Christmas Season – This year was unlike any other, and the holiday season will undoubtedly follow. More and more consumers will have to shop online for holiday gifts, and due to problems with slow postal delivery, they will likely do so for a more extended period than usual. That said, for the holidays of 2020, your ecommerce campaigns will be even more critical than they have been in years past.
But even in this unprecedented year, there are some fundamentals of advertising and ecommerce basics you’ll need to ensure you’re giving your current and potential customers the best shopping experience possible during the holiday season. In this article, I’ll provide you with eight tips and best practices to make sure that:
Stand out from the competition.
Attract holiday shoppers and continue to see the increase in sales due to the holiday season, despite the current economic and marketing landscape.
Eight practical tips for the success of Christmas advertising in 2020
Granted, many of these are pretty straightforward. Still, with the increase in online activity that we’re likely to see among consumers, it’s even more important to make sure you have mastered the basics so your customers can have a good experience with you. Whatever might be enough to convince them since everyone else is a trash can fire.
1. Manage product feeds
There’s nothing more annoying than seeing an ad promoting a product on social media or Google search and then coming to the site and finding that it is out of stock. From an advertiser’s perspective, this is a relatively straightforward solution if you use product feeds or catalogs and keep track of your inventory. Facebook, Google, and many more have ways to make sure that you are only promoting stock products.
On the other hand, if you use text ad campaigns for search campaigns or standard campaigns for website traffic on Facebook, this information is not available dynamically. It’s up to you to ensure that you write ad copy that is accurate and does not make promises that your business or ecommerce site can’t deliver.
2. Use automation to promote holiday sales
Like finding an out of the stock product, it is just as frustrating when an ad teases a sale but is then nowhere to be found on the website. But fear not, the scheduling of announcements is there. Several platforms allow some form of ad scheduling to ensure that your sales message ads are live and paused when needed. They contain;
- Google Ads (ad scheduling setup help here).
- Microsoft Ads (ad scheduling setup here).
- Facebook/Instagram (ad scheduling setup here).
- Snapchat (ad scheduling setup here)
- Twitter (ad scheduling setup here)
Depending on the platform or platforms you are using, be sure to check out their ad scheduling capabilities and adjust them accordingly. Maybe you can run promotions only as all-day events, or perhaps you can set them in 15-minute increments. In any case, know your options and make sure your customers see a correct message regardless of the time.
3. Be realistic with shipping expectations
As consumers, we usually have a lot of trust in a website that says we will have our products by a specific date. Years of using Amazon Prime for two-day, one-day, or same-day deliveries with a reasonably high success rate have affected us this way. The level has been set very high.
Your website should give a realistic expectation of when something will be delivered. Even though it’s technically called a two-day shipment, and that’s what your customer is paying for, if you know you’re overdue on planning, you need to tell them that.
Someone might have the perfect experience on your site. Still, if shipping is delayed and they didn’t realize this was a possible outcome, you better believe it will have a destructive impact on your brand as much, if not more, the shipping company itself.
The bottom line: Set the right expectations, especially as you get closer to the holidays, and let people know if you don’t think this article will be there on time. You may miss a sale right now, but it’s better than rejecting negative reviews after the fact.
4. Improve your site speed
With an increase in online shopping during the holiday season in 2020, network bandwidth will undoubtedly decrease. For some users, their naturally fast internet will be slowed down by having more users on the network, while others will be hit even harder with already slow internet. Either way, this holiday season (well, ideally ahead of time) is a great time to remove website speed hurdles from your online store and speed things up for your customers.
5. Make your site mobile-friendly
You might be surprised at how many people shop Christmas online while they are at work. Sometimes, it’s the only way to do it without someone not to spoil the surprise. For others, it’s because they don’t have a computer that’s big enough at home to shop. And since many people are still in the home working phase, we will likely see an even higher percentage of mobile users in 2020.
6. Give users a few ways to pay
The last thing every consumer wants to do is reenter our credit card information for every online purchase. Maybe it’s tedious nature, or perhaps it’s a privacy issue. Either way, let 2020 be the year you allow users to pay with PayPal, Apple Pay, or another platform instead of using a credit card at your store.
On most platforms, these solutions can be easily added to your online or e-commerce site. It’s much easier for me to click the PayPal logo, login, and have all my payment and shipping available instead of entering it from a user perspective. Again and again.
7. Share customer reviews
Despite what you see on Twitter or the news regarding shopping online, people care what other people think of your products, especially what they think of your products, so play to your strengths here and prioritize showing your reviews online. Before and during the holiday season show course, you need a steady flow in the first place, but there are plenty of simple, organic ways to collect reviews and ask for reviews.
Many sites have built-in rating capabilities, such as Dicks’ Sporting Goods above.
If you don’t have this feature or plug-in for your website, there are solutions to make this possible. Companies like Trustpilot and others have many built-in tools that easily embed reviews into your website. This social proof can go a long way when users try to choose between two different products or solutions.
Note: For local businesses, receiving reviews from Google will be critical to marketing success during the holidays. The amount and quality of reviews on your Google business profile directly impact your ranking in local results, so if you want to be the first to appear on Maps and Search for the holiday shopper Googling stores near them, get your Google review game in gear.
8. Use real-life photos
Like customer reviews, seeing products in action will be a big selling point online for the holiday season this year. Usually, customers would flock to stores and buy holiday gifts. But as many consumers are still cautious about the ongoing pandemic, naturally high in-store sales during the holiday season are likely to be lower than ever.
But what’s the real difference between buying something online and buying it in the store? There are two:
You can take it home with you. At this point, we’ve already discussed the actual shipping expectations, so let’s assume you’ve taken care of that.
They can hold it, and you can touch it, see how much it weighs, flip it over, compare it to the next model, show it to someone else, and more.
The most significant impact on someone buying in-store versus online? They can hold it.