With Christmas fast approaching have you got your marketing plan ready? Every decent marketing consultant will tell you to plan early to gain maximum traction and leverage over the Christmas holiday season. This is one of the biggest shopping periods every year that just cannot be missed. In 2018 shoppers in the United States spent over $1 trillion on Christmas gifts. Shoppers in the United Kingdom topped 2 billion pounds in the same period.
At PayNow we have assembled our top tips for your Christmas marketing this season.
Update all of your Christmas opening hours on all marketing touch points to keep your customers informed. It may seem quite basic, but it is often overlooked by small businesses. Google allows you to add special hours within your Google My Business page. This is a great way to advertise extended trading hours in order to generate more customer traffic. Update all social media channels as well. Many customers will use social media to check when they can come into shop.
AVOID THE “BUY, BUY, BUY” MESSAGE
Be more to your customers than just another business shouting buy, buy, buy from the rooftops. Use the Christmas period as another way to address your customers pain points. Offer them a solution that your competitors haven’t thought of. Their pain points might be too much stress, not enough time, straining their budgeting so create a unique marketing message that helps with these things. Use the time to emphasis how your product or service provides solutions and is the perfect gift.
CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY
Using countdown techniques in your marketing like, 1 week to go, 3 days to go, will create a sense of urgency for your customers and help with the conversion to sales. This is particularly evident with online shopping where click throughs have been known to increase when this strategy is deployed.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of increasing visibility of a website to users of web search engines like Google and Safari. This is something you need to start much earlier in the year in order to have gained traction by Christmas time. Ensure you have content that is targeting specific marketing terms like “gifts for mum” and that relate to your products. Spend time building quality online reviews and a social media following that can be leveraged when new clients look at your business. Use the website data available to target search terms and the flow of traffic across your electronic platforms.
Make your Christmas promotions stand out. Provide value in offering free shipping and implementing referral programs. Also offer an actual Christmas promotion. If you’ve been offering 20% off all year, your clients won’t think that’s a good deal at Christmas time. Either cut back on your promotions before the Christmas period or offer a really special discount. Don’t forget to focus on capturing client information that can be used for future promotions.
Increasingly people are using mobile devices to browse and complete tasks. It is essential that your website supports that behaviour and works effectively on mobile devices. You don’t want to miss a sale because the shopping cart would not load on a mobile phone, your form was too long to fill out or your menus are too complex to navigate on a smaller screen.
Create content that is true to your brand identity. Don’t change just because it’s Christmas. Be authentic, as consumers want your marketing to feel genuine and give them real value. Use striking visuals to create standout content. Make it shareable so customers will tell others. Focus on being quirky and funny, using unique and emotive messaging. Also include video content for sharing on social media platforms such as Instagram.
Ensure your stock levels are right. Don’t be “sold out” when demand is at its highest. Not only will this put customers off, it could also affect your website rankings. When a Googlebot hits your product page and sees “Out of Stock”, your page may be dropped from their indexing. Also make sure you are ready to accept mobile payments, online, over the phone and in person. With over 55% of United States and 38% of United Kingdom consumers using credit cards to pay for Christmas shopping be sure to utilise our mobile payments app, PayNow for Stripe.
While statistics vary across the globe, research by Fortunly does tell us that about 30% of United States shoppers start their Christmas shopping in November so it’s good to have your Christmas marketing in place right now! However, you haven’t missed the window, as 62% buy gifts in the week before Christmas. Don’t overlook all marketing channels as 23% of shoppers reported relying on social media to help them select the right gifts. So, get planning your Christmas marketing and reap the benefits of the Christmas shopping season.