Marketing Tips For The Holidays

Ecommerce Marketing Tips to Drive Sales During the Holidays

The 'ber' months are here and that means it's the start of the holiday shopping season. Are you ready for it?

You can see (and hear) it already — Christmas songs playing in malls and public spaces, houses lit up with Christmas lights, and brands pushing their Christmas promos to the max. That can only mean one thing— ”ber” months na!

We all know Christmas is the biggest and longest shopping period in the Philippines, and it starts as early as September 1 (or whenever Jose Mari Chan rears his shiny head). The pandemic-related pause hasn’t stopped Filipinos from celebrating the holidays — and that includes spending! Lazada’s 12.12 shopping festival doubled in sales during the pandemic, and retailers are still seeing a large boost in revenue during this period. 

5 holiday marketing tips for ecommerce brands

During the holiday season, people are more willing to open their wallets… which is why this four-month period is also the peak season for many brands. For small businesses, this is the best time to be more pa-bibo, and create a holiday marketing strategy to acquire new customers and maximize sales.

Here are a few actionable steps on how to get started and stand out:

Get ready early

Christmas starts on September 1 in the Philippines!

Even if this is your first Christmas campaign, there’s no need to panic. It’s going to be a long holiday season, so there’s still time to plan and make sure that you don’t get left behind. 

Take a step back and review your previous holiday marketing efforts — what worked, what didn’t?

Next, clearly define your goals. Are you looking to acquire new customers or get existing customers to buy more? This is crucial in determining your marketing strategy.

For example, what products will you push, and on which channels? What content will you create, and do you have the budget to boost ads? Creating a long-term plan can help you prioritize and manage your workload.

The earlier you start planning, the earlier you can begin! If you start driving brand awareness as early as September, you have more time to build a relationship with customers and convince them to buy. This gives you a clear head start over other brands that may only start in December. 

Prepare a season-appropriate content strategy

Think of holiday-themed content and promos that entice people to shop, shop, shop!

Once you’ve planned your marketing strategy, make sure you’re also applying this to your content, whether it’s on your website, ecommerce storefronts or your social media pages

Remember that other brands will be marketing aggressively during this time, so you need a clear content strategy to stay in touch with your customers. Use your social media feed or website as a virtual window shopping experience that will get them to add to cart, now na

You should refresh your content with Christmas-themed visuals, but it’s important to still align it with your branding. You can then start creating posts that fit the season’s festive spirit. 

Here are some ideas to kickstart your content planning:

  • Christmas Gift Guide – show how your products are the perfect gift for different people in your customer’s life
  • Holiday Catalog – show off any seasonal products or showcase existing products with a Christmas theme
  • Unboxing Videos – show off your Christmas packaging with some eye-catching TikToks
  • 12 Days of Christmas – create daily prompts to engage your followers
  • Contests and Giveaways – ‘tis the season to be generous and reward your followers
  • Memes – don’t be shy to ride on trends and add some humor to your feed!

Offer holiday promos and deals

There’s nothing like exciting promos to attract your customers.

People have more reasons to spend during the holidays — whether they’re looking for a gift for loved ones or treating themselves with their 13th-month bonus

This is the perfect opportunity to offer holiday promos and deals. What will work for you will depend on your customers and the goals and strategy you defined in Step 1, but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • If you want to get new customers, bundle products into a gift set or offer holiday discounts.
  • If you want your regular customers to buy more (incentivize larger carts), offer discounts or add a little gift with every purchase over a certain value.
  • If you want to drive more frequent purchases during the holidays, create a seasonal loyalty program, similar to how Starbucks releases their Christmas drinks.

You can also entice last-minute shoppers by offering big discounts leading up to Christmas Day, or offering gift wrapping or personalization services.

Don’t forget to mark important days on your marketing calendar, such as double-digit sale days! These ecommerce shopping “holidays” have gotten so ubiquitous; for the holiday season, everyone looks forward to the sales and offers during 9.9, 10.10, 11.11, and 12.12. Since everyone’s already online, it’s easy for brands to join the craze.

Work with influencers

Work with influencers to help spread your holiday sales and promos.

Think about your audience, and who they follow. Influencers will likely appear on their feed more often than any other brand. Partnering with influencers can, thus, increase brand engagement and organic word-of-mouth, especially during the holidays. 

Be creative and open when reaching out to influencers and let them inject their own personality. They can help showcase your holiday catalog or recommend your products as gifts.

To track the return on investment or ROI, you can create unique discount codes for each influencer. They will then share this with their followers, and you’ll be able to track the sales and revenue. 

Harness the power of social commerce

The pandemic showed the power of social commerce, with the rising popularity of social marketplaces like FB Marketplace and live selling.

live selling on social media
Live selling on Facebook has become popular for many sellers and customers.
Image from Getty Images

Think about FB groups like Best of the Best Manila and Home Buddies. Products and brands can go viral in these groups due to positive recommendations. How can you get your brand to be talked about here? 

You can get influencers to act as brand ambassadors in these groups to promote your brand. Some ecommerce platforms also have an affiliate marketing program that allows users to earn from commissions. This can transform your regular customers into brand ambassadors if they really love your brand.

If you’re a seller on Lazada or Shopee, you can also try live selling through their in-app live streaming features. These features leverage on a “see now, buy now” behavior, or what they’ve called “shoppertainment.” It’s an opportunity for brands to show their products in use, in an engaging setting.

For fashion brands, this can mean a fashion show or styling challenge; for beauty brands, this could be a makeup tutorial with an influencer. You can interact with your customers in real-time, showcase your products, and lead them to check out immediately. 

holiday shopping season
Make your ecommerce business shine this holiday season. Image from Unsplash

THE HOLIDAYS can be exhausting, but it can also be the most rewarding season for businesses. If you stay focused and flexible, you can weather even the craziest -ber months selling period and come out on top.

Need more help? Check out our 10-step guide to preparing your online shop for the year-end shopping frenzy.

Happy holidays and happy selling!

Featured image by psisa via Getty Images