christmas

There is this blurry period between Christmas and when people go back to work in the new year. This is a great time to continue promoting your sales as this is a time when people are usually happy and relaxing with their family – and passing their time on their phone. Offer a ‘Santa didn’t get me what I wanted’ flash sale and heavily discount any products that you’d like to move quickly.

With plenty of Christmas marketing ideas that you can implement this holiday season, do your research and put together a strategy specific to your audience and brand.

What’s most important through all of this is that you plan and measure everything. Who knows, if you find a golden marketing idea, it may just work for you throughout the rest of the year!