Have you got your eCommerce Christmas marketing campaigns sorted?
By now, you really should have all your major promotions and sale dates planned out. After all, there is only 75 days until Christmas. Yikes!
But if haven’t managed to plan everything out yet, that’s ok – it’s not too late.
We’ll give you the rundown so you can get planning, pronto. Like, this week please!
Because the Christmas period is always going to be your biggest season for sales and it’s really worth putting in some effort, to ensure you’re making the most of the silly season.
And prior and proper planning and preparation is key to driving an exciting flurry of sales.
Know Your Crucial Christmas Sale Dates
Click Frenzy is a pre-Christmas collective shopping event across Australia, over 53 hours, providing discounts and deals from a wide variety of stores.
Despite having only began in 2012, it has fast become a recognisable and hugely popular part of the shopping calendar.
If you can, it could well pay off nicely to register with Click Frenzy, so your sales and brand gets promoted on their website during the event.
Black Friday – 26 November & Cyber Monday – 29 November
This has become a huge 4 days in pre-Christmas retail in recent years.
It’s a great opportunity to take advantage of shoppers being in a buying mood, by setting up some special discounts or deals.
You could either offer a blanket discount across the store, or a specific range of products.
Or, bundle deals on groups of products are also hugely popular (and help with profit margins).
And adding in bonus gifts can also be a drawcard.
You can also choose to stick to the same discount deal over the entire four days, or choose a different promotion for Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Monday.
Or, you can just focus on a deal for Friday – and traditionally, an even bigger deal for the Monday.
It’s up to you how you play it. But play it you definitely should!
Free Shipping Day – December 14
This one is actually one I’ve just discovered. It’s apparently (like many others) an American tradition, that is starting to catch on in Australia.
It’s basically the last day where online orders can be guaranteed delivery, before Christmas Day.
And retailers traditionally waive any minimum ordering requirements to score free shipping, but instead, free shipping is offered on everything.
This could be a good one to take advantage of as an online retailer, to really try and drive those last minute Christmas gift sales.
However, make sure you take note of any delays in the postage network as Australia Post in particular has been struggling during the Covid-19 demand. Therefore, it might pay to either offer free Express shipping if you can – or if not, put a disclaimer in there that any delivery guarantees are subject to Australia Post, not you. But if you use a courier service, you may not have any drama.
Super Saturday – December 18
This is the last Saturday before Christmas Day. This is often when the last-minute shoppers are out and about in full force.
Clearly, this one works best if you have a physical retail store, but there’s no reason why you can’t utilise it online – with the option of Express shipping.
Boxing Day – December 26
Clearly, this is one sale you’ll want to get on board with.
If you’re a more experienced retailer, there’s a good chance you have your Boxing Day strategy sorted.
But if you’re a newer retailer, whether it be physical or ecommerce (or both!), you’ll want to put some serious thought into how you do this.
What you offer, really depends on your products and profit margins.
Bigger retailers with bigger margins are more able to provide a hefty storewide discount.
If your margins are lower, you can choose to place a discount on select items where you have excess stock to move or you can offer different percentages off, per product category.
However, you do it though, you’ll want to do your best to offer something SIGNIFICANT. As this really is your biggest chance to clear and move stock (and hopefully make a killing!) for the year.
(When we ran our eCommerce store, I used to discount stock that hadn’t been moving as much as we would have liked. As I never wanted to work too much on Boxing Day due to not missing out on the family fun, I had everything set up in a secret category on the website – and would simply flick it on when the Boxing Day sale was due to start. I’d also make sure I had prepared an email marketing blast to our database that I either had scheduled to send automatically, or I’d simply flick on the category, and click on the send button. This worked well for us and took of all five minutes on the day!)
How To Decide What To Do for Christmas Retail Sales
Step 1 – Research
Jump on to Google and firstly, check out some more information on each of the sale dates and what’s commonly done by the big brand retailers etc.
Next, do some specific research into what your direct industry competitors are doing (or have done in previous years).
Check out the big guns and the littler guys too.
Hint – go back through their social media pages and posts from last year too!
Step 2 – Strategy
Do you want to follow the crowd and offer something similar (and possibly proven)?
Or, do you buck the trends and be different in an attempt to stand out in your industry?
Or, do you want to do a little bit of both?
Personally, I like an offer to be at least somewhat different.
Can you find a way of going bigger and bolder than your competitors – without compromising your margins?
Step 3 – Document every step and detail of every campaign
Create a solid plan for each campaign or sale date – with what discounts you’re offering, on what products and what social media and email marketing blasts you will need to do.
Trust me when I say, this will become incredibly crucial when you’re in the middle of trying to keep up with the packing, posting AND keep up with what marketing tasks you need to do and when.
Step 4 – Write and design your promotional materials
The more you can do in advance, the better off you’ll be.
The Christmas retail period is CRAZZZZYYYYYYYY, so you’ll want to be writing any promotional social media posts (and any other helpful content) and your email blasts, so they are ready to go for when you need them.
Step 5 – Put all dates in your calendar with reminders
This will ensure you don’t miss a step nor a critical date. DO IT!
You’ll thank us later.
Wrap up the silly season in your business, by getting strategic and smart
From having run an eCommerce business for 10 years and from spending a couple of those years with a physical store too, I can honestly tell you two things.
You DEFINITELY need a strategy and a plan for the Christmas retail sales period.
And the SOONER you get a plan in place and all your marketing material ready to go, the better.
Ad hoc, on the fly stuff DOES NOT WORK.
Believe me, we did it that way for the first few years, and it was stressful, scattered and disorganised.
The more prior planning you can do, the more successful your Christmas period will be.
So go do it. (Preferably start now!)
(And if you’d like to jump start your social media campaigns with a little help – we’re running a FREE CHALLENGE next week. Register here.)