eCommerce Marketing for Christmas 2020: 14 Tips

By Colm Fitzgerald, on 26 November 2020

2020 has been dominated by COVID-19 headlines and challenges. Fortunately, the upcoming holidays offer something to look forward to—a light at the end of the tunnel for both consumers and retailers. And due to the pandemic, there will be a marked increase in shoppers doing their Christmas shopping online this year. This also follows the global trend of increased online shopping, pandemic or not. Here are 14 tips for ecommerce marketing for Christmas 2020, to make the most of the holidays and the surge in online activity.

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eCommerce Marketing for Christmas 2020_ 14 Tips

14 Tips for Christmas 2020 eCommerce Marketing

1. Bundle Products

By bundling products into attractive holiday gift packs you can move more stock and increase overall spending. This is also an effective Christmas marketing strategy for selling products which are slow moving or unpopular by combining them with bestsellers. 

2. Create a Digital Gift Guide

This requires extra effort yet if done well, gift guides are an excellent tool to get your customers thinking about holiday spending. A well designed gift guide encourages shoppers with themed imagery and gift suggestions for loved ones. A downloadable gift guide can be exchanged for contact info, fitting nicely into your overall ecommerce marketing strategy.

3. Create a Holiday Pop Up to Collect Sign Ups

Visitors to your website have already expressed interest in what you’re offering. Make sure you can keep in touch by using a timed or exit intent pop up with a contact field. A holiday themed pop up that mentions discounted products and exclusive seasonal sales is an offer many holiday shoppers can’t resist.

eCommerce Marketing for Christmas 2020: 14 Tips
Source: Vinebox

4. Refresh Your Blog and Social Content with Christmas Ideas

Depending on your industry or niche you can create engaging and valuable content for your audience. These could be as simple as unique gift wrapping tips or fun holiday recipes. They don’t particularly have to be related to your products (better if they are), but rather a way to provide useful information which shoppers associate with your brand. How-to-videos on YouTube and Facebook are particularly impactful.

5. Add a Countdown to Create a Sense of Urgency

Whether related to specific product deals or holiday sales, a countdown timer taps into shoppers’ emotions and sense of urgency. A countdown could be on your homepage, appear as a pop up when certain actions are performed or included in email campaigns. These are especially effective for Black Friday and Cyber Monday when fear of missing out on uber-deals is high.

eCommerce Marketing for Christmas 2020: 14 Tips

Holiday sale countdown timer. Source: XLPlugins

6. Research and Execute SEO That is Focused on Christmas Marketing

Keep in mind that, according to Google data, users start looking for ideas for Christmas gifts in August. Be sure to give yourself enough time to be able to position organically. This begins with serious keyword research relevant to your industry and specific products. 

7. Reinforce Your Customer Service Staff

The Christmas and holiday shopping season means a serious uptick in orders. This is especially true in 2020 as 61% of shoppers plan to make purchases online. Ensure your team is ready to handle the surge with seasonal staff, contingency plans and holiday specific protocols.

8. Develop Landing Pages for Specific Products and Promotions

Landing pages are another task that you need to “do your homework” on in advance, especially if you are going to try to position them using SEO. Competition is high at the holidays which means so is the risk for retailers. Ad spending and resources overall need to be used very carefully. Creative and irresistible landing pages are highly effective tools for increasing engagement and ultimately sales. 

9. Launch Exclusive Holiday Products or Product Lines

Many companies develop seasonal products, think breweries and their Christmas beers, or Starbucks holiday coffees. You can join in by adding a holiday themed twist to packaging or to the product itself. Shoppers love limited edition, unique products, especially if they can gift them to loved ones.

eCommerce Marketing for Christmas 2020: 14 Tips

10. Surprise Your Customers

We expect to receive messages from companies on the same key days such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, for instance. Stand out from the crowd and contact customers on random days with crafty communication to catch them off guard. Your message will resonate much stronger when their attention isn’t pulled in a million different directions.

11. Decorate Your Website

An obvious tip perhaps, but well designed Christmas touches on your site can reinforce branding and generate festive spirit which reminds people that it’s time to start thinking about buying gifts for loved ones. Be careful not to go overboard here and distract from the products themselves; a few tasteful additions like a red banner or a green bough, for instance, are sufficient. Don’t forget holiday flourishes on all your social channels, either!

12. Coordinate Your Campaign to be Cohesive Across Channels

All channels should show a unique presentation of the same campaign, while also showing continuity. This ensures a sense of exclusivity to that particular offer while still maintaining your branding and style. It also allows you to split test various alternatives and find what works best for duplication. 

13. Make Mobile Channels a Priority

Think mobile first and then adapt for desktop. More and more people are making purchases directly through mobile apps and well designed mobile webshops. Ensure your website, landing pages and all promotional content is mobile ready: clear, concise, responsive and easily navigable. User friendly checkout pages are especially vital here when securing sales.

14. Run a Christmas Themed User Generated Campaign

Using creative hashtags you can run a contest or giveaway which encourages customers to post videos or pictures about their Christmas wishes mentioning your brand. This spreads brand awareness and develops community, while also being fun.

eCommerce Marketing for Christmas 2020: 14 Tips

Office Depot’s hugely successful Elf Yourself user generated content campaign.

This year has certainly been atypical and has presented monumental challenges for many. Despite this, forecasts for holiday spending show a slight growth over last year at around 1.5%. That’s a slow down from 4.5% growth in 2019 but positive, nonetheless. 

As a retailer, it may be tempting to take your foot off the gas and write this year off, yet holiday shoppers are still eager to spend. In fact, millennials plan to spend 6% more this year. So if you haven’t already, apply some of our holiday eCommerce marketing tips to help finish the year strong.

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Colm Fitzgerald

Colm FitzGerald is an international business communications consultant. He lives in Barcelona.