How your brand can boost its online sales this holiday season

  • On November 14, 2019

With the holiday season fast approaching, our CEO Luigi Matrone shows you strategies and tactics your business should implement to take full advantage of this incredible annual eCommerce sales opportunity. 

It almost goes without saying it that the holiday season represents fantastic eCommerce sales opportunities for brands.

Holiday season spending hit an astronomical $998.32 billion – a 5.4 per cent growth vs 2017. eCommerce sales accounted for $123.90 billion of that spend – an enormous leap of 16.7 per cent compared with the previous year.[1]

Cyber Monday alone saw spending of $7.87 billion, while Thanksgiving and Black Friday experienced above average growth, cementing their places as important eCommerce spending days.[2]

 

Holidays are coming

Coca-Cola has become somewhat synonymous with Christmas, its famous ‘Holidays are coming’ Coca-Cola truck advert heralding the beginning of Christmas for many.

 

Holiday season First Example

The Coca-Cola truck that, for many, represents the start of Christmas – thereby helping consumers associate the holiday season with the brand, and boost seasonal sales – Image source: Coca-Cola

 

There’s even the long-held but unsubstantiated legend [3] that Coca-Cola are responsible for putting the figure of Father Christmas in red. 

Coca-Cola have denied this themselves [4] but the myth still persists. And that’s hardly a bad thing for Coca-Cola (indeed, it’s the very opposite) because consumers continue to associate the brand with Christmas, creating enormous goodwill towards it. Goodwill that amounts to around £185 million in sales during the Christmas season.[5]  

 

No reason why your brand can’t win at Christmas

Coca-Cola may do extremely well out of it, but it doesn’t have a monopoly on Christmas and the holiday season.

There are so many things that brands could be doing better in order to take full advantage of the amazing sales opportunity that the holiday season represents.

And that doesn’t need to mean investing in multi-million TV advertising campaigns.

 

Holiday season Second Example

People in the UK look forward to what retailer John Lewis comes up with for their multi-million pound Christmas TV advert each year – Image source: Mirror

 

Leveraging Product eContent

Just because you have a product that would make an ideal gift for Christmas (not to mention other gift-giving holidays), it doesn’t mean that consumers will immediately make that assumption and buy it on that basis. 

No, brands have to work hard to become discoverable during the competitive holiday season and build an association with Christmas or other holiday season shopping days.

One of the best ways of doing this is through great Product eContent, like exact product titles, Mobile Hero Images, ratings & reviews, and informative and inspiring details about your product.

 

Does your product feel Christmassy?

For instance, write your product descriptions afresh (or adapting them), both so that they evoke Christmas – the aromas, families coming together to celebrate the occasion, that special gift for your partner or spouse, your daughter’s ‘big’ present – and become more visible from a Retail Search and SEO perspective. 

 

Seasonally-themed Mobile Hero Images

Another effective way of helping shoppers associate your product with the holiday season is by designing Christmas-themed Mobile Hero Images that clearly show that your product is perfect for the season, whether as a gift or as something to decorate your home with.

 

Holiday season Third Example

Shearer Candles Frankincense & Myrrh Christmas-themed candle – notice how you can read the product detail and get a real sense of the aroma it gives off – Image source: Amazon

 

Also, remember – as the eBusiness Institute content team demonstrated in a great blog based on my Alcon Gaze eCommerce conference keynotemobile content is critical to online brand and sales success.

 

Holiday season Fourth Example

Coke’s brilliant Christmas bow label design is an example of how the brand likes to keep its holiday season activity fresh and keep perpetuating its valuable association with the holiday season – Image source: AdWeek

 

Christmas-themed online video content

You could also easily produce cost-effective online video content appropriate for online settings and Product eContent use. Short, punchy Christmas-themed video content that reflects the season and tells the potential customer about the key features and benefits of your product. 

And the beauty of online video is that you don’t need vast TV advertising budgets to get your content seen – you just need to optimise your content for search to help attract traffic.

 

Don’t forget to cross-sell

You’ve managed to get the attention of shoppers with your Product eContent, and might even have succeeded in securing a sale. Now that you’ve got their attention, you need to make sure that they know you have other products to offer – and get them to consider buying them! 

Entice them with products that go perfectly with the one they’re already looking at or have just bought. Tempt them with great bundles and offers. Everybody loves to get a great deal, so give them one.

 

Holiday season Fifth Example

An example found in Amazon’s Christmas Shop of the investment that toy brand L.O.L. Surprise puts into Product eContent to make the most of the seasonal eCommerce opportunity – Image source: Amazon

 

Awareness is all very good, but you need to make that online sales opportunity really count if you’re to win online. 

 

Emphasise those links with the holiday season

Don’t just do the conventional things that everyone else is doing during the holiday season – make sure your brands and products stand out through you doing something different.

 

Holiday season Sixth Example

Amazon’s Christmas Shop Stocking Fillers page is ideal for putting great ideas for small gifts into shoppers’ minds – Image source: Amazon

 

So, in addition to leveraging your Product eContent, how about creating themed versions of your products in the way that beer brand Carlsberg did with its Christmas Brew. OK, it’s a far bigger process than developing great new Product eContent, but it could really set you apart from your competition.

Get your products into the Amazon Stocking Fillers pages and its equivalents to help put the idea of your products as great small gifts, for instance.

 

Holiday season Seventh Example

A neck massager may actually be too large for a stocking, but Naipo have cleverly put it in shoppers’ minds as a main gift by placing it on Amazon’s Stocking Fillers page – Image source: Amazon

 

Cleverly piggybacking huge campaigns like Coca-Cola’s or John Lewis’s TV ads could also pay dividends. Refer to them in your own social media campaigns or produce well-targeted product videos that give an obvious nod to the big, easily recognisable ads while demonstrating the features and benefits of your own products. If you have the budget and the imagination to make it work, it could be a worthwhile investment.

Clothing brand Joules has taken an interesting approach this year by partnering with lots of gift-related businesses in order to bring ideas to its loyal and potential new customers. Intriguing to see how that goes for them, but I applaud the idea.

 

Holiday season Eighth Example

Joules has partnered with lots of other businesses to help give its customers inspiring new gift ideas – Image source: Joules

 

In conclusion – make the holiday season count

Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, the post-Christmas Boxing Day, New Year’s and January sales – it’s vital that you align with the $998.32 billion (and growing) sales opportunity the holiday season represents.

It’s not just going to fall into your lap. You need to make sure that your business is organised in the best possible way and that your Product eContent is as relevant and fantastic as it can be to help you take full advantage of this unmissable seasonal opportunity.

 

This article was created and written by Luigi Matrone – CEO & Founder of the eBusiness Institute.

 

Would you like to benefit from eBusiness Institute’s expertise?

At the eBusiness Institute, extensive experience of working with numerous brands on their digital transformation. We understand the importance of an optimised consumer experience to drive your brand’s sales online and offline. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.

 

Sources

[1] https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-2018-holiday-season-review-and-2019-preview

[2] https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-2018-holiday-season-review-and-2019-preview 

[3] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/christmas/12037939/Why-does-Santa-wear-red-and-why-do-we-kiss-under-mistletoe-The-mysteries-of-Christmas-unwrapped.html 

[4] https://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/coke-lore-santa-claus 

[5] https://forecourttrader.co.uk/news/archivestory.php/aid/6548/Coca-Cola_is_a__pound%3B185m_seasonal_sales_winner.html

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