Christmas is coming!

As ever, the year seems to have flown by with the customary gasps of disapproval at the likes of Myer for showcasing their festive displays in September, being voiced regularly by the masses. Whilst this may seem a tad early, it is a savvy move on their part as it is reported that 1 in 4 shoppers start their Christmas shopping before Halloween, taking advantage of any available early bird bargains to make their spend go further.

In addition, consumers are tightening their belts and considering more carefully what they spend their money on. 73% of Australian people won’t increase their holiday spending this year according to MarketingMag.com.au which is even more reason why it is vital to make sure what they do spend, is with you.

If you haven’t planned or created your Christmas campaign, start now

Now is the perfect time to be looking at your marketing and how you communicate offers to your audience, regardless of which industry you are in. Nearly half of e-commerce retailers will have created and launched their Christmas marketing campaign before the end of October so, if you are looking to take advantage of this rapidly growing marketplace during the festive season, it’s time to begin devising some well thought out campaigns.

Digital marketing is the perfect platform for many companies, but it is important to cut through an already crowded marketplace which means your advertising needs to be first rate. As we steamroll closer to Christmas, the average cost per click and impressions on platforms such as Google, Facebook and Instagram, will jump by over 20%, illustrating just how much more advertising activity increases during this period. Your marketing therefore needs to be compelling enough to make people stop and take notice, rather than scrolling on by.

With advertising costs increasing over Christmas try to avoid boosting a post on Facebook, instead utilise the Advertising Manager platform, which enables you to deliver much better targeted, sales optimised and compelling campaigns. Remember that getting likes is not a measure of success – getting people to act and complete a transaction as a result of your online campaigns however, is.

Strong visuals and a compelling call to action placed right under the nose of your audience will be the most likely approach to achieve success. Rather than using poor quality images or video, instead, invest some of your budget on quality, unique visuals accompanied with language that clearly tells people what your Christmas offer is, who the gift is ideal for, and just how valuable your product or service really is.

The gift in knowing your audience

The challenge for festive campaigns is that marketing needs to convince the customer that your product or service is the ideal gift for their family or friends. By knowing your audience and what they respond to, and then taking the time to map out a series of campaigns including the optimum time to schedule your posts, you will stand a greater chance of cutting through. For example, if you know that most people looking to book a holiday will be online after work once they have finished dinner, this is when you should schedule your advert, not on a Tuesday morning when everyone is at work.

eCommerce is cut-throat – make sure your website is ready

Now is also a great time to conduct a digital health check. This is important particularly if you’re relying on online sales this year as 38% of shoppers will never return to a website if it is not mobile optimised and 1 in 4 will abandon the cart if the checkout process is too long and complicated. Therefore, ensuring the user experience is as smooth as possible, will increase your chances of securing online sales in a very competitive marketplace.

Depending on your industry, Christmas may be your peak time of year. With an estimated 34 million parcel deliveries during the holiday season and 61% of shoppers abandoning their cart because of extra costs such as shipping (particularly when free shipping is deemed to be the second most important factor when purchasing online), it’s vital to get you’re your shipping practices under control, or face losing a large proportion of potential sales.

It’s still all about customer service

As business ramps up, you may need to change your trading hours to meet the increase in demand and avoid cashflow challenges with the additional staffing needs. By carefully planning these, you should be able to achieve a good balance and, ensure that any training can take place in a timely fashion so that the customer experience, is positive. The last thing you need right now is an unfavourable review on social media.

People are time poor so if you have out of the usual trading hours or an ecommerce function on your website, make sure people know about it.

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