You should be almost two months into planning for Christmas by now, according to Jason Kang, VP for US-based retailer Zazzle, “Christmas planning starts in June,” he says. “You want to be at your best. If you don’t have a plan for Christmas right now, work over the next couple of weeks and get one done.”
Christmas is by far the busiest time of year for the retail sector. Coremetrics figures show that the value of the average order placed online is up by 94% for Christmas 2009, compared to 2008 and the number of goods that are purchased per transaction also increased, from 2.7 items in 2007 to 3.7 per order in 2009. [Link to stats
With people even buying on Christmas day, online retailers need be more strategic and more prepared than ever. Here at toinfinity we are already working with clients on their Online Marketing Campaigns, SEO Strategies, Email Marketing Campaigns and Pay Per Click Campaigns for the Christmas 2010 season.
We know that we are still in August and we want to be enjoying the ‘Summer’ - however we all know that Christmas comes earlier every year. Are you, your business and your marketing sorted for the festive season?
Here are a few things that we are working with some of our clients to get preparated for Christmas Shopping in 2010 ready for their customers.
1. Know who you are targeting with your offers
Be sure to understand your target audience. If you haven’t recently taken stock of your customer base and looked at the demographics of people that are buying from you, how can you really understand who it is that will respond well to your marketing this festive season? You may think that you know who buys from you, but a view taken when you started the business, or one from last year, may be completely different to who buys from you now. Run a report from the data you have. Look at age, gender, location, number of purchases, average spend - then work them up into pretty graphs. This will help you understand who is buying from you.2. Get your offers planned and detailed ready to give to your marketing team
Once you understand fully who it is that you need to be marketing to then putting together offers is the easy part. Think about end of line products that need to be sold. Think about products that you have lots in stock of, or that your supplier on your drop-shipping contact has plenty to supply. If you operate on a drop-shipping method it is worth giving your supplier a call to say that you are planning this offer and check out with them the availability of getting more in if they sell out. If it will be difficult as a result of limited stock to put together good offer, make them scarce. Use phrases like “While Stocks Last” or “Limited Stock Available” in your marketing. Scarcity helps to sell.
3. Sort out your product gift packages and if you will be offering different, festive packaging
You see many retailers plan special festive season gift packaging. All of the guys reading this would no doubt have received the big name shaving brands shaving gel and aftershave combo in the display packaging covered in images of snowflakes; or the ladies having received the specially wrapped perfume in red tissue paper and twirly curly bits on the top. Are there ways that you can re-package your products for the festive season?
4. Plan every piece of communication that you may look to deliver
Once you know who you are going to communicate with, and what you are going to say in terms of your specific product offerings for Christmas - get a plan in place. What tactics are you going to employ to do the marketing, and when will each one go out? Weekly Email Marketing, Increased budgets on your PPC, Banner Advertising that changes every two weeks, Weekly Affiliate Marketing campaign updates… and the list goes on. A slap-dash approach may produce some good returns as Christmas is a bumper season for shopping online, but how much more revenue would a thought through strategic approach bring in? Think it all through, plan out every piece of communication… but above all, make sure you have some kind of tracking in place to measure it.
5. Be prepared for the increase in sales following
Last year we had some of our clients say to us that their campaigns left them not looking forward to Monday mornings. Why? Because the campaigns sent over a weekend resulted in huge numbers of orders from 3pm Friday to 9am Monday, that they had to process and get out the door on the Monday. People went online at the weekend and bought from them. As a result of no-one being in the office to deal with them they had two and a half days of orders to process rather than one day as they would normally have in the week - plus buying on weekends is always busier. If you take on some of these points and plan a strategic approach to your Christmas Marketing Plan, or choose to employ the expert team at toinfinity to help you deliver more sales… be prepared. For more information on toinfinity’s ecommerce consultancy and marketing planning for your Christmas Marketing activity, get in touch with the team at toinfinity on 01793 238697 or visit www.toinfinity.co.uk today.